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Sony X930D TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Apr 01, 2016 at 08:43 pm
Sony X930D Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.3
Movies
7.8
TV Shows
7.9
Sports
8.1
Video Games
8.4
HDR Movies
7.7
HDR Gaming
7.8
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Sony X930E
Type LED
Resolution 4k
Refresh Rate 120 Hz

The Sony X930D is a great 4k UHD TV that offers good all-around picture quality, especially for movies. Its HDR mode is impressive, with very high peak brightness. It doesn't have any major flaws apart from the limited viewing angle and the high input lag.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The Sony X930D is an excellent TV that will please almost everyone, especially those looking for good HDR picture. It has a very good picture quality for movies and it can get very bright. It also handles motion very well. Gamers might be turned off by the rather high input lag, though, and the picture quality isn't great when viewed at an angle.

Pros
  • Great picture quality for movies
  • Great motion handling
  • Very bright
Cons
  • Average-high input lag
  • Loss of saturation at an angle
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 8.3 Movies
  • 7.8 TV Shows
  • 7.9 Sports
  • 8.1 Video Games
  • 8.4 HDR Movies
  • 7.7 HDR Gaming
  • 7.8 PC Monitor

Check Price

Video

Test Results

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The Sony X930D has a decent look. Its frame and stand are made of plastic, but look metallic. Borders are relatively thin, and once it is in its stand, the TV feels sturdy. Its back and side inputs can be hidden behind removable plastic panels on the back of the TV. Cable routing is also possible behind those panels.

Design
Stand

The stand is very sturdy and doesn't have a very big footprint for the size of the TV. It's plastic, but looks like metal.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 16.2" x 9.8"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

A standard VESA wall mount can be used with the supplied VESA spacers. Most of the connections will still be usable when the TV is mounted flush on a wall. Plastic covers are provided to hide cables away.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.59" (1.5 cm)

Borders are made of plastic.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.38" (3.5 cm)

The upper third of the TV is thinner, while the bottom of the TV is thicker.

Picture Quality
7.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
2843 : 1

Contrast is good, although not as good as that of many other TVs. The Sony X930D's blacks are not the deepest, but most people shouldn't notice this. We did expect better results from a high-end TV like this one, though.

6.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

For an edge-lit TV, the local dimming is impressive, though still not quite as good as what you can get from a full-array backlight. The blooming is even more obvious if you turn on 'X-tended Dynamic Range'.

8.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
499 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
923 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
786 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
581 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
560 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
485 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
400 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
400 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
400 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
400 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
400 cd/m2

The SDR peak brightness is above average for the Sony X930D. While it can get very bright (with 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tended Dynamic Range' set to 'High'), the brightness is not stable and vary over time, from very bright to about 400 cd/m², which is our sustained value in our test results.

8.9
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
888 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
1054 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
1038 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
659 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
602 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
554 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
465 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
515 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
549 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
600 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
554 cd/m2

The Sony X930D can get very bright. For really bright highlights, both 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tended Dynamic Range' have to be set to 'High'. Unfortunately, the TV brightness is also very unstable, and varies a lot when there is only a small highlight on the screen (as in our 2% or 10% window tests). For those two tests, the TV slowly cycles between 465 cd/m² and its peak value of around 1054 cd/m². See the additional review notes for more details.
Update: Updated with sustained brightness.

6.5
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
6.366 %
50% DSE
0.198 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.302 %
5% DSE
0.119 %

There isn't much dirty screen effect. However, the edges and the corners are noticeably darker than the center of the screen.

4.9
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
LCD Type
VA
Color Shift
20 °
Brightness
44 °
Black Level
19 °

Very narrow viewing angle. As with most LED TVs, the X930D's color becomes desaturated at wide angles.

8.6
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.209 %

There are a few clouding spots, but nothing that ruins the experience.

10
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

Our gradient test is free of any obvious problems and shows smooth color transitions across the board. The Sony X930D displayed one of the best gradients we have seen so far on a 10-bit panel.

8.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
2.90
Color dE
2.387
Gamma
2.25

Good results for color out of the box. Blue was lacking a little, which resulted in a slightly warmer picture. This was subtle, though, and most would be very satisfied with the default settings.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.27
Color dE
1.1749
Gamma
2.19

After calibration, white balance results are great. Although there are no specific color settings for the Sony TVs, adjusting white balance did improve color accuracy. You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The X930D does an amazing job at upscaling lower resolution content like DVDs. The final image looks very good.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Like the majority of Sony TVs, 720p content when upscaled looks very good.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content like Blu-rays look sharp and no detail are lost. Picture is crisp and fine details are well preserved.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content looks amazing on this TV.

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
88.08 %
DCI P3 uv
93.16 %
Rec 2020 xy
64.21 %
Rec 2020 uv
70.40 %

The Sony X930D has a wide color gamut option, although its range of coverage isn't among the best we've seen. The wider color gamut makes a good visible difference for HDR content.

6.4
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
71.711 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
54.386 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
55.909 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
42.067 %

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.000 %

9.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Reflection
0.7 %
Screen Finish
Glossy

Reflections aren't a big nuisance on the Sony X930D's glossy screen. Some rainbows might appear around bright objects, though. For anyone that has a bright room, this TV will work well.

9.0
Picture Quality
3D
3D
Yes
3D Type
Active
2D to 3D
No

As with most 3D TVs, the screen got darker once 3D was engaged. You might want to increase 'Brightness' when watching 3D content. There was no apparent cross-talk, which is good. The active 3D technology also ensures full-resolution 3D, although it is not as comfortable to watch as is passive 3D. No 3D glasses were included in the box.

Update 11/21/2016: The 65" size has been reported to have more crosstalk than the 55" we tested.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Motion
9.1
Motion
Motion Blur
Response Time
10.6 ms
Overshoot
0.4 ms

The response time of the pixels is pretty quick, which means motion blur is not a problem. This TV isn't flicker-free, unfortunately (all other Sony TVs we reviewed in the last few years were), and this is more noticeable at a lower backlight level. The frequency of the flickering is high, though, so it isn't as noticeable as PWM on Samsung TVs.

7.5
Motion
Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
720 Hz
BFI
Yes
BFI Frequency
120 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
Yes

10
Motion
24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Yes

With 'Motionflow' set to 'True Cinema' and 'CineMotion' set to 'High', you won't need to worry about 24p judder from any source, whether it's cable TV, streaming, DVDs, or Blu-rays.

10
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

With the Sony X930D's Motionflow settings, you can make video smoother by increasing the frame rate up to 120 fps. This applies even to cable TV and streaming. Note that this adds what some people call the 'soap opera effect' (SOE). For those who don't like the look of SOE, low 'Motionflow' custom values can be used to smooth out motion with only minimal SOE.

Inputs
5.8
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
52.5 ms
1080p With Interpolation
80.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
88.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
52.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz
76.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
76.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
75.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
75.4 ms

Update 04/20/2017: Under the latest firmware update that brought Android 6.0.1 (PKG3.865.0136NAB), the input lag is now higher than what it was under the previous firmware. In fact, we measured almost the same numbers that we had measured 2 firmware ago.

Update 11/02/2016: After the last firmware update (PKG3.531.0108NAB), the input lag is reduced for both 1080p and 4k resolution, which is a big improvement over the last results. The table above has been updated with these new values. Input lag under game mode with a resolution of 1080p is now good enough for casual gamers (it was over 50ms before the last firmware update).

Under a 4k resolution, it is better than what we had before (SDR was 75ms and HDR was 110ms), but it is still a bit too high even for casual games.

10
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes

Most common PC inputs are accepted. As with other Sony TVs, little artifacts (flashing lines) are seen when a 1080p @ 120Hz signal is being displayed. 'Game' or 'Graphics' picture mode as to be selected at that refresh rate to get a sharp picture. To get chroma 4:4:4 (for sharper text) at 1080p @ 60Hz, use the 'Graphics' picture mode. For 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, turn on 'Enhanced HDMI' for the input in use.

Inputs
Side Inputs

Inputs
Rear Inputs

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 1
Composite In 1
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 1
SD/SDHC 0

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth Yes
ARC Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3 Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 Yes
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes

Sound Quality
5.6
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
5.48 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
5.73 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.28 dB SPL
Max
87.9 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
160 Hz

Poor overall performance. Low-end cutoff and maximum loudness are below average, even for a TV. There may also be some compression and pumping at higher volumes.

5.4
Sound Quality
Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
0.060
Distortion @ 80
0.055
Distortion @ Max
0.247

Poor overall performance. Although there is not a dramatic rise in harmonic distortion at max volume (unlike other Sony TVs we have tested), the general level of distortion at all levels is rather high.

Smart Features
Smart Features
Apps

Lots of apps available on the Android smart platform. A web browser is available, as are the typical popular apps, like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video, and HBO Go.

7.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Android

Sony's Android smart platform provides plenty of apps spread out across many different interfaces. Overall, it's a little confusing to navigate. If you look deep enough, though, you should find what you are looking for. As for inputs, there are plenty available, and all needs should be met. Something to note is that the TV come with a huge power brick that may be a problem to hide.

10
Smart Features
Ads
Ad-free
Yes
Opt-out
N/A

Smart Features
TV Controls

Some basic TV controls are located on the back-left of the TV and can be accessed even if the TV is mounted on a wall.

Smart Features
Remote
Remote Basic

Sony uses a basic remote. Navigation of the different TV menus is straightforward, but could be made better. The inclusion of a pointer would be nice.

Smart Features
In The Box

- Remote
- Batteries
- VESA spacers
- Huge power brick with cable
- IR blaster
- Manuals

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 70 W
Power Consumption (Max) 158 W
Firmware PKG3.531.0108NAB

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We reviewed the 55" (XBR-55X930D).

Update: We have received reports indicating a higher contrast ratio for the 65" (XBR-65X930D) at around 4000:1. It would also have worse 3D with more crosstalk. There are also reports of smearing present in dark scenes for the 65" model. If someone comes across a different type of panel used or differences between sizes, let us know and we will update our review.

Size Model UK
55" XBR-55X930D KD-55XD9305
65" XBR-65X930D KD-65XD9305

Compared to other TVs

Comparison picture

Top row, from left: Sony X930C (XBR65X930C), Sony X930D (XBR55X930D), Vizio P Series 2016 (P65-C1). Bottom: Sony X850D (XBR55X850D), Samsung KS8000 (UN55KS8000), LG UH8500 (55UH8500). Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Sony X930D is hard to justify with that many TVs that offer near as good picture quality for a much less money. Its competition is fierce.

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