Sony XBR 43X830C UHD - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 5 Old 07-15-15, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sony XBR 43X830C UHD

Yesterday I took delivery of a Sony XBR 43X830C UHD set. I haven't really calibrated or tested it yet, other than to make sure it turns on and doesn't have any terrible hot spots. Anyone else bought this set yet?

I bought this primarily because of how it looks. Not the picture, but the unit itself. This is far from my critical viewing set. This is going to go in the sunroom to watch the news, wheel of fortune, cartoons and stuff for my son, and random programming, generally while it's still light out - in the sunroom. I have a dedicated theater downstairs. So I bought this for the overall look. It's very thin and has a tiny bezel. Quite frankly, it's gorgeous when it's turned off. I'm all about design. I have a modern style house and decor, and this works nicely in the scheme.

I was hesitant to order it because I knew exactly what I was ordering...a bottom of the line UHD set. I had read some pretty average reviews. My thinking was I'd order this set and if I wasn't happy with it I'd send it back and order a better 1080p set. But it has what I wanted - nice design, and it has hulu, vudu, and amazon built-in.

Well, I haven't hooked up my antenna yet, I've only watched a few minutes of streaming content via hulu and vudu, and I looked at the screen simply displaying black. I've gotta say, I'm kind of impressed for $800. I had heard stories of very bad bright spots in the corners and along the bottom edge, but this really shows very little hot spotting on the black, unnoticeable on actual content.

This is also my first Smart TV. I've always relied on external boxes for streaming services, but since this will be primarily streaming and live tv, I'm not going to connect a TiVo or Bluray player to it, I'd rather not connect anything to it, so the built-in apps were important. What's anyone's impression of Android TV? Seems okay at first glance. I'm hoping I can go in and delete or hide a bunch of those unused apps that came preinstalled?

I'll be interested to see what some non-streaming content looks like on it. I'll be mounting it in the sunroom in a couple weeks, at which point I'll dial in the settings and connect the antenna and see what it can really do. But at this point, I'm planning on keeping it. I think it'll do just fine. I'll check back once I've really put it through its paces.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-15-15, 03:52 PM
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Re: Sony XBR 43X830C UHD

Love Sony's X830C! They come in 43" and 49". Great overall pq and the Android Smart interface is laid out nicely and works very well.



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post #3 of 5 Old 07-16-15, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sony XBR 43X830C UHD

One thing I'm noticing, there's not a lot of info in the manual regarding the AndroidTV aspect. Lots of things in the menus that I can't find an explanation for.

Also, the picture adjustment controls are terrible. You can create a custom preset for each input, which is great, but to create a setting for streaming content is next to impossible because you can't make adjustments while there is content playing. Any time you try to adjust the picture settings the content stops. Not real easy.

This will be a major pain once I get the set mounted and want to really dial it in, but I'm sure the image will be fine once the initial setup is complete.

Last edited by thrillcat; 07-17-15 at 10:02 AM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-05-15, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Sony XBR 43X830C UHD

I said I'd report back after it was mounted... I mounted the set in my sunroom over the weekend and I've spent a little time watching it.

I'm pretty pleased with it, though if I were to do it over again, I'd probably look for a set with the same form factor, same smart apps, but 1080p. More on that in a few.

Adjusting the picture settings is still a pain for the streaming options, except I've found that it keeps the same settings as the TV tuner, which is cool since those are my inputs. I don't have anything connected via HDMI yet. I've got it dialed in pretty well at this point, and it looks very nice.

Other things I've noticed. It takes 4-5 seconds to actually react when you hit the power button. The key here is to be patient. If you are impatient and hit the button again, it will turn off right after it turns on. Just know there's a delay and wait. This could be solved if the power light would come on instantly, but it doesn't either.

The wi-fi connection is much more solid than it was in previous firmware versions, which is good because I've been thus far unable to find a good way to run ethernet. I'm still going to try, but it's nice that wi-fi has locked on and stayed connected until I find a solution. I've been able to stream "4K" from YouTube & Amazon over wi-fi, so that's good.

The set itself is beautiful. The industrial design is fantastic, and I love how, paired with a low-profile mount, it hugs right up to the wall. Small, sleek bezel and low profile were the two main reasons I bought this set, and they win. It looks just as good off as it does on.

The screen is more reflective than the matte finish screen it replaced, but it's far from glossy. I knew going in that this would be there, and I'm happy with the set. Having a dedicated theater downstairs, I don't need the perfect solution for this set. I'd much rather sacrifice image quality than give up or put curtains over the 3 walls of windows I have in this room.

Now, why would I opt for a 1080p set over this one if everything else were identical? It's not like this set was expensive, but I could've saved a few hundred bucks, and that's just good business. I started watching Orphan Black on Amazon Prime on Sunday. I watched a couple episodes in 1080p and they looked good. Then I decided to peruse the 4K content that was available via Amazon, and lo and behold, Orphan Black was also available in 4K (why the two versions weren't linked and auto-sensing display capability is beyond me), so I added it to my queue, removed the 1080p versions, and watched a couple more episodes, this time in 4K. Perhaps the opening sequence looked a little better, but I really didn't notice any difference at all during typical content. Not on a 43" set from my couch about 5' away.

I'm not discrediting 4K, I'm sure it will prove to be higher quality in certain situations, but not in this one. But, quite frankly, I'm happy with this set, and it's not worth my time to take it down, return it, buy another set and set it up. The set was, in my opinion, still a steal at $800, especially considering the last time I bought a new flat panel set it was $2400 for a 50" 720p plasma screen (that was unfortunately stolen in a burglary in a previous residence - I loved that set).
  • I would give the 720p/1080p image quality a 9 out of 10.
  • I would give the 4K image quality a 5 out of 10, only because it was pretty much the same as 1080p - still good.
  • I would give the AndroidTV OS an 8 out of 10. I've never used any other smart TVs, so I don't have a point of reference, but overall the layout is nice, and everything loads quickly.
  • I would give the TV tuner a 10 out of 10. Locked in all expected channels and haven't seen a single blip of interference or hiccup. Better than the tuner in my TiVo Premiere box down in the theater.
  • I would give the overall design and appearance a 10 out of 10.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-13-15, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Sony XBR 43X830C UHD

The more I watch this set, the more I think I underestimated the image quality. I think the main reason I was downplaying the quality of 4K content is because the upscale of HD is so nice.

I really took a closer look at the UHD content the other day and it really does look fantastic. Obviously still going to be some compression artifacts in streaming content because of the nature of streaming and compression. Typical watching doesn't really reveal the artifacts. I only notice when I get up there a foot or so from the screen.

I'm happier with this set all the time.
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