Everyone is aware of an exhibition house isn’t the perfect surroundings for assessing a brand new TV. And that goes double for a brand new Sony TV, as a result of that firm’s exhibition house at CES2020 is roughly the scale of a few soccer pitches and much more brightly floodlit.
Nevertheless, probabilities must be taken after they current themselves, so we’re very happy to get arms, eyes and ears on Sony’s new A8H vary of OLED TVs. Because if any Sony OLED vary goes to hit the value/efficiency sweet-spot in 2020, this should be it.
Design: You Lift Me Up
There are three primary components to the A8H’s design. From the entrance, it appears actually good: it’s nearly fully display and, the place it isn’t, its bezel is each shiny and minimal.
From the aspect or the again, it’s fairly un-OLED in its bulk. Even the slimmest OLED TV round has to maintain its digital necessities someplace, however the A8H has an even bigger enclosure than most. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, however the relative bulk of the A8H ought to at the very least affirm it’s going to be removed from the costliest of Sony’s 2020 TV ranges.
The adjustable toes are a pleasant contact, although. They’re nothing particular to have a look at, however the A8H can both sit very low on its two toes, or be rearranged so there’s perhaps seven or eight centimetres between the underside of the display and the floor it’s standing on. So if you wish to add a soundbar into your private home cinema combine, there must be house to take action.
Picture high quality: Deal With The Real
The A8H makes use of the identical X1 Ultimate processor as final yr’s Sony OLEDs have been fitted with. It’s received a few new tips up its sleeve, although, each of which appear to have been applied very well.
‘Ambient Optimisation’ is Sony’s newest, and most subtle, try and have its OLED TVs modify themselves to the lighting circumstances of the room they’re being considered in. And even in as unpromising an surroundings as a commerce present, it permits the A8H to keep up dark-tone element with out overdriving the brighter areas of the picture on the similar time. Even although the A8H doesn’t appear to be the out-and-out brightest OLED you ever noticed, it maintains a extremely nice stability even when the room’s lighting circumstances preserve altering.
There’s spectacular confidence about the way in which the A8H handles movement, too – which is presumably why Sony (in contrast to some rival exhibitors) is comfortable to showcase it utilizing actual, precise industrial content material reasonably than ‘filmed solely to look superb’ demonstration footage. Sony’s developed the X-Motion Clarity tech it’s been utilizing in its LED TVs for OLED, and the result’s a TV that appears grippy and clear with movement in a means that final yr’s Sony OLEDs couldn’t fairly handle. HDR content material specifically appears a deal with. The color stability is properly judged and wide-ranging, dynamic contrasts are apparent, and element ranges are excessive. I reckon the A8H could be bettered for total brightness, however that’s not the be-all and end-all. The neutrality and naturalness of the A8H’s photographs appears a good trade-off.
Sound high quality: Genuine Excitement
At the rear of A8H there are a few small subwoofers – which isn’t serving to the Sony be any slimmer. But up entrance, Sony’s utilizing its Acoustic Surface audio system. By utilizing exciters to supply sound from the display’s floor, reasonably than a extra conventional driver association, the A8H concurrently appears clear and uncluttered whereas sounding actually open and exact.
That’s by OLED TV requirements, in fact. No doubt some viewers can be more than pleased with the A8H’s sound (and, to be truthful, it’s higher than fairly a number of rivals), however it’s no accident that the Sony levitates to accomodate a soundbar.
Sony KD-55A8H preliminary verdict
As per common, Sony’s model of Android TV is smarter, cleaner and extra expansive than most. The A8H’s working system appears good and is easy to become familiar with, and could be simply customised to fit your viewing habits. Voice management is accessible by way of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, there’s help for Apple AirPlay 2, and with each Vision and Atmos functionality the Sony ticks all of the Dolby containers too.
There’s no HDR10+ performance, which is a pity regardless of how a lot Sony evangelises about Dolby Vision’s superiority. And there’s no Filmmaker Mode both, which wouldn’t have been a problem per week in the past.Now, although, it’s undoubtedly a field that some potential consumers will need ticked.
As with nearly every part else on this web site, worth is all-important – and Sony’s not but give you the figures. But until it’s received utterly carried away, the A8H appears to have just about every part a mainstream OLED TV ought to have.