Originally Posted by Y2JDMBFAN
This is going to be a long post, forgive me, but I have been asked to give my impressions several times. At this point it is kind of hard for me to compare the 900B that I had almost 2 weeks ago. I will do my best to compare the KRP-600M / 900B / 950B
General Summary of my Situation...
Had 3 TV's in the house. Pioneer KRP-600M Plasma, Panasonic TH-50PZ800U Plasma, and an older Sony KDL-40XBR2 LCD. I needed a TV for the kids room, so I decided to move the Sony into the kids room and but the Panny in the bedroom and the Pioneer in the Living Room and get a 65" 4K for the man cave / media room. All signs pointed to the 65X900B as being the choice for me, despite the speakers that I didn't need.
I got a great price on the 65X900B and had it delivered June 14th. I immediately noticed some issues with the picture as compared to the plasma. There was alot of blooming, noticable backlight bleeding, bleeding from the Edge lighting.
I definitely could tell the panel was Edge-lit with Local Dimming. The dark areas just didn't get as dark as the plasmas and there was noticable blooming from the picture into the black bars on Blu-ray titles with them.
I had backlight bleeding from two of the corners, it was noticable in content, even with the local dimming, especially with movies with black boxes.
There was noticable grey screen uniformity issues. This was immediately apparent with World Cup programming. The Sony 4K Blue Angels video showed this as well. I also noticed it while playing NBA 2K14 and FIFA. I initially was calling this banding, but I think it was just grey uniformity issues, which seems to be a problem on all LCD's, some show it worse than others. I will admite that I don't remember what setting the backlight was on during this testing, but it was at least on Cinema 1 mode, I know that much.
I wasn't super happy with the Comcast TiVo picture or DirecTV HD programming, but I didn't test a huge amount.
In general, some content looked great, and others made me running up to the living room to try and compare with the Pioneer plasma.
The issues above seemed to rear the ugly head during 4K content as well, which really drove me nuts. I started watching Captain Phillips in 4K from the FMP-X1 and about 30 min in, I really started to notice the flaws I stated above. The movie has some very dark scenes and it became apparent that TV wasn't able to keep up. Blooming, Bleeding, backlight uniformity all were there.
At this point I got frustrated, but had to leave out of the town for the weekend. I setup an exhchange for another 900B. While I was gone I decided that maybe I should upgrade to the 950B if it will get me closer to the plasma picture I am used to and I get get a good enough price.
I switched from an exchange on the 900B to the 950B, before tax I paid a few hundred less than what Cleveland Plasma is offering. I would have purchased from them, but with my uncertainty I decided to eat the tax money for piece of mind. The 950B was delivered on June 28th. I didn't get alot of time to play with the 900B as I was out of town for a week in between the time I got the 900B and then decided to exchange.
Thoughts on the 950B
The TV has great black levels. It is pretty darn close to my Pioneer KRP-600M. It is kind of hard to compare the pictures though, as the Kuro was calibrated 4-5 years ago, and I haven't touched it since, but the picture definitely pops more on the Sony. Might be due to the brightness levels decreasing on the Pioneer, but I am pretty happy with the black levels.
There is still some blooming with big white text on a black screen, but it was significantly reduced when I lowered the backlight to 2 to put the light output to about 40 fTL. I don't find this to be an issue quite honestly, as it isn't noticable during normal content. I can accept this as a flaw of the LED LCD technology.
The screen uniformity issues during World Cup soccer in 720P on ABC is not as noticable on the 900B, but they are still there.
I was able to enjoy the rest of Captain Phillips and had no complaints with the blacks. The blacks were inky and showed no blooming or pixelization.
I do have backlight bleeding from the bottom left corner of the 950B, it is noticable on screens where the local dimming is not engaged, which is most of the apps and the menus and media players on the TV. Once you get into actual content and the local dimming is engaged, you don't see the bleeding.
I am pretty sure local dimming is disabled for all of the menu screens in the TV itself and the apps, until you get into actual content.
My concerns at this point:
1. I used the D-Nice slides and definitely see the screen uniformity issues on the grey slides. None of the colored slides show banding or uniformity issues. On a white screen, the top does appear a bit darker that the rest of the picture.
2. Thanks to Vegas Oled, I noticed the off-angle viewing issue. I honestly did not test for this with the 900B as I had no reason to. I have a love seat that is positioned right in front of the TV, which my wife and I always sit on. I have a single recliner about 90 degrees from the luv seat, and the picture definitely gets a bit washed out when you get further off angle. Keep in mind this is a pretty much completely dark room, I have cellular shades that are closed 98% of the time. I don't know that this is a deal breaker.
I am now trying to decide a few things.
I have seen some stellar reviews of the 900B, I am wondering to myself, did I get a lemon 900B to begin with?
Now I am trying to decide do I:
1. Keep the 950B I have.
2. Return it for another 950B and hope the uniformity issues are reduced.
3. Return the 950B and go back down to the 900B, save $2500 and not feel bad if I want to upgrade again in a year...
4. Wait for the mythical Panasonic AX900 and see if it is any better. Not really an option at this point. There is absolutely no info out there other than what was seen at CES.
Looking forward to your comments,
I've had 5 different 950Bs in my house through my ordeal before I ended mine and eliminated sony from any future televisions purchases. Everything you said is spot on. Also, in a dark room you will see the back lights come through the back of the panel and light up the wall behind the TV set. The off angle viewing is poor, the camera on top is hideous (still see it folded back) and the variation and level of quality control on these sets is indicative of something mass produced and little thought put into Design of the components.
I wouldn't play anymore sony roulette. Step back and look on amazon and on here at how many people have had issues with Sony. Also have spoken with best buy and they have said they have had more sony television sets returned than ever. And if you'd like to seal the deal, call sony customer service. If that doesn't make you want to call it quits, I dunno what would. They almost insult you for having an issue. There's a lot of arrogance and it isn't even qualified. Let us know what you decide to do.