Sony KD49XD8099 Review
Just how smart do you want your television to be? That’s the question I’ve kept asking myself as I’ve been testing the 49-inch Sony X83C.Sony KD49XD8099 Review
In a rather unprecedented step for Sony, it chose not to pursue a proprietary operating system for its latest round of Smart TVs, instead opting to buddy up with Google and climb aboard the Android TV bandwagon with the likes of Philips, Sharp and Hisense.
So the Sony KD49XD8099 Review is my first experience of Android TV in the home, and it’s been a rocky start to our relationship. But, like the tease I am, I’ll come back to that later.
Aside from the Android-related fun, what else do you get in this rather well-priced package?
The Sony KD49XD8099 Review is a lovely-looking 4K Ultra HD TV with a pretty reasonable £799 price tag. And you get a fair bit of powerful Sony technology into the bargain, which means it’s not just the svelte silvery chassis which looks good – the images do too.
Powering that 3840 x 2160 native resolution is Sony’s 4K Processor X1 silicon. It’s this image processor that’s responsible for the Ultra HD visuals, but it’s actually most impressive when it’s showing off its upscaling chops on non-4K content with the 4K X-Reality Pro engine.
The 4K Processor X1 is also there to manage the dynamic contrast levels, constantly optimising the brightness and contrast of the image on a per-frame basis to give you the best image quality possible.
The 49-inch IPS panel on this Sony X83C is supported by an edge-lit LED backlight.
Sony KD49XD8099 Specificaions
Screen Size: 49 inch (124 cm)
Screen Type: LED
Resolution : 4K Ultra HD (38
3D Support: No
HDR (High Dynamic Range): Yes
Advanced Contrast Enhancer: Yes
Triluminos Display: Yes
24P True Cinema: Yes
Advanced Contrast Enhancer: Yes
Motion Flow: Motionflow XR 400Hz
4K X-Reality Pro: Yes
Cinemotion/Film Mode: Yes
Auto Wide Mode: Yes
Smart TV: Yes
Android TV: Yes
Internet Browser: Yes
Bravia Sync: Yes
Parental Control: Yes
USB Play: Yes
USB HDD Recording: Yes
Built In Wi-Fi: Yes
Wi-Fi Direct: Yes
Ethernet Input: 1 (Side)
Free view: Yes
Screen Mirroring: Yes
HDMI Inputs: 4 (3 Side / 1 Rear)
Scart Input: 1 (Rear)
USB Input: 3 (Side)
Sound Output: 20 W
Clear Phase Speaker: Yes
S-Force Front Surround 3D: Yes
Dolby Digital: Yes
Energy Efficency Class: A
Display Sony KD49XD8099 Review
Images produced by the Sony panel and its impressive 4K X-Reality Pro processing are excellent. Obviously it’s not quite up there with the high-price-tag likes of Sony’s 75- inch marvel or Samsung’s SUHD range, but in the sub-£1,000 market it will be tough to beat.
When displaying native 4K content the screen really comes alive. With our 4K demo discs, run from the USB connection, the video is beautifully sharp and detailed. Forget the fact that this reasonably-priced Sony has chosen to completely omit any 3D tech from its hardware; with a quality Ultra HD source the image clarity lends the picture incredible depth.
The Sony processing also produces a lovely, smooth video experience. The sweeping vistas of Ultra HD Netflix’s Marco Polo are transfixing, and the bleached streets of Narcos’ Bogota become a canvas painted in blood.
Almost of greater import, in these times still lacking a huge amount of 4K UHD content, is the X83C’s upscaling chops – and here again the Sony processing really impresses.
Standard HD content still looks great on this panel, even blown up to four times its original resolution. There is a little noise introduced to the flesh tones in close-up, but otherwise the detail is excellent – the Sony was even able to keep my Virgin TiVo box’s HD playback sharp and vivid.
My only real issue with the screen itself is that it tends to be a little too dark; with its lower levels of brightness l found it losing a small amount of detail in the darkest scenes of House of Cards or Daredevil.
Well connected Sony KD49XD8099 Review
And what of its connections? For a relatively mid-range TV it’s pretty well connected if truth be told. There are a full four HDMI connections on the rear of the X83C, each of which supports the latest copy protection standard, HDCP 2.2, and one of which supports the MHL mobile connection protocol too.
It’s also, rather remarkably, still rocking a SCART connection for that old-school vibe, as well as composite and component video inputs.
The X83C also comes with a 3-port USB hub, and there are a host of other audio ins and outs, from standard analogue audio inputs to headphone and audio out as well as digital optical connections.
There are the requisite connections for a dedicated subwoofer too, which is handy, as the pair of 10W down-firing speakers are rather weak. And if you were to stick a soundbar in front of the TV you’d probably find it blocks the IR receiver – I know I did.
Because of the thin bezel design the speakers are well hidden in the base, but I’ll have to forgive the X83C its audio failings because a) it’s the current fashion, audio be damned, and b) it’s actually a rather lovely-looking design.
The stand is surprisingly sturdy for such a sleek, simple setup. Initially I did think the shiny, metallic finish would be a little distracting when using the TV, but thankfully the imagery on-screen is generally captivating enough for that not to be an issue.
And the smarts?
That’s the actual hardware then, so we’re back to Android TV. I’ve had mixed reports from people I trust regarding Android TV, but most vociferous in his opposition has been our resident TV guru, John Archer.
I thought that maybe he was being overly harsh – but that was before I actually started using the OS. And it’s not just the whole initial, inevitable teething problem-thing either – it just still doesn’t feel particularly ready.
What wasn’t to be expected was the fact that even once the X83C had completely finished its upgrade, and rebooted, the video inputs all lead to one place. No matter what was plugged in, or which of the four HDMI connections was used, or which input was selected via the TV, it would only display what was coming in through HDMI 1.
Resetting the TV itself didn’t yield any solution to the problem, and only performing a total factory reset managed to get things back to normal. But at least that seemed to be a permanent fix – something I wasn’t able to nail for the forgetful nature Android TV seemed to have with USB inputs or even the network.
Sometimes the TV would turn on with no indication there was anything connected to its USB ports, requiring a reboot to fix the issue, and sometimes it would decide there was no internet connection, despite the fact that Netflix was quite happy to stream in full Ultra HD mode.
Still, at least Android TV means you get a host of applications, including most of the major streaming services. YouTube in 4K is all ready to rock and so is Netflix, providing you have the necessary account level.
Even Netflix, however, was seemingly not impervious to the trials of this iteration of Android TV. Playback was lovely and smooth until you paused what you were watching to dip out of the app and into the home screen – sometimes going back into Netflix meant juddery 4K video that only a TV reset could fix.
Features Sony KD49XD8099 Review
The strongest feature that Sony KD49XD8099 has, is obviously the android operating system that you are probably familiar with. You can access and download thousands of different apps in google play store which will make the TV so much more useful. You can also surf the web and watch online content. The connection can be established through the wireless integrated module or through the Ethernet (LAN) port. Also, Sony KD49XD8099 has a parental control option that will make the TV safe for family use. You can record what you see from the broadcasting channels if you plug a USB so you can watch the content later after work.
Sound Sony KD49XD8099 Review
Sony KD49XD8099 has two built in speakers with 10 W power each. The total output power is 20 W which we think is enough, unless you are standing too far from the TV. The sound is clear thanks to the Clear Phase Speaker technology. The surrounding mode is very good even if you don’t buy external speakers. The credits for that goes to the S-Force front surround technology which is unique of Sony’s.
We will give 4/5 points for the Sony KD49XD8099 review part of the sound.
Design Sony KD49XD8099 Review
Sony’s KD49XD8099 design is very nice. It has an incredible thin frame which we rarely see for such big screens. The frame color is black which means that it will adapt to whatever color you room has. The stander has a grey shinny color which is a good combination with the black color of the frame. Also it has a good shape too. The stander always plays a significant role in the TV looks.
We will give 4.5/5 points for the Sony KD49XD8099 review part of the design.
Should I buy Sony KD49XD8099 review?
This TV does worth your money because it is big and offers a very good picture quality.We barely found a competitor for it. This is one other TV that we recommend taking a look at Philips 49PUS6501.