Sony XBR65X930E vs XBR65Z9D Review (Sony Z9D vs X930E)
Sony Z9D is the flagship of Sony’s 2016 4K HDR TV lineup while Sony X930E is the top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup X Series. But of course, since the screen sizes that available on both is only 65 Inch, this comparison certainly is as true to 65 inch only (XBR65Z9D vs XBR65X930E). Despite Sony XBR65Z9D is an older model but in the market, it is sold thousands dollar more expensive than Sony XBR65X930E. But even so, as premium TV model of Sony, picture quality certainly becomes the major advantage that offered. So, what are their differences and which is a better choice between them? Let’s start to discuss the comparison between them side by side.
Short Review of Sony XBR65Z9D
Come as the top model of Sony’s 2016 4K HDR TV lineup, Sony ZBR65Z9D certainly is powered by the number of most advanced technologies by Sony that makes its picture quality is absolutely amazing. For processing images, it is powered by new processor called “4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme” where there are a lot of most advanced technologies embedded including Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Precision Color Mapping, Dual Data Base Processing, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and Object-based HDR Remaster technology. On this panel, Sony XBR65X9D uses VA Panel that powered by Backlight Master Drive technology. You need to know, Backlight Master Drive technology is a Full Array Local Dimming where each of LED backlight is controlled individually and it is the only LED TV that uses discrete LED Control. This allows XBR65Z9D has around 640 dimming zones of local dimming. The other most advanced technologies behind it is about X-tended Dynamic Range Pro (16x) that improves the brightness range up to 16x than conventional edge lit backlight. For producing wide color gamut, it is still powered by TriLuminos Display where this technology has been used by Sony in recent years for their lineup that makes them can deliver very saturated color.
Come with HDR, Sony XBR65Z9D only support HDR 10 format only. But even so, there will a software update of Z9D series that makes it also support Dolby Vision and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). Meanwhile, this TV is also certified by Ultra HD Premium Certification that means its display specs meet the minimum recommendations of HDR 10 set by UHD Alliance and it can display HDR 10 video fully like what intended. Additionally, with Object-based Remaster Technology and Dual Data base Processing inside the X1 Extreme, it allows you to enjoy any video contents even for SDR videos with the quality close to 4K HDR quality. The other interesting feature that offered is about 3D where with active 3D technology behind it, it offers smooth and clear picture quality with tons of depth. And for completing your home entertainment with smart entertainment, it features Google Android TV as its smart TV platform where there are tons of interesting and useful apps provided. But even so, this doesn’t mean it has no drawbacks. As a LED TV that uses VA panel, poor side viewing angle is a major drawback of Sony XBR65X9D.
Short Review of Sony XBR65X930E
Come as the successor of XBR65X930D, Sony XBR65X930E also comes with the number of Sony’s most advanced technologies that makes its picture quality looks really amazing. Like XBR65Z9D, XBR65X930E is also powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme as its main picture engine. It is the second model of Sony TV that already uses X1 Extreme. On its panel, it uses VA Panel with Edge Lit LED backlighting and local dimming technology called Slim Backlight Drive Plus Technology. But unlike conventional Edge Lit Local Dimming, it is designed in such away, so the black level and peak luminance is improved significantly while the TV is still Ultra Slim. Combine to X-tended Dynamic Range 10 X, makes the black level and contrast produced by XBR65X930E is really deep and strong while peak luminance is extremely bright. Meanwhile, like the predecessor XBR65X930D or ZBR65Z9D, for delivering wide color gamut, Sony XBR65X930E is powered by TriLuminos Display where its performance when producing saturated color is undoubtedly.
Still focus on HDR, Sony XBR65X930E is also certified by Ultra HD Premium Certification set by UHD Alliance that means it can display HDR10 videos without any issue. Not only HDR 10 that is supported, XBR65X930E also already supports Dolby Vision by Dolby laboratories and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), a new HDR format for broadcasting by BBC and NHK. Additionally, like XBR65Z9D, not only able to up-scale the lower resolution content to near 4K resolution, combination of X1 Extreme and 4K X-reality Pro also makes it has an ability to improve color and brightness range of the source that allows you to enjoy any videos even for SDR videos to 4K HDR quality. Sony XBR65X930E also can handling motion blur well that makes it is very comfortable when used for watching sports or fast movies. Additionally, with low input lag at any sources, it is also very comfortable for any kind of games even for fast paced games. And as its smart TV, Sony XBR65X930E features newer version of Google Android TV as its smart TV platform where there are some updates and upgrades that makes its performance is better.
Like XBR65Z9D, poor viewing angle also becomes the major drawback of XBR65X930E due it also use VA panel technology. But because it is native characteristic of VA panel, of course it is not alone. The other drawback, since Sony has removed 3D technology from their 201 lineup, Sony XBR65X930E certainly is also not equipped with 3D technology. This might be a bit disappointing for 3D fans, but of course Sony has its own consideration for that.
Sony XBR65X930E vs XBR65Z9D Key Specs
|Specs and Features||XBR65X930E||XBR65Z9D|
|Size||65 Inch (64.5”)||65 Inch (64.5”)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge LED Backlight||Direct LED|
|Local Dimming||Slim Backlight Drive Plus||Master Backlight Drive (Full Array Local Dimming with Discrete LED Control)|
|Extended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes (10x)||Yes (16x)|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes (HDR 10 and Dolby Vision), HLG need a software update||Yes (HDR 10), Dolby Vision and HLG need a software update|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 Xtreme||4K HDR Processor X1 Xtreme|
|UHD Up-scaling||4K X Reality Pro||4K X Reality Pro|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)||Motion Flow XR1440 (native 120 Hz)|
|Advanced Contrast Enhancer||Yes||Yes|
|3D Technology||No||Yes (active)|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV 2017||Android TV 2016|
|Audio Output||10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W||10 watts x 2|
|Speaker Type||Front-face 3-way speaker (tweeter/mid-range/woofer)||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|HDMI Ports||4 (1 side/3 bottom)||4 (1 outside, 3 center)|
|USB Ports||3 (2 side, 1 bottom)||3 (Side)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony XBR65X930E vs XBR65Z9D Performance
Both of Sony XBR65Z9D and XBR65X930E have good picture quality due deep black level and strong contrast produced by them. Unlike a TV with weak low contrast ratio where blacks looks tend to grey in a dark room, blacks looks absolute dark on the screen of XBR65X9D and XBR65X930D. This makes deep blacks of dark scenes looks more details even in a dark room. Essentially, there is no issue on black level and contrast on the picture produced by them. Meanwhile, compare between them, Sony XBR65X930E has a bit stronger native contrast ratio than XBR65Z9D. But once their local dimming is enabled, the contrast ratio of XBR65Z9D is stronger than XBR65X930E, even it outperforms other LED TVS that available in the market. This cannot be separated from great performance of Full Array Local dimming with LED Discrete Control behind it. At this time, there is only OLED TV with pixel dimming that can beat the contrast produced by XBR65Z9D. The result, dark scenes looks a bit more details on the screen of XBR65Z9D than XBR65X930E particularly when they are displaying HDR contents in a dark room.
On the other hand, in term of peak luminance, both of Sony XBR65X930E and XBR65Z9D are including TVs with the brightest peak luminance. Even XBR65Z9D is the brightest TV in 2016. No matter they are displaying HDR or SDR contents, peak brightness reached by them is extremely bright. Peak brightness reached by them even is far brighter than 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 videos fully. The result, the glare can be drowned out well that makes the quality picture looks consistently amazing, even in an extremely bright room with much sunlight coming in through windows. Since Peak brightness is one of the most important aspect of HDR, this course also makes their HDR performance is great. Meanwhile, compare between them, peak brightness reached by XBR65Z9D is also a bit brighter than XBR65X930E.
Meanwhile, although both of them are equally powered by TriLuminos Display, color gamut coverage delivered by Sony XBR65Z9D is also a bit wider than XBR65X930E. But essentially, both of them already support wide color gamut that required for displaying HDR videos. As we know, HDR 10 format that has lower standardization than other HDR formats require at least 90% of DCI P3 color space. Meanwhile, what delivered by them exceeds than this minimum recommendation. This certainly makes color of the picture displayed on their screen looks very accurate, no matter they are displaying SDR or HDR contents. Even hard-to-reproduce color like emerald green or others also displayed rightly on their screen. Additionally, with Super Bit Mapping embedded inside their picture engine, they are able to up-convert 8 bit or 10 bit color up to 14 bit depth of color. The result, color gradient looks perfect without any color banding or gradient. Darker color that usually becomes an issue for most LED TV, it can be displayed perfectly on the screen of XBR65X930E and XBR65Z9D. With excellent performance on color gradient, this makes both of them are including TVs with the best color gradient.
The other advantage that offered by Sony XBR65Z9D and XBR65X930D is about their ability when up-scaling SDR to HDR quality, not just lower resolution to 4K quality. Combination of Object Based Remaster Technology, Dual Data Base Processing, and 4K X-Reality Pro engine behind them do a perfect job when enhancing the contrast and contrast, removing unwanted noise, and up-scaling every images to the clarity of 4K HDR. Even for maximizing the result, every object of each scene is analyzed individually. This allows you to enjoy every image even for SDR contents with the quality close to 4K HDR smoothly and clearly. No matter the resolution of your video sources, you can enjoy them in quality close to 4K sharply and clearly, even also close to HDR quality.
But since both of them use VA panel and poor viewing angle is the major drawback of VA panel, of course this also makes their side viewing angle is poor. The blacks of images will looks tend to grey and color will shift if the viewers watching TV from side viewing angle started at 20 degrees off center and front. Nevertheless, if you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle, this should be not a major problem for you. So, if you don’t want to lose the amazing picture quality produced by them, watch TV from side viewing angle should be avoided.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
While the picture quality of Sony XBR65Z9D is better, its motion handling is not as good as what offered by XBR65X930E. The pixel response time of XBR65Z9D is not as quick as or even almost doubled than pixel response time of XBR65X930E. The result, when used for watching fast moving images like sport programs or fast movies, the picture displayed on the screen of XBR65Z9D is not as clear and smooth as on the screen of XBR65X930E. On the screen of XBR65Z9D, motion blur following fast moving object is still noticeable, while on the screen of XBR65X930E, there is only a short trail following fast moving object that should not be disturbing. Meanwhile, when displaying 24p movies, their performance is tend to be similar. When displaying 24p videos like Blu-Ray Movies, both of them offer smooth picture quality with judder-free. But unfortunately, when they are displaying 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV or via 60p signal like movies from streaming media, both of them is not able to remove judder completely. Of course their performance is not as great as what offered by XBR65X900E that offers judder-free at any sources. Nevertheless, because most of people don’t notice judder, this should not be a big issue for both.
Both of Sony XBR65X930E and XBR65Z9D are equipped with identical inputs/outputs. There are 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 2 Composite In (AV In), 1 Component In, RF In (Terrestrial), Ethernet, and Digital Audio Out (Optical). Their HDMI ports also already support most of HDMI format like HDCP 2.2, CEC, audio Return Channel, and more. A bit difference between them is about where all of these ports are located. Meanwhile talking about their input lag, both of them also have similar input lag. Their input lag under game mode is equally low at 4K source while at 1080p source, their input lag is still too high. This means both of them are only comfortable when used for playing any kind of games with 4K resolution, even for fast paced games. Meanwhile, when used for playing 1080p games, their input lag may be still good enough for playing casuals games. But for fast paced games, this might be disappointing.
Essentially, both of Sony XBR65Z9D and XBR65X930E feature similar smart TV platform that is Google Android TV. The difference is their version where XBR65X930E as a newer model comes with newer version of Google Android TV. As a newer version, of course there are some updates and upgrades for better performance. Nevertheless, in term of layout and the navigation, there are not many changes. User interface and layout both of these versions are designed attractively. But unfortunately, navigating on Google Android TV still feels a bit confusing and not as simple as the competitors likes Tizen OS by Samsung or WebOS by LG, even for you who have been familiar with Google Android OS on your android smart phone. But on the other hand, Google Android TV offers the advantage about the apps which provided. In addition to default Sony and Google Apps like PlayStation Now, Google Voice Search, Google Chrome Cast, and many others, you can also download tons of apps, contents, and games provided on Google Play Store. As we know, Google Play Store is the most complete apps market where there are tons of developers which support them.
Meanwhile, about their controller, both of them are also equipped with the same remote control. Their remote is a quite large and have a lot of buttons and might be a bit confusing. The interesting thing, both of these remote are equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation functionality. This means you can control some TV functions or search on the internet via Google Voice Search with your voice command. The other interesting thing offered by Sony XBR65Z9D and XBR65X930E is about IR Blaster where with this device, you can control other devices connected on your Sony TV with a single Sony Remote.
As we have discussed a lot above, the main difference them is about their technology where Sony XBR65Z9D comes with Direct LED Backlighting and Full Array Local Dimming with Discrete LED Control called Backlight Master Drive while XBR65X930E comes with edge lit backlight with local dimming called Slim Backlight Drive +. This has an impact on the picture quality that produced, particularly on contrast and brightness range. For this case, XBR65Z9D offer a bit stronger contrast and brighter peak luminance that makes it offers a bit better picture quality and better HDR performance than XBR65X930E, no matter the light condition of the room where they are used. The other advantage that offered by XBR65Z9D is about 3D technology where it comes with active 3D technology while XBR65X930E is not equipped with 3D technology. On the other hand, Sony XBR65X930E offer far better motion handling that makes it is better than XBR65Z9D when used for watching sports program or other fast paced contents. Meanwhile, about other features, both of them offer similar performance.
Which is a better choice between them? You need to know, in the market, Sony XBR65Z9D is sold hundreds even thousands dollar more expensive than XBR65X930E. And considering the performance that offered, I think XBR65X930E is a better choice except you indeed a 3D fan. In addition it is sold much cheaper, its performance is not far behind XBR65Z9D, even on certain feature like motion handling, it is better. But even so, if you don’t mind to spend hundreds even thousands dollar more to get XBR65Z9D, it is also not a bad choice. Now the decision comes back to you according to your preferences and budget.