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Sony XH95 4K LCD TV Preview

Now with wider viewing angles

by Phil Hinton

What is the Sony XH95?

The Sony XH95 is the company’s new flagship 4K LCD TV and now includes a direct full array LED backlight with local dimming. It includes support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, but this year it adds X-Wide Angle technology, sound positioning tweeter with bi-amping, X-Balanced speaker, Ambient Optimisation and a backlit remote control. Sony has also added easy connectivity to Apple devices using AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. The XH95 comes in 49-, 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-inch screen sizes, although many of the features only apply to 55-inch screen size and above.

This is a preview of the upcoming model and will be replaced with our full in-depth review when we receive the review sample.

Design, Connections and Control

The Sony XH95 uses a minimalist flush surface design (55-inch model and larger), with a bezel-less screen that’s supported on feet at either end. The feet raise the screen high enough that it won’t be blocked by a soundbar.

There are HDMI 2.0 inputs with support for eARC (enhanced audio return channel), but Sony still hasn’t embraced HDMI 2.1, which seems strange with the launch of the PS5 later this year.

Sony has redesigned the remote control, which is a definite improvement on previous years, and it finally has a backlight.

You can connect the XH95 to Apple devices thanks to support for AirPlay 2, which allows users to stream movies, music, games and photos. The inclusion of Apple HomeKit technology also provides an easy, secure way for users to control their television from their iPhone, iPad or Mac.

In addition, with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices, you may cast and control videos from YouTube with Google Home, or change the channel or volume with Amazon Alexa enabled devices. Hands-free capabilities are only available on the 55-inch screen size and larger.

Features and Specs

The Sony XH95 uses the X1 Ultimate picture processor, which includes Object-based Super Resolution, Object-based HDR Rmaster, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR and Dual Database Processing. It also includes X-Motion Clarity for brighter, clearer and more fluid motion than ever before, significantly enhancing sports viewing.

There’s a direct full-array LED backlight with local dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range PRO. The TRILUMINOS display also has X-Wide Angle technology on screen sizes of 55 inches and larger.

The XH95 has support for 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) with wide colour gamut (DCI-P3/Rec.2020) and high dynamic range (HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma and Dolby Vision). Sadly, Sony still doesn’t support the HDR10+ dynamic metadata format.

The XH95 also includes Sony's Custom Mode that, along with other calibrated viewing modes, provides various viewing options to suit users' tastes while faithfully preserving the creator’s intent. To date, Sony has decided not to support the new Filmmaker Mode.

There’s a new Ambient Optimisation feature that uses sensors and microphones to optimise the picture and sound quality in any consumer environment. It will automatically adjust the picture brightness to the ambient light in the room, boosting the brightness in bright rooms and reducing it in dark rooms for an improved viewing experience.

The XH95 features improved Acoustic Multi-Audio, Sound-from-Picture Reality concept with a bi-amp system, which controls the main speaker and invisible tweeter separately, and an X-Balanced Speaker, a new speaker unit that packs clear sound in a slim design (bi-amp, X-Balanced Speaker, and Acoustic Multi-Audio only available for 55-inch screen size and above).

The XH95 can also decode Dolby Atmos internally, producing an immersive experience through the use of psychoacoustic processing.

The XH95 features Android 9.0 Pie with the Google Assistant, Google Play Store and Chromecast built-in, which offers users easy access to content, services and devices via its extensive platform.

Sony’s original user interface menus and voice controls are also enhanced for better daily use, and Sony’s voice-activated TVs work alongside Google Assistant to provide a smarter viewing experience.

Verdict

The Sony XH95 uses a direct full array LED backlight with local dimming and wider viewing angles, which is sure to please LCD fans. There's also a strong set of features that includes X-Motion Clarity, an improved audio performance and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. The lack of HDR10+ support will disappoint some, but otherwise, this is a nicely designed and well-specified new model from Sony.

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