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Tips & Tweaks for Sony SXRD (KDS-R50XBR1/R60XBR1)

Started by Mark Strube, Friday Dec 02, 2005, 11:42:42 PM

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Mark Strube

I figured the 1080p thread was getting a bit busy, so I'm making a seperate thread just for this. I realize there's a thread over at AVS Forum just for this, but that's bordering on 20 pages, you have to sift thru loads of posts for very little tweaks, and in my experience they made the picture look horrible.

Keep in mind the settings could be completely different for you... if you have a different DVD player, for example. The specific brightness levels etc is sometimes quite hardware-specific. Most of the other settings not related to levels tend to be pretty universal (on/off, low/hi, or drc settings for example).

I'm no expert calibrator, but I've been doing my own television calibration for years, constantly messing with the settings of my previous HDTV LCD, and I do a lot of work with video encoding, so I have a good idea of what things are supposed to look like.

Lets get into it... for now I've found these settings by using a THX calibration and testing it on many reference quality dvd's, and some lower quality dvd's, to find a good median of settings that should look nice on most discs you put in.

Also, to find the proper settings for the digital (HDMI) inputs, I used a combination of others' ISF calibrations and freezing the picture on many dark and contrasted HD images to find the proper brightness levels.

480i/480p - it seems this television does a much better job of doing a progressive scan than your dvd player can do, so I'd highly recommend leaving your dvd player in 480i (interlaced) output mode. the hdtv tends to do a much better job of rounding out rough edges & small object detail jaggies... after all, we're talking about 720x480 pixels upscaled to 1920x1080, and they put a great upscaler in this television.

[all of the following adjustments are being made in the Pro picture mode, and with Power Saving Mode set to Standard. Also, these settings seem to carry over quite uniformly from Component, to HDMI, to the Tuner]

Iris - min (this will provide the best black levels, and even in moderately bright rooms, should provide enough light output. if not, you can always turn it up, but then the deepest blacks won't look quite as deep. Depending on content I've been known to adjust the Iris and Picture setting to brighten the picture, usually for NBC or ABC programming, but the following settings should be what you start with.)

Picture - 48
Brightness - 26
Color - 28
Hue - 0 (default)
Sharpness - 28
Color Temp - Warm
Noise Reduction - Off (if on, causes pixelization, more small object jaggies)
Direct Mode - Off (if on, reverts to interlaced mode, blurs the picture...  however this could be good for noisy non-progressive content)
Game Mode - Off

Advanced Video settings:
DRC Mode - CineMotion (automatic progressive scan of film/24fps material, if it's interlaced video/30fps it will automatically adjust)

DRC Palette - Custom - change so the dot is in the lower left corner, and both the Reality and Clarity settings are in the "1" positions. if you don't do this, it will add a lot of artificial sharpness and clarity, causing jaggies on certain textures

BN Smoother - Off (causes small object detail to go jaggy if on)

Advanced Iris - Off (constantly changes iris if enabled, noticeable)
[If you're having blue or green hue problems, try enabling this, it seems to get rid of most of it. This also greatly improves black levels. I prefer it on, it's up to you.]

Color Corrector - Off (causes red push/unnatural skin tones if on)

DTE - Off (causes bad edge enhancement if on)

Clear White - Off (adds blue hue to true white & causes white crush if on)

Detail Enhancer - Off (enhances artifacts if on)

Black Corrector - Off (kills shadow detail and messes with your perfect brightness settings if on)

Gamma Corrector - Off (only might be useful if connecting to a PC)

White Balance:
R-Gain: -12
G-Gain: -6
B-Gain: 0
R-Bias: 3
G-Bias: -3
B-Bias: -3

I'd recommend using DRC Mode - CineMotion and having the DRC Palette on the setting of Reality - 1 and Clarity - 1. (Totally in the left lower corner.) The default setting over-sharpens a bit and accentuates digital block noise on scene changes. Keep in mind, you will only get the DRC Mode and DRC Palette options when viewing 480i or 1080i material. 480p and 720p are already progressive, so there's no need for the television to process any of that again.

Mark Strube

Update: Just checked the settings against INHD's tune-up program. I must say I don't completely trust it... according to that, my brightness on the HDMI input should be at 18, which just kills all sorts of detail in darker colors and blacks. It seems my DVD calibration findings carried over well, something's up with that INHD tune-up.

Mark Strube

Something I forgot to mention... there is a delay on this screen when you're having it take care of the 480i -> 1080p conversion, and to me anyway, a noticeable lip sync problem. This was solved by selecting an 80ms video delay on my DVD player... so be sure you have a DVD player capable of doing that before getting this tv. (Although you might not have this problem if you let the DVD player output progressive, but the hdtv just does a better job of that.)

Paul S.

Mark Strube

Okay... lately I've noticed the dreaded "blue hue" problem in very dark scenes and on letterboxing, on the lower left corner. I discovered something very interesting: if I restore the brightness to the default "31" setting, as soon as it hits that setting, the picture evens out, and then there's nothing in the lower left corner, but now there's a weaker blue hue in the bottom right corner. Then I went into the White Balance, and adjusted the B-Bias to -2. As soon as it hit -2, the other blue hue completely disappeared. Awesome. However, changing the bias to this caused the picture to be just a tiny bit too yellow. I compensated for this by also adjusting the R-Bias and G-Bias to -2. I left the other three White Balance settings alone.

Finally, I've found I prefer the picture setting on 48 (a setting found by someone else's pro calibration), also leaving the color and sharpness on the default 31... it seems when I change the brightness to 31, I have to change these other settings back to 31 to compensate.

Mark Strube

Another update... I found the following tweaks from someone else's calibration, and it seems to solve both my blue hue problem, and the yellow tinge this television tends to add to everything. (I'm not updating my old posts so you guys can see where I'm coming from on all these settings, and if you don't have a certain problem, since all these sets are a bit different, you skip any additional settings I had to change to solve that problem.)

Color temp: Warm (important!)

White Balance:
R-Gain: -12
G-Gain: -6
B-Gain: 0
R-Bias: 2
G-Bias: -3
B-Bias: -3

I'm gonna bet this also takes care of most of the red push. I'll keep you guys updated. :)

Mark Strube

Updated the first post with my latest findings on the "blue hue" problem, and added some additional information, and corrected the Picture setting. This will be my final blue hue solution for now... possibly someone at AVS forum will figure out the root issue. For now with this fix, my set has a barely noticeable blue hue on the opposite corner of where the original one was. It has to be an almost completely dark scene, and you almost have to stress your eyes to even see it, even in a darkened room. So, I'm happy for now. :D


Thank you Mark for your expertise and patience writing this all down for us (hopefully) future SXRD owners.
(Maybe it could be a "sticky" for awhile).

Paul: Good luck and enjoy the new SXRD - always looks great when I see it in the store as compared to other sets in HD...even analogue looks better! :)
What are you going to do with the 51" set you have -leave it that upgraded basement area, too?

Todd Wiedemann

Quote from: gparris(Maybe it could be a "sticky" for awhile).

There you go ... stuck !

Mark Strube

Quote from: gparrisWhat are you going to do with the 51" set you have -leave it that upgraded basement area, too?

No 51" here... but the 42" is now in my mom's room, since she helped me pay for the SXRD. :)

I'm glad you find this helpful!! I figured my couple days of tweaking pain should go to some use! :D

I'll keep this thread updated if I find improved settings, or better fixes for the blue hue issue.


Mark: I was asking Paul S. what what he was doing with HIS 51" Sony...sorry.

Nice work, keep up the information and what the SXRD is like over time...thanks.

Mark Strube

Paul S.

Quote from: gparrisMark: I was asking Paul S. what what he was doing with HIS 51" Sony...sorry.

Nice work, keep up the information and what the SXRD is like over time...thanks.

It's going upstairs. The woman wants it up there in case I'm hogging up the new one downstairs lol


Thanks, Paul S...I knew you'd keep that set.

You know, that is why more households are becoming 2-HDTV-set ones.
It keeps the peace when you both want to watch different HD programmes.

Make sure Heather gets to watch it with some surround sound, too, unless that
is what she doesn't care much for, though the lady I know wants even more power on her amps
(Sony ES-series A/V receiver). :D

Will you post any pictures like you did before with the new SXRD as time permits? :)

Mark Strube

Added white balance corrections found by someone else's ISF* calibration on this same model set (50"). This seems to correct most of the red push (possibly all), and removes the tinge of yellow (mostly seen on skin tones) the defaults cause.

I also had to correct the brightness/color/sharpness settings to match these new white balance settings, so I've changed those in this post as well.

I'll be interested to see how these settings work out for others once they get their SXRD's.

My temporary "fix" for the blue hue problem won't work with these new settings, but it's really not annoying enough to fuss over, and these white balance settings seem to minimize that hue a bit.