After making some optimizations to my CMS Settings 1 and 2 last night and performing extensive A/B testing between these two settings, THX mode, and OOTB colors I am happy to report that I have what I believe is a winning combination! And the winner is - CMS Setting 2. For an explanation of how these settings were deprived, how Setting 1 and 2 differ, and what the point of all this is see my previous posts in this thread.
As previously discussed, the Rec Ldvd CMS settings are designed for those who find Rec 709 (THX mode) too pale for their tastes, yet find the RS20 OOTB settings way too oversaturated.
I'm now getting great results (albeit with some unavoidable yet seemingly subtle errors), at least as it applies to my particular tastes. YMMV. With Rec Ldvd the colors look VERY similar (almost identical) to THX mode in many scenes, especially scenes that do not use strong green, red or blue.
In scenes that use strong green, red or blue, you will see some slight push in blue, and a bit more push than that in red. This is intentional. Scenes that use strong green will experience a modest amount of push. This amount unfortunately is a bit more than I would like, but was unavoidable to in order to keep green from completely falling apart at 100%. I may try tweaking this further down the line if some refinements are possible, but would anticipate any improvement to be barely noticeable (without having to destroy 75%) so this is low priority ATM.
In summary, on a saturation scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the saturation level of THX mode, and 10 being the saturation with OOTB colors, I'd put Rec Ldvd at about a 3.5 which was my goal all along.
Essentially you should find that Rec Ldvd provides excellent color rendition and tracking for everything except the when colors are at their brightest (near 100% level). Colors at those levels will either clip or show as undersaturated.
I watched nearly 4 hours of various material and clips last night to QA the results. This includes cable TV, Blu-ray's including animated and non-animated movies, and PS3 gaming with lots of A/B testing.
In all this time I only came across a couple of scenes where the color errors were visible. The first was in the preview for the movie Aliens Vs. Monsters available when starting up Kung Foo Panda.
At the beginning of the clip a guy is getting scanned by a green light beam (I looked at the 3rd scan - the one of his elbow). In THX and OOTB modes, when paused you can see that the light bean consists of a glowing rod of green light, and an inner, brighter green light. When watching in Rec Ldvd the inner bright green light was not visible - instead this area looked a bit washed out and blended with the surrounding green glowing light. Clearly this green was at or near 100% and it was understandable and unavoidable with this set up (and a trade off that Rec Ldvd is based around).
The other scene I saw was on cable - it was a close up of a very bright explosion that had lots of yellow and red tones and nearly blinding white light dominated much of the picture.
In this scene, when paused in THX or OOTB mode you can see a bright yellow halo-like thick edge/border around the outer area of the large white explosion. With Rec Ldvd settings the yellow was still visible but was very washed out looking - again, consistent with errors at or near 100%.
I'm sure there were some errors like this in the other material I was watching, but most importantly nothing jumped out at me. And I only noticed these because I specifically paused to stare at it. So in general although there will be color errors and some clipping in certain scenes, these will largely go unrecognized. Some detail may be lost due to clipping occasionally as well, but again, if I can't spot it then it won't bother me.
One other thing I should mention is that the green shown on "The following preview is rated..." type of screens before a movie trailer will show green more oversaturated than I'd like. It is still better than the OOTB setting, both in terms of hue and saturation, but it is a little strong relative to Rec 709. Fortunately green for the most part in most program material looks much better, and in many cases only looks a bit more vivid when compared to THX mode.
Also I am happy to report that in no cases did I see any color that was just plain wrong. In other words no light/off-blue looked purple-ish etc when comparing Rec Ldvd to THX mode. The same of course cannot be said when comparing THX mode to OOTB, which goes back to why I do not care for the OOTB colors and the reason for Rec Ldvd (some mild oversaturation, but without going too far).
OK, so without further adieu, here are the settings:
- First, make sure you have a flat grayscale. These CMS settings were derived using a grayscale that tracked with a dE of <3 for 5-100%.
- I am not sure how relevant it is to the CMS, but I did this work with a custom gamma curve with the gamma correction set to 2.3 and values tweaked along the curve as needed to fix the tracking below 20% as well as to improve 70-95%. This measures to a 2.2 gamma. If you do not have the capabilities to set this up do not worry about it as it may make only a marginal difference (tho I can't be sure).
- Set the Color control to 0
- Set the CMS settings as follows:
Color, Hue, Saturation, Brightness
R: -2, -15, 9
Y: 3, -25, 15
G: -10, -25, 13
C: -1, -30, 6
B: 0, -10, 15
M: -1, -12, 10
- Reduce the color control to taste, if desired. I like it right at 0. However if you find Rec Ldvd to be a bit more over saturated than you'd like, drop color down a bit. This will also help remove clipping (generally most clipping is gone by -4ish) and help tame green a bit more, but keep an eye on your sky-blues and yellows (in particular) which will start to flatten out with a reduced Color setting to actually be undersaturated compared to THX mode.
These settings are the work of approximately 60 hours
of experimentation, redos, and tweaking to wee hours of the morning over and over, and is based on the input, theories and feedback that many here have shared for which I am very thankful. I hope you enjoy these and only ask that if you repost these settings elsewhere you provide credit to AVS forum members, and that one day Chris takes me for a spin in his toy.
Of course if I had to do it over it would take a lot less time with the hindsight of everything learned, but surely I hope I never have to do so!
We can't be sure at this point that CMS settings are transferable from machine to machine, but unlike grayscale tracking, I anticipate it should be (as an example I think we all have the same CMS settings for preset modes like Natural etc, although I don't think we ever verified this). If not, then I previously outlined the approach I used, and keep in mind the approach for CMS Setting 2 was the clear winner.
Also I should close by saying that while I am finally happy with the colors, it is not a substitute for a fix and/or better implementation to the CMS which is still sorely needed. I view this as a temporary (hopefully) work around.
The fact that I like colors a bit over saturated played well into the balancing act made possible with these settings, but for those looking to dial things in right at Rec 709, I think it will be even harder to find a good balance.
Please be sure to post your impressions on how these settings look on your RS20 and whether you change the color control or prefer it at 0. I look forward to your feedback and suggested tweaks to the settings are of course very welcome and encouraged. Enjoy!!