Sony Z8H ZH8 TV

The Sony ZH8 display combines rich contrast, brilliant and rich saturated colors, superb video processing, and is extremely bright and is HDR compatible.

It produces the best LCD TV images of 2020, but unfortunately it provides more limited 8K support than it should be.

Just a glance

This is the Sony ZH8 8K LED LCD TV, also marketed as the brazia Z8H in the USA. 

This is the 75-inch version number kd-75 zh8, but it’s also available in a massive screen size of 85 inches. 

key features include a native 8k resolution of 7680 X 4320 pixels, full array local dimming directly led backlighting. 

X1 ultimate video processor X motion clarity black zone insertion, wide angle technology, HDR support for HDR10 HIGH Dolby vision upgraded acoustic multimedia speaker system.

The Sony ZH8 features a mediatek mt5893 soc with 2.5 gigabytes of RAM. 

so while navigating the android TV interface and the new graphics intensive user menu was still impressively responsive. 

it’s not as blazingly fast as the M-5895 soc, found on the Sony xh90 or x900h.

FOR

  • Bright and colorful images
  • Powerful, detailed sound
  • Your Android TV is rich in content

AGAINST

  • Limited 8K support
  • There is no support for VRR
  • Android TV can be tricky

Specs

Screen sizes65 and 75 inches 
TunerFreeview HD 
8K | HDR Yes/ Yes
Panel technologyFALD LCD 
Smart TVYes, Android TV 9.0 
CurvedNo  
Dimensions1680(w) x 977(h) x 84(d)mm  
Weight47.9kg | 3D: No  
Inputs4x HDMI (one with HDMI 2.1 support) 3x USB, RF input, optical digital audio, CI slot, headphone output, Ethernet; center-channel audio inputs
Specifications Table

Design

The chassis remains thicker than most TVs on the market, with a two-tier frame design. 

presumably to accommodate the powerful backlight. 

the panel sits on a pair of low profile feet that ideally should be placed slightly beyond both ends of the screen. 

but since my TV stand is not wide enough, I’m forced to take advantage of the additional narrow feed position that the ZH8 offers.

The screen has a silver metal outer edge that rotates around the screen, and it may look a little big when watching TV directly, and it looks great as it adds a great feeling when you look at the screen from any other angle.

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Connection

The connections are found on the left of the display including 4 HDMI inputs of which HDMI 3 is the er port, and HDMI 4 is the HDMI 2.1 port that can accept and display 8k video signal. 

judging from how far the HDMI 4 input is from the other three like a coughing person on a bus who is shunned by other passengers.

Sony Z8H ZH8 Connections
Sony Z8H ZH8 Connections

it’s likely that Sony needed to implement a separate companion chip to add 8k connectivity. 

Interestingly, on HDMI port 4 you have to choose between supporting double vision or supporting 8k. 

if you choose double vision then you’ll have to forego 8k, and vice versa. 

which isn’t a big problem since there’s not much consumer 8k source over HDMI at the moment, let alone 8k double vision content. 

using the excellent mouridio 7G signal generator to read the edit, we confirmed the bandwidths on HDMI 4 to 40 gigabits per second. permitting 8k at 60 Hertz or 4k 120 hertz at 10 bit 444 resolution.

Remote Control

The remote control supplied with the ZH8 is Sony’s highest and backlit premium remote which uses both. 

Sony Z8H ZH8 Remote Control
Sony Z8H ZH8 Remote Control

motion and light sensors to automatically illuminate some buttons, when you pick up the remote in the dark room. 

Picture Quality

The Sony ZH8 uses an 8k LCD panel from Samsung display, which is via type with viewing angle compensation film. 

allowing the TV to preserve off-axis colours and contrast better than conventional via LCD panels. 

although as you can probably see from the camera, there might be rainbow reflections depending on the angle at which light hits the screen. 

with pig white aligned to 120 candelas per square meter and auto local dimming disabled. 

we measured the native black level of the ZH8 at 0.058 candelas per square meter on a 4×4 RC checkerboard pattern, dropping to 0.03 candelas per square meter once. 

auto local dimming was set to medium. using our own custom ordered test pattern containing a small white box crawling horizontally and then vertically against the borders of a black background. 

we counted 16 vertical columns and 20 horizontal rows, giving us a total of 320 independently dimmable zones. 

Sony’s local dimming algorithm continues to favour accuracy over blooming or Halloween suppression. 

so even though you’ll see a bit more blooming around bright objects than Samsung Q-leds. 

Motion Resolution

for 60hz content green slime motion resolution was the separate hole value of 300 lines natively. 

doubling to 600 lines once smoothness monitor interpolation was engaged. 

on this particular test pattern 1080 lines of monitor resolution was only possible once we nudged clearness backlight scanning up to 1.

this activating the x-motion clarity of black zonal insertion technology. Sony’s Motion-compensated frame interpolation or MCFI generally incurs less interpolation artifacts than other TV manufacturers’ real world viewing. 

but because it doesn’t differentiate between low frame rate and high frame rate content. 

the motion flow settings that are required to achieve 1080 lines of monitor resolution in 50hz or 60hz material, would also introduce Oprah effect or SOE to 24HZ films. 

which means repeated manual tinkering for purists who want high monitor clarity for watching sports.

Performance

sometimes even slipping into the top and bottom letterbox bars. Both shadow detail and highlight luminance were preserved in a clearer and more accurate manner than the Samsungs. 

without exhibiting as much backlight fluctuations, for example in the scene from gravity as Sandra bullock is tumbling through space. 

of course when watched in a pitch-black room there’s still going to be noticeable blooming in HDR content. 

colour accuracy on our review sample was good, but not as outstanding as last year’s ZG9 or ZG9 master series. 

on this colour Sg chart where 140 patches were measured average delta error came in at a very respectable 1.52 after calibration. 

but there were a few colours that exceeded the humanly perceptible inaccuracy threshold of Delta error 3. 

In practice most colours still look natural and realistic in real-world material. 

The minor inaccuracy is only noticeable beside a reference screen in a side-by-side comparison. 

the Sony ZH8 correctly reproduces slow panning shots in 24 frames per second movies without telesnic judder. even with motion flow switched off.

Buy it for

The Sony ZH8 display boasts stunning brightness, brilliant colors, and beautifully managed FALD backlighting by all standards, as it boasts excellent X1 Ultimate processing.

One of the best features of the Sony ZH8 screen is the image, as it is characterized by its continuous effect, as it is immersive we saw from the LCD TV this year.

And the Sony ZH8 Display delivers exceptionally powerful, detailed sound design, open and impressive audio performance.

The Sony ZH8 display is rich in content and also offers some benefits to use if your phones and tablets run Android as well.

Don’t buy it for

The Sony ZH8 monitor can play 4K at up to 120Hz and 8K at up to 60Hz, but it cannot handle the variable refresh rate technologies offered by the Xbox One.

The full screen home screen of Android TV and the crowded approach is not rather easy to use like other smart TV systems.

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