05 December 2015

Sony XBR65X850C Review

Sony XBR65X850C Review

The Choice

As my aging LN-T4066F was too small for my new family room, I decided to go shopping for a new TV due to the good holiday pricing.  My debate was between the Sony XBR65X810C ($1500), Sony XBR65X850C ($1800), and Samsung UN65JS8500 ($2000).

My primary sources of information, was rtings.com, amazon.com, and bestbuy.com.

JS65008.34.7 (377 reviews)4.3 (195 reviews)
X850C7.74.6 (455 reviews)4.2 (187 reviews)
X810C8.04.2 (64 reviews)4.3 (38 reviews)

  • Rtings.com ratings are for 55 inch , both Sony models have material differences in 65 inch:
    • X850C has a Full LED backlight, which should improve uniformity
    • X810C switches to an IPS display, which would reduce black intensity, but improve viewing angles
  • Amazon.com ratings are for all sizes combined

Key factors in choosing the X850C:
  • In person picture: very similar between all 3 at the store
  • Android TV: while still young and needs some refining, I believe this will be the future so I wanted this type of TV
  • Ability to do 24p via almost any source
  • Full Array LED Backlighting: Samsung was only border lit
  • Low input lag for games
  • No additional connections box (This could have been a plus with a longer cord)
  • Small not distracting bezel: the Samsung model had a bright stainless steel looking metallic border that I found to be very distracting

The Review

The picture on this TV is absolutely amazing. The upscaled 1080p contact looks life-like as we have been binge watching BBC's Sherlock. Netflix SD content looks okay, but that is more likely due to the source material.

  • Excellent picture without requiring any tweaking
  • No flashlighting or dark corners as far as I can tell
  • Netflix and Amazon Instant Video built in
  • Access to all my Google Play Movies
  • Casting built-in
  • Ability to install Kodi (and decode MPEG2 content from MythTV)
  • Standard remote works well (haven't tried smart remote)
  • Ability to rename inputs and the easy switching from the home screen
  • Some glare from windows
  • TV button on remote can only be mapped to an input and not an app
  • Inability to create a "favorites" app list: Built in apps are separated from installed apps
    • Update 1/12: You can now rearrange the apps, but I wish you could turn off featured apps and suggestions
  • No included 3D glasses, not a big deal for me, but something to be aware of
  • Remote is not universal
  • Cannot go back to the home screen via input button
In the middle:
  • Sound is decent, but not much is expected from TVs this thin and is about the same as my old one
  • Android TV requires some refining, have had to reboot the TV because of dropped frames in Kodi
  • No context menu button on remote, had to map Stop to it in Kodi

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