Review: Sony Bravia Z9D series
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Sony is adding the Z-series of televisions to the Bravia line-up in India, and is competing directly with LG’s OLED TVs, thanks to a new trick up its sleeve.
When you splurge on a television, it should look the part too in your living room. The Bravia Z9D’s table-top stand is similar to that in the 2016 Bravia line-up, but there are subtle changes in the television itself. The bezel around the screen is thinner. Look at it from the side, and it feels like two different pieces of pale gold metallic frame have been joined together. At the back, all the HDMI and USB ports are either facing upwards or downwards, which means you can wall-mount this TV much closer to the wall. The fine attention to detail is impressive.
High-end televisions are currently in a cut-throat battle for picture-quality supremacy. LG is using the OLED technology in which individual pixels emit their own light, allowing for deeper blacks, brighter whites and a more detailed picture on the screen. Sony has added something known as the Backlight Master Drive in the 65-inch Bravia Z9D, and this single-handedly reduces the contrast deficit that plagued LED TVs when compared to the newer-generation OLEDs. As a user, you can control the black depth levels and the individual LED lighting, both options available in the picture settings menu.
The image processor driving the 3,840x2,160 resolution display in the Z9D is extremely competent, and handles standard definition (SD), high definition (HD) and Ultra HD better than any rival. Noise reduction is the slickest. Brightness levels are excellent too, and lower-quality content is boosted well to look much better on screen. The only negative with the Bravia Z9D is the glossy screen, which tends to reflect considerably if the brightness levels are kept on the lower side.
The Z9D has the high dynamic range (HDR) for content that is HDR-ready, such as some Netflix shows. Google’s Android TV has gradually lost its charm because there haven’t been major updates. LG’s Web OS is quite brilliant in its own right.
LG, in fact, upped the audio stakes by switching to Harman Kardon speakers, so the Bravia Z9D trails a little in comparison. It’s quite clear and can be quite loud too, but the lower frequency reproduction is not as powerful.
It is a close call between the Sony Bravia Z9D series and the LG OLED 65B6T (Rs.4,29,900), because both offer a premium viewing experience. However, we feel Sony’s robust image processing negates any minor contrast advantages the latter might still have.