Sony XBR55X930D vs XBR55X850D Review : What are their differences?
Sony XBR55X930D and XBR55X850D are parts of Sony’s 4K 2016 LED TV lineup X Series. Both of them come with the number of Sony’s advanced technologies that makes it offers great performance on some features. However, there are some major differences between them which makes they are sold with significant difference in price. The major advantages of XBR55X930D are about 3D technology and HDR where it comes with active 3D technology and Ultra HD Premium Certification while XBR55X850D is not equipped with 3D and although it also already supports HDR, it is not certified by Ultra HD Premium Certification. The other major advantage between them is about the type of Panel where XBR55X850D comes with IPS panel that makes it offers much better side viewing angle than the higher series XBR55X930D that comes with VA panel. And of course, there are other differences and similarities between them where we will discuss a lot about them below.
Short Review about Sony XBR55X850D
As mentioned, Sony XBR55X850D is part of X850D series, the mid-end of Sony‘s 2016 4K LED TV lineup X series. 4K X1 engine is the main images processor behind it that makes it produces stunning picture quality for its class. Behind the panel, it uses IPS panel technology with Edge-LED backlighting that offer wide viewing angle. But in other hand, the use of IPS panel makes black level and contrast produced is not so deep and strong. The result, when you watch TV in a dark room, black scenes of images looks tend to grey. But as long as you don’t use it in a dark room, picture quality produced by it looks very good. Additionally, the other advantage that offered by XBR55X850D is about its color reproduction where with TriLuminos Display behind it, color of the picture that displayed on its screen looks richer and very accurate. XBR55X850D is also a good performer in handling motion blur and has low input lag so it is very great for video games. The other interesting is about Android TV that make you more comfortable when 4K home entertainment in your home.
In other hand, although Sony XBR55X850D already supports HDR, but its HDR performance is not so great due black level, contrast, and peak brightness don’t meet the minimum specs required by HDR 10 contents. This means it cannot display HDR 10 fully like intended by creator. The downside compared to the predecessor X850C series, there is no 3D technology behind it. With all features that offered, XBR55X850D is sold at about $1000. Nevertheless, this price is not fixed and could still change at any time.
Short Review about Sony XBR55X930D
Sony XBR55X930D is part of X930D series, along with X940D is the top model of Sony’s 2016 4K TV X Series. It is the first model of Sony Lineup that compliant with Ultra HD Premium Certification. Unlike XBR55X850D where contrast and peak brightness doesn’t meet minimum standardization of HDR 10, display specs delivered by XBR55X930D meet minimum standardization of HDR 10 that means it can display HDR 10 contents fully without any issues. But comes with deep black level and strong contrast, XBR55X930D has poor viewing angle due the use of VA Panel type as their panel technology. Additionally, behind its panel, there is Slim Backlight Drive technology that combine Edge Lit Backlighting and local dimming technology for delivering deeper black and strong contrast. Contrary, for delivering wider range of brightness, it is powered by X-Tended Dynamic Range Technology.
As the image processor, Sony XBR55X930D is also powered by X1 4K processor engine with 4K X-Reality Pro that allows you to enjoy lower resolution contents in 4K quality sharply and clearly. XBR55X930D is also good performer when handling motion blur so it is great for watching sports program or other fast moving images. The other major advantages than lower series X850D is about 3D technology where it comes with active 3D technology that offers smooth and clear 3D images with tons of depth. And as its smart TV platform, it also features Google Android TV that provides tons of interesting apps. With all advantages that offered, XBR55X930D is sold about $300 more expensive than XBR55X850D. But once again, this price is not fixed and could still change at any time.
Sony XBR55X930D vs XBR55X850D Key Specs
|Specs and Features||XBR55X930D||XBR55X850D|
|Size||55 Inch (54.6”)||55 Inch (54.6”)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||IPS Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge LED||Edge LED (Slim Backlight Drive)|
|Extended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes||No|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes||Yes|
|Picture Engine||4K X Reality Pro||4K X Reality Pro|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)|
|Advanced Contrast Enhancer||Yes||Yes|
|3D Technology||Yes (active)||No|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV||Android TV|
|Audio Output||7.5 Watts x 4||10 watts x 2|
|HDMI Ports||4 (outside1, center3)||4 (Side)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Differences between Sony XBR55X930D vs XBR55X850D
Picture quality is the major difference between Sony XBR55X850D and XBR55X930D. This is due the significant difference in technologies behind them. The use of VA panel and Edge Lit with local dimming (Slim Backlight Drive) behind XBR55X930D makes black level and contrast that produced is far deeper and stronger than what produced by XBR55X850D that uses IPS panel and Edge Lit without Local Dimming. The result, XBR55X930D can reach about 0.035 nits of black level with native contrast ratio about 2800:1 while XBR55X850D reach about 0.084 nits of black level with native contrast ratio 1250:1. This shows when displaying dark scenes especially in a dark room, XBR55X930D offers far better performance than XBR55X850D. Detail of images in dark scenes will be revealed more at the screen of XBR55X930D than XBR55X850D. Meanwhile, both of them also already support HDR 10 format where this requires certain standardization for displaying HDR 10 contents fully. In term of black level, it requires as bright as 0.05 nits of black level. This means black level reached by XBR55X930D is quite dark for displaying HDR 10 fully without any issue on contrast while black level reached by XBR55X930D is not quite dark. With low black level and contrast, of course XBR55X850D is only suitable to use in a room with some light.
Thanks to X-Tended Dynamic Range behind it, Sony XBR55X930D also can reach much brighter whites than Sony XBR55X850D. You need to know, peak brightness that reached by XBR55X930D is about 1050 nits on 2% windows and dims to 550 nits on 100% windows while XBR55X850D reach about 425 nits and looks consistently on all % windows. For displaying SDR contents, what reached by XBR55X850D might be quite but not for enjoying HDR contents fully. As we know, for displaying HDR 10 contents fully, this needs at least 1000 nits of peak brightness. This means peak brightness reached by XBR55X930D is quite bright for displaying HDR fully. In other hand, with much brighter whites, the quality of the picture produced by XBR55X930D will looks more consistently in a bright room than XBR55X850D especially on the area that highlighted directly by the light.
Moving on color performance, both of them are equally powered by TriLuminos Display Technology. The result both of them can deliver wide color gamut that is about 93% of DCI P3 color space. Of course this makes the color of the picture displayed on each screen looks very accurate and richly. Meanwhile, for mastering contents in HDR 10 format, it needs at least 90% of DCI P3 color space. This means both of them can display HDR contents without any issues on color reproduction. But even so, because XBR55X930D has deeper black level and contrast, this certainly makes the color produced by it looks more natural and vibrant than what produced by XBR55X850D. However, color is not just about color gamut. For displaying HDR contents fully, it needs at5 least 10 bit depth of color that means it needs about 1.07 billion shades of color for delivering very smooth color gradient, Fortunately, both of them already supports 10 bit of panel and they do a perfect job for that. The result, color gradient of both is very good and across the screen, color transition looks very smooth. Even in term of color gradient, both of them are including the best.
From all display specs offered by the, we can see, all display specs offered by Sony XBR55X930D meet the minimum standardization of HDR 10 that means it can display HDR 10 fully without any issues. The great HDR performance of XBR55X930D is guaranteed by Ultra HD Premium Certification behind it. In other hand, black level, contrast and peak brightness reached by Sony XBR55X850D is not quite enough for displaying HDR fully. Meanwhile, when displaying SDR contents, XBR55X930D also offers better performance, especially when displaying dark scenes in a dark room. This is due the contrast and black level of XBR55X850D is not quite dark and strong. But in a room with a light, what offered by XBR55X850D is quite good especially for a fellow IPS TV.
The use of IPS panel might make black level and contrast produced by Sony XBR55X930D is weak, but in other hand, it can deliver much wider viewing angle thanXBR55X930D that uses VA panel. If picture that displayed on the screen of XBR55X930D will look degraded started at 20 degrees off center and front, the contrast and color of the picture displayed on the screen of XBR55X850D will looks more consistently at much wider viewing angle. Of course this will give a benefit when you set your seat and TV in your room to get the best viewing, especially on wider room where the viewers come from multiple viewing angles. Meanwhile, to get the best viewing for XBR55X930D, you must set in such away so your seat is center and in front of the screen.
The difference in 3D technology behind them is very clear where Sony XBR55X930D comes with active 3D technology while XBR55X850D is not equipped with 3D technology. But ignoring about their differences, 3D performance offered by XBR55X930D is great. Once 3D is engaged, the screen might get darker, but this can be solved easily by increasing the brightness. A good think, although it is not as comfortable to uses as passive 3D technology, crosstalk and flickers are not too noticeable. Additionally, it also offers full resolution for each of eyes. But unfortunately, there is no 2D to 3D converter like on LG 3D TV that allows you to watch 2D images in 3D experience. In other hand, it is also not equipped with active 3D glasses in the box, so for being able enjoy 3D experience on the screen XBR55X930D, you must buy active 3D glasses separately where their price is not cheap as passive 3D glasses.
A bit difference between them but it is not a major is about their difference in audio equipment. Sony XBR55X850D is equipped with standard 2.0 channels speaker system with 20 watts total sound output while XBR55X930D is equipped with 4.0 channel speaker system with 30 watts total sound output. Both of them are equally not equipped with built-in woofer. The result, bass performance of both is very poor. Compare between them, XBR55X930D offers slight better sound quality than XBR55X850D but as a whole, sound quality of both is not so good, even can be said badly. The maximum loudness is not too loud while distortion is too much. This means, the additional sound bar is highly recommended for you who care about sound quality.
One of the great points that offered by both of Sony XBR55X850D and XBR55X930D is about UHD Up-scaling engine. With 4K X-Reality Pro behind them, they do a good job when up-scaling lower resolution contents to near 4K quality. The result is really good even for lower resolution like DVDs with 480p resolution. Once they are up-scaled, the final images that produced looks sharply and clearly with details preserved well. Let alone if the sources are 720p like videos from HDTV or 1080p likes movies from Blu-Ray, the final images which produced certainly looks far sharper and clearer. In this case, Sony TVs including them even are including the best. And of course this is very useful considering most of the contents that available in the market still have lower resolution than 4K.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
When handling Motion Blur and playing 24p Movies, both of Sony XBR55X850D and XBR55X930D are powered by Motion Flow XR960 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. The result, both of them do a good job when handling motion blur and playing 24p movies. The response time of both is very quick, almost twice as quick the response time that offered by Samsung SUHD TV. The fast moving objects that displayed might look a little blurry, but there is no trail following it like we see on most of Samsung TVs. This certainly is very great for watching fast motion images like sports program or other fast moving images. Additionally, both of them also offer perfect performance when playing 24p movies at any sources. No matter it is native 24p like Blu Ray Movies, 24p via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV, or 24p via 60p signals like movies from streaming media, all of the displaying clearly without any judder on the screen of XBR55X850D or XBR55X930D.For removing judder without adding Soap Opera Effect”, you just need set “Motion Flow” to True Cinema and “CineMotion” to high.
Like most oh high-end TV, both of Sony XBR55X930D and XBR55X850D are equipped with 4 HDMI Ports and 3 USB Ports as their major inputs/outputs. The standard connectivity like Component In, Composite In (AV In), Antenna In (RF In), Ethernet In, and other are also provided where the amount of each is 1. A bit difference but not a major is about where all of their ports are located. Talking about input lag, when inputted by 1080p signals, both of them equally has low input lag. Although it is not as low as what offered by Samsung 4K TV, but at least it is still good for casual gamers. But when inputted by 4K signal, whether it is SDR or HDR signals, their input lag is a bit too high. The impact, playing 4K games will feel a bit laggy, even for casual games that don’t require very low input lags.
AS their smart TV platform, both of Sony XBR55X850D and XBR55X930D feature Google Android TV. If you have Android Smart Phone, you certainly have been familiar with this OS. A bit difference is about the controller and apps that provided refereeing to the controller. There are plenty of apps provided like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web browser, Cloud Games like PlayStation Now, and many more. Like on your android smart phone, there is also Google Play Store as the content and apps store and other Google default apps. But compare to Tizen by Samsung or WebOS by LG, navigating between different menus is not as simple and straightforward as on Tizen or WebOS. This will be a bit confusing for beginners when they are navigating. But in term of performance, its responsively and the loading speed of app is not inferior to Tizen or WebOS.
As the controller, both of them are equipped with the same remote. There is built-in microphone for voice command navigation. Additionally, there are a lot of buttons that makes navigation of between different menus is straightforward. But unfortunately, there is no pointer function like “point and click” functionality on LG Smart TV that certainly will make you more comfortable when navigating. And that is interesting, there is IR Blaster included in the box that allows you to control other devices connected on your TV with a single remote.
As we have discussed a lot above, in addition to 3D technology as their major difference, picture quality is the major difference between Sony XBR55X930D and XBR55X850D. With higher level technologies behind it, XBR55X930D offers far deeper black level and stronger contrast than XBR55X850D. Additionally, XBR55X930D also offers far brighter whites than XBR55X850D. As the impact, quality of the picture displayed on the screen of XBR55X930D looks far better than XBR55X850D, whether they are displaying HDR or SDR contents. Meanwhile about HDR, great display specs offered by XBR55X930D are quite enough for displaying HDR 10 contents fully while for XBR55X850D, its black level, contrast, and peak brightness is too weak. Great HDR performance of Sony XBR55X930D even is confirmed by Ultra HD Premium Certification by UHD alliance behind it. Meanwhile, with IPS panel behind it, XBR55X850D offers much wider viewing angle than XBR55X930D. The excepting of we have mentioned, both of them offer virtually identical performance.
Which is a better choice between them? If you are searching a Serious HDR TV when buying TV, of course Sony XBR55X930D is a better choice considering it comes with Ultra HD premium certification. It also offers better picture quality when displaying SDR contents due its deeper black level and contrast. Additionally, 3D technology also becomes its advantage. But in other hand we must remember, it is sold about $300 more expensive than XBR55X850D. Meanwhile, although sold much cheaper, Sony XBR55X850D offers much better side viewing angle and as long as it is not used in a dark room, picture quality that produced can be said well. Now the decision comes back to you according to your preferences like we have discussed a lot above and your budgets.