You Asked: Where are the Bravia reviews? What’s the deal with Apple projection?

This week on You Asked: Where are the Sony Bravia 7 and 9 reviews? What’s the difference when displaying 16:9 content on a 21:9 device? Full screen versus HDR brightness? Which TV should I upgrade to after putting 18,000 hours on an OLED TV?

Where Are the Sony Bravia 7 & 9 Reviews? 18,000 Hours on an OLED! | You Asked Ep. 44

Where are the Sony Bravia 7 and 9 reviews?

2024 Sony Bravia 9 4K mini-LED TV.
Sony

I’m going to start with what might be the most-asked question over the past week from the YouTube comments section. That would be some variation or another of: “When is the Bravia 7 review or Where’s the Bravia 9 review?” My personal favorite, though, has to be from Jogo8261, who wrote: “Why are you guys stalling on the Bravia 7 and Bravia 9 reviews?”

At first, I was going to say that maybe it was just a poor choice of words. “Stalling” suggests deliberate delay, and I haven’t deliberately delayed anything. But then I remembered that, actually, I did stall the Bravia 7 review. Sony offered to send it to me a few weeks ago. But the way the timing would have worked, the TV would have shown up either right as I was leaving or, worse, while I was on vacation. So, while it pained me to do so, I told Sony to “hold on to that Bravia 7 for a bit and let’s work it out when I get back.”

Well, I’m back. So, I’ve got a Bravia 9 and a theater quad on the way, and I intend to get to that Bravia 7 shortly thereafter.

In the meantime. there’s 115 inches of TCL QM8 taking up a massive amount of space in the studio. I’ll be working on that TV until the Sony stuff shows up. And then there’s the Roku Pro, the Hisense U9N, the U7N, the LG C3, the Samsung S90D – and all the versus videos that will need to happen after those reviews are done.

Phew … good thing I got that vacation in. I’m not getting another one for a while.


Apple TV 4K support for 21:9

Apple TV WWDC
Apple

Shaun B writes: Hi Caleb. Apple just announced Apple TV 4K support for “21:9 projectors.” The only ultrawide displays I’ve seen are gaming monitors, which don’t have as high a resolution as 4K displays. I know that lots of movies have letterbox bars on my 16:9 TV, which indicates their aspect ratio is wider, but it works just fine. Seems supported to me. What’s the big difference when displaying 16:9 content on a 21:9 device? (Aside: Why are there no 21:9 TVs on the market?)

I love the question! I talked a little bit about this announcement in a recent Nit Nerds News — which, if y’all aren’t tuning in for that, please consider doing so! I could always use your feedback!

First things first: What Apple is doing here is making the Apple TV 4K a little more friendly to dedicated home theater setups that use projectors and 21:9 cinema screens. The Apple TV 4K will currently present any 21:9 content in a 16:9 format, with both letterboxes and pillarboxes on the top, bottom, and sides. That’s obviously frustrating for anyone who has a screen wide enough to show all of a 21:9 image, but is forced to have such a small image on their bigger screen. The best they can do is enlarge that image, but then you cut down the effective resolution, and it will look pretty bad. So, now that won’t be a problem.

As for why there aren’t any 21:9 consumer TVs? Well, it’s not like it wasn’t tried. Samsung and LG both made large 21:9 TVs at one point — they even tried curved and flat. However, those were super speciality TVs, very expensive, and didn’t sell.

See, 21:9 TVs will always be a specialty because most of the content folks watch is, at 16:9. Live TV, sports, sitcoms, TV dramas — it’s all 16:9. But now that you have Netflix, Max, Disney+ and other video-on-demand services doing more cinematic-style shooting for serialized, episodic content, maybe we could see 21:9 aspect TVs sell a little better if someone tried making and selling them again.

But, frankly, while letterboxing is more easily tolerated now than it once was, pillarboxing seems to be the kiss of death for anyone without an absolutely massive screen.


Full-screen vs HDR brightness

Sony Bravia X95L vs TCL QM8
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

Oliver C writes: I have a question regarding HDR highlights. Can you explain why some TVs like the TCL QM8 can hit very high brightness measurements on small HDR windows, like a 2% window, but when the 100% window (entire screen) is measured, the nits drop? For a miniLED TV, it seems like the TV would be brighter with all LEDs maxed out as opposed to just a few in a small area. I’m sure my understanding is wrong here, but hoping you can explain this.

I love this question, too! So, actually, your understanding is not off. It is true that if all the mini-LED backlights in a TV were driven to their max, as they clearly are in smaller test windows, then the TV would be way brighter. There are two issues with that, though. One is power management. It would take a tremendous amount of power to pull off, say, 4,000 nits full-screen white. Could it be done? Yes. But do you have any idea what 4,000 nits of full-screen brightness would do to your eyes, even in a daylight-soaked room, and even at about 65-inch screen size? It’s a lot, even from a smaller, 10% window. And also think about what happens if your average picture level is that high. You have raised the roof on HDR highlights. How bright would those highlights need to be to stand out at that point? Well beyond what TVs are capable of right now. So, for numerous reasons, that’s not a great idea.


18,000 hours on an OLED TV!

LG G4 OLED
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

I’m going to summarize Barry Mayhew’s comments and questions for brevity, and it goes like this: Barry has been using a 2016 LG C6 OLED for the past eight years. It’s got 17,909 hours on it. That’s  incredible. If you do the math, that’s about 6 hours of use every single day for an entire eight years. And Barry is just now starting to notice the TV is wearing out, as you can see in Barry’s photos. Barry continues to say he’s loved his OLED and is prepared to pony up for an LG G4. But he goes on to ask if I think he should consider a non-OLED TV since this will be the main TV in the house and it’s gonna get a lot of use.

To which I reply: Barry, why!?!?!? You used your C6 OLED for an average of 6 hours every day for 8 years and it’s just now wearing out. You got great use out of that TV. I know folks are used to the idea of keeping their TVs for 10-plus years, but … that’s an increasingly rare lifespan for a TV these days, no matter what display technology the TV uses.

Barry, you have been on team OLED for 8 years, and I personally think you should stay on team OLED for your next TV. The LG G4 is awesome. You’ll love how much brighter it is than your C6, it looks great for SDR as well as HDR, and the processing is significantly better. The G4 will feel like a big upgrade. The only reason I wouldn’t recommend OLED is if you are looking for a big upgrade in screen size. Those bigger OLEDs get expensive in a hurry. You didn’t mention that in your email. But if that is the case, then you might want to look at a good quality mini-LED set.

Otherwise, get that G4. You’re gonna love it. It comes with a five-year warranty. It has more measures to protect the screen built in, and it just seems like that would be the best choice for you.