Sony XBR65X800B 4K Ultra HD 120Hz LED TV Review

Sony xbr65x800b

Sony’s XBR65X800B is part of the company’s premium XBR lineup. This new model was released in December 2014/January 2015; however, it technically isn’t part of their upcoming 2015 model releases which will hit the streets this spring. Nor is it officially part of last year’s 2014 model line.

But since it does have the “B” designation in its model number, I suppose you could call it a late 2014 addition, or you could consider it a bridge between this year’s and last year’s models. So whatever you choose to call it, it’s Sony’s latest 4K UHD TV to hit the market.

The XBR800B is available in 55 and 65 inch screen sizes. The display reviewed here measures 65 inches diagonally, however this review also applies to the 55″ model  since the only difference between the two are their screen size.

Design/Features

The XBR800B isn’t your typical black or charcoal colored front panel design. Instead, it is an eye catching silver platinum finish that distinguishes it from most other displays in the HDTV landscape. Sony has also trimmed down the overall size of this set when compared to last year’s models.

Side view of XBR800B

Side view of XBR800B

The bezel itself is very slim which gives the on-screen image an almost frameless effect. The profile of this display is very thin when viewed from the side which adds to its slim and trim stature. This overall sleek and slim profile design is sure to please anyone who wants their TV to call the least amount of attention to itself “size wise” as it adorns their living area.

The feet on this display can be adjusted to fit at the outer edges of the TV’s panel or be positioned near the center of the TV’s panel. These placement choices are all about consumer preference. The TV can also be wall mounted.

The display panel contains two down firing full range speakers placed at the bottom and on the backside of the set. I will talk more on their performance later. The TV screen has a mate finish that in my opinion can sometimes give the on-screen image a dull appearance. Personally I prefer a glossy screen finish which I believe gives the image better transparency and clarity. With that said, this TV’s matte finish didn’t appear to affect its picture quality.

The XBR800B features an edge-lit LED backlight design which Sony calls Frame Dimming. Video processing on this TV is handled by Sony’s 4K X-Reality Pro. This processing refines color, clarity and detail  for better picture quality while portraying these images with a very natural appearance. The X-Reality Pro is one of the best processing engines currently available and does an excellent job at improving overall picture quality. This processing also upscales all non-native 4K content to near 4K quality, which will enhance the picture quality of your 1080p sources including your blu-ray disc collection for a much better viewing  experience.

Even thought the XBR800B is part of Sony’s XBR Series, this set does not contain two-key picture enhancing features: TRILUMINOS Display technology for better color reproduction, and X-tended Dynamic Range technology for better contrast for increased peak brightness and deeper black levels. These features are reserved for the top models in this series.

3D capability is also absent on this set for those who may still be interested in this technology.

Sony FMP-X10

Sony FMP-X10

However, the XBR800B does contain Sony’s SEC smart TV platform. This platform presents an abundance smart TV options including viewing your favorite apps such as Netflix and Amazon Instant which are capable of streaming 4K content directly to this display. In addition, you can also purchase or rent 4K movies and TV episodes from Sony’s Video Unlimited service. To access this service you will need Sony’s FMP-X10 Media Player which is sold separately.

You also get Sony’s Social View. With this feature you can watch TV, follow tweets and Skype all at the same time. In addition, you can enjoy sports, TV shows or movies with your friends and family while in different locations. To use the Skype function you will need to attach a camera to the TV, which is sold separately.

Another cool smart feature on this display is PlayStation Now. Video gamers can now stream select PlayStation 3 games directly to their Sony TV with no console required. All you will need is a Dual Shock controller(s) which must be paired directly to your television.

The remote control supplied with this TV is your typical wand style design with a simple and easy to use button layout. The remote is not backlit.

Network functions include standard Wi-Fi for connecting to your homes wireless network. You also get Wi-Fi direct which bypasses your homes network and allows devices such as your smart phone or tablet to establish a wireless connection directly to your TV. This set also features a full web browser for surfing the Internet.

XBR800B rear panel

XBR800B rear panel

Port Connections

  • 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs  w/HDCP 2.2 copy protection on inputs 1&2/ MHL3.0 input 1/MHL2.1 input 4
  • 1 Component input
  • 1 Composite input/shared with component
  • 3 USB 2.0 inputs
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • 1 RF input for antenna, cable or satellite
  • 1 Digital optical audio output
  • 1 Analog audio output
  • 2 Analog audio inputs
  • 1 Subwoofer output

Performance

Even though the XBR65X800B is a lower-end XBR model and is minus the two-key picture enhancing features mentioned above, it still delivered very good picture quality. One of its strong points is color rendition. The colors produced on this display were rendered with very good tonal balance and accuracy. Colors were also very vibrant and showed no over saturation effects. I also appreciated the natural look of the color palette produced on this display.

Black level performance was nicely rendered on this display. Blacks were very dark and appeared to be adequately saturated with good shadow detail. However, they weren’t  the deep dark inky blacks I have grown accustomed to seeing on Sony’s XBR950B and XBR900B.

In general, the XBR800B delivered a sharp, detailed and very three dimensional picture with plenty of clarity and image depth. This allowed the 4K content I viewed on this display to really shine. Also, 1080p blu-ray disc content that was upscaled to near 4K quality by this television looked absolutely amazing. I was impressed.

The XBR800B’s MotionFlow XR240 technology did a nice job combating motion blur. I did not detect any motion blur artifacts on any of the fast action content I viewed.

During my side angle viewing assessment on this display, I encountered a fair amount of screen dimming; especially when compared directly with the 950B and 900B. So I would suggest you keep side angle viewing to a minimum on this set.

The sound quality of the on-board speakers in this TV, was to no surprise, very inadequate. I experienced your typical lean and thin sound which was lacking in bass response. This is an all too common occurrence in most flat panel TVs. With that said, my usual recommendation is to add a soundbar for better audio performance.

4K  Upscaling

To assess the upscaling capability of the XBR800B, I viewed several scenes from the blu-ray addition of Pitch Perfect. The 1080p native resolution of this disc upconverted to 4K quality on this TV was absolutely stunning. Images were filled with huge amounts of detail and clarity. Image depth was deep and very transparent, giving on-screen images an engaging three dimensional appearance.

An extreme close-up shot of one of the female characters in the film revealed extreme amounts of fine detail and facial texture, which gave this image a stunningly natural  -“you-are-there” appearance.

The following statement is one I’ve made before and will once again: Sony’s 4K upscaling provides some of the best if not the best upscaling of 1080p sources in the industry. And this trend continues on the 800B, which delivered some of the best upscaled images I’ve seen to date.

So even if you don’t plan on viewing much true 4K content on this display at this time, you can still enjoy the benefits of this Ultra HD TV with your standard DVD and 1080p blu-ray disc collection.

Comparison

During my review process, I was able to compare the XBR800B directly to the XBR950B and XBR900B. So how did the 800B stack-up against the 900B and 950B?

Well, the most notable difference was in contrast reproduction… I noticed that peak brightness levels on the 900B and especially the 950B, were much brighter than the 800B; this made on-screen images appear much brighter, and in return rendered peak whites with so much more brilliance and pop. In other words, the whites were super white when compared to the 800B. This illumination difference made bright whites and the overall image quality on the 800B look a bit dull by comparison.

Note: I accomplished the above evaluation by using images of white text against a solid black background.

I also noticed, but to a lesser degree, differences in black level performance. The 900B and 950B are known for their ability to deliver the deep/dark inky blacks I prefer to see on a LED display. The 800B was not able to produce blacks at these levels; however, these differences were not night and day, and the 800B’s black levels still appeared to be very good by comparison.

The area of performance where I experienced the least amount of picture quality differences among these sets was in color reproduction.

Here, the color gamut on these displays appeared to be very close. I had to look much harder to see any apparent differences. This area of performance was best rendered on the 950B. Colors on this display were more refined and a bit more full-bodied and vibrant. The 900B’s color performance fell just a bit short of what its slightly better performing counterpart was able to produce.

Color reproduction on the 800B was not far behind the 900B and 950B, and delivered a very similar visual presentation. To sum this up, the 800B did produce very accurate and natural looking colors which I thought were impressive; however, the other two display’s color presentation was still superior.

I wasn’t completely surprised with the results of this comparison test. I believe in order for Sony to have delivered a premium 4K UHD television to market at the 800B’s price point, some performance enhancing features had to be cut. This becomes very apparent when these sets are viewed side-by-side.

Conclusion

Even thought the XBR65X800B falls a bit short on delivering  performance at the same levels as its more expense XBR Series counterparts; on its own however, it does manage to deliver very impressive picture quality. You also get a nice assortment of features all wrapped up in an attractive slim profile design.

2015 is poised to be a very good year for 4K Ultra HD TVs as more displays become available and at much lower prices. So if you’re thinking of joining the 4K revolution this year, why not start by having a look at Sony’s XBR65X800B.

HDTVs and More recommended.

Updated on 9/20/15

 

You may also like these reviews:

Sony XBR65X810C 4K Ultra HD TV Review

Sony XBR65X850C 4K Ultra HD TV Review

Sony XBR65X930C 4K Ultra HD TV Review

Samsung UN65JU7100 4K Ultra HD TV Review


Share this post...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

15 comments

  • Do you have any recommended video and/or audio settings for the XBR800B?

    • Hi Ted, try the settings listed below which are setup for a dark room/low light.
      I rarely use any of the audio settings on most TVs, which in my opinion don’t add much to the audio presentation.

      Picture Mode: Custom
      Backlight: 5
      Picture: 89
      Brightness: 50
      Color: 48
      Hue: 0
      Color Temperature: Warm 2
      Sharpness: 50
      Noise Reduction: Off
      MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
      Dot Noise Reduction: Off
      Reality Creation: Manual
      Resolution: Min
      Noise Filtering: Min
      Smooth Gradation: Off
      Motionflow: Off
      CineMotion: Auto

      Advanced Settings sub menu
      Black Corrector: Off
      Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Low
      Gamma: -2
      Auto Light Limiter: Off
      Clear White: Off
      Live Color: Off
      Detail Enhancer: Off
      Edge Enhancer: Off
      Skin Naturalizer: Off
      Display Speed Preference: Off

      White Balance sub menu
      R-Gain 0
      G-Gain 0
      B-Gain 0
      R-Bias +1
      G-Bias +1
      B-Bias +1

  • Alejandro Ruvalcaba

    Hello , I’m looking for a 55 4k TV
    I have two óptions this Sony TV or the Samsung UN55JU6500
    I’m a gamer and movie lover .
    I need your advice , thank you .

    • Hi Alejandro,
      Where overall picture quality is concerned, both the JU6500 and XBR800B to a very good job; however, for gaming, the JU6500 performs slightly better with an input lag spec of 26.5 ms. The Sony comes in at around 40 ms which is still good performance.

      For movie watching, the JU6500 does exhibit some motion judder due to not having support for 24p content. The XBR800B does not have this issue, which makes it better suited for 24p content. The XBR800B also has better 4K upscaling, which is particularly useful if you plan on viewing blu-ray movies.

      With that said, and based on your needs, I would recommend the Sony XBR800B.

  • Hi Milton , thanks for the reply, one more question about the XBR800B.

    Does the screen have a light reflect? Because I’m planning to put the TV in my living room .
    I found the XBR850C at $ 1499 and the XBR800B for $1099 both 55 inches
    I’m not interested to much in 3D stuff
    Is it worth the $ 400 difference?
    Thank you

    • Hi Alejandro,
      The XBR800B has a matte finish screen surface, so any problems with reflections will be limited.

      The XBR800B and XBR850C both deliver very good picture quality, However, the 850C has some key features that are lacking on the 800C which maybe worth the price difference for you:
      The 850C adds the new X1 processing engine for improved picture quality, TRILUMINOS technology for better color reproduction, Google’s Android O/S for its smart TV platform and direct LED backlighting.

      Hope this helps.

  • I bought yesterday the Sony xbr800b , I’m very happy with my purchase, elegant TV amazing picture, perfect for video games , you was right the xbr800b is on the top over Samsung ju6500.
    But I have little problem when I’m watching movies or dark scenes, I see a back light or clouding on the corners , specially when the blue ray movies have black bars on the top , maybe you can help me to correct this issue
    Thanks again.

    • Hi Alejandro,
      The XBR800B I used for my review did not have the issues you are experiencing, nor did any other 800B I seen/viewed since my review. It sounds like you may have a defective display panel, which can be a common problem with LED panels that use edge-lit backlighting. You may want to adjust (lower) your backlight setting and see it this helps. Personally, I would exchange it for another 800B.

  • heriberto delgado

    Good arternoon. I just purchase this TV set yesterday, and the picture quality is worst than the one on an old Phillips 720p i had. My cable provider, Comcast, and Netflix look pretty bad ( not even close to 720p). I expected this to happen since cable providers don’t support 4K, but I was not expecting this from Netflix or my blu ray player. Blu ray movies look really bad too. The image is pixelated, blurry, lacks detail, the black levels are not dark at all, and the screen in general lacks brightness. I played with the menu, changed it from Vivid to Custom, following your advise, and still the picture is mediocre. I am using an HDMI cable for both the Blu ray player, and the cable box, and my internet is really fast. (I own a 60″ 1080p Samsung, and the cable box, Netflix, and blu ray movies look amazing.) To summarize, not only the content doesn’t look 4K, it doesn’t even look better than a 720p. I would appreciate your opinion before returning it at the store. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Heriberto,
      Sorry to hear of your troubles with your new TV. To me it sounds like you have a defective set, and you should have much better picture quality than what you are describing, especially with 1080p blu-ray discs.
      I would try a factory reset in the menu options and see if this fixes your problems. If it does not, I would return it to the store and exchange it.

      Regards’

      • Heriberto Delgado

        Thanks Milton. I did already a factory reset and the picture stayed the same. It seems to me that the tv is incapable of up scaling the signal, even with 1080p content. I am returning it today. Thanks for the quick response.

  • Is it possible to connect the 800B to an audio receiver via BT to stream audio?

    • Hi Steve,
      There currently aren’t very many Bluetooth enabled TVs on the market. The brands I know of are from Samsung, Sharp and LG. Bluetooth enabled A/V receivers, however are much more common, and can be had from many manufacturers including Denon, Onkyo and Sony.

      Sony’s XBR800B does not have Bluetooth capability built-in. There are Bluetooth adapters available that can be used with the XBR800B to give it Bluetooth capability.

      However, the setup you are seeking would not be possible to my knowledge, since both the TV and A/V receiver are only capable of receiving an input signal from another compatible device while in Bluetooth mode, thus eliminating any connectivity options between the two. The XBR800B would have to have Bluetooth output capability to send to the A/V receiver. So no, you can’t send a Bluetooth audio signal from the TV to the receiver.

      Thanks for the question.

  • My xbr65x800b is less than 2 yrs old, it already seems outdated with HDR being the next big thing. Just got my xbox 1 s and supports bluray 4k, even got the Revenant, and right on the front of the dvd box, it says the tv must be HDR compatible to appreciate movie, to bad there isn’t something out there to go between the tv and 4k player to appreciate HDR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *