Sony XBR65A1E Review

Sony XBR65A1E Review

 

Through the gloss screen finish with excellent anti-reflective qualities the A1E produces an awesome OLED TV picture quality that is unrivaled by 4K LED TVs at the moment. Though the OLED panel is manufactured by LG, Sony’s processing chip sets and design are all Sony, and therefore make the A1E a bit different from their competitor.

Strengths

  • Black Levels, Uniformity and Contrast
  • Sound Quality
  • Excellent Processing of motion content
  • Great Fast motion playback
  • Color Accuracy and Realistic Rendition
  • Side Angle Viewing
  • HDR performance superb
  • HDR Brightness
  • Appearance and Build Quality
  • Dark Shadow Detail
  • Good Selection of Preset Picture Mode
  • Android Smart TV operation is fast, quality, and voice search works well

Weaknesses

  • Gaming Input Lag
  • Price

Picture Quality Rating: 98/100

 

Why is OLED technology better than LED/LCD TV in Picture Quality?

If I had to answer this question in a word: Contrast.

A bit of design speak first:

First and foremost OLED TVs do not contain the “twisting” crystals found in all LCD based TVs (including LED TVs). Instead of producing color information by way light passing through these prisms of crystal glass as they turn at incredible speeds, color information in OLED TVs is produced from organic carbon based compounds, which emit green, blue and red lights in response to electric current. This is actually more akin to the way plasma TV phosphors work than the twisting crystals in an LCD. There are no additional light sources necessary to energize the organic color compounds than this small electric charge. Interestingly, a small part of OLED TV technology is taken from the CRT TV. OLED TVs have a cathode layer to provide the mentioned electric charge to the pixels.

Back to picture quality. Due to the backlight used to illuminate images on an LCD TV, there is less flexibility in producing black or very dark scenes. There must always be a flowthrough process from the backlight, through the LCD. There are various ways LCD panel manufacturers attempt to accomplish deep black levels but let’s suffice it to say that they all fall well short of the effortless and perfect black levels of OLED TVs. All the OLE has to do to present perfect black is cut the power to any individual pixels. Since there are over 8M pixels in the new 4K OLED models, you can well understand how vast the contrast ratio is even in small individual areas of the screen. Illuminated colors pop much more off of this platform, making them look more vivid and alive even when properly calibrated.

While there are some slight advantages of LED backlit LCD TVs in potential brightness, peak whites, and video processing, they easily eclipsed by the contrast, color and black presentation of OLED TVs.

“The saturation level of images on screen do not fade when viewing off center.”

A1E vs LED 4K

As expected the advantages to OLED TVs in general are pronounced on the AE1. The contrast is exceptional, as isblack uniformity and color reproduction. The only area that the A1E does not exceed a high end 4K LED is in bright room performance due to its average brightness not being quite as high. Another impressive area and one that I was really looking forward to with the A1E is processing…

Up-Conversion of HD to 4K

Up-scaling and conversion is the most important aspect of any 4K UHD TV for 2017/2018 due to the dearth of 4K content of the average viewer, and Sony is the best at it in my view. The reasons are the excellent combination of the 4K X-Reality PRO up-scaling Algorithm technology used with the new 4K Processor X1 Extreme engine. On the A1E panel a good HD signal just looks incredible. Movies are also excellent and we recommend a room light condition of moderate to low light for this TV to unleash its full OLED capabilities.

Side Angle Viewing

The old Achilles heal of LED backlit TVs cannot be fully remedied, but OLED lights evenly across the surface and so viewing angles are almost perfect. That is, the saturation level of images on screen do not fade when viewing off center. This makes the A1E more versatile for wider room conditions. Everyone doesn’t have to sit front and center to see a great picture.

HDR Wide Color Gamut Viewing

The second focus TV feature for 2017/2018 is HDR. HDR extends the range that a pixel in an TV can show. This applies to the brightness and luminosity of images. Contrast is enhanced by increased brightness rather than deeper blacks. Rather than just increase the brightness of the picture overall though, the real purpose of HDR is to increase contrast in various image areas of the picture. It improves the presentation in the brighter parts of the picture and this creates more contrast with surrounding darker parts of the picture. Since picture contrast is one of the primary features in improving perceived depth, HDR is considered a major picture quality improvement even though it may not increase the overall contrast of the panel a lot. Bright colors receive enhanced purity. A good HDR image (such as on the A1E) will show better shadow detail, and the scenes that you will notice the most are those with light illuminating images, especially outside sunlight effects, or a room that has sunlight coming in through a window and illuminating parts of the room. HDR content is and will be in short supply for a while. The A1E HDR images are exceptional as the combination of contrast, high HDR peak brightness, and wide color gamut work together to create stunning images.

Picture Settings

The A1E has excellent white balance as shipped. The Theater Pro setting is the preferred setting. Calibrating the TV did not produce a picture quality that was appreciably better than the Theater Pro which both unusual and very convenient for the buyer. HDR content is detected automatically and the Theater Pro is also the best mode for watching HDR content.

Sony XBR65A1E Review

Features Rating: 94/100

Design/Appearance

Sony does not seem smitten by the curved screen craze from Samsung, however they have gone on a tangent with the A1E with a takeoff on their previous monolithic design. There is no visible stand which looks good unless your table is high. The screen tilts up as well, which is great on a low stand but not on a medium or high table top. Your table will also need to be the width of the TV itself in order to look complimentary. Summary: You may end up wanting to purchase a low lying, cool looking new table for this TV. As an accessory to such an expensive TV, the Table purchase is deminimus. Did I mention that the design is attractive, modern and cool. It is. One drawback, however is getting to cable inputs in the stand if the TV is located in a tight space. The stand houses all the components so keep that in mind. It can be removed and mounted if the TV is to be wall mounted. One plus, it does a nice job of hiding the cables.

Remote Control

The new jet black matte finish touch pad remote from Sony has a very nice fast responsive touch pad that definitely speeds up scrolling somewhat across Smart TV Apps (over 100) and also speeds up search considerably when typing on the on-screen keypad.

But for this year if you’re searching on the Smart TV platform we’ve never seen a better voice search system than the Android TV search function enabled on the Sony 4K TVs. The voice recognition search works flawlessly, even in a noisy room. The TVs response time on delivering results is fast and accurate. Give it a try. It’s great for searching YouTube, and Google Play options.

Input Lag

Input lag is about double good 4K LED TVs at around 50ms.

Sound Quality

The Sony A1E has a new and very good sound system called AcousticSurface technology that uses vibrations from the screen to better direct sound toward the viewer. It creates an improved experience because the sound is coming from the mid point of the screen rather than bottom firing speakers included in most TVs. I was quite impressed. Total of 50w speaker power.

Smart TV/Android TV Operating System Features

“Rich and Realistic Color is one of my favorite traits of Sony’s newest TVs.”

The A1E gets the newest Google Android TV ops system 6.0. Android TV featured Apps include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Crackle and SiriusXM, and around 30 small insignificant Apps. Add HBO NOW, EPIX, Starz Play, Fusion, Pluto TV and a few more to the assortment this year. At first it looks like a limited selection until you delve into the Google Play Music, Games, Movies and TV options. Then lots more content opens up. What we really like is the operation speed combined with excellent video and sound quality of the Android/Google Play section of the Smart TV offerings. This is differentiated from the competition. The voice search function on the touchpad remote works exceptionally well and fast with You Tube and Google Play options.

Google Cast allows you to show movies, pictures, and TV shows from your IOS or Android based smartphone or from a laptop. We think the best use of Google Play is gaming.

Obviously, if you’re not content with the choices, you can always connect a Roku box, which still has the best offerings anyway. Then you get both.

The included remote control has plenty of keys and a voice search function as well.

Value Rating:84/100

XBR65A1E– $4999

XBR55A1E– $3500

XBR77A1E– $20,000

That’s right, you can get 4 of the 65” version for one 77 incher. Let’s confine the value score to the sane 65” and 55” models. This certainly will not be your most inexpensive option, buy Sony has become much more competitive price-wise over the last couple of years. The nearest competition with this Sony is the LG C7 which sells for around a grand less. Understandably, some will still prefer the Sony.

Overall Rating: 93/100

Quick Specs

  • Immersive 4K Ultra HD picture quality with four times the resolution and clarity of Full HD 1080p
  • X-tended Dynamic Range enhances HDR and non-HDR content
  • Live Color, Triluminous Display
  • 4K X-Reality PRO picture processing helps with upconversion
  • 4K Processor X1 Extreme (enhances 4K images)
  • TRILUMINOS Display accurately reproduces color, clarity and detail
  • Speaker Position : AcousticSurface
  • HDMI 2.0 and HEVC codec playback 4K content at 60p
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for Smart TV features
  • MHL 3.0-enabled for mirroring second screens
  • Acoustic Surface Technology
  • HDMI Inputs 4
  • USB 3

LG UJ7700 Review

LG UJ7700 LED TV

The UJ7700 is really the entry model into the high end of the LED-LCD TVs offered by LG. You get most of the best features including the new Web OS3.5 system, 4K, a wide color gamut, and the magic remote.

One downgrade is less audio system power at 20W rather than 40W on the two higher end models models.

Strengths

  • For an LCD, good side angle viewing quality
  • Good gaming input lag performance
  • Upscaling of SD signals
  • LG WebOS3.5 one of the best Smart TVs on market
  • Magic Remote is exceptional
  • Price/Value

Weaknesses

  • Picture quality is only average with mediocre gray scaling/black levels not great
  • Local Dimming not very effective
  • Slightly disappointing HDR performance

Picture Quality Rating: 86/100

Tru 4K Upscaler – Mastering Engine

There is no more important component of a 4K UHD TV than the video engine – particularly the ability to upscale/upconvert resolution to the native resolution of the panel. LG’s UJ7700 does a very nice job in this regard, and with much improvement over last year’s models. Processing artifacts are cleaned up nicely. The lack of 4K content is going to continue well into the future, so stellar upconverting all manner of HD resolutions 720p, 1080p, 480p is essential. The higher up the HD chain you go, the better the clarity and detail to show off the native 4K resolution. This Video engine and upscaler quality is also one of the differentiating factors moving up the price scale between models within LG. The UJ7700 uses a 4 step process to examine and enhance broadcasts, recorded video, and home video game consoles.

Side Viewing Angles (IPS Panel)

LG’s UJ7700 uses an IPS (in-plane-switching) panel, albeit a new one for 2017/2018. The IPS panel allows for much better picture quality from side angles without degrading color saturation and contrast much. This is one of the standout features of this TVs picture quality. There are still weaknesses in both with side angle viewing as contrast degrades, but generally the IPS panel is 20%-30% better from angles than non-IPS panel LED TVs. Reflections are also subdued by the IPS panel and front substrate.

Color Prime / Color Rendition

Colors do to render more depth and slightly better saturation in these new 4K HDR models. The UJ7700 has an expanded color gamut meeting HDR standards. LG contends this is due to their new Color Prime technology-which uses phosphor (colored) based LED lighting. Out of the box colors are over saturated but after calibrating the picture settings or using the cinema (user) setting with contrast at around 80% you get natural, crisp colors. Black levels are hurt by the IPS panel. In a dark room environment, you will notice that they are not pitch black. This is a drawback of the IPS panel – a trade-off for the better side angle viewing.

What is HDR?

The big focus TV feature for 2017/2018 is HDR (High Dynamic Range). HDR extends the range that a pixel in an LCD TV can show. This applies to the brightness and luminosity of images. Contrast is enhanced by increased brightness rather than deeper blacks. Rather than just increase the brightness of the picture overall though, the real purpose of HDR is to increase contrast in various image areas of the picture. It improves the presentation in the brighter parts of the picture and this creates more contrast with surrounding darker parts of the picture. Since picture contrast is one of the primary features in improving perceived depth, HDR is considered a major picture quality improvement even though it may not increase the overall contrast of the panel a lot. Bright colors receive enhanced purity. A good HDR image will show better shadow detail, and the scenes that you will notice the most are those with light illuminating images, such as a room that has sunlight coming in through a window and illuminating parts of the room. HDR content is and will be in short supply for a while.

The studios, distributors (Netflix, Amazon) and TV manufacturer must all be on the same page for you to see HDR content. Some Amazon Original series are currently offered. Vudu currently offers 30+ Dolby Vision titles. Dolby Vision is HDR plus wide color gamut.

 

Front and Center Viewing

The same IPS panel that causes the UJ7700 to excel from side angles performs in mediocrity in black level depth and contrast. IPS panels are especially good at side angle viewing capability, but take away from black levels. So if you are a night time, center view, movie watcher this may not be the best TV for you.

Contrast and Local Dimming

The local dimming feature may be turned on or off and affects contrast a good deal. It’s adjustable in High, Medium or Low setting and you will notice the picture darkening progressively from low to high when using the feature. It does not really enhance picture quality much and we recommend the low or medium setting if you are going to use the feature at all.

TruMotion/Fast Motion/Judder Settings and Performance

The TruMotion feature setting is used for judder reduction. Our recommendation is to turn the TruMotion settings feature off with all but sports programming. It adds that kitschy fake look to the picture by removing too much of the intended background blur. One of our readers called it the “Telenovela” effect to give you some perspective. It’s especially distracting during BluRay movies. It may sharpen older DVDs and give you a new perspective on them.

The UJ7700 does a nice job of eliminating judder in most content even with the Trumotion setting turned off. Streaming movies and older DVDs may show some, especially in scenes that pan slowly side to side.

The UJ7700 has no problem with fast motion video scenes due in part to it’s 120Hz panel.

Quick Picture Settings

LG’s LED-LCD TVs are very easy to set up a great warm picture quality. The settings below get you very close to D65 without having to worry about a 10-point white balance adjustment. Obviously, if you are in a brightly lit room, try the Expert Bright Room Setting instead or just ramp up the backlight setting.

NORMAL

Picture Mode – Expert Dark Room
Backlight – 40
Contrast – 80
Brightness – 50
H Sharpness – 0
V Sharpness – 0
Color – 50
LED Local Dimming – Medium, Low, or Off (See what you like best)
TruMotion – Off

EXPERT SETTINGS

Dynamic Contrast – Off
Super Resolution – Off
Color Gamut – Normal
Edge Enhancer – Off
Color Filter – Off
Gamma 2.2 – 2.2
White Balance Color Temp – Warm 2

Features Rating: 90/100

WebOS 3.5 Smart TV Features

The primary improvements over last years excellent WebOS 3.0 are cybersecurity assurance program certification, a better or at least different zoom function which allows the user to zoom in on various areas of the picture. You will literally know more than the game day announcers in the review box – for better or for worse. Also, what we found interesting was the ability to connect our mobile devices to the TV and view content on the TV, especially pictures or videos. There are new “hot” buttons for connecting directly to Netflix and Amazon with a press of a button. Boot up times are fast, and this is either the best or one of the best Smart TV systems out there now in terms of speed, and user interface. The interface layout is straightforward and intuitive and makes sorting your favorite programs very easy with the point and click operation of the new LG Magic Remote (we love the Magic Remote). The ability of the user to order and place the various Apps that matter most is a considerable strength over competing systems. Overall, WebOS provides a smooth, and very enjoyable experience. The one knock is that Samsung’s Tizen, Android and Roku do offer more Apps selection, although LG will have nearly all of the major Apps that are considered important.

Smart TV options are Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, HSN, Showtime, Drama Fever, iHeart Radio, and newly DirecTV to name a few.

The one I like for you cable-cutters out there is Sling TV, which for a monthly fee ($20) gets the all important ESPN and ESPN 2 taken care of. It also gives you the addictive and entertaining Food Network.

IheartRadio is an digital audio service which allows streaming of live radio stations.

Simple is the name of the game here. Instead of a home screen with tons of buttons, you get a nice colored strip across the bottom of the screen populated with your favorite apps and the LG store. What you are currently viewing stays on the screen. Click the left arrow on the screen to see your open apps and the right arrow to show all the app downloaded to your TV. We are impressed with the speed of switching between apps. It is instantaneous. Two years ago a big complaint of ours was the poor streaming ability of LG’s Smart TV platform. That’s not the case this year thanks to the complete overhaul of the entire platform. This means the buffering times of streaming content are greatly reduced. Overall, the move to a WebOS based system was a good move on LG’s part.

Gaming Input Lag

The UJ7700 will make a fine gaming TV at around 30ms while tested in Game mode. While not nearly the fastest, gamers should notice little input lag from this TV.

Gaming Input Lag

Sound quality is only average on the UJ7700 from the 20W sound system (2X 10W speakers). 35% volume level is plenty to fill a large room. Clear voice 2 was our favorite audio alternative.

Design and Appearance

The UJ7700 has very nice clean lines and a small half inch bezel frame. The TVs depth is less than 2.4” and though the TV is not curved the attractive and well-made metallic silver convex stand is curved, which lends a nice artistic modern touch. It’s a great looking TV.

Value Rating: 92/100

55UJ7700 – $1300 – 89/100

60UJ7700 – $1500 – 90/100

65UJ7700 – $1700 – 92/100

The UJ7700 is a really good deal since you get most of the best features of the higher end models. It’s hard to beat from a value perspective and compares with similar 3rd tier LED 4K HDR models from Samsung and Sony. It offers tremendous value and will be a hot seller at these prices. The UJ7700 has all the bells and whistles needed to future proof for HDR, Dolby Vision, and 4K UHD content. The WebOS 3.5 system works great and the Magic Remote is always fun and easy. All this is enveloped in a sleek modern very attractive package. Medium quality black levels and contrast are drawbacks.

Overall Rating: 88/100

Quick Specs

  • Resolution 3840 x 2160
  • Dual Core Processor
  • Local Dimming
  • Tru 4K Engine
  • Tru 4K Upscaler
  • Just Scan (1:1 Pixel Matching) 0% Overscan (HDMI/Component/RF)
  • 9 Picture Modes
  • 10 Watt Audio Output per Speaker (20 watt total)
  • 4 HDMI (HDCP 2.2)
  • 3 USB Inputs
  • 4K UHD File Playback
  • Color Prime Plus (magnifies range of colors)
  • TruMotion 240Hz
  • Full Web Browser
  • Wifi Built-In

Dimensions

  • 65UJ7700 57.5″ x 33.2″ x 2.4″ TV Only
  • 65UJ7700 57.5″ x 35.3″ x 11.1″ with Stand
  • 55UJ7700 48.8″ x 28.4″ x 2.2″ TV Only
  • 55UJ7700 48.8″ x 30.5″ x 9.4″ with Stand
  • 60UJ7700 53.1″ x 30.8″ x 2.4″ TV Only
  • 60UJ7700 53.1″ x 32.9″ x 11.1″ with Stand

LG SJ8500 Review

LG SJ8500 LED TV
LG SJ8500 LED TV
Bright colors, great clarity in the details, and strong contrast are see here really show off the highlights of the SJ8500

Strengths

  • For an LCD, good side angle viewing quality
  • Good gaming input lag performance
  • LG WebOS3.5 one of the best Smart TVs on market
  • Magic Remote is exceptional
  • Price/Value

Weaknesses

  • Picture quality is only average with mediocre gray scaling/black levels not great
  • Local Dimming not very effective
  • Slightly disappointing HDR performance

Picture Quality Rating: 89/100

Tru 4K Upscaler – Mastering Engine – HDR

Not only is the SJ8500 HDR compatible, LG has added emphasis on upconverting standard definition signals to HDR-like quality (read about HDR below). The features is called HDR Effect, and I thought id worked well – improving brightness and color in various areas of the picture.

There is no more important component of a 4K UHD TV than the video engine – particularly the ability to upscale/upconvert resolution to the native resolution of the panel. LG’s SJ8500 does a very nice job in this regard, and with much improvement over last year’s models. Processing artifacts are cleaned up nicely. The lack of 4K content is going to continue well into the future, so stellar upconverting all manner of HD resolutions 720p, 1080p, 480p is essential. The higher up the HD chain you go, the better the clarity and detail to show off the native 4K resolution. This Video engine and upscaler quality is also one of the differentiating factors moving up the price scale between models within LG. The SJ8500 uses a 4 step process to examine and enhance broadcasts, recorded video, and home video game consoles.

Side Viewing Angles

LG’s SJ8500 uses an IPS (in-plane-switching) panel, albeit a new one for 2016/2017. The IPS panel allows for much better picture quality from side angles without degrading color saturation and contrast much. This is one of the standout features of this TVs picture quality. There are still weaknesses in both with side angle viewing as contrast degrades, but generally the IPS panel is 20%-30% better from angles than non-IPS panel LED TVs. Reflections are also subdued by the IPS panel and front substrate. (Note: The 75SJ8570 may have a VA panel rather than IPS which will provide better black levels and poorer side angle viewing).

Color Prime / Color Rendition/Picture Settings

Colors do to render more depth and slightly better saturation in these new 4K HDR models. The SJ8500 has an expanded color gamut meeting HDR standards, however it is limited compared to other competitors or LG’s OLED TVs. LG contends this is due to their new Nano Cell technology-which uses phosphor (colored) based LED lighting. Out of the box calibration is very easy with this TV, no need for a professional calibration. Using the Cinema picture mode setting with Contrast at 80% gets you most of the way there.

What is HDR?

The big focus TV feature for 2017 is HDR (High Dynamic Range). HDR extends the range that a pixel in an LCD TV can show and in many cases looks better than 4K TV. This applies to the brightness and luminosity of images. Contrast is enhanced by increased brightness rather than deeper blacks. Rather than just increase the brightness of the picture overall though, the real purpose of HDR is to increase contrast in various image areas of the picture. It improves the presentation in the brighter parts of the picture and this creates more contrast with surrounding darker parts of the picture. Since picture contrast is one of the primary features in improving perceived depth, HDR is considered a major picture quality improvement even though it may not increase the overall contrast of the panel a lot.

Bright colors receive enhanced purity. A good HDR image will show better shadow detail, and the scenes that you will notice the most are those with light illuminating images, such as a room that has sunlight coming in through a window and illuminating parts of the room. HDR content is and will be in short supply for a while.

The studios, distributors (Netflix, Amazon) and TV manufacturer must all be on the same page for you to see HDR content. More HDR content is popping up on Amazon and Netflix.

 

Front and Center Viewing

The same IPS panel that causes the SJ8500 to excel from side angles performs in mediocrity in black level depth and contrast. IPS panels are especially good at side angle viewing capability, but take away from black levels. So if you are a night time, center view, movie watcher this may not be the best TV for you (but the price may put you over the top).

Contrast and Local Dimming

The local dimming feature may be turned on or off and affects contrast a good deal. It’s adjustable in High, Medium or Low setting and you will notice the picture darkening progressively from low to high when using the feature. It does not really enhance picture quality much and we recommend the low or medium setting if you are going to use the feature at all.

TruMotion/Fast Motion/Judder Settings and Performance

The TruMotion feature setting is used for judder reduction. Our recommendation is to turn the TruMotion settings feature off with all but sports programming. It adds that kitschy fake look to the picture by removing too much of the intended background blur. One of our readers called it the “Telenovela” effect to give you some perspective. It’s especially distracting during BluRay movies. It may sharpen older DVDs and give you a new perspective on them.

The SJ8500 does a nice job of eliminating judder in most content even with the Trumotion setting turned off. Streaming movies and older DVDs may show some, especially in scenes that pan slowly side to side.

The SJ8500 has no problem with fast motion video scenes due in part to it’s 120Hz panel.

Features Rating: 93/100

WebOS 3.5 Smart TV Features

The primary improvements over last years excellent WebOS 3.0 are cybersecurity assurance program certification, a better or at least different zoom function which allows the user to zoom in on various areas of the picture. You will literally know more than the game day announcers in the review box – for better or for worse. Also, what we found interesting was the ability to connect our mobile devices to the TV and view content on the TV, especially pictures or videos. There are new “hot” buttons for connecting directly to Netflix and Amazon with a press of a button. Boot up times are fast, and this is either the best or one of the best Smart TV systems out there now in terms of speed, and user interface. The interface layout is straightforward and intuitive and makes sorting your favorite programs very easy with the point and click operation of the new LG Magic Remote (we love the Magic Remote). The ability of the user to order and place the various Apps that matter most is a considerable strength over competing systems. Overall, WebOS provides a smooth, and very enjoyable experience. The one knock is that Samsung’s Tizen, Android and Roku do offer more Apps selection, although LG will have nearly all of the major Apps that are considered important.

Smart TV options are Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, HSN, Showtime, Drama Fever, iHeart Radio, and newly DirecTV to name a few.

The one I like for you cable-cutters out there is Sling TV, which for a monthly fee ($20) gets the all important ESPN and ESPN 2 taken care of. It also gives you the addictive and entertaining Food Network.

IheartRadio is an digital audio service which allows streaming of live radio stations.

 

Sound Mode Options – Solid Sound Quality

Sound quality is better than average on the SJ8500 probably due to the Harman Kardon design influence. Volume capability is much better than competing models. 35% volume level is plenty to fill a medium sized room. Clear voice 2 was our favorite audio alternative. The SJ8500 packs 40watts of audio output.

Design and Appearance

The SJ8500 has very nice clean lines and a small half inch bezel frame. The TVs depth is less than 2” and though the TV is not curved the attractive and well-made metallic silver stand is curved, which lends a nice artistic modern touch. There is an indention for the bezel frame which is absent in the seemless design of the higher priced cinema screen design TVs. But for the price difference I like this one better.

Value Rating: 92/100

55SJ8500 – $1999 MAP – 88/100 Projected Price $1199

65SJ8500 – $2799 MAP – 88/100 Projected Price $1499

75UH8570 – $3699 MAP – 79/100

Price points on the SJ8500 are a bit better in the smaller sizes. At our projected price points, the SJ8500 will be a very good buy considering the feature set. All you really sacrifice is that jet black contrast of OLED. The SJ8500 compares with similar LED 4K HDR models from Samsung and Sony. The SJ8500 has all the bells and whistles needed to future proof for HDR, Dolby Vision, and 4K UHD content. The WebOS 3.5 system works great and the Magic Remote is always fun and easy. Passive 3D is a plus for those that want it. All this is enveloped in a sleek modern very attractive package. Medium quality black levels and contrast are drawbacks.

Overall Rating: 89/100

Quick Specs

  • Resolution 3840 x 2160
  • Dual Core Processor
  • Nano Cell (Quantum Dot Display)
  • Local Dimming
  • Tru 4K Engine
  • Tru 4K Upscaler
  • Just Scan (1:1 Pixel Matching) 0% Overscan (HDMI/Component/RF)
  • 10 Picture Modes
  • 20 Watt Audio Output per Speaker (40 watt total)
  • 4 HDMI (HDCP 2.2)
  • 3 USB Inputs
  • 4K UHD File Playback
  • Color Prime Plus (magnifies range of colors)
  • TruMotion 240Hz (120Hz panel)
  • Full Web Browser
  • Wifi Built-In

Dimensions

  • 65SJ8500 57.2″ x 32.8″ x 2.3″ TV Only
  • 65SJ8500 with stand 57.2″ x 35.0″ x 12.3″