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 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.
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.
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.