Review: Sony's XBR 65X900C 4K TV is a Beautiful Failure


That wasn't very much fun.

First, the good news. We had a big weekend of home improvement around the AAAD household.

  • New furniture! Sold the Pottery Barn recliner on Craigslist, and added a leather chair and a half.
  • Basement is primed and ready for paint!
  • We somehow got a 2-ton wall unit (only a minor exaggeration) down our staircase to the basement!
I swear, each piece weighed 300 pounds.
We were SO productive, that we decided to skip ahead and treat ourselves. Electronics time!

I finally cashed in a year's worth of Best Buy gift cards (thanks, credit card points!) to pay for a substantial chunk of a 65" 4K TV for our living room home theater. 

Our choice? The Sony 65" X900C. 
Seriously. It's that thin.

It's probably the most beautiful TV I've ever seen.

It's as thick as a single pane of tempered glass

I honestly have no idea how it works.... it seems like a working TV simply cannot be that thin. 

And honestly.... that's probably still the case. 

The Sony 900c has a well-earned reputation for production problems. 

Primarily, light bleed from the corners, which may get worse over time.

This is due to the insanely thin design - it's an edge-lit LED, and they simply can't keep the edge lights from washing out the picture in the corners. 

There have been reports from Sony reps that problems had been fixed, and that recent shipments of the 900c were free from light bleed. (Or at least had significantly less). 

So... we took a chance. The BBY rep was completely upfront about the problems with the TV, but at $1,999, we were willing to roll the dice on getting an acceptable, BEAUTIFUL television. 

And, yeah. The problems aren't fixed. 

The light bleed was still a problem, and likely would have been enough to get me to return the TV.
See that bottom-right corner? That's what it looks like ALL THE TIME.

But the real kicker - the TV had a tiny rock under the glass, wedged between the glass and the LCD screen. It pressed against the screen, and created a dime-sized halo of darkened pixels. 

I know that the 900c was Sony's Icarus moment. They flew too close to the sun, their reach exceeded their grasp, and they tried to mass-produce a TV that was only millimeters deep. 

But a little rock under the glass? In a 4K TV set? Where is Sony producing their electronics these days? In a mine? At a quarry during blasting? 

This is the kind of problem that you simply don't expect from a $2,000 television. 

I'm sure Sony has the ability to artisanally produce x900c sets - slowly, one at a time, by master TV craftsmen. I'm sure the prototypes were beautiful. 

And I'm sure that SOME of the 900c sets coming off the production line are decent. 

But hundreds of customers aren't wrong. The 900c was an audacious attempt at design, and we have to applaud that audacity. 

But at the same time, we have to admit that the TV wasn't ready to be brought to market. 

I look forward to buying a razor-thin TV in 5 years. But for now... it went back to Best Buy. 

We ordered the 65" Sony x850c - which is basically the same TV set, minus the thinness, and with a direct-lit LED. 

It will be delivered next week, and we'll post THAT review then. 

But for now - the verdict on the x900c -

ONE STAR (out of four) (for taking a shot at glory)


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