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Sony A8H 4K OLED Review: A Love Letter to the Home Theater



I have strong feelings about unpacking TVs. Before we even talk about Sony’s latest and greatest products, let’s talk about the unboxing. No matter who makes the television, unpacking and setting it up is always a nightmare of unwieldy cardboard. Once you’ve gone through this circle of hell, you’ll be faced with an ouroboros of plastic bags nested together with the elegance of a bunch of swarming rats doing their best to form a rat king. Next, you’ll need to find the cables – these are often buried in a screeching styrofoam sarcophagus.

When the Sony A8H showed up, I rolled up my sleeves, pulled out my box cutter, and asked a family member to help me unpack and set it up. I should have worn a whip and a fedora (television). What I wasn̵

7;t expecting was how quickly and painlessly we would do it – about 15 minutes. I was speechless. We certainly missed something. This is a trick, I thought. Sony sent me a dummy TV that breaks into a million lines every minute. I waited and waited. No queues. It wasn’t even set up yet and I knew this TV was something else.

The establishment

Photo: Sony

The TV is secured in the box with a couple of styrofoam end caps, but the packaging is otherwise minimal. Once you’ve pulled it out of the protective plastic, just choose the stand configuration you want (big enough for a soundbar or shorter to hide cables) and tuck the legs into the floor. You’re done. No need to find a screwdriver and awkwardly lay the TV on a table while wrestling your legs into the stand. No The A8H is a very polite house guest – it didn’t even leave too many styrofoam crumbs on my floor.

The on-screen setup is familiar if you’ve ever used an Android TV before. Or really any other device made by Google. You log into your WiFi, then your Google account, and the TV does the rest. The menus are snappy and quick, a big improvement over the delayed A8G model. Navigating the menus on this TV was a frustrating exercise. However, this year’s model is not without its flaws. Android TV is often clunky; Managing your apps can be painful, as can removing all of the advertised and preset content on your TV’s home screen.

However, finding the right menus for the basic setup is easy enough, especially for setting up a soundbar. And when you invest in a TV like this, you should definitely get yourself a soundbar. The Sony A8H has a number of speakers Within the display itself and the sound is decent. It’s like listening to a movie on Apple earbuds. It is fine. For a cinema experience that goes with the killer display (more on that in a bit), you should definitely combine it with good speakers or a soundbar.

Attraction

Photo: Sony

Although it shows up in my living room like an obsidian idol, after a while a television becomes part of the decor. Especially when it is not in use. But every now and then a TV comes on and I just can’t stop staring. I’ve had the Sony A8H in my living room for a few weeks and still find myself glancing over my shoulder as I try to get my work done. It’s a 65-inch sheet of glass that is as black as the night sky and thinner than my smartphone. Even when it’s turned off, it cuts a fine figure. Like a black hole, the A8H has inescapable gravity.

I re-watched movies and TV series in 4K to see familiar characters and vistas come to life on the huge OLED display. The A8H seems to fill everything with depth and clarity, even movies you’ve seen a thousand times – like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Blade Runner 2049, and Coco. Animated films in particular look amazing on this TV.

Sony’s on-board processing is getting better every year, and these processing gains result in a clearer, more vivid, and lifelike image. Even compared to last year’s A8G model, the image quality is much better. This is a television that handles color, contrast, and brightness with a dexterous hand with no adjustments required. I barely touched the advanced picture settings other than to turn off motion smoothing as motion smoothing is an abomination and makes everything look like a mid-90s soap opera. Suffice it to say that the factory calibration is top notch here.

But not everything is rosy. As much as I love the image quality of the A8H, it struggles with dark scenes in moderately well-lit rooms. Despite drawing all the shades and raising the brightness, night scenes are very difficult to spot in movies, shows and games. This problem goes away when the sun goes down. However, if it is light and there is a window near the A8H, draw the curtains and try not to see anything visually dark The dark knight. This is a common problem with OLED TVs.

Leap year

Photo: Sony

I usually recommend people buy last year’s TV to save money. Most of the time, televisions don’t change much year over year. But every now and then we get a TV that surpasses its predecessor by a mile. This is the Sony A8H. It’s an incredible TV, and it’s absolutely worth considering when you’re in the market for something this size.

It’s not cheap and costs $ 2,300. Nowadays, you can buy a reasonably good 65-inch 4K TV for a quarter of that price. Some of our favorites are even far below the A8H. Shop as always. There may be a TV that suits your needs better than this.

But if your heart is set to OLED and you want an image so lifelike and vivid that it looks like you’re looking through a window into another world, you’re hardly going to do better than the Sony A8H.


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