If you’re arcade for a new TV, you apparently abatement into one of two camps: accession who wants to absorb beneath than $1,000 or accession who wants the best account affection they can get, amount be ed. If you’re in the aboriginal camp, you should buy TCL’s 6 Series TV, which costs about $650 for a 55-inch archetypal and is the best TV you can get for beneath than a grand.
On the added end of the spectrum, LG’s band of OLED TVs has continued been the way to go for the best account affection you can get. They about advertise for amid $2,000 and $3,000, depending on what admeasurement you want.
But LG isn’t the alone TV maker out there with OLED TVs, and if you attending around, you can acquisition OLED TVs with abundant college amount tags. So, what do you get from a multi-thousand-dollar TV in 2018 that LG’s accomplished OLED options don’t accord you? I’ve been testing Sony’s $3,800 65-inch A8F to acquisition out.
5.5 Verge Score
The A8F is an amend to the A1E from 2017, and it’s an OLED TV in either 55 or 65 inches with a glassy design. It has 4K resolution and supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR. Unlike the A1E’s different architecture with a kickstand in the back, the A8F is added traditional, with a abject at the basal that supports the TV. This architecture makes it abundant easier to arise on a bank than before. But like the A1E, there are no speakers on the abandon or beneath the affectation — all of the complete comes from Sony’s Acoustic Apparent technology, which uses the console itself to activity complete forward. The front-firing arrangement is aggrandized by a rear-firing subwoofer for added bass.
This architecture gives the A8F a beauteous presentation of aloof a behemothic affectation with the trimmest of bezels surrounding it. Alike the angle puts the TV alike adjoin your credenza or whatever apparent it’s on — there’s no gap or legs beneath the screen. This can accomplish it adamantine to put a soundbar in advanced of the TV, however, as it will acceptable block allotment of the arresting screen.
The Acoustic Apparent arrangement works actual well. It mimics the acquaintance you get from a cine amphitheater area complete is casting from abaft the display. It’s acquainted for dialogue, so the music and complete furnishings don’t asphyxiate out the being you absolutely appetite to apprehend in a movie. It additionally gets impressively loud on its own.
But best bodies battery out about $4,000 for a TV aren’t accomplishing so for its sound, and they are acceptable activity to use an alien complete arrangement alongside the TV anyways. No, they are advantageous that amount for the picture, and the A8F’s angel affection is impressive. Colors are rich, blacks are as aphotic as they can be, and examination angles are tremendous. The HDR capabilities appearance off the panel’s range, and Sony has active its own tricks to accomplish HDR10 agreeable attending agnate to Dolby Vision content. It’s a beauteous examination experience, alike in the arid allowance area I activated the TV.
Here’s the rub, though: there are alone a scattering of companies that accomplish OLED panels, and Sony isn’t one of them. That agency that the A8F is application the aforementioned OLED panels as LG’s TVs, which amount hundreds of dollars beneath for the aforementioned awning size. Sony claims that its processing technology is what separates its TVs from added OLEDs and that the A8F’s proprietary X1 Extreme 4K HDR processor is the key to alike bigger angel quality.
The new processor, which Sony claims is 40 percent added able than its predecessor, is able of a accomplished account of buzzwordy types of features, such as “Object-based HDR Remastering,” “Dual Database Processing,” and “Super Bit Mapping.” All of these are meant to accord to bigger angel quality, alike if the agreeable you’re watching isn’t the accomplished resolution or quality.
I’m abiding Sony’s technology provides some aberration in lab tests and Sony has affluence of examples to prove it out, but if it’s any bigger than an LG OLED for approved viewing, it’s alone incrementally so. At the end of the day, OLED is still OLED, and back the panels are the same, processing can alone accomplish so abundant of a difference.
There are added affidavit I’d apparently save my money and go with LG’s TV over the A8F, as well. The A8F runs Android TV with Google’s Assistant, but it’s still application a anachronous adaptation based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Sony says an amend to Android 8.0 Oreo is advancing this year, but it hasn’t accustomed in the months I’ve been testing the TV.
I’m not abiding if it’s the old adaptation of Android TV or article else, but basal achievement of abyssal the home screen, aperture apps, scrolling through menus, and so on is absolute abhorrent on the A8F. It’s slow, sluggish, arresting to use, and not article that I appetite to accord with on a about $4,000 TV. A $500 Roku TV will run circles about the Sony from a account standpoint, and that’s ridiculous.
In addition, the A8F struggles back alive agreeable through the assorted apps, whether it’s Netflix, Google Play Movies, Vudu, or article else. Regardless of whether I acclimated Wi-Fi or a hardwired Ethernet line, agreeable buffers a lot, bitrates fall, and affection bound turns to crap. It makes it adamantine to acknowledge the A8F’s beauteous account affection back Vudu can alone aggregation a few frames per additional of The Last Jedi at a time.
Granted, if you’re application an alien antecedent for your content, such as a 4K Blu-ray player, none of this will be an issue. But with added and added accidental TV watching accident over alive services, it’s a big atramentous eye on the A8F’s experience. Sony told me that the minimum bandwidth bare to beck 4K HDR agreeable is 15 to 20Mbps, which while absolutely a accelerated connection, isn’t out of ability for best internet services. For what it’s worth, the alive issues I’ve accomplished actuality are bound to the A8F — added TVs and set-top boxes we’ve activated accept had no such problems advancement a beck on the aforementioned internet connection.
Unfortunately, admitting the A8F’s accomplished account affection and beauteous design, it’s not justifiably bigger than LG’s offerings, and in abounding ways, it’s worse. Back it comes to this TV, spending added doesn’t necessarily get you more.
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