By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
There’s nothing to match having a great 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TV set in the room when there’s a top match or an excellent movie to see. Sony’s X9000F is a wonderful choice with its excellent picture quality and ability to serve as your all-round home-entertainment hub.
It runs on the TV Android operating system, so you can download games and entertainment apps to enjoy on the huge screen. There’s a Web browser built in too, so get ready to view Facebook writ large.
Apps available for download include iflix and VLC and several from Synology to access video, photos and music. Netflix is pre-installed and there’s even a dedicated button on the remote control.
You get 16 gigabytes of onboard storage for installing apps and stashing content, and this can be expanded further with a USB-based hard drive. There are three USB ports to connect an external hard drive and two input devices at the same time.
Another nice feature is that you can use Voice search to tap Google and find content across different services without the hassle of entering text. You can also ask Voice to recommend something to watch – announce “romantic comedies”, for example, and you’ll see a list of options. A microphone is built into the remote.
You can buy 4K movies from Google Play to watch on the TV, which is nice and convenient.
In my test I had no problem installing iflix and watching the movies on offer, while VLC for Android wirelessly streamed movies stored on Synology's DiskStation DS418 drive.
The X9000F comes with Wi-Fi 802.11ac connection and a LAN port for connecting to your home router. I hooked up to my Linksys EA8500 router in a breeze thanks to the Android OS and TV set’s builtin Chromecast.
When I was setting up, I was asked whether I had an Android phone. With that, it guided me through the Chromecast connecting function of the phone to link to the TV. The TV automatically adopted the Wi-Fi setting used on the phone. If you wish, your phone can be the remote control.
Next I was guided in tuning in to the Thai terrestrial digital channels, which was also quite easy and produced fantastic picture quality. The text of programme guide also looked crisp and was easy to read on the TV.
The X9000F really rendered sharp, clean, vivid pictures with deep black levels and with depth. The imagery in HDR 4K movies looked sharp, with stunning details right across the screen, even in shadowy areas. The TV supports a variety of HDR formats, including HDR10, Hybrid LogGamma and Dolby Vision.
The TV uses Triluminous Display, which maps from a wider palette, faithfully reproducing every shade and hue, and 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, powerful software for handling realtime image processing. It also upscales everything you watch to near4K HDR quality.
The Object-based HDR remaster function analyses the colour in individual objects on screen and adjusts the contrast accordingly. Because objects are remastered individually, this TV can reproduce greater depth, textures and more realistic pictures.
The processor’s Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR colour-enhancement function reveals thousands of tones, shades and gradations of light in scenes like a sunset. So it creates smooth, natural 4K TV picture quality as you watch.
The engine comes with dual database processing to improve picture quality – noise reduction database used to clean the picture, reducing onscreen noise and upscale database used to upscale the resolution, improving clarity.
These two powerful image improvement databases work together, dynamically improving pixels in real time. Each database has tens of thousands of references, amassed from our experience creating content for TV and movies over the years.
The X9000F also uses 4K XReality Pro chip developed based on Sony’s knowledge from filming and developing blockbuster movies and TV shows. The chip analyses patterns in each scene and enhances them, resulting in accurate hue, saturation and brightness for incredible 4K TV resolution.
I was impressed with the 4K broadcast of World Cup matches from TrueVisions using its new 4K satellite receiver. The pictures were very sharp, the colours were very vivid and the motion was smooth.
I also enjoyed watching 4K HDR YouTube clips. The colours and details were outstanding.
Watching 4K HDR movies bought from Apple’s iTunes store on an Apple TV 4K box was also impressive, with sharp details and vivid colours.
You can select among several picture modes – Vivid, Standard, Custom, Cinema Pro, Cinema Home, Sports, Animation, PhotoVivid, PhotoStandard, PhotoCustom, Game, and Graphics.
The TV sound is quite powerful with two speakers putting out 10 watts. You can buy an optional wireless subwoofer to enhance the deep, explosive sounds in movies.
The TV can decode several Dolby Audio and DTS Audio formats. Available audio modes are Standard, Dialog, Cinema, Music, Sports and virtual SForce Front Surround,
The Sony 55X9000F has a suggested retail price of Bt52,990.
- Operating system: Android 7.0
- Display: 55inch Triluminos
- Display resolution: 3,840x2,160 pixels
- Digital TV: DVBT/T2
- Picture processor: 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme
- Clarity enhancement: 4K XReality PRO Dual database processing
- Colour enhancement: Live Colour Technology Precision Colour Mapping Super bitmapping
- Contrast enhancement: Dynamic Contrast Enhancer
Object-based HDR remaster Xtended Dynamic Range PRO
- Audio output: 10W+10W
- Speaker type: Bass reflex
- Onboard storage: 16GB
- Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11ac
- Ports: 4xHDMI, 1xUSB 3.0, 2xUSB 2.0, 1x LAN port, 1xoptical audio out, 1xcomposite videoin
- Dimensions without stand: 1,228x706x69mm
- Weight: 19.1 kilograms with stand
- Power consumption: 224W