Part 2 – Why I chose the X940E over Z9D and A1E OLED

Sony_X940E_Z9D_A1E_Corner

Before reading this post, be sure to check out the previous two posts in the series:

A lot of you have asked why I opted to go with the 75-inch X940E over the Z9D which was introduced in October of 2016 and the soon-to-be-released OLED A1E and it boils down to a simple reason; price. With the OLED, the answer is the easiest to give – one of the dilemmas I faced with getting the X940E was that I was already downsizing, going from a projector which offered nearly a 120-inch screen down to 75 inches. Conversely though, the picture quality was going to go up astronomically compared to the setup I had, making the loss of nearly 50 inches well worth it.

Sony_X940E_Wide

Sony currently lists the X930E/X940E pricing as such:

  • 55-inch – $2,299.99
  • 65-inch – $3,299.99
  • 75-inch – $5,999.99

For the A1E OLED:

  • 55-inch – $3,999.99
  • 65-inch – $5,4299.99
  • 77-inch – ???

I already knew going down any further in size wasn’t an option and in fact I was hoping that we’d see an X950E in an 80- or 85-inch which didn’t prove to be the case. That means that I was left with one choice, the 77-inch model which currently doesn’t have a price tag. So, we’re stuck doing a bit of guesswork, but if the A1E is at all like the OLED LG currently offers (and it’s likely using the same exact panel), its pricing is:

  • 77-inch (LG-OLED77G6P) – $19,999.99

It’s worth noting that Panasonic has also announced a 77-inch OLED (EZ1000) for later this year with no price tag. Clearly all these TVs are being produced in the same factory (though don’t take that to mean that their quality will be identical) which is why nobody has released their 2017 models. It’s also unlikely that Panasonic will bring their model to the US.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall a time in recent years when Sony’s flagship product was cheaper than its competitors. Best case scenario is that the A1E is priced at $20K. Worst case, we’re looking at $25K because of the extras it offers like the fancy speakers that are built into the display itself. In my case, you can quickly see why the OLED was out of the picture. My wife Allegra humors my tech love, but not to the price of $20K for a TV.

As far as I’m concerned, if I’m to spend $20K on a home theater, I’ll be building a room with a 4K HDR projector (VPL-VZ1000ES) and other various things and not just purchasing a TV. In my mind, the X940E is a TV worth saving up for, whereas the 77A1E is a TV you walk in and buy without giving a thought to how much you spent because your home theater guy is going to set it up for you later in the week. Hopefully you then drive away in a Ferrari.

Sony_Z9D_1

Z9D Back

This then brings us to pricing for the Z9D (pictured left) which, as far as Sony is concerned, is their best TV:

  • 65-inch – $5,499.99
  • 75-inch – $8,999.99
  • 100-inch – $59,999.99

For obvious reasons I won’t even discuss the 100Z9D which really brings us to the 75-inch model, something I considered during my purchase. Make no mistake, the Z9D is an absolutely beautiful TV both aesthetically and visually. The level of blacks on that LCD TV are gush worthy as are the bright brights and the colors in between. But it all comes back to pricing – the X940E, A1E, and Z9D all utilize the same 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme processor which allows for Dolby Vision and powers Android TV. This means that, from a technicality and speed perspective, they all offer the same thing. Those intimately familiar with Sony’s TV over the years should be able to spot many design aesthetics that the X930E/940E (pictured below) gained this year from the Z9D that weren’t part of the series design philosophy in 2016 with the X930D/X940E, like the back panel, which in my mind is gorgeous.

Sony_4K_HDR_X940E_2

X940E Back

Equally, as impressive as the speakers on any of these TVs are, some form of superior sound is likely needed for home theater geeks, be it the traditional receiver and speaker route or the more modern sound bar.

In my case, I have the Dolby Atmos capable Sony ST5000 which was unveiled at CES 2017 in mind. With a $1,500 price tag, I could purchase that and the X940E and still have another $1,500 to tuck aside or purchase additional gear with. I’ve always been about the mentality of go big or go home – meaning that I’d rather hold off a purchase for a few months if it means I can then afford the better of the two options but there simply wasn’t $3,000 worth of better visuals in the Z9D compared the X940E.

To some of you, if the wallet allows, absolutely go with the 75Z9D, but if you were like me and had to save for the right TV to get that will last you a few years, I’m not sure the price difference is worth it.

  • steve99 jobs99

    Do you have any info what tv is better for games and live sports A1E OLED vs X940E?

    I’m not sure what way to go

  • I haven’t personally seen any “live” content on the A1E, just native 4K content that’s specifically shot for the TV. On the other hand, the X940E has been a delight for games – especially with PS4 Pro. Horizon is out of this world but normal games like Destiny which don’t provide 4K look fantastic and run buttery smooth with no lag I can detect.

  • steve99 jobs99

    Thank you

  • Talos the Robot

    Great choice! Personaly i am not a fan of TV’s mainstream programs and i don’t have a TV, but if i want to watch any film or documentary, i am thinking to make a setup of the XZ Premium combined with VR headset for that. I just hope Sony will include more streaming services than amazon prime video.

  • Khaled

    According to avforums review

    A1E OLED input lag is rated @
    29ms in 4K HDR or SDR game mode
    47ms in 1080p SDR game mode

    930E input lag is rated @
    26ms in 4K HDR or SDR game mode
    43ms in 1080p SDR game mode

    I would expect 940E to be similar to 930E input lag

    Z9D is definitely not game friendly due to the extra processing power in the background

  • How are those numbers? I have no gauge for what’s good or bad

  • Khaled

    Rule of thumb the lower the input lag the better the for gaming. Since the TV has a 4K panel it will have lower input lag from 4K source but higher input lag from non 4K source cause it will require extra processing to upscale that content to 4K.

    Anything below 50ms is acceptable, the lower the better

  • steve99 jobs99

    Thank you that’s the info I was looking for.

    The numbers the same for live sports? Mainly hockey

  • Khaled

    These numbers only matter mostly for games. Any of these TVs listed in the article should be good for sports. Motion flow on the 930E/940E is somehow performing better than the Z9D flagship! according to multiple reviews

  • steve99 jobs99

    Thanks a lots Khaled…. I’m glad somebody knows what they’re talking about on this site.

  • Remington Rhodes

    I’m curious how this TV performs out of the box vs the need to be calibrated. Will there will be a “Part 3 – X940E” that details all your current settings with your full review?

  • Absolutely and that’s actually a big portion of what I want to talk about are settings and calibrations because I think the TV market is majorly broken with all the options there are.

  • Khaled

    No Problem! For Sports and games with excellent motion handeling go with 65X930E, 65A1E and 75X940E

  • Paul Shephard

    I’m absolutely torn at the moment between the Z9D and the X940E. I’ve currently got the A1E at home but can’t get past the ‘downgrade’ in size from the 75″.

    From what you’ve read and know, is the motion really a major problem with the Z9D and is it only really prevalent with sports? Most of my viewing is going to be movies and series 99% of the time and would ultimately prefer to go with whichever is going to be the better of the two!

  • John Hughan

    75″ Z9D owner here. Haven’t seen the X940E, but I upgraded from a Pioneer Kuro, so black level and motion were on my mind. All else being equal (which it seldom is due to different motion processing across vendors and years), LCD’s motion due to its “sample and hold” nature simply isn’t as good as plasma and OLED can be. Consequently, coming from the Kuro to the Z9D, I definitely noticed a bit of the jerkiness/double-imagery that results from the fact that retinas naturally follow perceived motion whereas sample and hold means the object isn’t actually moving. That said, over the few months I’ve had it, it’s become MUCH less noticeable, so perhaps my brain is just adjusting to it. I can still trigger the effect if I deliberately focus on certain things, but it doesn’t detract from the experience at all, and there’s still no TV on the market I’d rather have. I passed on OLED because of the price for the equivalent size, questionable production consistency and reliability, and also because I wanted LCD’s advantages of higher brightness for HDR and daytime viewing, 3D support, and a few other things. If I could have one thing about OLED/plasma on this TV, it would be the wide viewing angles, but there’s no such thing as a perfect TV and overall the Z9D was the best fit for my purposes.

  • I’m with John, in that if you haven’t lived with an OLED before, I’d either consider the X940E or the Z9D. I like you simply didn’t want to take the size hit with the A1E which meant those to TVs for me. If you’re really looking for it, occasionally, you can find motion blurring on them but I think you truly need be looking for them. But if the budget allows, I’d say look at the Z9D though one thing I’ve heard is that those have a bit more “lag” due to their panels though take a “bit more” with an absolute grain of salt. These are things that the average person would never notice in a million years.

  • Yep. One of the stories Sony is having a hard time getting ahead is that panels themselves isn’t everything so even though they may use the same stuff as LG, it doesn’t mean the end quality is the same.