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Best 2016 LCDs: Sony

Updated March 19, 2016: pricing and specs

Sony has a mature and compelling 4K ecosystem. The company has developed and delivered everything from professional capture equipment with some of the best cameras and edit gear, consumer and commercial content distribution, and great TVs and projectors. For 2016, Sony's best TVs are ready to present today's best sources of ultra-high definition (UHD) entertainment with full fidelity while standing ready for the soon-to-be flood of high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG) content.

Sony's 2016 premium TV lineup shares some common tech traits including:

  • Android TV operating system (OS)
  • Google Cast support
  • Voice Search/Voice Command
  • HDR compatibly
  • Home automation control via Harmony Hub

Owners regularly bemoaned the instability of Sony's implementation of Android TV on its 2015 televisions, but I do appreciate its look and feel compared to previous user interface (UI) designs. Google Cast makes it simple to share and display content from a mobile device, Mac/PC, or Chromebook on the big screen.

Best 2016 TVs + Tech

2016 XBR TVs
The Sony XBR-X930D Series and XBR-X940D TV feature ultra-thin bezel designs and clean cable management options - they want to make sure it looks good on its stand or hung on a wall. The X930D TVs include screen sizes of 55-inches and 65-inches while the X940D is only available in a 75-inch size. These TVs can accept and process HDR video signals with increased brightness, contrast, and color saturation compared to any previous Sony television. One differentiator between the X930D TVs and the X940D is in the implementation of the Slim Backlight Drive system - the X930Ds utilizes an edge-lit LED backlight with dual light guide plates to provide greater light output and granularity of its local dimming capabilities, and the X940D features full array local dimming. The X940D's full array backlight should provide improved contrast and brightness compared to the X930D TVs, and the 940's full array should also provide better off-axis contrast performance as well.

XBR-X850D Series
The Sony XBR-X850D features more screen size options (55-inches, 65-inches, 75-inches, and 85-inches), and it should prove to be a good balance of price and capabilities for an HDR-compatible UHD TV. The X850D TVs are edge-lit without local dimming capabilities, so I'm tempering my off-axis viewing expectations regarding brightness and picture contrast. However, with Android TV also powering the X850D, it may become a popular option for budget-minded videophiles shopping for a smart TV.


Robert's Favorite Home Theater Gear

Updated: Great TV Deals

     This article will be updated as new information becomes available

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