I spent 8 -10 hours with my projector yesterday. I learned a lot.
First, let me say I WAS very happy with the HDR for the most part by using the HDR gamma curve combined with high laser and +2 or +3 Dynamic Range adjustment in the Panny. It wasn't until Guardians of the Galaxy 2 that I thought something was very wrong. The opening scene, which takes place outdoors, was abnormally dim, whereas the Bluray was bright (and more natural looking).
This one scene led me down a rabbit hole.
I started playing with the Arve tool and was able to make the movie look pretty punchy, without over-blowing the high end. I was pretty happy and I had a GOTG2 party and enjoyed the film.
During the past week, I checked out Red and Red 2. Both of these movies (made with film, not digital) look great on regular Bluray but looked bad on my projector (using my custom gamma curve). Some colors were off, upper end was off and the film grain did not look natural. Then I got Van Helsing - a film I happen to know really well and it was, again, worse than the Bluray. Lots of black crush and other issues. Every so often I would go back to the HDR gamma and instantly dismissed it because it was much darker looking.
So... I got frustrated (as you can tell from an earlier post). Since I received Ray M's UHD test disc recently, I decided to see if the patterns could tell me anything - even though I'm not an expert and don't have color filters or any measurement tools. What I quickly took away from these was that any of my custom curves did not show any information in the color ramps - nothing was flashing where it should have been - whereas with the HDR gamma there was indeed information. So in trying to make the image brighter and come out of black quicker, I was squashing (clipping?) information.
I also learned that targeting .005 doesn't work well (at least for me). In fact, even if you do, if you ever use the Panny's Dynamic Range, it will elevate the blacks you purposely clipped. Resolving down to 68 seems important to not get crushed blacks.
I then tried watching Van Helsing again with a fresh perspective. The black crush and blinding highlights that bothered me in the first scene (which is black and white) before were not there. In fact the highlights were wonderful. I didn't expect to do much other than check out a few chapters but I ended up watching the entire movie. To some degree that's saying a lot because the movie itself is rather weak, but I was mesmerized by the HDR. I have no doubt that there could be some improvement in shadow detail in the darkest elements, but for the most part the amount of information, color saturation and highlights were stunning. I couldn't stop watching!
I then checked out Red and Red 2 and they looked MUCH better. The weird colors that I saw (e.g. unnatural yellow tint on the side of a brown brick building in daylight) were gone.
The big test was to put on GOGT2 again. Yes, the opening daylight scene was dim (I knew that would be the case) but I ignored that and continued. While I didn't watch the entire disc (I skipped around), I was blown away by color saturation. By trying to get the movie to be punchy bright I not only depleted color saturation but lost a lot of texture detail. I knew this could happen when I was trying to brighten up the image and thought I had found a good compromise, but there is no comparison.
I continued checking out disc after disc and was blown away.
So all this to say that I'm going to give up on the Arve tool for now. These are my settings for HDR:
- HDR gamma
- Dark Level +7
- Iris -5
- Dynamic Mode 2
- High laser
- Panasonic dmp-ub900 Dynamic Range +3
I am relying on the Panasonic in order to be happy with HDR and I recommend this player to anyone using this projector for that reason.
The only thing I want to mention - in case someone can shed some light on it - is that in viewing Ray M's test patterns, my red was only resolving up to 400 nits while all other colors went up to 1000+. I
Is this a weakness in the projector or a calibration issue - anyone know?
I love the smell of projector in the morning!
JVC-RS4500 4k projector (calibrated by Ken Whitcomb), 11 foot wide (132x54) 2.35:1 ST130
Panasonic DMP-UB900 & Plex Media Server
Classe SSP-800, Bryston amplification, Wilson Audio speakers (7.2) + Buttkickers.
Last edited by Ian_Currie; 09-14-2017 at 07:13 AM.