WishList – The Sony 4K HDR Bravia X8500D

Like experiencing the entire world right outside your window.

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Since I wrote an article about the Sony a5000, a mirrorless camera, I would also like to talk about how I would like to view the photos that come from it. Yes, I can look at them through the viewfinder, my smartphone, my computer or even on my flat screen TV, but they will hardly do the shots justice if they can’t show the photos in all their glory. For the second half of my WishList post, here is the Sony x8500d 4K UHD HDR Android TV.

This TV caught my attention when I was perusing the Sony Philippines website. Using the latest standard, 4K Ultra High Definition, it has eight million pixels in either a 55” or 65” screen. That’s four times as much as the 1080p screen you are likely to have on the living room television you’ve had for the last few years. This means unprecedented detail and you are able to view photos from the a5000 without having to scroll or zoom out as much. I can get close to the screen to see the sparkle in Nixi’s eyes or the hint of her teeth growing out.

But there is also another feature that bears mentioning: High Dynamic Range. This allows a greater range of colors and brightness levels that can be seen on the screen. You can see details in dark areas without compromising the lighter ones and vice versa. I’ve included Sony’s video below that demonstrates how 4K HDR works.

What enables the x8500d series to do this is the 4K processor X1. Their chip is so powerful that it can process any incoming video sources and make them clearer, more colorful and with greater contrast in real-time. Even video that’s at a lower resolution than 4K is upsampled and enhanced to 4K quality using 4K X-Reality PRO technology. That’s 8 million pixels 60 times every SECOND. I won’t get into technical details but yes, that’s a lot of data to process!

So even in low-light videos or images, I’ll still be able to see Nixi’s beautiful smile and every joyful bounce that she makes. In the best way possible.

We don’t have a cable subscription in our home. We usually stream our shows from Netflix or iFlix, etc. since most of the shows we like need not be seen on cable anyway. The x8500d not only can display Netflix shows, it is recommended by Netflix and will be able to show 4K HDR content when Netflix offers it. Now if only the internet speeds in the Philippines would improve enough to keep up with today’s technology.

Nixi will be walking around soon, and anything not tied down will be fair game, including wires and power cables. Good thing the x8500d has cable management built-in at the back of the TV and on the stand. The wires will be safe and we can rest easy that she won’t electrocute herself when playing around the TV.

Android TV is also included in the x8500d. Yes, with downloadable apps and all. That means you can play games, surf the web, watch Youtube videos, or even edit documents if you choose to. You can also command the x8500d with your voice using the microphone on the remote control. Yes, you can tell the TV to display the show you want to see instead of hunting it down by clicking on the remote. At least I’ll be able to spend less time trying to type on a remote control and more time actually enjoying the shows. There’s even an app for your smartphone that will notify you of events that are relevant to your viewing habits as long as you’re within the same network as your TV.

Chromecast, a Google technology that allows you to choose media from your phone and send it to the screen, is also available. Browsing your phone and see a trailer in Youtube you want to show the family? Just tap the Cast button in the Youtube app and it will appear on the x8500d in the highest quality your internet connection can handle. All I need now is to shoot Nixi’s and Hazel’s videos in higher resolution so they would look awesome on YouTube.

The x8500d also excels in audio. Even if you don’t have a home theater, the sound technology of the TV can bring you into an immersive theater-like experience. S-Force Front Surround, for example, can simulate surround sound with only two speakers while their Digital Sound Enhancement Engine restores highly compressed audio to make it sound more natural. These, along with other technologies such as ClearAudio+ and Clear Phase, make additional speakers and home theater components more of an option rather than a necessity. Even when Nixi is asleep, we can still watch a show and hear it clearly at low volumes without the need for headphones or subtitles.

Thus the genius of Sony’s design ethos. With all the cables hidden away, the amplified bass reflex speakers behind the screen, all of the media sources streaming from the internet, and Wifi and Bluetooth, the need for additional components besides the x8500d is minimized. The eleven-millimeter profile, thin bezels, and lack of wires at the front of the TV make for a tidy, almost zen-like, appearance that blends well with the rest of your décor while maintaining an ultra-modern style that defies obsolescence. It also can reduce the number of items that Nixi can knock down when she goes running around the house. Hooray to decluttering!

I can’t help but want the x8500d for these and so many other reasons. It simply boils down to what gadget can best work with me so that I can share the experience of living life with my family with minimal hassle and greatest convenience. Ways to replace some gadgets and augment others to keep the home tidy are always welcome. And the x8500d can go a long way to get us closer to that dream.

This is the second part of today’s WishList. Do comment or ask me any questions below. Perhaps I can address issues in future posts. You can also buy it in Amazon by clicking here.

 

Written by Dr. Ron Rosero

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