Sony A8H OLED Unboxing, Basic Settings, First Impressions

by birtanpublished on November 26, 2020

Today it's gonna be a good day finally we have another TV to review it took a while to get in but it's here and it's a good one too unfortunately I had to go and screw up my finger I'm not flipping you off by the way that's just how this is so don't feel like I'm flipping you off throughout the video this is gonna make the unboxing a little bit precarious but you know what we were looking to change up our unboxings anyway so I think we're gonna be just fine this is gonna be a fun one hey everyone welcome back I'm Caleb Denison and today we're looking at the sony a 8h oled television it does

Not replace the a 9g OLED from last year that's still around it's still considered the flagship it is not part of the master series so we're gonna talk a little bit about that later also have to talk about HDMI 2.1 or the lack of it and is that really a big deal you might be surprised by what I have to say about that too but before we get to any of that stuff we need to unbox this sucker and set it up and see if it looks any different than the old LEDs that we've seen from Sony in the past here's everything that comes in the box

You've got your product literature zip tie for cable management batteries hey a new remote it's not that new it looks a lot like the original Sony remote so don't get too excited there is a microphone up here which does more than just call up your favorite Google assistant power cable and then really nice legs these are 100% metal they're just coated with a little bit of plastic and they're very robust and there's a little bit of a trick with these so you know those QuickStart guides or setup guides that I'm usually flippantly and even callously just tossing away don't

Do that you're actually going to need this and the reason why is because the stand is adjustable so basically you have two options you can have it slung really low right next to your media cabinet or you can remove a couple of screws stack a part on top of the legs and then attach them and what that does is elevates the TV enough that you can put a sound bar down there and it's not gonna block any of the screen we're not gonna do that it would take way too long we're just gonna go with the low slung look but I wanted to take a second to explain that that's how that works here

Are those two screws that you would have to pull out if you were going to elevate the television but if you're not going to it's as simple as taking the stand and shoving it right in and it locks in fairly well but you're also able to remove it pretty easily too so that's pretty solid man one of these days I'm gonna unbox an OLED TV and be ho-hum about it but this is not one of those days this is a really attractive television obviously it's extremely thin and I do like the legs on this at the low-slung look is great but I think one of the

Best things about this TV the sony logo down here it's super stealth you barely even see it certainly not all silver and right in the middle of the panel before you even turn it on I mean it's a really attractive television we do need to turn it on but before we do I want to mention there are four HDMI inputs on this television one of which number three as it turns out has EARC or a arc so you can get Dolby Atmos through AARC also tightens up some of the latency problems that we've seen in the past between the picture and either the soundbar or receiver that you connect it

To that's that's going to be addressed so that's wonderful but that's it for hdmi 2.1 related benefits you're not gonna get variable refresh rate with this TV there isn't technically an auto low latency mode excuse me but you know it does have a feature where it can detect that it's seeing a gaming signal and switchover will dig into that in just a little bit let's get this thing started so we are running the latest version of android TV and there are a few changes setup overall is fairly smooth you just if there's a lot to go through here so after you're connected

To the internet you're gonna have to accept some terms and some conditions get through all that stuff but one thing that is new for this particular television is this audio calibration mode so we're gonna want to sit on the couch you kind of aim the remote control at the TV and let it do its thing I'll dig into how effective that audio calibration was in the full review video that will do a little bit later but just as a reminder this TV does have a screen that makes the sound so you've got two actuators in this particular model one on the left one on the right there is a

Subwoofer built into the back to help reinforce the low-frequency sounds so you are gonna get some fairly well localized sounds from the screen itself which is something I've been enjoying from Sony's TVs for quite some time I will point out however that this is not equipped to take like the center channel feed from your AV receiver and replace your center Channel right so if you're gonna surround this thing with a big old speaker system plan on finding a place for the center channel to work with this TV because it can't do it itself once the audio stuff is out of the way we can

Start digging into the picture settings and one thing that you'll notice that's different for this year the Sony added this is that instead of just having you know brightness contrast color it actually has little graphics that pop up when you select each of these things so if you're not sure what that part function does before you adjust it you can learn a little bit about that for instance brightness doesn't actually make this screen brighter it actually raises the black levels up so you don't necessarily want to go full out with brightness all the time necessarily so

I'm gonna go through this and we're gonna set the TV to custom that is actually the setting that Sony calibrates to be closest to what directors intent should be and we'll start by going down we'll just double check all these settings here but well I know what I want to do is pop into the the motion motion clarity section here and I'm going to turn that off for now we're gonna experiment that a little bit later but I don't want to necessarily have soap opera effect right out of the gate now I've made some settings adjustments here not a whole lot but I

Don't necessarily know that that's applied to all sources so you're gonna need to spend some time depending on how much stuff you have hooked up to the TV customizing the picture settings for each of your sources and that also includes the streaming apps so even though I've made the adjustments elsewhere in the TV if I pop in to say YouTube here yet you're gonna see that it's it's in the standard setting right now so again I have to make the settings for YouTube specifically once that is done that'll take care of any of the apps that I watch from Android TV but I

Do want to pop into Netflix really quick I'll pull up ozark because I know that's in Dolby vision and yeah once I go in here it looks like it's in Dolby vision bright mode I'm fine with that you could go with Dolby vision dark if you wanted to this is a good time to mention that there is a Netflix calibrated mode you can turn that on if you want to but fair warning Netflix calibrated mode darkens the picture considerably and if you're watching in a darkened room that's fine but for this particular video I do not want to turn on Netflix calibrated mode and by the way Netflix calibrated mode

Is only available if you're in Netflix on the app that's built into the Android TV so you can't connect an external streamer and expect to use Netflix calibrated mode with all that in place I also want to mention you're going to need to find a standard HD ten video on Netflix in order to make sure that you've got the HDR settings the way you want them because that is very different than Dolby vision well now that we're up and running and we've got our Sony provided demo footage here Thank You Sony there's a lot to talk about with this particular television

Let's start with the fact that it is not a replacement for the a nine G because it is not part of the Masters Series what does that mean well Sony tells me that the master series gets a little bit of extra calibration at the factory I mean they pre calibrate all of these televisions but the master series just gets that extra little bit of love with that said this does have the x1 ultimate processor it's got the best processor that Sony makes the same that you would find in the a 9g OLED and that really does mean something Sony's processing is everything about why this TV looks the

Way it does there are a lot of advantages to that not just AI upscaling but so many televisions do a remarkable job of removing banding or contouring which you get with low bitrate content I'm talking about your streaming stuff so in wide areas of color like this you would frequently see you know pixelation blocking this for actual bands between the colors because there's not enough color information coming from the streaming service Sony does the best job with that which i think is really important for people who stream a lot of content especially if picture quality is

Your number one concern now let's talk about the fact that this TV does not support HDMI 2.1 fully in fact EARC is the only feature that is listed under hdmi 2.1 that the TV does support a lot of folks think that's a big deal I've seen your comments in the comments section why spend so much money on a near flagship TV and not get you know something that we would consider like a future proofing feature well the fact of the matter is that a lot of HDMI 2.1 is geared toward gamers variable refresh rate being chief among them also Auto low latency mode which is great for

Playing games Sony does not see this TV necessarily appealing to gamers they are targeting cinephiles they're targeting a relatively small audience one which wants the very best picture they can get so Sony told me this they put all of their Rd all of their time money resources parts around making the very best picture quality they can if you're not familiar Sony has this true RGB OLED mastering monitor the BBM 300 it's ridiculously expensive and it's used in Hollywood to master a lot of movies Sony wants the aah to look as much like that

Mastering monitor as it possibly can so again they're targeting the cinephile not the gamer and they frankly don't think it's such a big deal that it doesn't have full spec hdmi 2.1 I'll let you be the judge of that another really important aspect of this TV it's got that chip that can handle Android TV the way it should be handled just like the a9 gee it's super fast at getting through all that different apps it loads the apps very quickly this TV is a pleasure to use whereas with other Android TVs it's usually very frustrating in addition to some of the

Processing stuff that I mentioned earlier Sony has some proprietary tech built into this TV pixel contrast booster for instance which chooses where to put the energy in the TV to get the best HDR highlights it also does a lot of dual database analyzation in order to make sure that it's upscaling the stuff that needs to get up scaled and not upscaling stuff that you wouldn't want for instance if you're talking about film grain it's been put into the movie digitally on purpose to give it that look you don't want to enhance the film grain right you want to enhance the

Subject of the image Sony's processing appears to do that really really well and of course it's an OLED TV so it's got perfect black levels but one thing that sony has figured out that others have been struggling to figure out is how to come out of black in a smooth way so that you get really good shadow detail we saw some really great performance out of the a 9 G I expect to see it in the a 8 H so what we're talking about is really a flagship level OLED that costs a little bit less than Sony's actual flagship OLED with all of the goodies built in that you really

Need for a deeply satisfying experience especially if you're a hardcore video file all in a really sleek attractive design so without yet all the way into a full review I've got to say this TV looks absolutely gorgeous if you're hung up on HDMI 2.1 if you want those gaming features this is not the TV for you but if you're looking for the best possible picture quality that you can get for watching movies for streaming Netflix and Hulu and all that good stuff this is definitely a TV to take a really close look at everyone thanks as always for watching so what do

You want to learn about from the review of this TV we've got a little bit of time leave me a comment down below what must you know about this TV in the full review as always like subscribe hit that notification bell and visit Digital Trends calm for the latest tech news and reviews

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