Sony KD-65XE93 Ultra HD 4K HDR TV Preview
Big screen HDR in a super-slim chassis
What is the Sony XE93?The Sony BRAVIA XE93 is the latest version of their super-slim Ultra HD 4K LCD TV which, unlike the full array XD94, uses edge LED backlighting and local dimming, replacing last year's XD93. The KD-65XE93 uses a flat 65-inch screen size and includes Sony's X1 Extreme processor which was launched on the ZD9 last year. The new LED TV not only supports UHD but also High Dynamic Range, specifically HDR 10 and, after a firmware update later this year, HLG and Dolby Vision. The design is similar to last year, aside from some minor cosmetic changes , and the TV includes the latest version of Sony's Android Smart TV platform.
DesignThe design of the XE93 is very similar to last year's XD93, with a slim backlight. However unlike the previous generation, the LEDs are along the top and bottom rather than the sides. The XE93 still includes local dimming but is now brighter than last year, although Sony wouldn't confirm the new peak brightness. In terms of differences in the design, there have been some minor changes to the stand and the overall finish but the biggest difference is at the rear, where the panels use a more natural and neutral colour scheme. There are also covers for the connections, including four HDMI inputs, and features to enable tidier cable management.
FeaturesThe new XE93 includes the X1 Extreme processor that was launched on the flagship ZD9 last year. Thanks to the inclusion of this new processor, the XE93 not only supports HDR 10 but also, thanks to a firmware update later in the year, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and Dolby Vision. The X1 Extreme processor includes dual databases, superbit mapping for 4K and object-based HDR remastering. There will also be an HDR gaming mode and the XE93 will launch with Android M and be upgraded to Android N when the Dolby Vision update is released. However, one feature that will be missing from the XE93 this year is 3D, Sony have dropped the format from all their 2017 models.
PictureAS we always like to make clear in these previews, there is no way to accurately evaluate a display's picture quality at a show like CES, this can only be achieved by objectively testing the TV in controlled circumstances. Unfortunately Sony were unwilling to confirm the peak brightness or the native colour gamut of the XE93 but we will of course measure both when we review it. The TV certainly looked impressive at CES showing content specially chosen by Sony, as well as film material from Sony Pictures, but we will have to wait until our actual review to see how well the XE93 actually performs in terms of our testing regime. During our review of the XE93 we will measure the greyscale and colour accuracy with both standard and high dynamic range content, as well as the black levels, the backlight uniformity, the off-axis performance, the peak brightness, the contrast ratios, the motion handling and the video processing.
ConclusionAlthough we weren't in a position to objectively measure the XE93 at CES, the TV certainly looked impressive on the show floor and based on our experiences with last year's XD93, we have high hopes for this year's model. The new KD-65XE93 retains all the key features found on the previous generation but adds plenty more including the X1 Extreme processor and support for not only HDR 10 but HLG and Dolby Vision as well. Some might lament the loss of 3D but with the inclusion of the latest version of Sony's Android Smart TV platform, it's a model that we're looking forward to getting in for testing. The Sony KD-65XE93 will be released in the spring at an as yet undisclosed price.
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