- Table of Contents
- Picture Quality
- Sound Quality
- Smart Features
It was replaced by the Sony X930D
The Sony X930C is an excellent UHD LED TV. It can get very bright and has great motion control. However, it loses picture quality at an angle and its gray uniformity is sub-par.
- Wider color gamut
- Deep and uniform blacks
- Great motion controls
- Very bright
- Limited viewing angle
- Sub-par gray uniformity
The Sony X930C is very wide, due to its front facing speakers on both sides of the TV. It is thicker at the bottom than at the top.
The stand can be set to two positions. The wider one offers a bit more stability, but the narrow setting is good for smaller surfaces.
- 11% Contrast
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 2% Gradient
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
The Sony X930C is a fabulous TV for watching movies. The blacks are really deep and uniform, so nighttime scenes will look their best on this TV.
You get some cool extra features here, like X-tended Dynamic Range, which makes lighter highlights in the picture really bright, and auto local dimming, which makes darker portions of the image extra dark. They work reasonably well (there are some light blooming issues with each), so you might as well try them out and see if you like them.
The native contrast ratio of the Sony XBR-65X930C is great. We measured the same contrast ratio with the local dimming feature turned on, as measured on a checkboard pattern.
The Sony XBR65X930C's zones are vertical, due to its edge-lit backlight. The blooming spawns a bigger area than on the Samsung JS9500, but it is a bit less obvious, because the TV has a better native contrast ratio. Overall though, you will probably prefer the local dimming on the JS9500, because it is a bit more aggressive.
The gray uniformity is not very good on this TV. It has less dirty screen effect than the Samsung JS9500, but the screen is not as uniform overall.
At about 18 degrees off-axis, the picture loses saturation, and the blacks are not as great.
Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.
The black uniformity is excellent. LED TVs don't get much better than this.
In movie mode, the presets are quite good.
After the calibration, the white balance is a lot better. The 10 pt controls are not very precise, and it doesn't have a color tuner.
The color gamut covers about 10% more of Rec.2020 than a normal TV when setting it to 'BT.2020'. It covers about 3% less than the JS9500.
The glossy finish is excellent at reducing the amount of reflected light, which improves the apparent contrast ratio in a bright room. There is some rainbow glare around bright objects, though.
It currently holds our record for the maximum full screen luminosity (not peak). It can get very bright, which is great if you have a lot of windows. Keep in mind that it has a glossy finish, though, so you will want to avoid having a bright light opposite the screen.
The 3D is good, without much crosstalk.
This is a decent, but not great, TV for sports. There's little blur, which is great for the fast movement.
There's not much of the patchiness that you can sometimes notice with panning shots during a game, but the panel still has a good deal of variance overall. Some spots are much darker than others.
On average, the response time for the pixel transition is 15.9ms, which is quite good. Sony TVs also have the best features for controlling exactly how you want the motion to look. See the Q&A for more details and pictures.
This TV is pretty good for gaming. There's not too much delay between entering a command and seeing the reaction onscreen, so most people will have no issues with gaming on this TV.
That, combined with the minimal amount of motion blur, makes this a solid performer for all kinds of games.
Under game mode, the input lag is average. It is definitely playable, and most people won't notice it. With interpolation enabled, the input lag is surprisingly low, enough to be worth trying it out on slower games.
Input lag with a 4k (with and without HDR) resolution is a bit high and not very good for gaming unfortunately.
Update 11/02/2016: Input lag results with the latest firmware update PKG3.531.0108NAB.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
As with other Sony TVs, little artifacts (flashing lines) are seen when a 1080p @ 120Hz signal is being displayed.
Update: With the new firmware update PKG2.463.0010NAB, This TV now supports 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4. To enable this, go to Settings - External Inputs - HDMI Signal Format - Enhanced (new).
This TV has the best sound of any set we've tested this year, and by a wide margin. The bass is good, and the TV can get to a very loud overall volume.
There's also not much distortion at regular volumes. There's a lot more distortion at very loud volumes, but most people won't approach those levels anyway.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
The bass extension and the loudness are excellent. The frequency response is also good and remains relatively constant even under load. This is the best sounding TV we have tested.
The TV produces minimal distortion at comfortable listening levels. However when pushed to its limits, which is not that easy to do, there is a dramatic jump in the amount of distortion.
Android TV has become a good smart platform, with decent app selection and nice extra features, like integrated Google Cast.
We're not fans of the included Sony remotes, though, and while using your smartphone with the TV SideSync app makes a decent replacement, the experience still isn't up to the level of LG or Samsung. The touch remote is particularly unpleasant to use.
Major Apps Available
The Sony XBR65X930C is great overall. It has great native contrast, can get very bright, and has excellent black uniformity. The viewing angle and gray uniformity could be better, though.
Questions & Answers
As with most Sony TVs, you can control exactly how you want the motion to look on the Sony XBR65X930C. Besides the usual motion interpolation feature that can be found on TVs from most brands, you can control the impact of the backlight on motion via the 'Clearness' slider under 'Motionflow'. Here are the different values and their corresponding backlight on the X930C.
The biggest difference is from 4 to 5, where the frequency of the backlight change from 120Hz to 60Hz, clearing up the picture a lot, but introducing visible flickering. Here are the values of the max luminosity of the screen:
|Clearness||Backlight Min||Backlight Max|
|0||118.1 cd/m2||418.7 cd/m2|
|1||53.78 cd/m2||198.4 cd/m2|
|2||36.69 cd/m2||134.8 cd/m2|
|3||29.00 cd/m2||50.87 cd/m2|
|4||19.37 cd/m2||36.79 cd/m2|
|5||19.60 cd/m2||34.01 cd/m2|
As you can see, the max luminosity when using the clearness feature is in the same ballpark as on the X850C.
The Sony X930C has two features that control how the dimming reacts to the picture: 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tented Dynamic Range'. Here are our local dimming video tests for a few combinations.
'Auto local dimming' Off
'X-tented Dynamic Range' Off
'Auto local dimming' Low
'X-tented Dynamic Range' Off
'Auto local dimming' Med
'X-tented Dynamic Range' Off
'Auto local dimming' High
'X-tented Dynamic Range' Off
'Auto local dimming' High
'X-tented Dynamic Range' High
Almost all of them dim the dot, except 'Auto local dimming' on High with 'X-tented Dynamic Range' on High.
Displaying a moving white dot on a 50% gray background is more interesting than on the Samsung JS9500, which did nothing. On the Sony XBR-65X930C, you can see that the TV tries harder to brighten the white dot. This creates a kind of bright blooming around it, though.
Sony X930C vs Samsung JS9500
The Sony X930C and Samsung JS9500 are very similar. They both are great TVs, so do not overthink the comparison. Here are the main notable differences between the two.
- The JS9500 has better local dimming
- The X930C has better native contrast
- The X930C can get brighter overall (418 cd/m2 vs 381 cd/m2). For peak luminosity, the JS9500 is better (727 cd/m2 vs 658 cd/m2)
- The JS9500 has a slightly wider color gamut (2%)
- The black uniformity is better on the X930C
- The JS9500 is curved
- The JS9500's input lag is 14 ms lower
- The X930C supports 1080p @ 120fps
- Better motion control on the X930C
But really, both are excellent choices. Also, don't forget that you can use our tool present on the second tab of our reviews to compare any TVs.
I don't want to spend another $1,000 on the JS9500. Will the picture of the X930C wow me for a good while? I love how the review noted how good contrast levels are, as well as the uniformity of the blacks. That gives me reassurance, and the motion handling for 1080P gaming is a plus, as I will be using the 930C for that, as well as movies.
Should the grey uniformity be something I should worry about, or does the overall picture of the X930C make it worth the price, including upscaling? I just want to be sure that this is the right purchase, as I've been researching many TVs and comparing every model within my maximum price range. So far, the X930C seems to be the best bang for the buck. Should I worry that it is not full array?
Overall, the X930C is a great buy. The edge-lighting isn't anything to be worried about, so don't hesitate to get this TV if it's the one you want.
If paying the increase is really going to hurt, stick with the X850C. It's a very good TV, and you'll get by fine without the X930C's extras.
It seems true, as your review stated better contrast, blacks, and 1080p @ 120HZ on the X930C. You would think a $5,000 Samsung TV would handle that no problem, especially with an octa-core. All in all, thanks again for your responses.
Of note, if you remove the sometimes needless extra features score and round, the JS8500 and 930c hit 8.6, while the JS9500 is 8.5. Just some fun numbers.
For sure, we don't have the budget or time for the EG9600 this month unfortunately. If we do it, it's going to be in about 2 months.
Just to clarify our scoring, we don't include the 'Extra Features' score in our overall score, and the weighting is different for each category. We posted the weights used in the overall score in the Q&A section of the review of X850C (direct link to the answer).
Update: The review of the LG EG9600 is up.
As I browse in Best Buy, the colors of the Sony look more natural to me. So, a 2% difference isn't a gap worth worrying about. Also, the X930C displays 1080p at 120HZ, which makes a difference for me, because there is not a lot of true 4K content out right now and I will use my new TV for gaming at 1080p (PlayStation 4).
I do plan on PC gaming, but that's later down the road, when I have the time to build a PC. Also, I doubt the JS9500 will give me the sound from the TV alone that the X930C will give me for $1000 less.
The one thing I get jealous about the JS9500 is the FALD, but as you said the EDGE LIT LED shouldn't be a worry, I don't understand how a FALD has worse blacks and contrast than the X930C.
This TV purchase is a big deal for me at the moment, because I haven't purchased a new TV since 2010-11, as I currently have a 40" Bravia 2010 model, so I don't want to have to buy a new set after this purchase for at least another three years.
So, correct me if I'm wrong, but the X930C, with better blacks and contrast, plus better sound, seems like the better buy - especially with Sony's experience in upscaling and picture engines. If there is a reason you can give me to buy the JS9500 instead, let me know. My purchase will be in three weeks, a Bday gift to myself.
Also I like how the X930C set the RTINGS record for screen white luminance. Whites mean just as much as blacks to me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that equals overall better picture as well?
Your understanding is correct. For your usage, the X930C is a better buy.
As for why the FALD of the JS9500 has worse blacks, it actually depends on the picture displayed. In our checkboard pattern used for measurements, both the local dimming of the X930C and JS9500 didn't do anything, so it became a matter of which panel had the best native contrast ratio (the X930C). But in some cases, the FALD of the JS9500 is indeed superior to the X930C.
Could I be having an issue with upscaling? It doesn't look blurry, but it definitely doesn't look crisp. With Netflix/Amazon, it looks amazing in 1080p.
If anyone with FiOS (and my set-top box is the TiVo Bolt) knows how to fix this in settings, please let me know. Thanks!
If you really hate it, you could try increasing the sharpness a little bit. The image will be crisper, though a bit less accurate.
Brightness = 10
Contrast = 90
Gamma = -1
Black Level = 50
Black Adjust = Low
Adv. Contrast Enhancer = Low
Sharpness = 50
Reality Creation = Manual
Random Noise Reduction = Low
Digital Noise Reduction = Low
Motion Flow = Tru Cinema
Smoothness = Min
Clearness = Min
Film Mode = Med
Color Space = BT.2020
Color = 36
Live Color = Off
Adv. Color Temp:
Color Gamma Adj. Points #1:
Notice, I'm using the BT.2020 Color Space, and had to turn down the saturation, as noted. Some of these settings are hold-overs, from your calibration settings, for the 850C, some not. They may, or may not be correct. However, since I was unable to find any settings, for the 910C online, I started experimenting, and came up with these. At least, it's a good start!