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LG SJ9500 and Sony X930E are the top model of 4K HDR LED TV lineup of each of their manufacturers. As the top model, both of them certainly offer the best performance among other models on each of their lineup. In the market, SJ9500 is only available with 1 screen size that is 65 inch (65SJ9500), while for X930E, there are two screen sizes option available, 55 Inch (XBR55X930E) and 65 Inch (XBR65X930E). Since the screen size that available on both is 65 inch, this comparison certainly is as true to for 65 Inch only (SJ9500 vs XBR65X930). When I was writing this comparison, with the same screen, XBR65X930E is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than 65SJ9500. But of course, their price certainly is not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what are the advantages of each than each other and which is a better choice between them?
Short Review of LG SJ9500 (65SJ9500)
Like most of other model of LG’s 2017 LED TV lineup or the predecessor UH9500, LG SJ9500 also comes with IPS panel. As we know, IPS panel have its own benefit than VA panel that is about its wide viewing angle coverage, make the quality of the picture looks more consistent if viewed from any angles. But on the other hand, it also has a major shortcoming, that is about its native contrast ratio that is not so strong, makes the picture displayed on the screen of SJ9500 also looks not so good when set in a dark room. But even so, since most of people watch movies in a room with ambient light and you are including them, you can ignore it considering the effect of high native contrast ratio in a bright room is not as significant as in a dark room.
Coming with HDR technology, LG SJ9500 is powered by Active HDR Engine and supports most of HDR formats which available like HDR 10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), Dolby Visio, and Advanced HDR. This allows you to enjoy HDR contents with more HDR formats than most of other HDR TVs which available in the market. Not even just that, it also has a feature named “HDR effect” that can improve the brightness and color range of the picture as close as possible to 4K HDR, so you can enjoy any content with the quality nearly to 4K HDR. Meanwhile, as a part of LG Super UHD TV lineup, it comes with Nano Cell Display technology that becomes its mainstay technology in competing in the market. Basically, this technology has similar concept to quantum dot technology, but it has smaller particle. With Nano Cell Display, SJ9500 can produce outstanding rendition of color. Its color performance is even including the best and only a bit worse than Samsung QLED TV lineup, particularly Q9F as the TV with the best color performance.
In addition to superb color performance, LG SJ9500 is also powered by the number of LG’s most advanced technology that makes the performance of other features is also great. For maximizing its performance when playing fast moving images and 24p movies, it is powered by TruMotion 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, the input lag is also including the best, allows you to enjoy any game responsively without laggy. The other strong point that offered by SJ9500 is about its smart TV platform where with WebOS 3.5 as its platform, it offers attractive and responsive smart TV experience with a lot of smart features while the navigation is still simple. And for delivering impressive sound quality, LG SJ9500 is powered by 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watt of total power which designed by HarmanKardon.
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Short Review of Sony X930E (XBR55X930E, XBR65X930E)
Along with X940E, Sony X930E is the top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup. As the top model TV, it is certainly is powered by the number of most advanced technologies from its manufacturer that makes its picture quality and performance of features offered is great. But the opposite of SJ9500, Sony X930E uses VA panel that makes it has excellent native contrast ratio and black level. This certainly makes its performance is excellent when used in a dark room. But unlike SJ9500 that has good viewing angle coverage, it has poor side viewing angle coverage that means the picture displayed on its screen will look degraded when viewed from an angle. This certainly makes X940E is not a good TV when used in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from side, you can ignore this drawback.
Coming with HDR technology, Sony X930E is powered by a great picture engine named “X1 Extreme” where there are the number of Sony’s most advanced technology are embedded including Dual Data Base Processing, Super Bit Color Mapping 4K HDR, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, and Precision color mapping. Combination of these technologies makes HDR picture displayed on its screen looks excellent. Like SJ9500, Sony X930E also supports most of HDR format including HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Nevertheless, it doesn’t yet support advanced HDR by Technicolor. Meanwhile, on its panel, it uses Edge Lit Backlight with local dimming technology named Slim Backlight Drive Plus. This allows Sony X930E has excellent native contrast ratio and black uniformity. Otherwise, for maximizing its peak luminance, there is X-Tended Dynamic Range 10x behind X930E, result in superior peak brightness for HDR contents. Additionally, for maximizing its color reproduction, X930E comes with TriLuminos Display, makes it already supports wide color gamut and has excellent rendition of colors. Combination of these technology makes Sony X930E is including one of LED TV with the best picture quality in 2017.
Meanwhile, for maximizing its performance when playing 24p movies or fast movies, Sony X930E is powered by Motion Flow XR960 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows you to enjoy sports and movies with clear and smooth picture quality. Additionally, although not as low as SJ9500, the input lag of X930E is also quite low to play any game. As its smart TV platform, it comes with Google Android TV Nougat Version where it is not less attractive and responsive than WebOS. And for delivering impressive sound quality, it is equipped with Dual Front-face 3-way speaker with 60 watts of total speaker power.
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LG SJ9500 vs Sony X930E Key Spec
|Specs and Features||LG SJ9500||Sony X930E|
|Resolution||4K (2160×3840)||4K (2160×3840)|
|Sizes Available||65 Inch (65SJ9500)||55 Inc (XBR55X930E), 65 Inch (XBR65X930E)|
|Panel Technology||IPS Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Dimming Technology||Local Dimming||Local Dimming (Slim backlight Drive +)|
|HDR Engine||Active HDR with Dolby Vision||X1 Extreme|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision|
|Color Technology||Nano Cell Display (Quantum Dot)||TriLuminos Display|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Brightness Enhancement||Ultra Luminance||Extended Dynamic Range 10X|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes (4K Up-Scaler)||4K X-Reality Pro|
|Other Features||HDR Effect, True Color Accuracy||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-Based HDR Remaster Technology, Dual Data Base Processing|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240||Motion Flow XR960|
|Native Refresh Rate`||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Smart TV||WebOS 3.5||Google Android Nougat|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote||Sony Voice Remote|
|RF In (Terrestrial)||1||1|
|Audio Channel||2.2||Dual Front-face 3-way speaker|
|Sound Output||40 watts||60 watts|
|Price||See today’s price||See today’s price|
Sony X930E vs LG SJ9500 Performance
In term of picture quality, which is superior between them is depending on the light condition of a room where they are used. In a dark room, since Sony X930E has far stronger contrast ratio, this certainly also makes its picture quality is far better than SJ9500. With almost 6000: 1 of contrast ratio, it is quite strong to make black looks really black in a dark room. Furthermore, its local dimming also work fairly well to boost the contrast so stronger than 6000:1.The result, Sony X930E can reach about 0.015 nits of black level, quite deep to makes dark scene looks natural and excellent. Additionally, the depth of black level reached by X930E is also far deeper than the recommendation set by UHD alliance that is 0.05 nits. This means X930E can show shadow detail of HDR images like what intended, makes dark scene of HDR images displayed on its screen looks clear and excellently like what intended by HDR technology itself. While Sony X930E has strong native contrast ratio, otherwise, the native contrast ratio of LG SJ9500 is weak. Additionally, its local dimming is not also as effective as X930E in boosting the contrast. With about 1500:1 of native contrast ratio, LG SJ9500 only can reach about 0.065 nits of black level, not quite dark to makes black looks really black in a dark room, even tend to looks grey than really black. Additionally, its black level is not also deeper than 0.05 nits that mean it cannot show shadow detail of HDR images like what intended.
While picture quality of LG SJ9500 is not so good in a dark room, once it is set in a bright room, the picture displayed on its screen will looks far better. This is due the impact of low native contrast ratio in a bright room is not as noticeable as in a dark room. On the other hand, its peak brightness is quite bright to fight the glare of ambient light, and combined to its good reflection handling, this makes the picture looks fairly good. Additionally, its local dimming also very effective to makes small window is brighter than larger, makes highlights of HDR images looks brighter. Although its peak brightness can be said fairly bright when inputted by HDR signal, but its peak brightness still below 1000 nits that means it cannot show highlight of HDR image like the intended. As we know, HDR image is usually mastered in 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness. Meanwhile, the peak brightness of Sony X930E is outstanding even it is including TVs with the brightest peak brightness. Its local dimming works excellently to brighten the small areas up to more than 1500 nits while the larger areas remain very bright. This certainly makes the highlight of HDR images can be shown excellently like the intended by HDR technology itself. Additionally, when playing real HDR movies, its peak brightness is also still brighter than 1400 nits, result in very bright HDR images. What reached by X930E is really great and there are not many HDR TVs can fight it.
While Sony X930E is superior on contrast ratio and peak brightness, SJ9500 with Nano Cell Display offer better color reproduction. Both of them might already support wide color gamut that means they can properly show most of colors in DCI P3 of HDR images, even in Rec.2020, but for this case SJ9500 can deliver wider color gamut than X930E. Like most of modern TV, Sony X930E cannot show deep green and cyan fairly accurate, while SJ9500 can do better. It can show almost of colors in DCI P3 color space fairly saturated. Color gamut delivered by SJ9500 even is including the best in 2017, particularly when showing colors in Rec.2020 and only a bit behind Samsung QLED TV as a TV in 2017 with widest color gamut. Meanwhile, talking about color volume, both of them equally have good color volume. Essentially, the excepting of extremely dark colors, Sony X930E can show their wide color gamut at almost of their brightness range and only limited by their wide color gamut themselves. On other hand, although it has wider color gamut than SJ9500, but since it has low native contrast ratio, its color gamut is narrow significantly in darker colors. Still about color performance, with Super Bit mapping 4K HDR technology behind it, Sony X930E can deliver smoother color gradient than SJ9500. When inputted by HDR images with 10 bit depth of color, color gradient of HDR images displayed on the screen of X930E looks excellently with almost no color banding. Meanwhile, on the screen of SJ9500, some little color banding will be more visible in darker colors. Nevertheless, overall, their color banding is excellent and the color banding that might be visible will not disturb your comfort when enjoying movies or TV shows.
Meanwhile, for anticipating the many non 4K contents which available in the market, both of them are equally equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine, SJ9500 is powered by Tru 4K Up-Scaler Engine, while X930E is powered by 4K X-Reality Pro Engine. Both of these engines do a good job when up-convert lower resolution contents to nearly 4K quality. The result, no matter it is 1080p videos like Blu Ray movies, 720p videos like movies from HD TV or even low resolution videos like DVDs movies will looks sharply and clearly in nearly 4k with small details still preserved well. And of course, the higher resolution of the source, the final image in 4K produced will look sharper and clearer. Not even just that, both of Sony X930E and LG SJ9500 also equally have a feature that can improve brightness and color range of the picture so as to approach HDR quality. With Dual Data Base Processor and Object Based HDR Remaster technology behind X930E and a feature named “HDR effect” on SJ9500, this allows you to enjoy any content with quality as close as possible to 4K HDR.
Winner: X930 win on black level and peak brightness, SJ9500 win on color reproduction
Side Viewing Angle
The use of IPS panel might make LG SJ9500 has low native contrast ratio that causes its poor performance in a dark room. But on the other hand, this makes SJ9500 has wider viewing angle coverage. On other hand, since poor side viewing angle coverage becomes the major drawback of VA panel, this certainly also makes the side viewing angle coverage of Sony X930E is poor. The impact certainly will be noticeable when you are watching TV from an angle. The quality of the picture displayed on the screen of X930E will look degraded beginning with the decline of black level then the color shift. Meanwhile, the picture displayed on the screen of SJ9500 will look more consistent from far wider angle. This certainly makes SJ9500 become a better option when set in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
For maximizing their picture quality when playing fast moving image or 24p movies, Sony X930E is powered by Motion Flow XR960 while LG SJ9500 is powered by TruMotion 240 Hz technology. Nevertheless essentially, both of these technologies are based on the same native refresh rate panel that is 120 Hz. On the other hand, although the pixel response time of X930E is a bit lower than SJ9500, but essentially, their pixel response time is very low. And combined to the technologies that support them, this certainly makes the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth and clear when used to play fast moving images like sports program or fast movies. Following fast moving object, motion blur just look faintly and shortly where most of people with untrained eyes might not notice about that. Meanwhile, although pixel response time of X930E is lower that result in smoother and clearer picture quality than SJ9500, but the superiority of X930E is not too significant. Essentially, both of them do an excellent job when handling motion blur, makes both of them a great TV when used for watching sport or fast movies. Additionally, both of them also equally do an excellent job when playing 24p movies. No matter the source of the movies, whether its 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or even 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming device, both of LG SJ9500 and Sony X930E are able to show them smoothly and clearly with judder-free. But even so, for removing the judder without adding “Soap Opera Effect”, you need make a certain setting on their picture setting. On X930E, you need to set “Motion Flow” to “Real Cinema” and Cinemotion” to High”, while on SJ9500, you need to turn on “Real Cinema”, set “TruMotion” option to “User”, and set both “De-Judder” and “De-Blur” to “0”.
As their major connectivity, both of Sony X930E and LG SJ9500 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports 2ver.2.0 and 3 USB ports. Both of them are also equally equipped with 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and 1 Ethernet port. The difference, there are 2 Composite In (AV In), 1 Component In, and Analog Audio Out (3.5 mm Jack) behind X930E, while on SJ9500, there is only 1 AV In and it is not equipped with Analog Audio Out and Component In. While Sony X930E is equipped more complete inputs/outputs, on other hand, the input lags of SJ9500 in “Game Mode” and “PC mode” is far better. In “Game Mode” and “PC mode”, the input lags of SJ9500 are lower than 20 ms at any resolution that means it is great, allow you to play any game comfortably and responsively without feel laggy, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Meanwhile, the input lag of Sony X930E is depending on the resolution of the source. At 4K source, although not as low as SJ9500, the input lags of X930E are still quite low to play any game so feel responsively without laggy. But at 1080p source, its input lag is still above 40 ms that means it is only comfortable when used to play causal games, while for fast paced games, this may be a bit disappointing.
As their smart TV platform, both of them equally offer attractive and responsive smart TV experience. For this case, Sony X930E featuring Google Android TV Nougat as its platform while LG SJ9500 featuring WebOS 3.5. Both of them equally have a lot of interesting and useful preinstalled apps. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and more, Web Browser, Live TV, Cloud Games, and many more. Both of these OS also have their own apps store, Google Android TV comes with Google Play Store while Web OS comes with LG apps store. For this case, Google Play Store provided a lot of more downloaded apps, contents, and games than LG apps store due it is supported by a lot of more developer. On the other hand, this makes it less focus on what the users want. Meanwhile, although not as many as what provided by Google Play Store, LG apps store also provides a lot of interesting apps, contents and games. In term of performance, both of these OS are also equally fast and responsive. Once you launch an app, it will open quickly. Selecting between opened apps also equally feels responsive on both. While about apps provided particularly provided by Google Play, Google Android TV is superior, WebOS offers easier navigation. It has a lot of smart features that makes the navigation is simple and easy. On its home screen, there is a “Strip Bar” contains icons to access popular apps and features, so this allows you to launch them without leaving the home screen. Meanwhile, navigating on Google Android TVs is bit confusing, particularly for first time user. The “Action Menu” on its remote might slightly relieve its problem on navigation, it still not as simple and comfort as WebOS.
As the controller, Sony X930E comes with a smart remote named Sony Voice Remote, while LG SJ9500 comes with the excellent LG Magic Remote. Sony Remote is a bit larger and has more buttons, but on the other hand, LG remote has many smart features. Both of them equally have two dedicated buttons. On LG Remote, the dedicated buttons are intended for quick access to Amazon Videos and Netflix, while the dedicated buttons of LG Remote are intended for quick access to Netflix and Google Play store. Additionally, both of them are also equally equipped with built in microphone for voice navigation. But even so, in this case, the voice command of LG Remote can be used to search content only, while the voice command of Sony Remote has more capability. In addition to search content, it also can be used to control some smart features and TV functions. Not just that, both of them also have universal capability that means they can be used for controlling some major functions of other device connected on each of their TV. The most advantage of LG remote than Sony Remote, it has point and click function. In addition it is equipped with “scroll wheel” at the center to highlight and click an app or TV function, it also has a function like remote of WII Nintendo where the cursor on the screen can follow the movement of the remote.
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|Performance||LG SJ9500||Sony X930E|
As we have discussed a lot above, overall picture quality of Sony X930E is better than LG SJ9500, particularly when set in a dark room. With very deep black level and extremely bright peak luminance, X930E can consistently show the amazing picture quality in a room with any light condition. Additionally, all aspects of picture quality of X930E are also strong, makes it gets Ultra HD premium that means it can show HDR images fully like the intended. The only drawback of picture quality of X930E, it has poor side viewing angle coverage that means it cannot maintain their amazing picture quality when viewed from an angle. On other hand, as long as you don’t use it a dark room, picture displayed on the screen of LG SJ9500 also looks excellently. One of the major aspects of picture quality produced by SJ9500 is about its outstanding color performance. But even so, although its picture quality and HDR performance is fairly good, their peak brightness and black level is not quite bright and dark to show HDR images fully like the intended by UHD alliance. An advantage of SJ9500 to X930E, it can do better in maintaining its picture quality from wide viewing angle. Meanwhile, in term of performance of other features, each of SJ9500 and X930E beats each other. Sony X930E has a bit better motion handling, makes it can show a bit smoother and clearer picture quality when used to watch sports or fast movies. On other hand, LG SJ9500 has lower inputs lags in PC mode and Game mode, make it more responsive and comfort when used for playing game, particularly for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. While about their smart platform, essentially, both of them equally offer responsive and attractive smart TV platform, but for this case, WebOS has more simple navigation than Google Android TV.
So, which is a better choice between them? The decision certainly comes back to you according to your preferences. As long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, and picture quality and HDR become your main consideration in buying TV, Sony X930E might be a better option for you. But of course, you must spend hundreds dollar more to get it. On other hand, sold cheaper than SJ9500, as long as you don’t often watch TV in a pitch dark room, performance and picture quality of SJ9500 is also not disappointing. It even has an advantage on side viewing angle coverage that it means it will be a good choice when you have a plan to use it in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles. The other advantage, it also has lower input lags that makes it is more comfortable when used to play any kind of games.
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