For many years, the traditional German company Metz was known for high-quality TV products made in Germany. Now the brand Metz Blue, in cooperation with the Chinese manufacturer Skyworth, has been added to the lineup, while all German products are now advertised as Metz Classic. Metz Blue TVs are aimed at the middle of the market and score with a moderate price. We took a close look at the flagship Metz Blue S9A, which even won the Plus X Award for innovation.
Workmanship and design of the Metz Blue S9A
The slightly unconventional yet chic design of the Metz Blue S9A immediately catches the eye. Although it has a stand that lifts the screen slightly off the ground, it actually rests on a support that folds out from the back of the device. This gives the TV an elegant appearance. However, higher-quality materials such as wood are reserved for the higher-priced models from Metz Classic. A built-in soundbar rests under the screen and features a 2-way bass reflex system and six front firing loudspeakers.
Picture quality: Maximum contrast and deep blacks
As to be expected with OLED TV, the Metz Blue S9A delivers some unsurpassable image features. The contrast is virtually ∞:1, which is due to the nature of OLED panels. Since individual pixels allow for on and off switching, neighboring pixels can either be completely switched off or emit 100% luminosity. The first characteristic also results in a perfect black, which is yet to be imitated by other technologies.
In addition, the viewing angle is extremely wide: even when watching from the side, the image quality hardly decreases. By the way, the panel comes from LG Display. Unfortunately, no dynamic High Dynamic Range - image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) formats are supported, which, according to the manufacturer, is “not yet relevant”. However, this would be supplemented in the coming generations – so enthusiasts have something to look forward to. So far, the S9A supports both HDR10 Media Profile - HDR with a color depth of 10 Bit in the Rec. 2020 colorspace and HLG. If you need more, you can take a look at the Philips 804.
Motion handling works very well
In terms of motion handling, the Metz Blue S9A is also as good as you would expect from an OLED. The panel allows a response time of less than 1ms, which means that even fast content can be displayed without noticeable delay, which means virtually no Motion Blur. However, it should be mentioned that with such reaction values stutter and judder can occur under certain circumstances. For example, in movies, which are usually shot at 24 frames per second, the image may stutter during long panning shots.
Gaming on the Metz Blue S9A
Unlike other TVs, such as the LG C9, both Metz Classic and Metz Blue do not focus on gaming. It does not have HDMI 2.1, so there is no Variable Refresh Rate - synchronizes the display's refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card through FreeSync or G-Sync. In addition, 4K @ 120 Hertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s - When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. is not possible.
The input lag is also slightly higher than with the C9 or LG SM9000. Competing devices can do much better here, so we recommend you to look out for specialized gaming TVs, if gaming is very important to you.
Sound needs improvement
The sound of the Metz Blue S9A is average despite the built-in soundbar. By the way, only sound formats are supported by Dolby – there is no DTS here. For those who need surround sound, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus are available. The dynamic Dolby Atmos format can at least be passed through, making the expansion of the sound system to include Dolby Atmos loudspeakers or a hi-fi system worthwhile. Unfortunately, there are no loudspeakers that radiate upwards.
Smart TV features worthy of improvement
Unlike other current OLED TVs with Android TV, the Metz Blue S9A is based on Android 8.0 Oreo. It works smoothly and operation does not cause any problems. There are Netflix and YouTube, but unfortunately no Amazon Prime Video. With the use of third-party devices, such as an Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick, this can be avoided. Due to the hardware the upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie is not possible. Thanks to the Google Play Store, the selection of apps is very large – except Amazon Prime Video. In addition, you can control the TV by voice via Google Assistant.
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