Sony 2010 XBR-xxHX909 Settings Discussion - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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The HX909 Owner's thread is cluttered with discussions of many "side issues" but little discussion about experiences with and recommendations for specific settings.

This thread will discuss the merits and drawbacks of various settings as well as keep the recommended settings up to date in 1 place.

This list of recommended settings is subject to change as more is learned about the HX909. I've used a video signal generator to determine correct settings where possible. I won't be able to say a whole lot about instrumented measurements until my review is published in WSR, but I see no harm in discussing basic settings.

(NEW - Try sending RGB to the HX909 instead of YCbCr - if you notice that images are sharper, continue to use RGB - note that sending RGB means keeping 16-235 (different manufacturers have different names for this mode... limited, standard, light are some of them) for 16-235 sources like Blu-ray and switching to 0-255 mode for PC sources and perhaps for some games.)

Updated November 3, 2010 (only change is paragraph "New" above)

Dark Room Viewing setting recommendations:

Scene Select Mode: General

2D Settings
Custom
Backlight - 2
Picture - 82 (produces +/- 35 fL combined with Backlight 2)
Brightness - 50 (remarkable... a factory default that's correct!)
Color - 50
Hue - 0

Color Temp - Warm2 (which is a little too red, Warm1 has a larger Blue bias than the red/yellow bias in Warm2 - you may prefer Warm1 if you are not having the TV calibrated, but you need 1 week of "acclimation" to Warm2 and Warm1 before making a choice - and no switching back and forth... watch each mode exclusively for 1 week before deciding which mode to stick with)

Sharpness - lost my notes and the TV is gone... easily checked with a sharpness test pattern available in just about all test/setup discs - and check it for every Scene Select mode and every Picture Mode you use, because the proper setting does change considerably when you change modes.

Noise Reduction - Low seems harmless for good quality images, helps worse qulity images a little - med and high do hurt detail in images.

MPEG Noise - (ditto)

Motionflow - Clear1 (still preferred overall, but Smooth is "interesting" though very "video looking" compared to all other settings - lots of motion artifacts in Smooth mode if there's a lot of motion on the screen)

CineMotion - Auto1 (this removes 3:2 pulldown from standard definition sources like DVD and uses frame interpolation to improve motion). Auto2 mode removes 3:2 pulldown but does not add interpolated frames. This setting does NOTHING for 720 or 1080 sources.

Black Corrector - Off

Adv. Contrast Enhancer - Off

Gamma - -2 (-2 setting averages 2.3, but it is higher at 30%, lower at 90% - good for 2D). If midtones seem too dark, use -1 to brighten midtones a bit. Black and white do not change when you adjust this control, but everything in between black and white will get lighter (higher numbers) or darker (lower numbers).

LED Dynamic Control - Standard (it would be a mistake to pay extra for this TV and not use this setting - it may not be P-E-R-F-E-C-T but it's better than leaving it off or Low) This is the Local Dimming control.

Auto Light Limiter - Off
Clear White - Off
Live Color - Off
Detail Enhancer - Off
Edge Enhancer - Off

Warmup time for 3D is about 45 minutes for new panels, decreases to 15 minutes as viewing time accumulates. Shutter glasses take 5 minutes or so when new but decreases to around 1 minute after they have been used for a while. Colder rooms may increase warmup times.

3D Settings
General - Custom
Backlight - Max - (no adjustment available in 3D mode) but varies greatly depending on what Scene Select Mode is being used.

Picture - try 87 to avoid color drift in highlights, but it may look too dark... use whatever setting makes the picture acceptably bright, knowing that the more you raise the setting above 87, the more color shift there will be. You may be forced to use Max and just have to live with the color shifts.

Brightness - 50
Color - 50
Hue - 0

Color Temp - Neutral (surprise! This was arrived at using an expensive meter with the shutter glasses over the lens of the meter and turned on... the glasses change color rather dramatically between being off and on so they MUST be on for measurements taken through them)

Sharpness - varies with different combinations of Scene Select and Mode, I recommend always using your own test/setup disc with Sharpness evaluation pattern to determine the best Sharpness setting since this TV seems a little unpredictable. Sometimes every setting from Min-55 looks the same (no sharpening applied, other times, the Min setting is required to get no sharpening.

Noise Reduction - (off, 3D Blu-ray doesn't need it)
MPEG Noise - (ditto)
Motionflow - Not Available in 3D mode
CineMotion - Not Available in 3D mode

Black Corrector - Off
Adv. Contrast Enhancer - Off

Gamma - use 0 unless picture looks too dark. If you need more brightness in the midtones, try +1 or +2.

LED Dynamic Control - N/A
Auto Light Limiter - N/A
Clear White - Off
Live Color - Off
Detail Enhancer - Off
Edge Enhancer - Off

Always use a test/setup disc to determine the best settings for Brightness and Sharpness on your TV - the discs don't help all that much with Color/Tint settings though, due to the blue filters needed for those modes being perfectly accurate. TVs with a Blue-only mode can have the Color and Tint controls set quite accurately (usually).

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post #2 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 08:43 AM
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Did you notice any color shifting as reported by Cnet? Or bluish blacks?
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post #3 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 09:18 AM
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It seems that a lot of people set sharpness to zero when watching bluray-movies,a sharpness thread.

What can you do to make your LCd less sharp with bluray content,Doug?
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post #4 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 12:27 PM
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CNET's reviewer created a post on the calibration settings he arrived at for the 52HX909.

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19410_10...hreadID=399409

I include it here not because I'm vouching for it, but this is clearly the thread to discuss such things in. FWIW, I did apply these settings on my set. Subjectively, they're not a train wreck. But I would welcome someone with testing gear to comment on this configuration. I know factory settings are often jacked up in strange ways but the white balance extremes below surprised me.

Quote:


--Home Menu>Settings>Picture & Display--

--Picture Adjustments menu--
Setting Memory: [any]
Picture Mode: Custom
Backlight: 3
Picture: 90
Brightness: 52
Color: 50
Hue: 0
Color Temperature: Warm 2
Sharpness: Min
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
Motionflow: Off
CineMotion: Auto 1

--Advanced Settings menu--
Black Corrector: Off
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Off
Gamma: 0
LED Dynamic Control: Standard
Auto Light Limiter: Off
Clear White: Off
Live Color: Off
White Balance: [See below]
Detail Enhancer: Off
Edge Enhancer: Off
Skin Naturalizer: Off [grayed out]

--White Balance menu--
R-Gain: -4
G-Gain: -1
B-Gain: 0
R-Bias: -4
G-Bias: -2
B-Bias: +4

Home Menu>Settings>Ambient Sensor: Off

Home Menu>Settings>Screen menu--
Setting Memory: [any]
Wide Mode: Full
Auto Wide: Off
4:3 Default: Off [grayed out]
Auto Display Area: Off
Display Area: Full Pixel
Screen Position: [grayed out]
Vertical Size: [grayed out]

Home Menu>Settings>Pro Picture Setup: [All settings Auto]

--Home Menu>Settings>Preferences--

--Scene Select menu--
General

--Eco menu--
Power Saving: Off

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post #5 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 01:49 PM
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LOL.... no wonder DavidPF thought the set tinged blue for dark colors!

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19410_10...hreadID=399409

Quote:


R-Gain: -4
G-Gain: -1
B-Gain: 0
R-Bias: -4
G-Bias: -2
B-Bias: +4

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post #6 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgb32 View Post

LOL.... no wonder DavidPF thought the set tinged blue for dark colors!

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19410_10...hreadID=399409

i dont get it, explain?
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post #7 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bigboss21 View Post

i dont get it, explain?

The Blue-bias is set to +4, while the gain and bias for other colors are lessen.

I still wonder a bit about the blue tinted blacks though. Someone who bought the set from Best Buy mentioned about it too.

Quote:


I will start off by saying that the black level achieved by this television is as dark and endless as any television can possibly get. The problem is that the black level comes with a price. In dark scenes, the blacks turn very blue, and as the television is on longer and warms up, the blacks will start to change color to an impossibly dark shade of navy. It's very noticeable, and I've never seen any other television do anything like this. At first glance, the extremely dark black level of the set will seem black, but once you become accustomed to it, and look deeper, it becomes very evident that you are actually seeing a very deep navy-ish black. The loner you leave the television on, the more you will notice this.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+B...ustomerreviews
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post #8 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Cloud View Post

The Blue-bias is set to +4, while the gain and bias for other colors are lessen.

I still wonder a bit about the blue tinted blacks though. Someone who bought the set from Best Buy mentioned about it too.



http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+B...ustomerreviews

this sucks, i have a wad full of cash and this set is a major disappointment i dont know what to buy now.
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post #9 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboss21 View Post

this sucks, i have a wad full of cash and this set is a major disappointment i dont know what to buy now.

Please do yourself a favor and go audition it for yourself. I did so at our Sonystyle for 40 minutes and I never saw any Blue Blacks. Outside my not caring for the small size at 52" for a flagship panel I thought it was excellent viewing and were it 60"+ I'd probably buy one myself but not at MSRP.

Audition and try out the settings recommended here or tweak them for your preferences and nothings lost if you have return rights when buying.

Samsung 65F8000, 60D8000, 40HU6350, Panasonic 50E60 LCD's
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post #10 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgb32 View Post

LOL.... no wonder DavidPF thought the set tinged blue for dark colors!

R-Gain: -4
G-Gain: -1
B-Gain: 0
R-Bias: -4
G-Bias: -2
B-Bias: +4

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19410_10...hreadID=399409

(1) Gain settings are irrelevant. Only offset/bias settings significantly affect the low-luminance values.
(2) How, exactly, are we to suppose there's anything wrong with those settings without seeing the pre-calibration charts and tables??? If the thing starts out at the low end with a low gamma, red too strong and blue too weak, those settings are entirely on mark.
(3) Could we please, please leave the partisanship at home for this thread??? That is half of why Mr. Blackburn created it, after all. (Please understand, I don't mean this to be directed specifically at you, rgb32.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboss21 View Post

this sucks, i have a wad full of cash and this set is a major disappointment i dont know what to buy now.

I encourage you to be patient; we don't yet know if the set is all that bad or all that good. Lots of testing has to be done before a proper objective analysis can be made on any high-performance TV, and we're not there yet with the HX909. Maybe CNET's TV was aberrant, and maybe not. Maybe their chosen settings introduced some problems, and maybe not. Maybe there are some obscure, carefully hidden controls in the service menu that can minimize the problems it has, and maybe not. Time will tell (or rather, I expect Mr. Blackburn will tell in due time).

-Noob

-Noob
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post #11 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Cloud View Post

The Blue-bias is set to +4, while the gain and bias for other colors are lessen.

I still wonder a bit about the blue tinted blacks though. Someone who bought the set from Best Buy mentioned about it too.



http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+B...ustomerreviews

The problem with the Best Buy review is that it isn't sold at Best Buy yet. My guess is this is someone's impressions from seeing it in a store like Sonystyle or Fryes. It's almost note for note the same as what CNET wrote. I'd wait until the owners (owner?) of the set chimes in or we get info from widescreen review, or at least a review that posts detailed info. And it is funny that the CNET guy sees blue tinted blacks after setting +4 blue bias. If the set does drift after turning it on, shouldn't the reviewer calibrate after it stabilizes? At least that's what they do in the projector world.
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post #12 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetroElectro View Post

The problem with the Best Buy review is that it isn't sold at Best Buy yet. My guess is this is someone's impressions from seeing it in a store like Sonystyle or Fryes. It's almost note for note the same as what CNET wrote. I'd wait until the owners (owner?) of the set chimes in or we get info from widescreen review, or at least a review that posts detailed info. And it is funny that the CNET guy sees blue tinted blacks after setting +4 blue bias. If the set does drift after turning it on, shouldn't the reviewer calibrate after it stabilizes? At least that's what they do in the projector world.

Hello,

Right, but remember what happened with the XBR9? Values didn't just drift as the TV warmed up, they flat out failed to hold steady between Tuesday and Wednesday. I guess I just assumed that what Mr. Katzmeier was referring to there was a similar phenomenon. I suppose we'll know more once Doug Blackburn has done his utmost with the thing and posts his results.

-Noob

-Noob
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post #13 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 05:16 PM
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docs.sony.com doesn't have a protocol PDF up available (yet?).

If anyone finds one (maybe on an international site), please post. Thanks!
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post #14 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 05:23 PM
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For an example of what I'm talking about, here's one for an XBR5:

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/KDL40XBR5_protocol.pdf

The core will likely be the same as this but each model has specific extensions since there are typically codes for any picture or source setting in the menus or on the remote (and sometimes beyond).

Very useful for automation or batching source changes, even time of day changes, etc.
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post #15 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 06:23 PM
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i went to check out the tv and i sat there watching avatar ( a movie which i abhor) and couldnt find any issue with the tv. But that movie has no dark scenes so i couldn't see this blooming, or blueish blacks cnet was talking about. I wish the hx owners would post already but they are no where to be found.
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post #16 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetroElectro View Post

The problem with the Best Buy review is that it isn't sold at Best Buy yet.

+1 To me that Best Buy review was "highly suspect" didn't sound to me like your average consumer's review but more like a competitions rant.
Just my 2 cents.
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post #17 of 434 Old 07-07-2010, 11:58 PM
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Yeah, I'm noticing a good amount of reviews about the HX line tend to not talk about the quality of the TV at all. Lame. Are they trying to dissuade people from buying sets by giving false reviews due to their own bias? People have that much time in the day? Cripes.

Regarding the TV itself, however, one would think that with all the models in stores people are seeing, its problems would be evident. Those TVs are on a good amount of the day, every day. Problems would arise, no?

It can be tough to judge, though, I've only seen the HX800 line do 3D material, nothing in 2D unfortunately.

If I wasn't into home theater, I'd have a whole lotta money.
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post #18 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 12:39 AM
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im seriously thinking about finding an xbr8 and just saying screw it to all these new models, i'll just wait till 3D matures. If the hx800 is going to have clouding issues i rather settle for a classic until sony wakes the hell up.
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post #19 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:16 AM
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Thread starter warn me that here is calibration thread so i erased my msg.

so sorry

DH>>bons@i / AVF>>b0nsai / TF>>bonsai
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post #20 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post

It seems that a lot of people set sharpness to zero when watching bluray-movies,a sharpness thread.

What can you do to make your LCd less sharp with bluray content,Doug?

Less sharp? Why? The whole point of Blu-ray is highly detailed images. There is absolutely NO evidence of ANY sharpness artifacts with any Sharpness control setting between 0 and 55. You only begin to see artifacts from over-sharpening with settings of 56 and higher.

There is no one correct sharpness setting. You have to use a test pattern and check every model of TV to find where the sharpness control should be set. Most test/setup discs will explain how to use the Sharpness test pattern (usually a gray screen with horizontal and vertical black bars. When the Sharpness control is set too high, you begin to see white edges along the vertical or horizontal black lines (or both vertical and horizontal). That extra white edge is not present in the original and is an artifact that should be avoided.

Some TVs will actually SOFTEN the picture if you set the Sharpness control too low... the VT25 does not. Once you get rid of the white edges on the black lines arould 56 or 55 setting for the Sharpness control, the picture never changes as you set the control to lower values.

I've seen some TVs and projectors where the Sharpness control does nothing at all... marketing told the engineers that there had to be a Sharpness control or they couldn't sell the product. So the engineers put in a Sharpness control, but made sure it did nothing... on purpose.

To get the best images from Blu-ray, you want to see what is on the disc... not a blurred version of that and not an over-sharpened version of that. Using the default "50" setting for the Sharpness control reproduces what is on the disc - so does 40, 30, 20, 10 and 0.

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post #21 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboss21 View Post

im seriously thinking about finding an xbr8 and just saying screw it to all these new models, i'll just wait till 3D matures. If the hx800 is going to have clouding issues i rather settle for a classic until sony wakes the hell up.

This is a SETTINGS THREAD. Please limit messages to discussion of SETTINGS.

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post #22 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCFKevin View Post

Yeah, I'm noticing a good amount of reviews about the HX line tend to not talk about the quality of the TV at all. Lame. Are they trying to dissuade people from buying sets by giving false reviews due to their own bias? People have that much time in the day? Cripes.

Regarding the TV itself, however, one would think that with all the models in stores people are seeing, its problems would be evident. Those TVs are on a good amount of the day, every day. Problems would arise, no?

It can be tough to judge, though, I've only seen the HX800 line do 3D material, nothing in 2D unfortunately.

This thread is for discussion of SETTINGS. Please do not clutter it with other topics.

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post #23 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboss21 View Post

i went to check out the tv and i sat there watching avatar ( a movie which i abhor) and couldnt find any issue with the tv. But that movie has no dark scenes so i couldn't see this blooming, or blueish blacks cnet was talking about. I wish the hx owners would post already but they are no where to be found.

This thread is for discussion of SETTINGS. Please do not clutter it with other discussion.... the Owner's Thread is the place for other HX909 topics.

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post #24 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladi123456 View Post

Did you notice any color shifting as reported by Cnet? Or bluish blacks?

I can't really say much about evaluation of performance until after the review is published in WSR.

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post #25 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I see C/Net used a backlight setting of 3 and a Picture setting of 80 while I used Backlight = 1 and Picture 95 (this is for dark room viewing with about 33 fL for 100% white - a good setting... I like 30-35 fL for dark rooms, no eyestrain from the picture being too bright against the darkness of the room).

Why I use the lowest possible Backlight setting:

1) It improves blacks and reduces the appearance of uneven illumination when the screen is black.

2) Uses less electricity and creates less heat.


Why you may NOT BE ABLE TO USE THE LOWEST POSSIBLE BACKLIGHT SETTING:

1) Shadow detail falls apart into a big dark blur.

2) The panel may look very strange (seems to be less prevalent in newer TVs and less prevalent with LED backlight systems), and nothing makes the strangeness go away except a higher backlight setting (images may look posterized or "flat").

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post #26 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 03:43 AM
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Have you done settings for daytime/lighter room viewing? Do you tend to just have to adjust the backlight, or would you adjust other settings too? (if the latter, do modern sets have multiple memories for different viewing conditions?)


BTW, do you have an ETA on the WSR review, and is it available online for those of us not in the US?
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post #27 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 05:52 PM
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Doug, Thanks for starting this forum. This will help all the Sony Folk that have lots of Questions on what settings for each input. For example Blu ray HDMI ? Could get lucky & have someone with Sony help with How Scene Select Auto works & when ? I tried it & don't see any changes like Theater & Sport when You select... Cinemotion Auto 1, Auto 2, Off.
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post #28 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard plumb View Post

Have you done settings for daytime/lighter room viewing? Do you tend to just have to adjust the backlight, or would you adjust other settings too? (if the latter, do modern sets have multiple memories for different viewing conditions?)


BTW, do you have an ETA on the WSR review, and is it available online for those of us not in the US?

For LCDs I would tend to just make the backlight brigher for daytime viewing. Though some modes (perhaps Cinema Scene Select) may limit the max brightness and you might have to use another benign Scene Select to get the screen bright enough (General, perhaps).

Some TVs have day/night settings, but all or most of them that I've seen are accessed through the service menu so they aren't necessarily something you'd mess with casually - the service menu can be a very dangerous place. Sony's service menus tend to be very complex and arcane.

My submission deadline for the Sony review is Sept. 1. The issue is likely to go to press in mid-Sept and be distributed shortly after that. There is an online site, but most content is by subscription only. Last time I checked, the online subscription fee was about 1/2 of the printed magazine subscription price for US subscribers. I suspect the international subscription prices are much more expensive than US subscription fees, so the online subscription fee is a relative bargain for international readers. Check www.widescreenreview.com for the online subscription price - I hate to say what I think the fee is, because I might not remember it right.

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post #29 of 434 Old 07-08-2010, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, chuck everything I said in the first post about Sharpness... it looks like different Scene Select and Modes may change the best Sharpness setting. Today while messing around, the edge enhancement artifacts at 1080p did not disappear completely until I got to Min for the Sharpness setting. But when I switched to a standard def input, I only had to turn Sharpness down to 32 to stop edge enhancement artifacts.

So... you really need a test/setup disc with a shapness evaluation pattern. I like Digital Video Essentials HD Basics... especially useful if you need explanations of how to use various evaluation patterns.

I'll edit my Sharpness recommendation in the original post to reflect this change.

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post #30 of 434 Old 07-09-2010, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the TV updated it's firmware automatically while it was turned off... went from version xxx.010xxx to .057

So... if you haven't checked to make sure the auto-update feature is enabled, you SHOULD do that soon. It's in the Home/Xross menu under the ? (support) Settings selection. You can view the current firmware version in the "Contact Sony" (or whatever it's called, I'm not in front of the TV right now), and one of the settings in there somewhere allows you to enable or disable auto-updates while the TV is in Standby mode. I did not see a menu item anywhere that allows you to look for firmware updates manually while you are there watching to see if there's a newer version. So it appears that this auto-update mode is the only way to get the latest updates for the TV.

Sony's support website doesn't list any updates for the HX909 - probably because the only update path is to use the auto-update setting. So we may get little info about what various updates change or add.

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