Sony A8H vs LG OLED CX Review (XBR55A8H vs OLED55CX, XBR65A8H vs OLED65CX)
Sony A8H is part of the Sony’s OLED TV that released in 2020. Even though it is a successor of the last year’s A8G, but it tend to take the features of last year’s master series A9G. On the other hand, LG CX or OLED CX is the 2020 model of the LG OLED C Series. And of course, it is a successor of last year’s C9 or OLED C9. Nevertheless, although they are released by different manufacture but they use the OLED panel that has the same technical platform. As we have known, the OLED panel that used by most OLED TVs is made by LG, even for other manufacturer such as Sony or Panasonic. This means, this comparison between the Sony A8H and LG CX is more likely to discuss the features and technology that support them than aspects of image quality produced by their panel.
In the market, the LG CX comes in 4 screen variant, including 48 inches (OLED48CXPUB), 55 inches (OLED55CXPUA), 65 inches (OLED65CXPUA), and 77 inches (OLED77CXPUA). You need to know, the 48 inches variant is something new in 2020 and it is the smallest OLED TVs that ever been released by LG. On the other hand, the Sony A8H is only available on 2 screen sizes variant only, which are 55 inches (XBR55A8H) and 65 inches (XBR65AA8H). Meanwhile, with the same screen sizes (OLED55CXPUA vs XBR55A8H, OLED65CXPUA vs XBR65A8H), the A8H is priced tens to hundreds dollar more expensive than the OLED CX, depending on the screen sizes. So, which is superior and a better choice between them?
Sony A8H vs LG OLED CX Key Specification
|Specs and Features||Sony A8H||LG CX (OLED CX)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Screen Sizes Available||55 Inches (XBR55A8H), 65 Inches (XBR65A8H)||48 Inches (LG OLED48CXPUB, 55 Inches (OLED55CXPUA), 65 Inches (OLED65CXPUA), 77 inches (OLED77CXPUA)|
|Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate||Alpha 9 Gen 3 Processor|
|4K Up-scaling||4K X Reality Pro||AI Up scaling|
|HDR Format Supports||Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG||Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG|
|Dolby Vision IQ||No||Yes|
|HDR Enhancement||-||4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, Dolby Vision IQ|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, Pixel Contrast Booster||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro, Face Enhancing|
|Color Enhancement||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel|
|Clarity Enhancement||Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer|
|Motion Enhancement||X Motion Clarity, Auto Mode||OLED Motion Pro|
|Refresh Rate Panel||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Variable Refresh Rate Support||No||HDMI Forum VRR, G-Sync (NVidia Certified), FreeSync is on a future firmware update, HGiG|
|Platform||Android 9.0 Pie||WebOS 5|
|AI TV (Artificial Intelligence)||Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, , Apple AirPlay 2, Apple Home Kit||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition, AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, AI Brightness, Apple AirPlay 2, Apple Home Kit|
|Remote||2020 model of Sony Voice Remote||2020 of LG Magic Remote|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.3 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC (HDMI 2)||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC (HDMI 2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)|
|Dolby Atmos Support||Yes||Yes|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Technologies and Features of the LG OLED CX and Sony A8H
As we have mentioned above, the Sony A8H and LG OLED CX use the OLED panel that has made by LG. This means, they both use the OLED panel that has the same technical platform. So, can be ascertained, all aspect produced by them that influenced by their panel such as contrast ratio, response time, viewing angle coverage are not much different. As we have known, one of the major advantages of the OLED TVs included the A8H and LG CX is about their infinite native contrast ratio. As we have known, since each pixels of OLED panel can emit its own light, it doesn’t need backlight. Additionally, each pixel of OLED panel also can switch on/off/dim individually without being affected the condition of other pixels surrounding. That’s why the OLED panel can produce nearly perfect black. Additionally, unlike LCD panel that usually use RGB pixel structure, their OLED panel have WRGB pixel structure. The addition white sub-pixel is required to boost its peak brightness. There are still many other advantages that offered by OLED panel than LED panel such as instantaneous response time, wide viewing angle, etc. But OLED panel also has some drawbacks and the major drawback of OLED Panel is that it has a risk to permanent burn in when displaying static images over long time.
As their image processor, the Sony A8H is powered by 4K HDR processor X1 Ultimate, top variant of the X1 Engine series. There are a lot high-end technologies and features are embedded on this processor such as Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, and Object Based HDR Remaster. All of these technologies are developed to further improve their performance in processing HDR signal. On the other hand, the LG CX is powered by the third generation of Alpha 9 processor or called Alpha 9 Gen 3 processors. And of course, it brings some improvement over the predecessor Alpha 9 Gen 2. This image processor is very powerful. Just like the predecessor, it is able to provide some AI-Related Features like AI Picture, AI Brightness, and AI Sound. These features can automatically adjust the picture and sound parameter based on the source and the ambient condition around the TV to deliver better watching TV experience. Additionally, this processor also introduces the new AI-based up-scaling engine that can deliver cleaner, more consistent, and more detailed look to HD content after it is up-scaled to 4K resolution.
The Sony A8H and LG CX support the same HDR formats. In addition to HDR10, they both also support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), a HDR format for TV broadcast. Additionally, they both also support Dolby Vision, a proprietary HDR format by Dolby Laboratories that already use dynamic metadata. But even so, they both don’t support HDR10+, the other dynamic HDR format that developed by Samsung and its alliance. Meanwhile, that distinguishes between them is about Dolby Vision IQ where the LG CX has this feature while the Sony A8H doesn’t have. This actually is not new HDR format. It is just feature to further Dolby Vision Experience by utilizing the dynamic metadata of Dolby Vision content and embedded light sensor on the TV. This feature will automatically adjust multiple aspects of the picture in real time based on the combination of an assessment of room conditions provided by a built-in light sensor and the extra HDR picture information and screen optimization elements of Dolby Vision. This will ensure Dolby Vision image achieves a consistent look, no matter how much the light condition of the room change. On the other hand, on the Sony A8H, you will see one kind of Dolby Vision image.
Both of the LG CX and Sony A8H have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows them can play any content with frame rate up to 120 Hz or interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. Meanwhile, the advantage of the LG CX is that it also supports VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) while the A8H doesn’t support. With 1080p and 1440p resolution, its refresh rate panel can change between 40 HZ to 120 Hz while with 4K resolution, its refresh rate panel can change between 40 Hz –to 60 Hz. Additionally, its VRR technology also supports some gaming features like GSync, HDMI Forum VRR, and HGiG. Currently, it may not support FreeSync, but with a future firmware update, it may also support FreeSync. As we have known, VRR technology can further improve its gaming experience when you play a game with a compatible game console. On the other hand, the Sony A8H doesn’t support any VRR Technology.
Meanwhile, to further improve motion appearance, they both also have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode called X-Motion Clarity on the A8H and OLED Motion on the OLED CX. You need to know, since they both don’t have black screen, to dim their screen, they both don’t use PWM Dimming System found on most of LED TVs. This certainly makes their screen is almost flicker-free that means it is great. But in other condition, flicker is required to make motion smoother. To make flicker on their screen, you just need to enable their BFI mode. The advantage of the Sony A8H, it supports both 60 HZ and 120 Hz BFI mode that means their screen can flicker at either 60 Hz or 120 Hz. Meanwhile, the LG CX only supports 60 Hz BFI mode that means its screen can flicker at 60 Hz only. Actually, their BFI mode has a difference in algorithm, but we will not discuss about it.
As their major connectivity, both of the LG CS and Sony A8H are equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports support CEC and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth. Additionally, one of their HDMI port (HDMI 2 on the OLED CX and HDMI 3 on the A8H) also support ARC (Audio Return Channel. The advantage of the A8H is that their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.3 while the OELD CX supports HDCP 2.2. On the other hand, the advantage of the LG CX that it already supports HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth while the A8H doesn’t support. Nevertheless, although the A8H doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, it already supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), just like the OLED CX that also supports eARC. This allows them can accept high audio quality through HDMI connection.
Additionally, they both also have 3 USB ports. The advantage of the A8H is that one of its USB ports is USB 3.0 (USB 1) while on the LG CX, all of its USB ports are USB 2.0. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, they both also have 1 RF In, 1 Composite In, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and Ethernet Port. To connect your other device to your TV through Composite IN, you need an adapter. In this case, for the LG CX, an adapter is included in buying package while for the A8H, it is not included in its buying package. Meanwhile, to connect to the internet or other devices wirelessly, they both are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Special for the A8H, it also has Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack) for headphone and IR In for IR Blaster.
Smart TV Platform
As their smart TV platform, both of them run excellent smart TV platform. The Sony A8H comes with the latest version of Android TV or Android 9.0 Pie while the LG CX also comes with the latest version of WebOS or WebOS 5.0. Both of these smart TV platforms have clean and user-friendly interface. Their interface is really simple and runs smoothly without any serious problem. Meanwhile, they both also have good selection of pre-installed apps. Almost all streaming service apps are provide such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, etc. They both also have supports Apple Home Kit and Apple AirPlay 2. In addition streaming services apps, there are also Games, Web Browser, Live TVs, Cast apps, and many others. A bit advantage of the WebOS is that it also supports Apple TV Plus while Android TV doesn’t support this app. Meanwhile, to further complete your apps collection, they both also have an apps store. The Android TV comes with Google Play Store while WebOS comes with LG’s apps store. But for this case, since it is supported by tons of developer, the Google Play Store has better selection of apps than LG’s apps store.
Both of these smart TVs platforms also already support voice navigation and can work with some platform. In addition to LG ThinQ AI as its own platform, it also already supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and they are built-in. This means to take advantage of this platform, you don’t need but additional listening devices. On the other hand, the Android TV also can work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Meanwhile, to make navigation easier, they both are equipped with Smart Remote where the Sony A8H comes with Sony Voice Remote while the LG CX comes with LG’s magic remote. Both of these remotes have built-in voice navigation and some smart features.
LG OLED CX vs Sony A8H Performance
Black Level and Contrast
Since contrast ratio of the TV is more influenced by the performance of its panel, there is no difference between the Sony A8H and LG CX. This is due to they both use the OLED panel that has the same technical platform, which is OLED Panel produced by LG. Since every single pixel of their panel can switch on/off/ dim individually, when showing black, there is no light at all emitted from black area of the screen. This makes black level and black uniformity produced by them is nearly perfect and can bring out shadow details and dark tones with a degree of authenticity and intensity LCD TV can’t match. Additionally, its every single self-lighting pixel also makes them have pixel dimming level. This is equal to FALD on LED TV that has the number of dimming zones is equal to the number of pixels and for LED TV, this is impossible. This makes small highlight in dark scene looks very focused with almost blooming-free on their screen and this is great for movies with subtitle. And of course, it is also nearly perfect for HDR Content that requires deep black to reveal details in dark scene in order to look beautifully.
The LG OLED CX and Sony A8H also have similar SDR peak brightness. With real content, they both can hit around 300 nits. Meanwhile, with window tests, their result in any window size is also almost similar where it depends on the content. On 2%, 10%, and 25% where they both hits their highest peak brightness, they both can hit brighter than 400 nits. Meanwhile, the brighter area increase, their peak brightness will be dimmed by their ABL System to prevent excessive power consumption. On 100% window or the entire screen is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed down to below 200 nits. With this behavior, their peak brightness is bright enough to fight the glare in a dim to moderately-lit room, but still not bright enough to fight the glare in a very bright room.
With HDR Content, they both can hit brighter peak brightness. But for this case, the LG CX can hit a bit brighter than the Sony A8H, albeit their difference actually doesn’t have a significant impact. If the OLED CX hit around 650 nits, the A8H hit around 690 nits. With window test, their HDR peak brightness also depends on the content. The LG CX hits its highest peak brightness on 10% window where it hit around 775 nits while on the same window size, the A8H hit around 650 nits. On 2% window where the A8H hit highest peak brightness, it can hit around 700 nits while the OLED CX hit around 750 nits. On 25%, 50%, and 100% window, their peak brightness drop significantly to around 470 nits, 300 nits, and 150 nits for A8H and around 430 nits, 300 nits, and 140 nits for LG CX. We can see, the ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) of the LG CX is more aggressive than the Sony A8H. Ignoring their difference in behavior, HDR their HDR peak brightness is equally great for OLED TVs. Even though not as bright as premium LED TV, their peak brightness is bright enough to bring out highlights the way they should in HDR. But of course, since their peak brightness is still below 1000 nits, they both cannot show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits brightness range intended by content creator. But overall, their HDR peak brightness is great for OLED TV.
Winner: OLED CX
Both of the LG OLED CX and Sony A8H have excellent color gamut and their color gamut is almost similar. In DCI P3 xy, they both can cover around 97%, while in DCI P3 uv, the LG CX can cover a bit more wider, which is around 99% in comparison with A8H that cover around 97%. But even so, ignoring their difference, their color coverage in DCI P3 is remarkable, makes almost all colors of HDR Images mastered in DCI P3 can be shown fairly accurate. Meanwhile, in Rec.2020, their color coverage is also fairly well. But for this case, in rec.2020, the A8H can cover a bit wider than the OLED CX. In Rec.2020 xy, the A8H covers around 73% while the LG OLED CX can covers around 72%. Meanwhile, in Rec.2020 uv, the A8H cover around 77% while the LG CX covers around 76%. Ignoring their difference, their color gamut in Rec.2020 is wide enough to show most colors of HDR images mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision content fairly accurate.
While they both have almost similar color gamut, the color volume of the Sony A8H is better than the LG CX. In different luminosity level, the A8H can display wider color coverage both Rec.2020 and DCI P3 than the OLED CX. But even so, ignoring their difference, they both can show excellent dark saturated colors fairly well due their infinite native contrast ratio. On the contrary, thanks to white sub-pixel, they both may be able to produce pure white, but on the other hand, it de-saturates bright colors, makes them cannot produce very bright colors.
The LG OLED CX and Sony A8H also have excellent color gradient. But even so, the A8H has a bit better color gradient than the LG CX. On the screen of the OLED CX, some little banding is still available in most colors while on the screen of the A8H, there’s only a little bit of banding in the darker shades of gray, green, and red. But actually, with untrained eyes, this banding should not be noticeable. Nevertheless, if you still feel banding bother you, they both have a feature that can remove their banding. And coincidence, the name of their features is same, which is “Smooth Gradation”. Enabling this feature will remove most of banding, but on the other hand, this will cause some loss of fine details in some scenes.
Side Viewing Angle
Not just infinite native contrast ratio, side viewing angle coverage also becomes the advantage of the OLED TVs including the Sony A8H and LG OLED CX. Unlike on LED TV where contrast ratio and viewing angle coverage is contradictory, they can deliver both excellent contrast ratio and wide viewing angle coverage. On their screen, black level can be prevented from the degradation up to around 70 degrees off center and front. Additionally, brightness level can be also maintained up to around 60 degrees. Color may still shift started at around 30 degrees and look washout at around 50 degrees, but this is still better than LED TV, even for IPS TV or VA TV that uses certain optical layer. This means, although you watch TV from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will look as good as when you see from the front.
The other major superiority of the OLED TV including the LG OLED CX and Sony A8H is about their pixel response time. As we have known, OLED panel has nearly instantaneous pixel response time. Their pixel response time is around 2 ms, much faster than the fastest response time of LED TV. The result, when they play fast moving images, motion looks very clearly with almost no motion blur. Following fast moving objects, there is only very short faint trail that should be hard to notice. But unfortunately, on the other hand, the instantaneous pixel response time can cause image stuttering, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies or others. But even so, this can be solved by enabling their motion interpolation or BFI mode.
Additionally, to make motion appearance smoother, they both also have an optional BFI (Back Frame Insertion) mode called X Motion Clarity with Auto Mode for the A8H and OLED Motion Pro for the LG CX. As we have discussed above, the Sony A8H has both 60 Hz and 120 Hz BFI mode while the LG CX only has a 60 Hz BFI mode. On the A8H, you can set its BFI mode to 60 Hz or 120 Hz, regardless the frame rate of the content. This means, when it is playing 60 fps content, you can set its BFI mode to 60 Hz or 120 Hz and the same goes for 120fps content. To enable its 60Hz BFI mode, you must set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and “Clearness” to “3”. Additionally, to enable its 120 Hz BFI mode, you just need change “Clearness” to “1” or “2” while the “MotionFlow” is still set in “Custom”. Meanwhile, just we have mentioned, the OLED CX only has a 60 Hz BFI mode and to enable it, you must set “TruMotion” to “User” and “OLED Motion” to “High”.
Both of the LG CX and Sony A8H are also good performers when playing 24p movies. Regardless the source of the 24p movies, they both can show all of them with-judder-free. This means, no matter the source is native 24p movies like DVD or Blu-Ray Movies, 24p movies from native Apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, etc, 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, you will enjoy them with judder free. To remove judder on the A8H, you must set “CineMotion” to “Auto”, “MotionFlow” to “Custom”, and “Smoothness” to “0”, except for native 24p movies, you don’t need do anything. Meanwhile, on the LG CX, you just simply enable “Real Cinema” from “Picture Mode Setting” and disable “OLED Motion”. Keep in mind, even though “Real Cinema” has been enabled while the “OLED Motion” is also enabled, this will cause always judder.
Both of the Sony A8H and LG OLED CX also have excellent input lags in game mode. But for this case, in comparison, the LG CX is better than the A8H. With 60 fps content, regardless the resolution, input lags of the OLED CX is around 14 ms while input lags or the A8H are around 19 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, the input lags of the LG CX is around 7 ms on 1080p and 1440p resolution and around 12 ms on 4K resolution. On the other hand, the input lag of the A8H is around 11 ms on 1080p resolution. Keep in mind, the Sony A8H is not support native 1440p and 4K resolution at 120 Hz. The other advantage of the LG CX is it also supports VRR technology. In VRR mode, its input lags are around 6-7 ms at both 1080p and 1440p resolution and around 12 ms on 4K resolution. This means, when used for playing games, the LG CX is more responsive than the A8H and this will be more pronounced for fast paced games.
Additionally, the OLED CX also already support some gaming feature like GSync, HDMI Forum or even FreeSync that will further improve its game experience. Its HDMI ports also support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that makes it can automatically change to Game mode once a game signal from a compatible game console is detected. On the other hand, the A8H doesn’t support any gaming features and ALLM.
Winner: OLED CX
For Watching Movies
Just like other LED TV, both of the Sony A8H and LG OLED CX are also great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. They both have nearly perfect black and excellent black uniformity, and combined to their pixel dimming level, makes their performance in a dark room is really great. Dark scene can be shown with more detail look, particularly in HDR. Additionally, their great performance in handling 24p judder also allows you to watch any movies with judder-free. Not only that, small highlight in a dark scene also can pop with almost no blooming surrounding. In general, their performance when used for watching movies in a dark room is really great.
For watching Sports
When used for watching sports, their performance is also equally great. In addition they both have excellent image quality, they both also have good SDR peak brightness, and combined to their good reflection handling allows you to watch sports in most bright rooms obviously. Additionally, combination of their nearly instantaneous pixel response time and BFI mode also allows you to watch fast sports likes F1 or Moto GP clearly and smoothly with almost no motion blur. And their good side viewing angle coverage ensures the picture displayed on their screen looks always well, regardless the angle you watch from. This will be more pronounced particularly when you are watching a big game with a group of your family or friend where all of you can enjoy almost the same picture quality.
When used for playing games, the LG CX is better than the Sony A8H. They both may have motion handling just as good, makes fast sports look clearly and smoothly on their screen. Additionally, they both also have picture quality just as good. But even so, the LG CX has lower input lag in both 60 fps and 120 fps content. This makes it is more responsive than the Sony A8H. Additionally, they support of VRR technology and some gaming features also makes its game experience is better than the A8H that doesn’t support any VRR technology. The OLED CX also supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), make it can automatically change to Game mode once a signal from a console is detected. Meanwhile, on the A8H, you must manually change it to Game mode when playing a game. Overall, the LG CX is better. But even so, although not as good as the OLED CX, the Sony A8H is also not bad TVs when used for watching games. Overall, its performance is still above average. But keep in mind, since OLED panel has a risk to permanent burn-in, you should avoid play the same game for over long time.
Winner: LG CX
When used for watching HDR content, their performance may be almost the same. They both can deliver nearly perfect black and combined to their excellent black uniformity makes details in dark scene of HDR images can be revealed excellent, allows you to watch dark scene with more detail look. Additionally, their color performance is also almost the same, makes colors of HDR images can be shown accurately and vibrantly, regardless this content is mastered in DCI P3 or Rec.2020 color space. Meanwhile, even though not as great as premium LED TV, their HDR peak brightness is also bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR, especially when they set in a dark to moderately-lit room. Meanwhile, in comparison, the Sony A8H is better in color gradient where it has smoother color gradient than the LG CX. On the other hand, the LG CX can show a bit brighter HDR images because it has a bit brighter HDR peak brightness than the A8H. But even so, in general, as long as they are not used in a very bright room, their HDR performance is equally great.
As we have discussed a lot above, both of the Sony A8H and LG OLED CX are great TVs for any usage. No matter you use them for watching movies, sports, HDR content, or playing games, their performance is really great. So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, with the same screen size, the Sony A8H is sold more expensive than the LG CX. Meanwhile, the advantages are it has better color volume, color gradient, and BFI mode. On the other hand, the LG CX can get a bit brighter in both SDR and HDR. Additionally, it also has lower input lags and some gaming features that make it is better for games. Now, the decision comes back to your according to your own preferences. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.