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Video: Sony Z9D 4K Ultra HD TVs

Sony's best TVs ever

Heads up!

Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.

We were blown away when we first saw Sony's Z9 series TVs. They are the brightest, most color-accurate TVs Sony has ever made, holding their own against reference monitors used by movie studios. If you accept no compromise while building your home theater, you've found your TV. Our experts explain just what makes the Z9 TVs so special in this video.

Read video transcript

Eric: Sony calls their Z9D 4K TVs the best they've ever made. That's saying a lot, but we've been very impressed by the picture quality of these TVs. When we saw the Z-series TVs in person, we first noticed the vivid, accurate color that Sony is known for. The details and brightness were also impressive, and Sony does a great job of up-sampling HD material to near-4K quality.

Sony put some really cool technology into these TVs to make them perform so well. Our TV expert, Steve, will take us through that.

Steve: Most of the LCD TVs that you find today use some form of edge-lit LED backlight, and that means that the LEDs are either along the edges of the screen, or some of them have it in the bottom of the screen. Then they use these diffusers to spread the light out over the rest of the screen, so the entire screen is illuminated.

So the advantage of a full array local dimming system like the Z9 uses is that you have a certain number of LEDs in a specific zone that can be dimmed independently, and you might have 20 or 30, maybe 50 zones. But what Sony does is, and they're pretty tight-lipped about this.we've never been able to get the exact number from them, but in reviews I've seen the number listed anywhere between 600 and a thousand LEDs across the entire back of the screen. And each one of those LEDs can be dimmed independently, so that you know, when you have a highlight and part of the screen, you know, that can be presented very precisely without that light kind of spilling over into the rest of the screen.

When Sony introduced the Z9 series in 2016, they came to Crutchfield and did a terrific training session. It's actually one of the best TV trainings I've ever seen. These Z9 TVs are some of the first where they started talking about the concept of "color volume."

With 4k and HDR you have a wider color range, so you can get much deeper colors, deeper reds, deeper greens, deeper blues, and a lot more shades in between. But where that has become an issue for some TVs is that, you know, they can maintain color accuracy at low brightness levels, but when the picture gets really bright they lose some color accuracy and some color saturation. Whereas on the Sony, you know, deep reds stay deep red no matter how bright it gets.

And the other thing is that Sony Z9 series is, to my knowledge, still the brightest TVs out there. They measure it as just this incredible brightness peak, which is something that you don't necessarily need all the time, that you know, it's not like you're going to be watching this TV with sunglasses on, but if there are bright highlights in the picture, this TV can can really deliver it without any sort of brightness compression.

It's kind of like having a super high-power amplifier. It's like you're not going to be listening to it super loud all the time, but when you have that musical peak that calls for, you know, a lot of extra power it can deliver it. And it's kind of the same way with this Sony TV, it's got just tons of brightness to spare and when you need it.

Eric: The Sony Z-series ultra HD TVs are some of the most impressive TVs we've seen. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us.

Please share your thoughts below.

  • Mike

    Posted on 12/9/2019

    The screen for SONY is supplied by LG.