Sony has had a leg up on the 4K revolution, as it became the first manufacturer of 4K projectors for movie theaters around the world. Of course, the home industry had not yet caught up yet, as although 4K projectors were becoming more the norm for theaters, homes were just starting to integrate high-definition televisions. However, with HDTV at an all time high, Sony, as well as other television manufacturers, have decided to up the ante and start selling 4K televisions. 4K, which is four times the resolution of traditional 1080 high-definition, is the latest attempt to bring the latest and best video display into households, and one of the smaller offerings available is the Sony XBR-55X900A. I was able to get my hands on this television and test it out, to see what all the good and bad features are and if it truly is worth the upgrade from my current HD television.
Before actually making the full, in-depth review, it is necessary to give you a few ideas as to what the specifications of the television are. This is also going to allow us to compare the television to current HDTVs and see what the big difference is.
- 3840 x 2160 resolution
- 4K Upscale
- Built in Wireless LAN
- Simulated 5.1 Surround Sound
- SimulView Technology
- XR 960 Motion Clarity
The resolution of the Sony XBR-55X900A is four times the resolution of a standard HD television and it comes with 3D viewing capabilities. The 3D viewing features are used not only for movies and television, but something Sony refers to as SimulView Technology. This is a gaming technology for two players. Instead of the screen being split into two different layers, the 3D display is able to project outward from the television, so a player wearing glasses can see their content on a full television screen. The technology only works with SimulView programmed games, but it does allow gamers to enjoy a full screen, instead of a small, half-screen viewing of their favorite games.
The television utilizes something known as motion clarity index. This is a bit different from the traditional refresh rate, which is what most HD television use. When shopping for an HDTV, I’d look for a TV with 240 or 120 Hz, but with the Sony XBR-55X900A and other 4K televisions, the motion clarity index is something different. This refers to not only the rate of speed in which the image is refreshed every second, but also the clarity of the image while it is rendered. HD televisions with higher refresh rates often have a blurred effect with faster moving objects. With a high motion clarity index, this is not the case. The X900A Sony television features an XR 960 count in the motion clarity index, which is higher than all other televisions in its size class. This allows the Sony television to provide the smoothest, crispest picture available for its size.
The television also has a built in wireless LAN, so I didn’t need to use any external wireless antennas or adapters to obtain an Internet connection. I only had to program my wireless Internet information into the television and I instantly received access to the hundreds of Sony applications available on the TV, including Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, HBO Go and dozens more.
The Simulated 5.1 surround sound speaker system inside the television places larger speakers along the sides of the TV, instead of on the rear, which allows for improved sound production from the television speakers
Perks Of The Sony 4K Tv
Now when it comes to the perks of the television. The major highlights of this television I felt were:
- Improved resolution
- 3D gaming
- Smoothness of Image
- Color Display
When buying a 4K television, I want something that is going to really wow me, because after all, it is suppose to have four times the resolution of my current HD. The Sony XBR-55X900A did exactly that. The resolution is impressive, and it provides even more clarity, to a point where the television basically looks better than real life. I will admit though, the difference from HD to 4K Ultra HD is not the same as SD to HD. Standard definition to high definition is completely mind blowing, while the move from HD to 4K is nice, but not something that completely changes the industry, I don’t think. However, the image is still very impressive. The color display offers sharper, brighter colors than any standard HD television I have seen, and the smoothness of the images is excellent, so I never felt jared while watching even the fastest moving movies and sports.
The 3D gaming was impressive. I connected my Sony PlayStation 3 to the TV and turned on the 3D gaming feature and it is probably the best 3D experience I have had to date. I also downloaded one of the SimulView games to play with a friend, and it was also impressive. I must say how much I enjoyed not having to share a screen when playing the game. Of course, there aren’t a lot of games that offer this feature yet, but it is a nice option and I’m sure something that will grow as the 4K television becomes more popular.
For the sound, this is also the best sounding television I have heard before. Of course, It would be a shame to invest in a Sony 4K television and not connect a digital surround sound system to the television, but just in terms of sound quality when compared to other television sets, it is top of the line. I tested this feature out, watched a movie on it, and I enjoyed it, but ultimately it is no match for a true surround sound system.
Downsides Of A Sony XBR-55X900A
- Limited Content
- 2 remotes
For starters, I want to start off with someone other reviewers might like, but I don’t. It is the upconvert feature. The upconvert feature allows the television to take a standard HD movie and attempt to display it in 4K resolution. It does an alright job, but I’ve never really liked this feature, because it basically is making up the pixels instead of using source material (like the digital zoom on a camera, where it is creating pixels to make the images larger) Some users might like this, but I don’t.
Now for the actual downsides. There is extremely limited content available right now. Outside of a handful of Sony movies, there really isn’t anything else. Television and cables companies are not going to be offering 4K content anytime soon, and Internet connections are just not fast enough. Basically, this is just for watching a couple of Sony pictures, and most of them aren’t very good.
The price of the television is high, but not out of the world. It’s not terrible for a TV of its size, and the price is sure to drop in the near future.
Lastly, why does this television have two remotes? I have a hard enough time keeping track of my other remotes, let alone a television with two. It needs to streamline the process and go to one.
Ultimately, this is an excellent television, I just wonder about the available content on the TV coming soon.
Sony XBR-55X900A Alternatives
Seiki Digital 4K Tv
Samsung 4K Tv
FAQ About The Sony XBR-55X900A