imho the one main weakness our 900a has is the lack of FALD
which would provide a better dark/black gradient and hence more scenery detail in dark video scenes. blacks are very good in our set and it has "deep black" thanks to the panel type and added coating layer, but using FALD instead of edge mounted backlighting would have been a significant improvement (note: even the 4k model from sony that same year did not use FALD so we cant really complain something was "omitted"). iirc in the last few years sony has only provided FALD in its largest flagship models (76 or 80') but those sets are 10.000$ + and much to big for normal home use for most of us
for the new 2016 models coming out from the main brands, i have only seen one interesting model so far, the Panasonic DX900.
it is FALD set in both 58' and 65' sizes,
and is the premium range of the panasonic lineup for 2016. (one of the early reviews of the euro version in here http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/tx58d...1604174282.htm
and even as a premium 4k set it has some downsides:
- poor upscaling of SD to 4k (even midrange sony 4k sets do it much better)
- it doesnt use quantum dots or similar technology, instead using a red phosphor led which produces much less "clean" RGB primal colors ( see the spectrograph in this review: http://www.hdfever.fr/2016/03/14/tes...et-tx-65dx900/
- video motion flow is sony's strong point, panasonic might not be able to match it (from early review indications)
- poor latency in game mode
- the calibrated black level is 0.023 cd/m2 (in comparison our sony 900 black level is 0.042 cd/m2 )
- DCI-P3 coverage is 98% ( in comparison our sony kdl-w900a = 94.7% )
- peak brightness = 1310 cd/m2 (but this panasonic uses 350 watt in HDR mode !!). in comparison our sony 900a = 239 cd/m2, and most HD lcd sets are usually 120 - 150 cd/m2 (note: the HDR standard aims for 1000 cd/m2 but most HDR sets viewing HDR video usually dont reach higher then 350 cd/m2. levels btw 350 and 500 cd/m2 would be very unpleasantly bright to look at).
- panel refresh rate = 120Hz
still, panasonic produced high quality plasma sets for many years, it is good to see them making a major push for quality in lcd now they stopped producing plasma's. on pure image quality (going by the few initial reviews of this set that exist so far) this new dx900 outperforms the competing sony/samsung/lg's of the similar 55-65's screen size (because those brands either use edge dimming, or even ips panels from lg)
going by pure image quality for video/tv (and ruling out oled which is still 50% more expensive and still has other unresolved issues), i would say that this panasonic dx900/dx902 is probably the most interesting 55 to 60' set so far for 2016. lets hope this competition from panasonic pushes sony to incorporate FALD and other premium features in its 55/60' range in the future
i am still extremely happy with the 900a, and given that 65% of all FTA tv is still SD here, and their limited HD broadcasts are either 720p or 1080i, the only thing limiting end user video quality for me is their poor quality signal being sent out, NOT the fact we dont have 4k sets. easy confirmation for that is that when i watch a well mastered bluray with a high bit rate, the video on our 900a's is absolutely stunning.
one interesting observation on that same french website is their reporting that when testing their new 4k video players on 2k sets, the ultra high quality HDR source video from the 4k player
(being downscaled and converted from UHD rec.2020 to rec.709 for HD) produces a BETTER image on the 2k display then when using the same movie mastered in 2K
(without HDR) from a normal bluray player. this makes sense because the 4k video stream on the UHD player is probably 50 mb/sec, versus 25-30 mb/sec for most "good" 2k video, and all the extra data is not just for the higher resolution. (http://www.hdfever.fr/2016/04/24/la-...-uhd-et-1080p/
with the push to higher 4k resolutions and HDR, it is important to remember that more image improvement is gained by the wider color gamut, higher contrast, better peak/low brightness ratio, then just by the higher resolution. netflix for ex already indicated that when bandwidth drops for their 4k broadcasts, they prefer to reduce resolution to 2k then reduce the extra data used for video quality content (because consumers notice it less). so there might even be some trickle down effect for good current 2k sets even if we still delay upgrading while the technology and standards mature further
edit: corrected black level measurement for kdl-w900a, and added peak brightness