What is the Sony X9005B?
As far as Sony are concerned it's Ultra HD 4K or bust.
Design and Connections
The overall look of the X9005 is excellent with a rounded top, a gloss black finish and chrome panels on the left and right. The TV sits on chrome feet that can be attached at two different positions, either at the ends or nearer the middle to give a smaller footprint. If you use the end attachments then the feet are essentially the width of the entire panel, about 170cm, but if you choose the inner attachments then the feet are only 50cm apart, which might prove handy. Despite the wedge shape the X9005 can be wall mounted, although it's worth pointing out that given the screen size, build quality and decent speakers, the X9005 is very heavy at 46kg. It's also quite big with a width of 172cm and a depth of about 4cm at the top and 9cm at the bottom, although it's 32cm with the feet attached. In the top left hand corner there is a very discreet built-in camera which can be used for Skype video calls.
The X9005 is also 3D capable and comes with two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses. They are light, comfortable to wear, fit over prescription glasses and have wide enough sides to block out ambient light. Overall we found them to be quite effective and a definite improvement on some of Sony's previous efforts.
Sony X9005B Calibration
Despite our complaints about navigating Sony's menu system, once you have selected the correct Scene and Mode, the results are often exceptionally good for out-of-the-box settings. As usual we performed a basic setup initially, testing for the most accurate option and our recommended settings can be found here.
Whilst Sony don't include as many calibration controls as the competition, the reality is that their TVs can often deliver incredibly accurate images despite this apparent disadvantage. The X9005 was a good example and despite only having a two-point white balance, we had a reference greyscale and gamma after only a couple of clicks of the control. There is no colour management system but given the initial accuracy of the colour gamut, once we had calibrated the greyscale the X9005 delivered a near reference performance here as well. In fact aside from a minor error in the hue of red and the saturation of blue, there was nothing worth mentioning. Perhaps more importantly this accuracy extended down to lower saturation points, as well, and overall this is a superb performance from the X9005.
As soon as we turned the X9005 on we were impressed by the black levels and this admiration only improved after we had setup the Sony correctly and calibrated it accurately. Sony use an MVA panel which offers an improved viewing angle, around 90 degrees, but also delivers much better native blacks. So it proved to be with the X9005, which measured a full black screen at 0.06cd/m2., although selecting the Low setting on the LED Dynamic Control (local dimming) immediately brought that down to 0.017cd/m2 and the Standard setting was 0.001cd/m2. It wasn't just the blacks that impressed, the X9005 can go seriously bright and hit 120cd/m2 with the backlight only set to three. That means the TV has a serious amount of dynamic range and the on/off contrast ratio was 2,067:1, whilst the ANSI Contrast Ratio hit a very respectable 1,653:1. This was achieved without resorting to local dimming but that combined with the X-tended Dynamic Range delivered a breathtaking performance that approached the kind of images we're more used to seeing from a plasma. The backlight uniformity was also excellent with no clouding or bright corners and edges. There was also no dirty screen effect and aside from the merest hint of banding on the odd camera pan, it was a near flawless performance.
As with any 4K TV, the video processing is vital because almost all the content you will currently be watching will need to be scaled in some way. Thankfully Sony is almost always excellent in this department and the X9005 didn’t disappoint. It passed the standard definition film cadence detection tests for both 2:2 (PAL) and 2:3 (NTSC), with Film Mode set to Auto, and scaling of standard definition signals was surprisingly good when you consider how much of the image is essentially guesswork! When it came to high definition content, the results were spectacular with the processing taking full advantage of all the extra pixels and delivering images that looked so good you almost thought they were 4K. The motion handling was excellent for an LCD panel and as with previous years, there are a number of options when it comes to Motionflow, with 'Standard' and 'Smooth' far too aggressive for us but Clear is usable on the likes of sport content or anything shot on video. For any 24p content the True Cinema setting produces a 4:4 frame pull-down without interpolation so it’s desirable but beware it can cause issues with non 24p material. However, overall the X9005 aced all our video processing and image tests and added another feather to its already rather full cap.
Sony have been producing some incredibly low input lags from the Full HD TVs and whilst the X9005 didn't manage to reach those levels, it was still quite good. In the Game mode we measure the input lag at 60ms, which might be too high for serious gamers but is among the lowest we've seen from a 4K TV. The increased level of processing is bound to add to the input lag but for the majority of people the X9005 will be fast enough. We certainly didn't find it to be an issue and the combination of the superb images produced by the X9005 and the superior graphics of the PS4 resulted in a hugely enjoyable big screen gaming experience.
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Normal Mode: 96W
- Calibrated – Professional Mode: 89W
- Calibrated - 3D Mode: 100W
Sony X9005B Video Review
Sony X9005B Picture Quality
Once we moved up to high definition broadcasts the picture quality immediately stepped up a gear and the video processing took full advantage of the extra pixels of the native 4K panel to deliver a superb upscaled image. We were lucky enough to watch the World Cup final on the X9005 and the superb picture quality and large screen size resulted in an immensely enjoyable experience. There was loads of detail in the image, the dynamic range was excellent and the motion handling was great, even with Motionflow turned off. The constant panning of the camera did reveal the merest hint of banding but this was the only time we noticed this and it certainly didn't detract from a stellar image.
Once we moved up to Blu-ray the results were just sublime and it was easy to almost convince yourself that the images were native 4K, so good was the video processing. The motion handling with 24p discs was excellent, thanks to the True Cinema Motionflow setting and the level of detail was breathtaking. The colours were spot on and the wonderful blacks gave the image a solidity and depth that was quite remarkable for an LCD TV. The local dimming is a triumph, handling torture tests like the attack on Bin Laden's camp in Zero Dark Thirty with great aplomb. The X-tended Dynamic Range also worked exceptionally well and a film like The Conspirator, which has a lot of high contrast shots with bright objects and dark backgrounds, looked fantastic.
We ended up watching quite a few Blu-rays on the X9005 and the Sony never disappointed, often looking more detailed than a Full HD TV, even though we know you can't add what isn't there. However, once we switched to our limited supply of actual 4K content the increased resolution became immediately apparent. The bigger the screen, the greater the impact and on the 65-inch Sony, 4K looked amazing; now all we need is a faster broadband connection so we can start watching Netflix 4K. The continued absence of 4K Blu-ray is a concern but at least there are companies like Netflix who are prepared to lead the way. It might not be ideal but it's a start.
Finally we watched some 3D content and here the incredibly bright panel really came into its own. In 3D the backlight defaults to Max and can't be changed, so we needed to ease the contrast back because, and we never thought we'd say this, the 3D was too bright. However once we had set everything up correctly the results were excellent with natural colours, plenty of detail and depth, no shortage of brightness and great motion handling. As with any active shutter system, some people may suffer from flicker or eye fatigue but personally we found the X9005 to be a great 3D performer. The 65-inch screen size helps create an suitably immersive experience, whilst the 4K panel gave the image so much detail that it added to the perception of depth. Our current 3D favourites - The Lego Movie and Stalingrad - both looked superb, giving the X9005 a clean sweep as far its picture performance is concerned.
- Superb picture quality
- Very accurate images
- Fantastic black levels
- Great screen uniformity
- Excellent video processing
- Impressive sound quality
- Solid build quality
- Attractive price
- Design might not appeal to everyone
- Merest hint of banding
- Input lag a bit high for some
- It's big and very heavy
Sony KD-65X9005B (X9005B) Ultra HD 4K TV Review
The out-of-the-box colour accuracy was excellent and after calibration the results reached a reference level, which was immediately obvious with actual content. The native blacks were excellent and the local dimming worked superbly, improving the blacks still further without losing shadow detail. The dynamic range was also impressive and the resulting images were at times breathtaking. Once you added in the excellent backlight uniformity and the top-drawer video processing the result was a gorgeous image. In fact our only negative comment would be the merest hint of banding on some camera pans. The picture quality with 4K content was incredible but upscaled high definition was equally as impressive. The 3D picture quality was also excellent and overall the X9005 barely put a foot wrong, delivering a near flawless performance. Once you add in the remarkably efficient energy consumption and an input lag that will be low enough for most owners, the result is a TV that is easily in the running for the best of the year.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.