Sony A8H OLED 4K HDR TV Review | Better but cheaper?

by birtanpublished on November 25, 2020

Last year I called the Sony a 9g OLED the best TV of the year and that was really due to picture quality it was a step above what I'd seen from Sony's competitors and I thought that they deserve some recognition for that it was definitely a controversial call I still think about it at night but at the end of the day I stand behind that decision and that makes me wonder where is the Sony aah gonna come in welcome back everyone Caleb Denison here and at the end of our unboxing video I asked for you to leave me a comment about what you wanted covered in this particular review the

Sony a 8h OLED which by the way it's really hard to say anyway you guys came with some really great suggestions and we're gonna fold that in you also came with some not so helpful comments mostly around my hair in fact I think my favorite comment was bra your hair to which I reply bra I know it's my hair I'm living with it you just have to watch it anyway can we just forget about the hair for a second and focus on this amazing TV and it is an amazing TV the Sony 8h is so good that it kind of calls up a lot of questions and you guys came to me with those questions so we're

Gonna answer them but first let's do a quick little review over what we covered in the unboxing first usability this is aside from the a9 g the most usable version of android TV I've seen implemented it's got a special chip with local memory and it just works fast enough for me not to hate it now you can always add your own separate streaming stick or a box if you want to but it's perfectly workable in the TV and in fact you get some advantages like if you wanted to use Netflix calibrated mode you've got to use the Netflix app built into the TV also I think there's a level

Of confidence that you're getting 4k and HDR from the apps within the TV without the complications of a separate device connected with an HDMI cable and other settings that you have to worry about so if you don't want to have a separate stream or know that this TV does Android TV great now as for HDMI we have four HDMI inputs one supports EARC and that is the only support for anything related to HDMI 2.1 that you're going to get which brings me to answering one of the questions you guys left in the comments and that is what sony TV does do HDMI 2.1 and the answer is the X

900 H now that is an LED LCD television but it supports Auto low latency mode and variable refresh rate as well as 4k up to 120 so that's the TV that you would want to get if you wanted a sony tv and Sony picture quality plus the better gaming experience and in fact that was part of the reason that Sony didn't include it in this TV is because they think that this TV is gonna be something for the video files of us out there the cinephiles folks who value picture quality above all else and probably just aren't going to be playing games on the TV is that rationale sound

I'll let you be the judge of that but that's what Sony told me now I'm gonna do something I don't normally do and dive right into picture quality usually I leave that for the end but there are so many questions to answer that I want to get straight to the picture quality now so it's amazing I really don't need to say a whole lot more than that the out of box settings for this TV especially the custom mode if you turn off the motion smoothing you really don't need to do much else with the television it looks fantastic I don't like that I have to go into each

Individual input including apps to get all the custom settings right and of course once you kick into HDR mode or Dolby vision you've got to customize those as well so there's a lot of setup work on the front end but once that's done it looks amazing the color accuracy appears to be fantastic the peak luminance is definitely enough to get you a really satisfying HDR experience and of course the perfect black levels that's what Ola is all about right and as I mentioned in the unboxing what's really great about this TV is that it comes out of black better than most

That's something that's unique so far to Sony's picture processing technology so overall fantastic picture quality I'll put this TV against any other in that regard and we will you know as we get more OLED TVs in we'll take a close look at how this TV compares to those but I can tell you that it's every bit as good as the gallery series OLED from LG and just different in some ways and that comes down to how Sonne decides it's going to enhance certain parts of the image but not enhance other parts of the image how it handles HDR in general it's very

Carefully tracking the e OTF curve so really an outstanding TV picture quality is at its peak here so there's really nothing more that needs to be said which raises an obvious question if it's so great with the 8 8 h then where's the a 9 G fall into the mix so let's answer that question aah versus a 9 G I'm going to pick the a 8 H because there's not a significant enough difference between the two TVs to justify the $400 difference at the 55 inch level or the $500 difference at the 65 inch level that's you know a significant amount of money so why would you get the a 9 G

Well I suppose if you wanted to have the assurance of the master series that it's the very best TV that Sony makes there's that also it has a more advanced audio system it has more transducers and it can also act as the center channel in your surround sound system just connect the TV to your center channel output on your AV receiver those are fun I guess but aside from the fact that you can only get a 77 inch model with the a 9g I don't think there's a big enough difference there to justify spending the extra money the a 8h just makes more sense for more

People now let's compare the a8h to the LG c9 OLED and bear in mind I don't have that TV here anymore it was gone like two weeks after I finished the review as a matter of fact I don't have any other TVs to compare this to in a visual way right because they show up they're here for a little bit and then they leave we don't get to keep them so what I can say from memory is that it's very comparable to the c9 in many ways picture quality chief among them there they're very close I think LG gets a little bit more peak brightness out of the c9 than the a8 h

Does but again I like the way Sony handles their HDR presentations so I'm not going to necessarily say that's a feather in LG's cap I will say though that the c9 offers all of that great game or friendly stuff that the a8h does it and so really when you're comparing the two televisions I would say if you're going to do much gaming especially if you're thinking about a neck gen console or you want to connect your PC and get the most out of it when we start seeing HDMI 2.1 compliant video cards coming out that LG is the clear

Winner there I mean this TV is not built to support that stuff between the C 9 and C 10 well the c10 is a slight variant on the c9 there's not a whole lot that's different there we'll wait for that review to really dig into what it is but I will say this if I was gonna buy an LG OLED right now I'd probably buy the c9 not the c10 so really comparing the a8h to the c9 two of the smartest OLED purchases you can make I'm gonna say if picture quality is your number one thing and it's a gorgeous TV to then get the a8h but if you care about gaming look at the c9 I think

That's the smarter buy that leads us to our final question if the a8 H is a smarter buy than the niga is it in running for best OLED of the year well I'm not gonna release my opinion on that just yet mostly because I want to check out the c10 in person and also because I haven't seen Phillips OLED yet or Vizio so led to new entrants I want to see what they look like and what kind of value they bring to the table too bad Panasonic isn't here in the US because that would be a contender they're doing some amazing things with

OLED so I'm gonna hold my opinion on what the best TV of 2020 is gonna be until we've seen some more of them I will say it is absolutely a contender so should you buy this TV well if you're a video file a cinephile you just want everything that you watch to look its absolute best I say yes buy this TV it's a little pricey but you get what you pay for and it's dead sexy even when it's not turned on so go for it it's a fantastic television if you have other priorities though wait a little while let's see what the other OLED x' that come out

Later this year look like and how they compare to this particular television but absolutely it's a wonderful looking TV I've enjoyed every second I've spent with it and I can wholeheartedly recommend it now if you're waiting for some of the more spec oriented stuff you want to know what the peak brightness level is in terms of nits you want to know what the color space coverage is like that stuff will be available in my full written review and we'll link to that in the description as soon as it's published but I got to tell you it's going to be right up there with the best

It has been for a couple of years now and I don't think that that should be the motivator right I think it should really come down to user experience picture quality and your priorities and for that reason the a8h is a fantastic buy hey everyone I'm back at home now but I didn't want to say thanks as always for watching and also ask you what do you think of the slightly different review style leave me a comment down below tell me what part you liked what parts you don't like so much and of course like subscribe hit that notification bell and visit Digital

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