Sony X930D Review – Is It Worth The Thought?
It’s time for my Sony X930D Review, which is one of the actual trends in 4K TVs this year.
Although it faces the typical problems of LED TVs, the X930D manages to compensate its small downsides with an excellent picture quality. Besides, the very good quality/price ratio is the reason for its growing popularity.
But how does it relate to the other TVs on the market? Is it any better than its 2017 follower from the same brand? It’s time to figure this out.
So Let’s Get To The Review
Sizes: 55″, 65″
Price: Starting from $1.197
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon
Worth buying?: Better check the X900E instead
- It follows the minimalist, elegant design of Sony models
- Excellent brightness and good contrast and black levels
- The up-scaling system converts up to 480p content properly
- Motion blur and judder control are absolutely perfect, even in very fast scenes
- Low response time
- 3D format is supported!
- Decent audio system for regular use
- Performant audio system, with ads-free engine and voice commands
- Price/quality ratio is over average
- The local dimming feature doesn’t make a huge difference in dark scenes
- Bad viewing angles
- Higher than average input lag
- Although more competent, the smart system is hard to use
- Unfriendly remote
1. Appearance & Design – Sony Keeps The Minimalist Trends
Though it doesn’t have a design that draws the attention immediately, the 930D keeps Sony’s basics.
It has a very classic look, with minimal borders and a screen that covers almost all of the frontal part. Sony likes to makes their TVs very minimalist – they all have the same shape, their borders have the same thickness and the screen usually take most of the space.
When it comes to slimness, the 930D isn’t the thinnest model you have seen. Measuring around 1.38″, the TV shouldn’t look too bad even if mounted on a wall.
Regarding the stand, Sony also follows the precedent trends, as it looks very similar to previous models. Made of metal, the stand is the responsible for the sturdy built of this TV, that feels solid from every point of view.
So the 930D may not be the most aesthetically pleasing TV on the market, but it keeps the design elements basic and elegant. And that is more than enough for a TV of this price.
2. Picture Quality – Parameters At High Levels
The X930D delivers great picturs, at least for the standards of LED TVs. The main responsible is the high contrast rate, that is somewhere around 3000:1 (without local dimming). For a TV that costs around $1000, that is a very good percentage.
Black levels are not as perfect as in OLEDs, but you couldn’t even expect that. However, they are over-average and unless you’re doing some special tests on this TV, the blacks will probably appear perfect.
Local dimming does help improving the black shades, however. Even though it’s not the best local dimming feature on the market, it takes the standard deviation from 1.4 to 1.2 . So the difference is noticeable.
As it’s basically a LED TV, the X930D can reach impressive levels of brightness even in HDR format. However, this doesn’t prevent it from handling reflections very well. The light reflection filter works at good parameters even in over-averagely bright room, so you shouldn’t worry too much even if your room is in the way of sunlight.
So all in all, the X930D produces excellent pictures for its price. Even though it can’t reach the levels of OLEDs, it manages to keep the contrast high enough. And together with the good local dimming and great brightness, that is the key to success.
3. Viewing Angles – As Bad As The Others
Just like the other LED TVs made with VA panels, the X930D’s picture also suffers when viewed from the side.
The color accuracy will be the first parameter to degrade, at around 25° from the center. The colors will appear flushed and the black uniformity will slowly decrease. But there’s also good news. The brightness levels will stay high despite the change in angles and the reflection filter will do its job as well as before.
So the X930D’s viewing angles are indeed bad, but not worse than most LED TVs. And if you want a TV with great viewing angles, you will have to pay more than $2000.
4. Up-scaling Engine – Good Enough To Shine
Just like its picture parameters, the X930D has excellent features when it comes to up-scaling system.
Starting with the bottom, 480 content looks visibly improved when played on this TV. The overall picture is clearer, the details looks much better and the colors, though a bit washed out, are indeed improved more accurate.
The X930D can easily play 720p content like cable. The details will remain well preserved and the pictures will also appear deeper and clearer. However, this kind of content doesn’t make the TV shine or show its true potential.
Blu-ray content is converted excellently, and the result is very similar to native 4K content. That is very deep, clear image with absolutely no blur or noise issues. The colors are also very deep, with the levels of black reaching their peak.
Therefore, the X930D’s up-scaling engine does its job very well, making even low-quality content pleasant to watch. And after all, that’s all what we want from a conversion system.
5. Motion Blur – Absolute Control
Sony is already known for creating TVs that handle motion blur very well, the X900E is the best example.
However, the X930D makes no exception. The TV delivers judder-free pictures even in 480p content, so you can say it controls motion blur more than decently.
Thanks to this, watching sports won’t be a problem on the X930D. Besides the judder-free experience, the TV also has a pretty low response time. So blurry scenes shouldn’t be something to worry about.
If you’re a soap opera effect fan, there’s the Motionflow setting that allows you to adjust the TV’s frame. The result is a much smoother picture, but take care not to exaggerate with this effect. An image that looks too unrealistic isn’t the ideal.
6. Audio System – A Typical Problem
When it comes to sound, the X930D doesn’t excel. However, there are quite a few $1000 TVs with good audio systems, at least in technical terms.
Because other than that, this TV’s sound isn’t too bad. In fact, unless you like to watch movies with maximum volume (which I don’t think someone would), the audio system should be enough for you.
However, if you’re aiming for a home theatre experience or you simply want to bring in a big bunch of friends, some additional speakers might do much better. A sound bar would also be a solution, but if you want to keep your budget low, go for the speakers as they’re a bit cheaper.
7. Smart System – Sony’s Tag
Just like its 2017 cousins, the X930D uses one of the most complicated smart engines around – Android TV.
Although it offers many opportunities and a lot of useful apps are pre-installed, Android TV loses some important points in design. The user interface is not as simple as Samsung’s Tizen, for example. And even though you can get used to it, at the beginning it’s not the most user friendly platform.
Another plus is that the TV is ads-free, so disabling them manually won’t be necessary.
The remote keeps Sony’s tag – too many unnecessary buttons with a too complicated design. However, that’s also something you can get used to, with time.
8. Input Lag – Not The Very Best Around
The X930E isn’t the worst TV for gaming, but it’s not the best one either. I would say it’s somewhere above average, but that’s considering its good motion blur control, not necessarily its input lag.
That’s because it has a pretty high input lag, of around 52 ms. Compared to its price-range competitors, this seems a lot, even for a $1000 TV. However, it does compensate with its fast response time and judder-free pictures in games.
As a plus, the TV supports every format, including HDR. As a minus, the input lag in HDR is even higher, somewhere around 70 ms. And even though that doesn’t seem huge, the difference is visible if compared to a good gaming TV.
So Is This TV The Best One Around?
No, it definitely isn’t. It does provide an excellent picture for these money, especially because it controls judder perfectly, but this doesn’t make it the best TV on its price range.
In fact, its 2017 cousin the X900E is a much better choice, when it comes to price, gaming and even picture. Its contrast rates are 2 times higher, and so is the color depth. Besides, it comes in about the same price, maybe a few dollars less.
Therefore, the Sony X930D is not a bad choice at all, as it delivers great pictures with perfect motion control. But unless you’re a 3D fan, for the same money you could have a TV with an even better picture and gaming skill.
So no matter what you’re choosing, you’re not wasting you money. But it’s up to you if you’re investing them properly.