Home / Technology / Don't need 4K? New Sony TV is a 1080p powerhouse

Don't need 4K? New Sony TV is a 1080p powerhouse


Series Information

Sony’s W850C series is available in two sizes

The W850C series is available in a 65-inch size (Sony KDL-65W850C, or Sony KDL65W850C) and a 75-inch size (Sony KDL-75W850C, or Sony KDL75W850C). The 65-inch retails for $1,899, but can be found online for about $1,500. The 75-inch retails for $2,999, but can be found online for about $1,999.

From the design, to the ports, to the Android TV platform, both sizes of the W850C are essentially identical. Both feature 3D functionality, 120 Hz refresh rates, and Full HD (1080p) resolution.

It’s worth noting that while Amazon reports that the W850C models are “edge-lit,” our findings during testing are that they’re Direct (full) LED with frame dimming.

Our 65-inch W850C was purchased directly from Amazon and given roughly 24 hours to warm up and break in prior to testing and evaluation.

Android TV & Menu Interface

As simple as this TV looks on the outside, it’s quite complex on the inside

In my years reviewing TV’s, I’ve noticed one thing about Sony: the company doesn’t skimp on menus and options. To that end, the Android platform—arguably the most heavily saturated and customizable mobile OS around—makes for a perfect fit with the W850C, and if you’ve used an Android device before, you already know your way around.

Sony-W850C-Software-Android-3

Credit:

Reviewed.com / Lee Neikirk

Sony’s Android TV gives you access to a huge variety of content. You won’t get the entire Google Play store, but there’s still more than enough to satisfy.

There is one notable drawback, however. Android (and Android TV, by association) receives a lot of updates and tweaks, repeatedly requiring users to optimize and update apps, and Sony’s Android TV-equipped models are not exempt. As it stands, the first time you turn on an Android TV (like the W850C), boot up takes a lot longer than usual. What’s more, after the initial startup, you’ll have to do another full update and optimize all your apps. It takes quite a while, especially compared to LG’s webOS or Samsung’s Tizen.

Like the mobile OS, Android TV receives a lot of changes, requiring users to update apps often.

It’s worth the wait, however. While you don’t get the full Play Store at your fingertips, you get a huge chunk of Google’s cleanly tailored, proprietary services (like Google Music and Google cast) and a well-trodden app store that’s constantly tweaked and updated. Android users will certainly love this TV experience—but we think everyone will find something to at least like about it.

That rich, highly tooled experience extends to the menu software, too. While the W850C doesn’t have quite the same array of options as one of Sony’s high-end 4K models, there’s still plenty to play with here. Sony judiciously breaks up picture quality controls (contrast, color, and sharpness/scaling, namely) into sub-menus, allowing for experienced TV tuners and home/professional calibrators to tune the picture to calibrated settings.

Sony-W850C-Software-Picture-Settings

Credit:

Reviewed.com / Lee Neikirk

Sony’s menu interface is equal in detail to Android TV, offering a bunch of picture and audio customization options.

You still don’t get access to a color management system, but the rest of the usual controls are in-tow. Additionally, the audio menu contains plenty of pre-set modes and a full EQ for you audiophiles. Also, owners take note: if the W850C seems too dim, try turning off the “Ambient light sensor” in the picture adjustment menu.

Picture Quality

Just as good as Sony’s premium 4K options—just without the 4K

We had high hopes for the W850C, and it didn’t disappoint. As Sony’s top-of-the-line Full HD model for 2015, it’s basically inherited all the quality and special software you’ll find with 4K models like the X850C, which is this one’s twin in all but resolution.

Sony-W850C-Performance-Bluray-2

Credit:

Reviewed.com / Lee Neikirk

The W850C exhibited excellent contrast and solid color accuracy, making a scene like this one look especially striking.

To start, the W850C is capable of excellent contrast: it’s plenty dark for a dedicated home theater, but can get bright enough to battle ambient lighting, too. Likewise, while it lacks some of the color abilities of its HDR-ready brethren (like the X930C), it’s great by non-HDR color standards, producing rich, vivid hues that are still accurate enough not to put off picture purists.

If you do choose to watch in the dark, just note that you may notice some edge dimming around the perimeter of the screen. This is fairly par for the course for full-array (direct) LED models like this one, however, and is a minor problem. As it stands, the TV’s backlight uniformity is quite good, though it gets quite a bit less palatable if you shut off the “Advanced contrast enhancer” local dimming mode.

Sony-W850C-Performance-Netflix

Credit:

Reviewed.com / Lee Neikirk

Even older content, such as The Gladiator streaming from Netflix, exhibits good detail and dynamic range.

Just keep in mind that in specialty modes like Cinema pro, the TV has been factory calibrated to function nominally with local dimming, and will look best with it on. (As a rule of thumb, if a TV has full-array with local or frame dimming, just leave it on.)

Additionally, the TV boasts the same suite of motion assistance/backlight dimming software as Sony’s higher end 4K models, giving it reliable resolution retention regardless of content. Sony’s Cinemotion and Motionflow settings can be customized liberally to suit either film-based (24p) or faster action content, though even with them shut off, I didn’t notice any excessive blurring or juddering.

Sony-W850C-Performance-Cable-2

Credit:

Reviewed.com / Lee Neikirk

Cable content shot in lower resolution, like 720p, still looks good—but 1080p content is your best bet for a great picture.

I watched plenty of content—shows like Breaking Bad streaming via Netflix, scenes from our Blu-ray of Mad Max: Fury Road, and even a little cable content, and everything looked excellent. Naturally, native 1080p (Full HD) resolution stuff is going to look best on a 1080p television, but scaled 720p cable content looked fine, too.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*