Greyscale and black
The Greyscale test is from pure black to pure white in 2% increments. It clearly reproduces all bars with a clear delineation between them. Most TV’s tend to blur the first 0-10% black into more of a smoky black than five distinct levels of inky blacks – ditto with whites. The screen easily displays pure black and its absolutely inky. PASS
DCI-P3 and colour gamuts
DCI-P3 (movie) colour gamut tests require a colour calibration device. CalMAN have a Colour Calibration camera and software – alas, I did not have one at the hotel.
Sony state that the TV is factory calibrated to 100% DCI-P3 and that other video pre-sets will produce accurate gamuts like sRGB etc. There are also two custom calibrations (if you have the Calman camera and software) per HDMI 2.0 port.
We later found Calman test results (out of the box). These were 93% DCI-P3 with a Delta E of around 5 (below 4 is best). Post-calibration this is 97% and a Delta E of 2.3 so you may need to spend a few extra dollars if you want perfect colour.
Interesting is the Netflix Calibration mode (also in the older A9F) that automatically calibrates for a variety of Netflix content. For example, some Netflix content is Dolby Vision, some HDR or HRD10 and some 4K, 1K or 720 standard definition – not to mention the impact of internet data transfer rates. Sony uses Netflix’s metadata to deliver the best image. It works very well although there can be a slight brightness drop meaning this setting is best in a darkened room.
Sony’s objective is to create a television capable of images that faithfully convey the content creators’ full intent. PASS with caveats.
If you use Games mode (and that is only for games) lag is about 26ms. Without that its closer to 100ms. Neither are deal-breakers, but the LG C9 OLED is very much faster (13ms) in game mode.
Sony also only supports its PlayStation HDMI EDID (External Display Identification Data) instead of the more industry-standard ALLM (Auto low latency mode) that supports both Xbox and PlayStation. Xbox user may have to look elsewhere.
Reflectivity and viewing angle
A characteristic of all OLED screens is a reasonably glossy screen – it helps saturate colours more than a matte LCD screen. The Sony A9G OLED is no exception although we suspect it is slightly better than the A9F.
*With OLED it is important not to have any strong or direct light source coming from behind, beside or above you (when viewing). OLED is best in the right controlled and darkened environment.
Off-angle viewing is excellent keeping colours and images accurate to almost 70° off-angle.
Dolby Vision has won the race, and most flagship TVs (except Samsung) now have it. It means that details should show in shadows or bright areas – not lost as most LE/LCD TVs do.
Our test shows remarkable definition in the Klingon’s right eye and the desert landscape. PASS
How is the 4K picture? 3840 x 2160
Sony provided 1080p, 2K and 4K content and I also watched a variety of 4K Dolby Vision Sci-Fi shows from Netflix. Everything scales to 4K regardless of its original resolution. Known as upscaling and this TV does it very well.
Upscaling increases the pixel count of a lower-resolution image by adding the same pixel information on the four sides of an existing pixel. Remember that the signal information does not change, so there is no more detail. If poorly done, it can soften the image. Sony does it very well sharpening the image from 1K to 4K upscale.