I recently got the deal of a lifetime on the Sony A9F Master Series 65 inch OLED TV from Best Buy. Long story short, they had it as an open box deal for $1899. I thought this was way too good to be true, so I went to look at it and spoke to the Magnolia manager. The TV was only on display for 3 months, still had the plastic on it, was in absolute mint condition, we ran the tests for banding/burn in/etc in the store, zero issues, all perfect. Included all accessories including the remote, etc. Brought it home, hooked it up, literally perfect.
So, that’s the good news
Now for some background:
I have been a diehard LG OLED owner for years. I started off with the LG C6 3D OLED, then upgraded to the B7 OLED in the living room and have the C7 upstairs in the bedroom. All have worked brilliantly, no issues, etc. In the bedroom I use an NVidia shield and in the living room we used a Roku Ultra with it. When this deal came along I couldn’t pass it up and put the A9F in the living room. The plan was to use the Android TV interface for the primary streaming, etc., however I also had an unused Apple TV 4K to use for certain apps that are better on Apple’s box (e.g. the Hulu app, etc.).
My Current Setup:
I have a PS4 Pro in HDMI # 1, a Nintendo Switch in HDMI # 2, a Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound Soundbar in HDMI # 3 (ARC), and I had a 4K box in HDMI # 4 so I could use the Apple TV 4K and any other things I wanted to plug in (e.g. a PS3, other consoles, etc.). I decided I wasn’t really going to use the 4K box for now, so instead I just unplugged that and have the HDMI # 4 cable going directly to the Apple TV 4K (so lossless signal at that point). I did activate the Sony version of “Deep Color” through the Settings menu on the HDMI inputs I am using 4K HDR devices on (in this case, HDMI # 1 and HDMI # 4).
With my LG OLED I never had sound issues - ever. With this TV so far we have had at least six instances where the sound has come out of sync with what is playing on the TV. This is regardless if it is the PS4, the Android TV interface streaming an App, or the Apple TV 4K. To resolve the issue, all we need to do is go to Settings —> About —> Restart and also reboot the device we are using. That fixes the issue. It’s very intermittent, and it’s maddening. I reached out to Sony and they were of little assistance. They sent me an article to visit on their website which explained 4 workarounds. My device is recognized under the Bravia Sync, I did switch it from Surround Sound to TV Speakers, rebooted it, etc., and that did fix it, but again over time it seems to just come back. So, that is my first issue - sound will go out of sync. Does anyone have any insights how to resolve this?
Using my Apple TV 4K with an Amazon Basics High Speed HDMI cable on my LG C7 OLED TV in the bedroom, I have ZERO issues. I can run everything, no issues, in 4K SDR, 4K HDR, 4K Dolby Vision, etc. The tag pops up in the upper right corner of the display when it switches to a different Dynamic Range like it always has, etc. Zero problems. When I tried plugging in the Apple TV 4K into either HDMI # 1 or HDMI # 4 I experienced the same issue. When the Apple TV asked if I wanted to move to Dolby Vision I said yes, the screen would go dark, Dolby Vision tag shows up in the upper right corner, and almost immediately there is flashing, popping, snow on the screen, etc. I tried two separate HDMI cables, experienced the same issue. I got so frustrated with it I took it back upstairs to the bedroom last night with the cable. Worked perfectly. Hmm, ok. So, I did some research and it seems like for this TV it is highly recommended to use the Belkin High Speed HDMI Cable from Apple/Amazon (the one that does like 48Gbps). So, I bought it today but haven’t hooked it up yet. It was a super expensive cable ($29) and way more than I normally would spend on a 10 or 18Gbps cable from Monoprice or Amazon. Has anyone else experienced this issue with the Apple TV at all? If so, did you have to switch this Belkin High Speed HDMI cable, and did that resolve it?
Is it me, or does this TV seem... dim? Maybe it’s me, I don’t know, but I feel like the LG is much brighter. Don’t get me wrong - there are some scenes (like the IMAX 4K app, watching a movie I got from there, or a Netflix planet/nature special where it seems bright). It just seems like day-to-day use it is quite a bit dimmer than the LG OLED. Is this normal for this TV?
I enabled “Ok, Google” on the TV and the little orange light shows up that it is always listening. That’s good. Sometimes, though, the TV freaks out if I press the button on the remote or something and the orange light goes away, only having the white “Power” light activated on the front panel. I have to completely reboot the TV to make the orange light come back so it is listening again for “Ok, Google”. This doesn’t seem normal. Has anyone else experienced this issue and if so is there a workaround to fix it?
The remote that comes with this TV is, for lack of a better term, absolutely awful. It has a bajillion buttons and I wanted to use something a bit more simple (akin to a Roku Remote, Apple TV 4K Remote, Fire TV 4K remote, etc.). I bought a few aftermarket ones on Amazon, both use USB dongles. As soon as I plug in the USB dongle it completely disables the onscreen keyboard (GBoard). There are a few Sony help articles that talk to this how to fix it, none of them work. While working with Tech Support they wanted me to download and enable the “Leanback” Keyboard. I tried to explain to them that GBoard replaced the Leanback keyboard. Instead, I had to download another 3rd party keyboard from the App Store (LeanKey I think it was called) and that did resolve the issue and the keyboard came back so that is a temporary fix for now. Since the Voice button on the 3rd party remotes don’t work whatsoever, are there any remotes you have come across that are 3rd party which work with this TV, both the Leanback / GBoard issue resolved and the mic button also works? It just seems odd that it doesn’t work. I even tried a Bluetooth version of the remote that I got and it did sync to the TV only twice, but as soon as you power off the TV and back on (hard boot, not the soft power button/sleep) it forgets the connection, you have to try and re-pair it, and then it won’t pair again. It is hard enough to try and pair the first time - it’s extremely finicky.
In closing, I’m a bit of a TV junkie and love OLED TVs. I’ve had this TV for two weeks now and I am starting to feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth and I made a mistake not getting the LG 65 OLED C8/E8 or the Vizio P Quantum X 65. If anyone has any tips/tricks/suggestions/etc., I’m all ears. I’m pretty keen on Android TV since I’ve owned a Shield since 2015 and love the interface. I am just worried that since this is my first Sony OLED I may have made a mistake.
Thank you in advance to everyone for your help. I do appreciate it very much!