Sony 2021 TV Lineup

Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
Sony released details on their 2021 TV Lineup. Few sites I found with details:

What Hi-Fi
flatpanelshd
avforums

---

What I personally find interesting is the 43" model (KD-43X85J). This is down in the "cheap seats" in their lineup so it's edge lit, not full array dimming. HDR performance may at least be better than the "HDR" 400 monitors that are being released. Plus these sets have HDMI 2.1 with support for VRR/ALLM.

Strange that the native refresh rate of the panel is 100hz and not 120hz but definitely a step in the right direction and may be good enough, especially when driving 4K. 100hz is at least enough for Windows to feel more smooth over 60 and gaming should feel pretty good given VRR. The current 43" Sony model (XBR43X800H) is ~$600 so this could be a half way decent value proposition if pricing remains relatively close.

Could be an option for those that can't quite fit a 48" (OLED) but could squeeze this in. Or those that don't want to worry about possible burn in.

Lot of info still needed of course. Input lag, panel responsiveness, etc. It's a TV and could use PWM dimming for the backlight also so that's a possible concern as well, at least for me.

--

Sony USA website updated with full specs

Things I'm interested in:
"Frame dimming" - edge lit as expected
"Direct LED" backlight type - hoping this means PWM-free
HDR - HDR10,HLG,Dolby Vision
HDMI signal - 4096 x 2160p (24, 60 Hz), 3840 x 2160p (24, 30, 60, 120 Hz), 1080p (30, 60, 120 Hz), 1080/24p, 1080i (60 Hz), 720p (30, 60 Hz), 720/24p, 480p
VARIABLE REFRESH RATE (VRR) - Yes (for HDMI 3/4)
* Note: "VRR available via future firmware update"
AUTO LOW LATENCY MODE (ALLM) - Yes (for HDMI 3/4)
FEATURES SPECIFIED IN HDMI2.1
4K120/eARC/VRR 2/ALLM
Motionflow XR 960 (Native 120 Hz), Auto mode

--

Now listed on Best Buy. Lists 120hz refresh rate there also. $899 for the 43" version.
 
Last edited:

zehoo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
458
No 48" OLED from them this year by the looks of that. Maybe LG decided to horde all the 48" panels for themselves.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
All those sources are (or appear to be) UK based. I know that whathifi and avforum are, from experience. Would also explain the 100hz (PAL based, multiple of 50hz). US models usually end in H not J.
Here's the Verge's report on the US lineup: https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/7/22218693/sony-tv-lineup-8k-4k-z9j-a90j-a80j-x95j-x90j-ces-2021
No report on the 43" models. In the past, the 43" models used older gen panels with different specs, so not sure what the 2021 line will look like in the US.
 

Jumpem

Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
977
All those sources are (or appear to be) UK based. I know that whathifi and avforum are, from experience. Would also explain the 100hz (PAL based, multiple of 50hz). US models usually end in H not J.
Here's the Verge's report on the US lineup: https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/7/22218693/sony-tv-lineup-8k-4k-z9j-a90j-a80j-x95j-x90j-ces-2021
No report on the 43" models. In the past, the 43" models used older gen panels with different specs, so not sure what the 2021 line will look like in the US.
The H models were 2020. The 2021 models are J.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
Sony's website for the X85J series has 43" listed
https://www.sony.com/electronics/televisions/x85j-series

On the right there is a "Show 6 models and prices". It lists the KD-43X85J but no specs or price available. If you try to view full specs it only has model year listed in the table so far.

They're kind of notorious for listing stuff prematurely but B&H has the 43" listed. It says "Preorder starts at 12am ET, Mon May 17"
 

realworld

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
Messages
477
I already have OLED as my primary gaming display. Using it as a PC monitor is more painful than desired, with the need to constantly show/hide Desktop, autohide taskbar, frequent ABL dimming the screen. The 50X90J looks potentially like a great PC monitor, assuming Sony has fixed the VRR and HDMI 2.1 issues.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,428
Sony released details on their 2021 TV Lineup. Few sites I found with details:

What Hi-Fi
flatpanelshd
avforums

---

What I personally find interesting is the 43" model (KD-43X85J). This is down in the "cheap seats" in their lineup so it's edge lit, not full array dimming. HDR performance may at least be better than the "HDR" 400 monitors that are being released. Plus these sets have HDMI 2.1 with support for VRR/ALLM.

Strange that the native refresh rate of the panel is 100hz and not 120hz but definitely a step in the right direction and may be good enough, especially when driving 4K. 100hz is at least enough for Windows to feel more smooth over 60 and gaming should feel pretty good given VRR. The current 43" Sony model (XBR43X800H) is ~$600 so this could be a half way decent value proposition if pricing remains relatively close.

Could be an option for those that can't quite fit a 48" (OLED) but could squeeze this in. Or those that don't want to worry about possible burn in.

Lot of info still needed of course. Input lag, panel responsiveness, etc. It's a TV and could use PWM dimming for the backlight also so that's a possible concern as well, at least for me.
Sony televisions typically don't use PWM dimming even in their cheaper sets. Input lag is typically really good and they use RGB subpixels instead of BGR. What they do suffer from is uniformity and contrast, the latter because they use IPS panels instead of the typical VA type seen in televisions. I would not expect much from its HDR implementation other than to get it listed on the spec sheet. It's a decent entry-level display.
All those sources are (or appear to be) UK based. I know that whathifi and avforum are, from experience. Would also explain the 100hz (PAL based, multiple of 50hz). US models usually end in H not J.
Here's the Verge's report on the US lineup: https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/7/22218693/sony-tv-lineup-8k-4k-z9j-a90j-a80j-x95j-x90j-ces-2021
No report on the 43" models. In the past, the 43" models used older gen panels with different specs, so not sure what the 2021 line will look like in the US.
There are no more countries in the EU or UK that use PAL signal encoding anymore. All TV broadcasts are digital and use the standard DVB system for encoding. Granted, DVB-T still defined 50 Hz as the broadcast refresh rate, but referring to it as PAL is still incorrect.
 

zehoo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
458
The X85J models have this listed [HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)], so as long as you don't care about HDR (they're edge lit) or OLED blacks they should be alright. Of course this is assuming Sony's new models that use the older X1 chip don't have the same blurry 4k 120hz image that the x900h does. I may cheap out and get new 43" instead of an OLED if they sell them in my country. Of course if LG ships their 42" OLED this year it would change my mind. 48" is just too big for my personal tastes.

I should also add if the X85J models are IPS instead of VA, I'm not interested.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
Sony televisions typically don't use PWM dimming even in their cheaper sets. Input lag is typically really good and they use RGB subpixels instead of BGR. What they do suffer from is uniformity and contrast, the latter because they use IPS panels instead of the typical VA type seen in televisions. I would not expect much from its HDR implementation other than to get it listed on the spec sheet. It's a decent entry-level display.

There are no more countries in the EU or UK that use PAL signal encoding anymore. All TV broadcasts are digital and use the standard DVB system for encoding. Granted, DVB-T still defined 50 Hz as the broadcast refresh rate, but referring to it as PAL is still incorrect.
I was talking about the carryover of 50hz (usually in addition to 60hz) for HDTV content in former PAL territories which is what is usually supported by 4K TVs there as well (but you are correct, I should not have called it 'PAL' which refers to the SDTV or pre-HDTV spec, similar to 'NTSC' not really being a thing here any more other than being the origin of the 60hz frame rate).
Most North American TVs will be 60hz with an internal 120hz for motion smoothing, whereas I've noticed that European TVs with the same model will sometimes advertise 100hz, which is what came to mind regarding the OPs question about quoting Euro sites saying the Sony models are 100hz.
 

Scrith

n00b
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
40
I think the 2021 Samsung and LG TVs with mini LEDs are a much better option. I haven't seen an official announcement about smaller sizes though (50 inches and less). I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I like using a 49" model (LG Nano85 w/ HDMI 2.1 input for 120Hz VRR support + HDR) and am even considering getting a 55 inch (and moving the 49 to another computer) if that is the only option for a mini LED 2021 TV.
 

Jumpem

Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
977
I think the 2021 Samsung and LG TVs with mini LEDs are a much better option. I haven't seen an official announcement about smaller sizes though (50 inches and less). I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I like using a 49" model (LG Nano85 w/ HDMI 2.1 input for 120Hz VRR support + HDR) and am even considering getting a 55 inch (and moving the 49 to another computer) if that is the only option for a mini LED 2021 TV.
Is Samsung still refusing to support Dolby Vision? That makes an otherwise good TV pointless, at least for living room use.
 

Bendak

n00b
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
4
Has anyone had any luck finding out the panel type of the 43" x85j? I've even contacted a few local dealers (not big box) to see if they knew and no one could give me an answer. One said they'd get back to me once they receive the TV in stock but he guessed it would be IPS since their 800 series usually are. I want it to be VA.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,428
Is Samsung still refusing to support Dolby Vision? That makes an otherwise good TV pointless, at least for living room use.
Samsung is still trying to push HDR10+ despite nobody using it.
 

pippenainteasy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
1,109
Well this looks interesting. Considering 32" 4k hdmi 2.1 monitors are expected to be $1200 minimum and nearly $4k on the high end, it certainly seems like a better deal. I actually would prefer IPS...plus all the 32" 4k models will be IPS anyway.
 

chameleoneel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
6,433
You all need to make sure that you triple check specs before you buy. Its common for the smaller sizes to not include some of the more desireable features, such as VRR, special layers to improve viewing angles, etc.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
Thought I'd bump this up now that there's a bit more info. Looks like release may not be too far away now that it's listed on BestBuy.com. Sony specs confirm 4K 120hz refresh rate though it looks like only 2 of the 4 HDMI ports support full refresh capability, at least on the 43" model. Maybe we'll get some reviews in the near future.
 

spintroniX

Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
974
From what I understand these don't support VRR, and aren't expected to do so until later in the year. I'd be leery of buying a product on the basis of expected features.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ncjoe
like this
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
From what I understand these don't support VRR, and aren't expected to do so until later in the year. I'd be leery of buying a product on the basis of expected features.

Good call. I see the note now on the Sony spec page that says VRR available in future update. Bummer, let's hope they come through with it eventually. Yes, will be good to wait for that update.
 

Mad Maxx

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
6,542
B&H has them available for preorder, too. I was interested in the 43" model, but it looks like the screen is IPS. (n)
 

madpistol

Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
981
From what I understand these don't support VRR, and aren't expected to do so until later in the year. I'd be leery of buying a product on the basis of expected features.
A lot of us bought the LG C9/CX with the "expected feature" of HDMI 2.1 support. Naturally, when HDMI 2.1 GPUs hit the market, it was broken af. The good news is that LG fixed virtually all of the issues very quickly. Unfortunately, Sony doesn't have quite as good of a track record, so you might want to hold off if VRR is something you want in a Sony TV.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
The 43" X85J is available on the Best Buy website in the US. First few comments say it doesn't support 120hz and some speculation on reddit that it's an IPS (which could be good or bad but probably somewhat bad from a Sony with no FALD). I like IPS gaming monitors, but that's probably not comparable here.
 

pippenainteasy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
1,109
The 43" X85J is available on the Best Buy website in the US. First few comments say it doesn't support 120hz and some speculation on reddit that it's an IPS (which could be good or bad but probably somewhat bad from a Sony with no FALD). I like IPS gaming monitors, but that's probably not comparable here.

I think people are saying 120hz mode is 4:2:2 or 4:2:0, the text becomes unreadable. So technically there is a working mode, just not high fidelity.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
Yeah, unfortunately this thing looks like a bust. Will be interesting to see if it's something that can be updated via software or if it's a hardware limitation with the chipset they're using.

Sounds like Sony needs to add another fine print asterisk to their spec sheet.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
Sonys up until last year had a really strange behavior in 120hz mode - I have a x900f and it's very "soft" or something in 120hz (2560x1440 or 2856xsomething). Strangely 1080p is slightly sharper. I believe even the x900h had the same issue in 120hz modes (maybe patched very recently?)
I'm wondering if this 120hz mode is similarly soft on the 43" x85j. The 4:2:2 thing is strange, is it not HDMI 2.1?
Also is it confirmed if this is VA or IPS?
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
Ok well I saw this went on sale for $750 and had to give it a shot. I know a couple of customer reviews talked about poor text but I thought hey, maybe they didn't know the right settings to enable. I think they must know what they're doing because it really is terrible :(

60hz looks fine but at 120hz it's like it goes into some sort of checkerboard type rendering mode. When using most of the presets there is a noticeable pattern. If you use the "graphics" preset it seems to do some sort of nearest neighbor where it fills in the grid but things still don't look sharp.

As a TV it's probably fine because you'd be sitting far enough back that you're eyes would fill in the missing pixels. Even when gaming on it now when using it as a monitor it's not really noticeable. Just sucks that text looks so bad.

IMO the display itself is decent. Semi glossy coating is nice, no perceptible input lag (especially at 120hz) and backlight is uniform.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
Ok well I saw this went on sale for $750 and had to give it a shot. I know a couple of customer reviews talked about poor text but I thought hey, maybe they didn't know the right settings to enable. I think they must know what they're doing because it really is terrible :(

60hz looks fine but at 120hz it's like it goes into some sort of checkerboard type rendering mode. When using most of the presets there is a noticeable pattern. If you use the "graphics" preset it seems to do some sort of nearest neighbor where it fills in the grid but things still don't look sharp.

As a TV it's probably fine because you'd be sitting far enough back that you're eyes would fill in the missing pixels. Even when gaming on it now when using it as a monitor it's not really noticeable. Just sucks that text looks so bad.

IMO the display itself is decent. Semi glossy coating is nice, no perceptible input lag (especially at 120hz) and backlight is uniform.
Thanks for impressions. Can you tell if it’s IPS or VA from the contrast and viewing angles? I have heard it’s IPS but seems unconfirmed.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
Thanks for impressions. Can you tell if it’s IPS or VA from the contrast and viewing angles? I have heard it’s IPS but seems unconfirmed.

Hard to tell. I get color shift when moving side to side which makes me think it's VA. Also not seeing what I would consider IPS glow. Nothing like the white areas in the bottom corners you typically see on IPS displays.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
I see other posts on reddit and rtings indicating VA - too bad about the 120hz rendering issue, might be firmware fixable, but I would be hesitant to buy it for that use case until its fixed.
 

chameleoneel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
6,433
I know a couple of customer reviews talked about poor text but I thought hey, maybe they didn't know the right settings to enable. I think they must know what they're doing because it really is terrible :(
You need to be in "game" or "graphics" modes, to get chroma 4:4:4 in 1080p or 4K. Figuring out which modes support 4:4:4, is usually the issue with text quality on TVs.

Since the TV does not natively support 1440p, 4:4:4 may not work, even though you can setup 1440p as a custom/forced resolution through a driver control panel.
 

sethk

2[H]4U
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,053
Can’t you set a forced resolution with rgb instead of a YUV mode? Does that help with 120hz?
 

chameleoneel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
6,433
Ok well I saw this went on sale for $750 and had to give it a shot. I know a couple of customer reviews talked about poor text but I thought hey, maybe they didn't know the right settings to enable. I think they must know what they're doing because it really is terrible :(

60hz looks fine but at 120hz it's like it goes into some sort of checkerboard type rendering mode. When using most of the presets there is a noticeable pattern. If you use the "graphics" preset it seems to do some sort of nearest neighbor where it fills in the grid but things still don't look sharp.

As a TV it's probably fine because you'd be sitting far enough back that you're eyes would fill in the missing pixels. Even when gaming on it now when using it as a monitor it's not really noticeable. Just sucks that text looks so bad.

IMO the display itself is decent. Semi glossy coating is nice, no perceptible input lag (especially at 120hz) and backlight is uniform.
Have you updated the firmware?

Rtings tested the 120hz mode on their X85j, after users asked them to. And they said that they didn't see the image quality issues which previous models had with 120hz
https://www.rtings.com/tv/discussions/2-Ftig4VGoTu9cny/4k-120hz-blur

However----they also do not have the 43 inch size. and as I mentioned earlier in the thread, the smallest sizes often get the short stick on features. Its possible the larger sizes have updated hardware that the 43 inch does not have. So, its possible the 43inch may not be fixable with firmware. But....seems hopeful.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
1
Hard to tell. I get color shift when moving side to side which makes me think it's VA. Also not seeing what I would consider IPS glow. Nothing like the white areas in the bottom corners you typically see on IPS displays.
Are the black really black when the room is dark. If it's more black then grey it's an VA panel.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
735
I ended up returning it. One thing it helped me realize for sure is that 43" is too big for my desk. I currently have a 32" 1440p monitor. I measured beforehand and it didn't *seem* like it would be that much bigger but once it was in front of me it's actually a big difference.

I did use NVIDIA control panel with various settings RGB, 4:4:4, 4:2:2. All exhibited the same behavior with the "checkerboard" pattern at 4K 120hz.

I didn't connect it to the Internet at all so it's possible there was some firmware update. Not sure.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
56
I'm gonna grab one of these his weekend to dick around with and compare to my old samsung ju6500. The demo unit at best buy looked really good in person, very vibrant colors and great contrast. It should be a decent upgrade in all areas except pixel structure. If it ends up sucking, I will likely swap it out for an lg c1 48".
 
Top