To do this it has a powerful X1 Ultimate Picture Processor (System on a Chip) that with in-built databases (it detects hundreds of different objects on-screen and intelligently enhances brightness, detail and colour) and its pixel boosting technology (contrast) produces clear, crisp, colour accurate images that are as good as I have seen. PASS

Sony A9G
Very difficult secondary colour only – very good detail

Motion smoothing

All 4K TV panels are native 4096×[email protected] either 24/50/60/120Hz frames per second refresh rate. There are two motion smoothing techniques

  • Black frame insertion (BFI) between frames (as Sony does)
  • Interpolation – looks at the before/after frame content and creates a new frame between the two.

Sony’s Motionflow XR makes images look smoother by adding BFI to a 120Hz refresh panel to give an equivalent 240Hz.

Rather than talk about ‘fake’ figures as many reviewers do let’s say that all TV makers fudge motion figures and the proof is in the image integrity in fast-moving scenes. Sony has the horsepower to handle motion BFI smoothing with ease. PASS

Video pre-sets

Non-HDR (SDR) – Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Game, Graphics, Photo, and Custom

Most will use the Vivid setting out-of-the-box as it amps up brightness and contrast (that we all want) but sacrifices colour gamut accuracy (that we don’t really care about). It is best for SDR free-to-air TV content. The other options are for those who understand the effect.

HDR – Dolby Vision Bright, Dolby Vision Dark and Netflix calibrated.

Dolby Vision (both modes) and Netflix calibrated (to a lesser extent) enable HDR/HDR10/Dolby Vision clarity. They are useless on SDR content and can reduce brightness if improperly used.

The moral of this is to ensure you select the correct SDR or HDR mode as it is not automatic.

Sony A9G Sound – Acoustic Surface Audio+

The TV will natively process up to 5.1 channel linear PCM: 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz in 16-20-24- bits, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS and downmix it to the 2.1 speaker system (Left/Right/sub-woofer). We understand a software update for Dolby Atmos (we assume up to 7.1.4) is coming soon.

Sony calls it a 2.2 system – two full-range x 10W Left/Right actuators mounted under the screen glass and two x 20W rear-firing sub-woofers. This helps produce ‘sound at the source’, e.g. where people are speaking or things blowing up. You can set it to S-Force simulated surround sound.

Using a tone generator, we achieved 77dB maximum volume (same as the A9F). That is a little below what I would have expected. Yet in a cavernous hotel room, the volume was fine – more than satisfactory for movies. At full volume it does distort a little – again depends on content.

Sound

The tone generator also reveals the native mid-centric speaker signature, although it is pretty flat from 100Hz to nearly 20kHz. This is good as you can +/- bass, mids or treble to get the sound that you want.

Then you have the Sony EQ pre-sets – Standard (flat), Dialog (more mid for clearer voice), Cinema (more bass for warm and sweet), Music (more treble for bright vocal), Sports (vocal focus), Dolby Audio (5.1 decoding to 2.1 channels).

Frequency response

Sony crows about powerful bass. With the Dolby Audio pre-set there are hints of bass creeping in at 80Hz and finishing at 200Hz – adequate but not room shaking!