Top critical review
If you don't have an aerial or cable, a lot of apps don't work
31 August 2018
A lot of other reviewers have already talked about picture and sound quality, not a lot for me to say.
The only really notable thing is brightness - white is incredibly bright even when brightness is set to minimum. I like watching movies in the dark and every time there is a white scene (or you start Netflix) it is like attack for the eyes.
Sound is quite loud and, if you like, you can easily plug in external system.
I bought a smart TV so I can watch TV from internet - Amazon, Netflix, all internet TV stations etc. I don't have any cable or aerial and my home is not covered by aerial at all. I will review the software from that perspective.
This is a Smart TV running android OS. It has a lot of apps preinstalled that you can't remove and while google play is present it is not very useful because apps are marked as not supported by the device. For example, Opera browser comes installed and Chrome is not available to be installed.
There are 2 awful applications:
- Samba interactive - this gets started automatically every time you restart TV and wants to be enabled to advise about programs. I don't have an antenna and I don't care. It took a lot of googling to disable this - Settings/Applications/Samba disable notifications
- YouView - again no antena. This is not very intrusive on its own. The problems happens when you want to use one of the preinstalled apps, e.g. 4oD. When you open that, you end up in YouView, that you must enable to watch 4oD (god knows why). When you enable YouView it says something like 'for best experience you should discover channels' (note keyword should). Whatever you do in the next step (skip it or try to discover channels with no antenna) you can't end up with 4oD. Everything just stops. So essentially, you can't watch internet TV because you don't have terrestrial TV! I raised a support ticket and went to sony support forums. Key advice is to borrow antenna from the neighbours! Doesn't help me since there is no coverage where I live.
TV restarts randomly and when it restarts it starts playing google movie commercials very loudly and often with inappropriate content. There is no way to stop that (I didn't find a way to stop it). Key tip I can give is press home button once (ONCE) and after 15 seconds when you see the home screen start any app...
Casting something from PC or tablet to TV is convoluted and frustrating. It is so complex that I am considering having an hdmi cable between my pc and tv to watch the 4oD.
BBC iplayer works (yey!) but has very bad UI - unlike on other android devices I have.
Kodi app is the only app I really like - I have access to my media server and can do whatever I like. The app sometimes crashes.
Netflix and Prime work (!) but the number of features and UI is much worse than on my phone. No idea what Sony did but this is rubbish.
Remote has a lot of buttons. I find it clunky (personal preference) so I bought a small remote that is similar to Amazon Fire remote.
I am considering buying a smart TV box (Amazon Fire) since this is really not fit for the purpose. If you are somebody that wants to use TV like a real internet only TV, that is the only way forward with this software. Even the apps that work don't work well enough and have worse UI.
If you are not buying this for its smart (and imho you really shouldn't!) check out its technical specs in detail. The white brightness is truly high.
Compared to software and picture, sound is quite lovely, I didn't bother adding external speakers.
On a positive note, TV looks nice.