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By Kuschelmonschter
#13832
However, we must applaud Sony for continuing to update its Android TVs to the latest version, albeit slowly. The 2015 models are still receiving Android updates, which sets Sony apart from most other TV manufacturers.

You still fail to say what those major benefits of past updates have been. Both, Marshmallow and Nougat, introduced more issues than they actually solved, mainly due to insufficient adaptations of the underlying system.

They both did not bring any significant features for the TV. Nougat brought the app switcher. Problem is that most apps for Android TV are so bad that they can't properly be backgrounded. The OS has been a mess for the past years and nothing improved at all. Oreo on the Nexus Player suggests that it will just be another disappointment. More on that in my review which I really recommend to re-read. Because you are still getting lots of things wrong.


In Europe, XF90 comes equipped with a twin tuner that allows you to record one show onto a hard drive while watching another.

When recording a free channel, it is not possible to record a scrambled channel in parallel as the recording always grabs the tuner where the CI is hooked up to.

One also can't do timeshifting which is a standard feature on other sets with respect to tuner integration.

The Smoothness setting option can further improve, well smoothness, but we prefer to keep it at 3 to avoid motion artefacts. If you want to avoid the soap opera effect steer clear of using the “Film mode” option.

Please revisit the motion handling with any Sony. I don't think you are getting it right. I don't think anybody does. IMHO, if you set Film mode/CineMotion to Off, it does not matter what you set for Smoothness. Film mode/CineMotion in my opinion controls on which content to apply motion interpolation and Smoothness the strength of the filter. So if you disable motion interpolation, it does not matter anymore what you set the strength at.

Here are some tests that I did:
I did some tests with a sample in which some bars are moving horizontally at a constant speed. The sample is available in 1080i25 and 1080p50 and I let those play at a 60/120Hz refresh rate. This inevitably results in micro-judder which only motion interpolation can take care of. Here are the results with different Motionflow settings...

1080p50:
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: Off... micor-judder (no interpolation)
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: Low... micro-judder (no interpolation)
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: Medium... interpolation applied
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: High... interpolation applied
Smoothness: Min, CineMotion: High... micro-judder (no perceptible interpolation)

So for this progressive sample, motion interpolation is only applied when setting CineMotion to Medium or High. The Smoothness slider then has an impact on how pronounced the smoothing (soap opera effect) is. When setting Smoothness to Min, interpolation is basically off again. With CineMotion set at Off or Low, the Smoothness slider does not have any perceptible effect. On the other hand, when setting Smoothness to Min and CineMotion to High, there is also no perceptible smoothing of the bar movement.

1080i25:
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: Off... micor-judder (no interpolation)
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: Low... micro-judder (no interpolation)
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: Medium... micro-judder (no interpolation)
Smoothness: Max/5, Cinemotion: High... interpolation applied
Smoothness: Min, CineMotion: High... micro-judder (no interpolation)

Pretty much the same is true for the interlaced sample, except that I have to set CineMotion at High in order to get any motion interpolation.

So my conclusion from this test is that both, Smoothness and CineMotion impact the motion interpolation (soap opera), but only in combination. CineMotion has no effect on the strength of the filter. It just controls on which content to apply it. Whereas Smoothness indeed controls the level of interpolation.


From this it seems that setting Smoothness to 3 and Film mode/CineMotion to Off does not make a ton of sense. But you can probably explain why you think these settings make sense. Your reasoning is that CineMotion to Off prevents the soap opera. You could also just set Smoothness to Min and get pretty much the same effect IMHO. So what are your settings actually doing?
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By Torben Rasmussen
#13833 Software updates will always be incremental. Look at Tizen, Firefox or WebOS. None of the updates have been major for the past couple of years, but the mere fact that the OS is left behind with each new generation increases the risk of app-death down the road. We agree though that Android is a missed opportunity. We were promised something great back in 2015, but it never really took off as we thought. I don't think we paint a too pretty picture of Android - TV's based on Android all rank below WebOS and Tizen based ones (but not lower than Firefox...).

We don't have scrambled channels in our subscription, so there is no CI card installed when testing. Kind of you to point out the shortcoming of the recorder.

It is very obvious that when engaging "Film mode" you will introduce soap opera effect to some content along the way - maybe not all, but some. What I'm aiming for when setting MotionFlow is to get decent perceived motion resolution while not compromising too much on anything else. You are focussed on micro-judder with your two sample clips - have you looked at motion resolution patterns? I have the "bar samples" as well, but in more varieties of frame rates, resolutions, and speeds - but not interlaced though. I know that some TV channels serve up their content in interlaced format, but that dinosaur just has to go die somewhere. We live in a world that is moving towards streaming progressive signals - fast!

What you should be doing is probably to switch the settings depending on what you see, but come on - who want to do that? If you engage "Film mode" you will stumble into soap opera effects at some point, and I would rather deal with a bit of judder than look at soap opera or having to change settings every time you change the TV-channel (at least here in Denmark the channels use a mix of 1080/720 i/p, which is a mess).

As you run a fairly anti-Sony/Android blog I don't expect praises for any of the Sony reviews we do. We welcome your comments, but we have to keep a somewhat holistic view while still trying to convey some of the more detailed technical stuff to someone who might not care for tech-talk at all. Our goal isn't to test out every single combination of software settings, input type, or app out there, but to hit some decent middle ground where we won't loose the reader along the way. I respect the effort you put into documenting the aspects of Android running on Sony televisions, but we won't be able to cover the same aspects in our reviews (not saying that you are asking us to, but simply stating what level we are aiming at).
By Kuschelmonschter
#13837
You are focussed on micro-judder with your two sample clips - have you looked at motion resolution patterns?

No. The only thing that bothers me is that the Android OS and apps are rendered at a permanent 60Hz (except for live broadcasts via integrated tuner where the display is switched to 50/100Hz for nice PAL playback). On YouTube you basically find any common frame rate. So without motion interpolation, a lot of content will exhibit stuttering. Only some stock video apps like Netflix and Amazon can do a 5:5 on the 120Hz panel for 24p.

I know that some TV channels serve up their content in interlaced format, but that dinosaur just has to go die somewhere. We live in a world that is moving towards streaming progressive signals - fast!

Broadcast TV will stay with us for quite some time to come. I would also love to see interlaced go away. But I am not sure whether this will soon be a reality. In Germany they started to do 1080p50 within their DVB-T2 network. Other than that we also have this 1080i25/720p50 mixture. I am watching broadcast TV via Kodi which grabs the stream from my TV backend server. So I am again stuck with 60Hz on the Sony.

I would rather deal with a bit of judder than look at soap opera or having to change settings every time you change the TV-channel (at least here in Denmark the channels use a mix of 1080/720 i/p, which is a mess).

The micro-juddering of PAL being played back at 60/120Hz is the worst illeffect for my eyes. I put Smoothness at 3 and CineMotion at High. This applies motion interpolation to any source in Kodi then (and I don't feel like the soap opera effect is too pronounced, neither is artifacting), also to 24p which is played back with a 3:2 pulldown and gets smoothed out a bit with the mentioned settings. This is for the 'Apps' picture preset which applies to all apps except for the stock apps. Stock video apps (like Netflix and Amazon Video) switch to the 'Apps (Video)' preset which I set to True Cinema. Those apps then do a 5:5 on the 120Hz panel.
So I actually am not switching settings at any time. This is the only and for my tasting best compromise I could find.

On Apple TV I always have perfect motion due to refresh rate being switched automatically. Android also has APIs for that but Sony/MediaTek are not implementing those.
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By Torben Rasmussen
#13842 Only have a snap of AIDA64. We just moved the set to another location so it is back in its box.
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By SOKA
#13951 Sir,you mentioned in X900F Review the picture quality will improve when Dolby vision firmware release, what is the case for X930E when Beta firmware was released,is dramatic improve for its PQ was happen
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By Torben Rasmussen
#13952 DV has the potential to improve the picture quality, but as we have learned it also seems that the elevated blacks that we see on LG models is included in Sony’s firmware.

We don’t keep any of the reviewed TVs, so we can’t do follow-ups on these matters. We didn’t have the DV firmware when reviewing any of Sony’s models.