Sony XBR75Z8H 8K HDR TV Review: 8K is the way

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Sony Z8H 75 Inch 8K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

“The Sony Z8H offers an absolutely impressive picture quality.”

  • Incredible HDR brightness

  • Deep black

  • Exact shadow details

  • Exceptional color

  • good sound

  • Some artifacts in very detailed patterns

Some may hesitate to jump into an 8K TV due to the lack of 8K content right now – and the question of whether you can even tell a difference between 8K and 4K. To investigate these concerns, we went for a 75-inch Sony Z8H 8K HDR TV, which we believe is the smallest screen you would need for an 8K TV. And as we found out, you get more than just a big picture from an 8K TV.

Sony Z8H 8K HDR TV details

While we tested the 75-inch model, our test also applies to the 85-inch model.

Screen size Model number RRP
75 in XBR75Z8H $ 4,998
85 in XBR85Z8H $ 8,999

First impressions

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Sony Z8H TV

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Sony Z8H TV

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Sony Z8H TV

Riley Young / Digital Trends

We immediately noticed the Z8H’s very sturdy feet – which is good as the TV itself is quite heavy. The feet can be placed in the center of the TV or on the outside edges, although a very wide media stand is required to use the feet toward the edge. If you’re handling such a large TV and screwing in the feet, more than one person is required. So keep that in mind.

The Z8H is a bold but attractive television made of high quality materials.

The box also contains six decorative rear cable management panels, a brushed aluminum remote control and a printed installation guide. Usually the setup guide is something we toss aside, but in the case of the ZH8, we eventually had to fish it out again. For more information on setting up the TV, check out our unboxing video.

The Z8H is a bold but attractive television made of high quality materials. Metal edges, slim bezels and sturdy feet ensure a first-class feeling. This metal border isn’t just for looks either. It acts as a tweeter to enhance sound effects and expand the soundstage so that the TV sound becomes as big as it looks.

Entrances

The back of the Z8H has four HDMI inputs, one on the side, two on the bottom, and one near the center back. The HDMI port near the back center is noteworthy as it is the only HDMI port that supports 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz. The connection is located next to two loudspeaker connections via which you can use the loudspeakers of the Z8H as a center channel for a surround sound system.

When the Z8H is ready for operation, you must manually force a software update. The Android operating system makes you think that everything has been updated. In reality, however, the updates must be downloaded by yourself. So check the firmware updates section in the settings menu.

sound

Riley Young / Digital Trends

With a TV this big, you want sound that is just as big – and the Z8H absolutely delivers. As already mentioned, it is possible to make the television the center channel for your surround sound system. However, if you don’t plan on using a surround sound connection, the Z8H still offers a premium experience – it has big, full, and rich sound through the built-in speakers and uses the frame as a tweeter so the sounds seem to come from many different locations , both inside and outside the confines of the TV.

ATSC 3.0 tuner

Another aspect that makes the Z8H a premium experience is the integrated ATSC 3.0 tuner, which is the new standard for wireless broadcasts. The promise of ATSC 3.0 is the potential for the transmission of 4K over the air. However, in our Portland, Oregon market, we found that broadcasters were simply using improved bandwidth to serve more channels with slightly better picture quality.

If we had to choose a word to describe the image quality of the Z8H it would be noticeable.

picture quality

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If we had to choose a word to describe the image quality of the Z8H it would be noticeable. The HDR highlights have an intense brightness, maintain very good black levels and reduce the blooming to a great extent. In our test with bright images on a purely black background, the backgrounds were a deep, deep black, while the bright objects remained extremely bright.

colour

Riley Young / Digital Trends

The Z8H has a brightness of 2,500 nits for HDR top lights. As we found out through our image quality tests, it creates the contrast that HDR really brings home. It also handles color space very well. The color of the Z8H is ready to use immediately and with almost no adjustments. There’s always a chance colors will wash out when pushed into the higher brightness range of HDR, but the Z8H absolutely doesn’t. You get a vibrancy along with a deep wealth of full color saturation.

In true Sony style, films at 24 frames per second look super smooth.

Move

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In real Sony style, films at 24 frames per second look super smooth, with almost no jerking. And while the Z8H had a tough time during some pretty intense test patterns, turning the Motion Flow to “Auto” really smooths out those tough spots. The Motion Flow option may add some “soap opera” effect to movies, but the Z8H is perfectly fine for almost all other types of content – and it makes a big difference in smoothing out time-lapse, especially in sports.

Problems with upscaling

The Z8H has some problems, however. In tests that we carried out, a “shimmer” effect was shown in very detailed areas on some images during movement. We also noticed a slight moirè effect in tight lattice patterns, for example in high-rise buildings in New York. While we can’t be 100% sure, we believe this problem arises from trying to scale complex, highly detailed 4K images to 8K in real time.

Play

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Playing on the Z8H is a blast, and you can get 4K 60Hz reliably with HDR. There was a bit of a problem connecting the 8K / 4K 120 Hz HDMI port as the PlayStation 5 HDR we were using didn’t want to turn on until we lowered the resolution to 1080p. We reached out to Sony to see if it could fix this issue. As promised at this point, the company has released a firmware update to address this issue. Playing high definition games on such a big screen TV and having that kind of HDR punch is not only fun, it’s absolutely beautiful too.

Our opinion

You may have noticed that we had very little to say about 8K resolution, and there is a reason why: You buy an 8K set not necessarily just for its resolution, but to have all of the premium features you want. Premium design, premium sound, premium tuner, premium picture quality, premium gaming experience – if you want to offer the best that Sony has to offer, you have to buy one of their 8K TVs to get it. And Sony is not alone. Other manufacturers do the same. But remember: it’s the whole package; not just the resolution. Where the Z8H shines is evident in its premium performance at every turn. Sure, you have to buy an 8K TV to get it, but the Z8H is a wonderful TV and well worth the price for those who value premium performance.

Is there a better alternative?

We wouldn’t say there is a better alternative, only alternatives. Since the Z8H is one of the best LED / LCD TVs you can buy, this is your must-see Samsung Q900TS than a competitor who is around $ 500 cheaper at the moment.

How long it will take?

Due to its 8K resolution, premium processing and the ATSC 3.0 tuner, the Z8H is designed to maintain its premium performance in the future.

warranty

Sony offers a one-year limited warranty on the Z8H. The full guarantee can be found here.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you have the means, the Z8H is a remarkable TV with outstanding performance – and it happens to be an 8K model. We wouldn’t necessarily buy this TV for its resolution, but certainly for its top-notch performance.

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