My (many-times-over) revised KDS-R70XBR2 settings and tweaks:
While I was initially happy with the original settings I posted on the owner's thread, and managed to tweak them to look even better, in the end this happiness was only the result of the contrast between them and the factory defaults, which are awful.
The reason why I never succeeded in overall happiness was because there are some problems inherent in the color decoder that are not easily/properly correctable outside of the service menu. No matter how "correct" I previously tried to make my picture, I never managed to get it to be correct in every way. Finally, I gave up and endeavored to make the picture match the picture of my old Pioneer Elite Pro-510HD, which had a magnificent picture: crisp, clean, and without any questionable colors. I had good success with SD, and HD is doing all right. I'm not sure how appropriate it is to post my settings as examples, since they are very subjective and have only indirect connections to calibration. My old TV is calibrated, but has been tweaked a few degrees in every direction since (think of the Steaming Rat method mentioned below) and is not necessarily "correct," so these new XBR2 settings that closely approximate it are very subjective and may not be good for everyone else. If you're interested, click here
for an overview of how I went about it.
That said, my original post from the owner's thread still had some useful general information in it, so I'm going to take out the misinformation and re-post here with the new values.
I've now tuned three different inputs/devices. I think tuning color, at least with analog (non-HDMI) transports, is going to be rather inconsistent, so keep in mind what
I'm tuning when you look at how I tuned it. I'll color code the results for easy reading. If the forum skin changes and makes this difficult to read, send me a PM and I'll fix it up.
- purple = All inputs/devices
- red = Series 2 TiVo directly tuning noisy analog SD Comcast cable. Connected via S-Video. Note that, due to the analog noise, the settings for this input are skewed towards reducing the noise and the color washout it causes. Unless you are in a similar situation, the settings for this input are probably not useful to you.
- green = Series 3 TiVo using cablecards to tune digital SD and HD Comcast cable; tuned specifically for HD content, but SD looks okay too. Currently connected via component to avoid the 5.1 sound warnings. This is the input/device which is probably most typical of an average person's equipment, but since SD and HD programming varies so wildly at the source, it's been difficult to come up with a happy medium, so keep that in mind.
- blue = Zenith DVB318 upconverting DVD player set to 1080i, using the older LG firmware that allows upconversion over component. Connected via component. (At some point, I'll switch back to the Zenith firmware and use HDMI.) These settings may or may not be useful to you.
IMPORTANT: Several of the settings below are interdependent. The main element is the adjustment of Hue to G 2 to account for the iffy color decoder in these sets. That, in turn, requires
something at least similar to my adjustments to white balance, or some fleshtones will go yellow and some greens will go blue. If you want to try my settings, avoid picking and choosing until later.
- Picture Mode: Custom
- Advanced Iris: Auto 2 seems to work well in my environment, day and night. It's a little bright in the dark, but I think I'd rather set up a backlight than have to diddle with the setting all the time.
- Picture (a.k.a. Contrast or White Level): 86 84 88. Between the red push inherent in the color decoder, and the apparent increase to red gain/bias inherent in the Warm 1/2 settings, red values well below 100% can max out the LCOS panel while blue and green can still rise. This results in red crush and an effective shift to cyan at the upper end, and tends to make bright areas of faces washed out and featureless unless you lower Picture to allow more headroom. You probably need lower still for Warm 2. If you watch TV in a dark room with no backlight, you might prefer your Picture about 5 points lower.
- Brightness (a.k.a. Black Level): 49 51 45. This is where the noise on my analog SD TiVo sets it apart; not only does it wash out colors, but it also lightens the image and requires me to drop the brightness to 49, while my digital TiVo can have a higher brightness. The DVD player is a lot lower because it encodes black as a lighter shade to keep details from getting lost in black crush, but with this TV we have no black crush and need to compensate to make black look black (an alternative would be Black Corrector, below).
- Color (a.k.a. Saturation): 55 48 48. The washing out of colors on my noisy analog SD TiVo results in a seemingly-high setting of 55, but the digital HD TiVo's value is lower because the colors are what they should be. DVD is similar to the HD TiVo. This is probably very subjective, but most people will be happy with something between 40 and 50. Also note that some shows, like Lost, seem to crank it way up at their end, so don't use them for adjusting settings.
- Hue (a.k.a. Tint): G 2. The color decoder in this TV seems to rotate or skew the color space inappropriately, making reds more fuchsia and flesh too pink. Since the fleshtone correction in Live Color is abominable and doesn't fix red anyway, we fix it here. Note, however, that this in turn requires consequent fixes in the White Balance to fix some tones that are now too yellow, and also some tones that remain a little too fuschia (since we can't afford to use G 3 or higher).
- Color Temp.: Warm 1. Supposedly Warm 2 is closer to 6504K, aka D65, aka overcast noontime illumination. I always find that white to be too beige, though. Perhaps it's my bulb. Note that White Balance can be set differently for each Color Temp, so if you change the temp, make sure your White Balance is correct also.
- Sharpness: Min Min or 17 Min. Note that Min (zero) is, in fact, not just an absence of extra sharpening, but in fact appears to be a slight softening. 17 seems to be roughly the point at which there is no extra sharpening or softening. I've set sharpness to Min on analog SD cable to minimize noise/snow in the so-so signal. I'm trying Min on digital HD cable, because it seems to be just enough to hide mpeg "mosquito" noise, but you might prefer to keep things crisp at 17.
- Noise Reduction: Medium Low Low. I use Medium or sometimes High for the analog SD because there's a lot of noise, but High will produce visible smearing at times and I'd rather have some noise. Higher settings may be the source of some complaints about "motion blur." Most non-computer sources will have some noise in them (either analog noise or mpeg mosquito noise) and do benefit from the Low setting.
- DRC Mode: Mode 1. Mode 1 is for true SD content or true HD content. Mode 2 is for SD content that has been scaled to HD externally (external scaler, some HD cable boxes, etc.). Obviously, if your external device may be scaling either SD or HD and the TV has no way of knowing which is coming in, you're kind of screwed. If so, use Mode 1, because it's okay for SD scaled to HD, while Mode 2 is not okay for true HD content. Note that if you're using an actual external scaler to generate 1080p, you probably don't want DRC on at all, since your external scaler is where that functionality should be happening. Note that turning off DRC entirely also turns off the 1080i deinterlacer, so if you have 1080i coming in and don't want any processing, you might be better off using Mode 1 with a 1,1 palette (below) than turning it off.
- DRC Palette vertical,horizontal: 0,100 SD:1,1/HD:50,20 1,1. The horizontal axis appears to cause the picture to become softer, and the vertical causes it to become sharper. Obviously, these seem to be at odds with each other, so it's difficult to say exactly what the intended use is. 0,100 certainly seems to help clean up analog noise. Note that this is set per DRC mode, per resolution, per input, so you're going to have to set it up many times.
- Advanced Settings
- Black Corrector: Off. This is actually another good way to deal with DVD players' tendency to elevate black in order to avoid black crush. As mentioned, our TV's don't have black crush, so you might want to try turning this on. I'm not sure yet if this, or Brightness, is the best way to fix it. They don't seem to do the same thing. This would not likely be appropriate for any other device.
- Gamma: Off. Bleh. Stuff is authored for default gamma, why would I want to change it? Note that enabling gamma correction also throws off many of the settings above. Mind you, it's a good temporary fix for programs that were authored way too darkly.
- Clear White: Off.
- Live Color (a.k.a. Fleshtone Correction?): Off. I think this is fleshtone correction. However, it seems to change a lot of colors, randomly saturating and changing hue. I tried it on Low for a while for pure analog content, but it looks bad and now it's off for every input.
- White Balance: I had to change this to accomodate the Hue adjustment above that brought red into alignment, because it caused a couple of other tones to be too green. Note that the Gain is percieved to affect the high end more, and the Bias the low, so some adjustments aren't symmetrical where I found things like fleshtones being, say, greenish at the upper end and purpleish at the bottom. In a way, it's lucky that we have to reduce green, as the set is supposed to have significant green push. Technically, it's not the right way to correct green push, but if you have to do it for other reasons, it's nice that the side effect is minimized thusly. Obviously, these settings vary by individual TV and by input device, so don't take them as gospel. Note that these can be set for each Color Temp (see above) value, so if you change your Color Temp, make sure these are correct for it.
- R Gain: 0 0 0
- G Gain: -9 -9 -9
- B Gain: -4 -2 -4
- R Bias: 0 -2 -2
- G Bias: -2 -1 -2
- B Bias: -5 -8 -6
- Detail Enhancer: Low.
- Edge Enhancer: Low.
- Display Area: Normal. Of course. Who needs more overscan?
- Horizontal Center: Almost all of my inputs are showing up just slightly off-center to the left, so I'm using +2..+5 here, depending on the source. Your mileage will certainly vary. Do check it out, though.
- Vertical Center (Zoom mode only): -1 for TV sources, because almost all broadcast letterboxed content is shown slightly above center. DVD letterboxed content is usually centered correctly, so use 0 there.
- Vertical Size: Before I adjusted SD overscan in the service menu, I actually changed it in Zoom mode to -1, to be just slightly squished vertically, to offset the factory-set overscan. I couldn't see the difference and I got a little more real estate. YMMV. For Wide Zoom, I changed it to 5, because Wide Zoom is way oversquished by default and I prefer to crop more than squish, not that I'll ever actually use Wide Zoom. After I adjusted SD overscan in the service menu, I changed the -1 for Zoom back to 0. This is important if you do likewise!
- Game Mode: Off, even for most games. The purpose of Game Mode is to eliminate display processing time, which is the time it takes for the onboard computer to spiff up the image, and which causes the "input lag" one notices in games that require quick responses. It does this by disabling all image enhancements, like noise reduction, deinterlacing, edge enhancement, and so on. You can get much of the effect yourself by disabling such features manually until you're satisfied, and you'll usually end up with a better picture. Note also that delivering a progressive signal to the TV from your console automatically removes any need for deinterlacing, and is thus a bigger improvement than you might think. If you can deliver a pure, digital, progressive signal, you're really in good shape, because you shouldn't need any image enhancements, though you might also be fine turning on Game Mode if your incoming image is already great.
- Color Matrix: ITU601 for SD, ITU709 for HD. I initially thought there may be cases where my cable company is delivering digital SD video to me in the wrong color space, and so I switched 480 from the analog ITU601 to the digital ITU709. However, after finding that it's really the color decoder in this TV that's at fault, I'm back to using the default values (ITU601 for SD and ITU709 for HD).
- Power Saving: On, because the room is always dimly lit anyway. You'll get the blackest blacks with this On. Note that when this is Off, white balance is a little more blue (higher color temperature).
- CineMotion: Auto for 480i material. Note that this is actually OFF by default (?!?) and you have to actually be in 480i mode to turn it on. Without this, SD looks like crap. With it, some material can look almost as good as an upconverting DVD player.
Notes on color accuracy resulting from my user menu settings above:
Thanks to strutter for posting his pre-calibration reports
, which we believe were taken while his set had my settings, but we're not 100% sure:
- Red will still be a little oversaturated, but less off-hue towards magenta.
- Yellow will still be somewhat oversaturated, but should now be the correct hue.
- Green will still be oversaturated, but should now be the correct hue.
- Cyan will somewhat off-hue towards blue. (A problem with Sony's custom color space.)
- Blue should be spot-on.
- Magenta will be somewhat off-hue towards blue. (A problem with Sony's custom color space.)
- Grayscale will be somewhat blue at the bottom and nearer correct at the top. (Not sure if this is Sony or me.)
- Fleshtones, as with the red/yellow/green primaries, may still be a little oversaturated, but should now have much more correct hues.
- Gamma is a touch bright in the mid-to-upper range. (Not sure if this is Sony or me.)
- Note the graphs in the post linked above for an indication of just how much more improvement you can get from a proper calibration.
Note, however, that strutter had just replaced his bulb and had less than 100 hours on it, so that may have affected these readings. New bulbs are always decidedly bluer than middle-aged bulbs.
Thanks also to BeachComber for doing a quick read of my settings on his 300-hour lamp
. Gleaned were:
- Overall color temp was probably in the low 9000K's, which is a blue-ish white, but not nearly as hyper-blue as the default settings, which are more like 20000K. I do prefer my white hotter (bluer) than 6504K (aka D65), so this is not surprising. It's a little higher than I thought, but once you go over about 7-8K you get less and less change, so 8K and 9K aren't terribly different. One might prefer to apply my white balance to Warm 2 instead for something much closer to D65.
- My own bulb is much older and probably runs cooler (more orange), so I may already have something a lot closer to D65 than BeachComber got. YMMV.
- I seemed to have pretty good consistent color temperature across most of the scale (30-100 IRE), but the bottom end of the scale measured pretty cool (orangey). I don't see this on my set, and certain meters measure RPTVs poorly at low levels, so perhaps this isn't accurate. Hard to say.
Service Menu:I'm not going to tell you how to get into or use the service menu. It's a dangerous place, where you can turn your TV into a very large brick, and if you're not capable of finding the information on how to use it, you're probably also not qualified to be in there. If you do figure out how to get in there, I still recommend that you don't. I'm quite smart, I'm an engineer by trade, and I'm very cautious, and yet I still nearly turned my TV into a brick once. I was practically in tears. If you still ignore my cautions and go in there and make changes that brick your TV, well, all I can do is hope you didn't save the settings and that you can undo them by unplugging your TV. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. If not, enjoy your $5000 brick. I hope I'm being
really clear here.
- WEM Service:
- 70 scancon inpl_ovs.spf: (Note: The adjustments below were all made while in 480i modes, and automatically affect all of Normal, Full, Zoom, and Wide Zoom. All of composite/s-video/component/hdmi 480i/480p have separate settings, which are similar, but not identical. You adjust the settings for the current input/mode when in the service menu. Similar to above, colors are: S2 TiVo on S-Video (PackID 131) and S3 TiVo 480i material on component (PackID 139). Beware of thinking you're adjusting 480 material when your input device is upconverting to HD for you. Hit 'info' outside the SM to see what you're getting. Also, don't adjust overscan for HD, it creates moire patterns and aliasing. Also note than any tweaks you make to the optical block with the physical adjustment screws may affect what you need here.)
- 0 HOVERSCN: Was 54 50, I made it 16 16. This brings more of the SD image on-screen horizontally. This is the value that brings the image aspect into line after the VOVERSCN value I came up with below. It just barely hides the ragged left/right edges on cable NTSC. Note that this value may vary based on your input device's video timings and whether it's digital or analog.
- 1 VOVERSCN: Was 54 50, I made it 33 33. This brings more of the SD image on-screen vertically. This is the least overscan I can get away with that exactly fills a Zoom mode screen with true 16:9 letterboxed TV content (e.g. Ghost in the Shell SAC, many movie commercials). If you do this, is very important that you undo the -1 vertical size in zoom mode that I mentioned in the user section. This value should not change based on the input device and should be good for all SD devices (e.g. vcrs, non-upconverting SD DVD players, etc.).
- 2 VOVERSFT: Was 200 200, I made it 201 201. This shifts the image vertically 2 interlaced input scanlines per tick. This is a balance that happens to work well on my TV for the mix of usually-above-center and sometimes-properly-centered 16:9 letterboxed you get material on TV. I centered based on the narrowest 16:9 material I could find (e.g. Ghost in the Shell SAC, many movie commercials) and with an eye to making sure that taller-but-vertically-off-center material didn't have any visible black border. Note that this value may vary based on your input device's video timings and whether it's digital or analog.
- 72 scancon inpr_ovs.spf: (Note: This is usually marked as inactive, but if you enter picture-beside-picture mode, you'll actually get an active data set here for the right-hand picture, plus a new data set in 70 that's separate from its data set for the full-screen mode. I personally suggest using the same SD values, but unlike full-screen mode, I do suggest eliminating overscan in the picture-beside-picture HD modes, since they're already imperfect and there's really no harm done. At least it offers you a simple workaround to see something near the border if you need to, without compromising the full-screen picture quality. Better than nothing.)
- 20 IRIS: (Note: The adjustments below are all for Auto 2 iris mode. Also note that I quickly abandoned the idea of messing with the iris, since uneven heat from the lamp may play a factor in optical block degradation--do so at your own risk!)
- 3 I_OFSET: I didn't change this from the default of 128. This literally offsets the range that IRISMIN and IRISMAX are in. Each step here seems to be worth 8 steps in IRISMIN and IRISMAX.
- 10 I_GAIN: My default was 167, and I'm trying 106. This setting increases the image boost that compensates for the closed iris on dark scenes. Lower numbers make the bright parts of dark scenes brighter. Truly black areas do not seem to get boosted, so you shouldn't be harming your spiffy black levels by adjusting this. Note that very low values will cause white crush as the TV tries to boost the image past the range the LCoS panels can actually display.
- 33 IRISMAX: I adjusted this from the default of 681 arbitrarily to 721. This opens the iris a little more on bright scenes. I did this because adjusting the IRISMIN below caused the bright scenes to darken/dull a little. Since I adjusted IRISMIN down by 40, I arbitrarily tried adjusting this upwards by 40. It may be that I should be using a proportional change, though, of perhaps +80 or so. 40 seems okay. This is still a work in progress.
- 34 IRISMIN: I adjusted this from the default of 340 to 300. This closes the iris more on dark scenes, to provide slightly better blacks. I chose this number based partially on what others have tried, and also on careful examination of what lower values did to the display. I saw no real changes below 300 or so, and so I kept this change conservative.
- 21 Timer:
- 0 LMP: This is the total time your current lamp has been on.
- 2 OPERAT: This is the total time your set has been on.
A service menu hack that changes Wide Zoom from being a non-uniform stretch to being a vertical-only uniform zoom. This is useful when someone takes a 4:3 video with a 16:9 letterbox in it, and stretches it across an 16:9 channel:
Another service menu hack that allows you to increase (or decrease) the amount you adjust screen size and position by in the Screen menu.
Adjusting optical trapezoid and rotation:
Removing pincushion/hourglass due to screen bowing:
A remote control macro that toggles closed captioning:
- KTTV Images is maintaining a similar list of settings, two posts above, and has some interesting observations regarding the various settings related to sharpening/enhancing.
- Owen has detailed his own advanced tweaks , including several physical modifications to improve black levels.
- An interesting take on calibration in general is the Steaming Rat method. It's a lot less technical than traditional calibration, but might offer insights on what you want vs. what calibration will give you. There's something to be said for both. The Steaming Rat method heavily influenced the results above.
- The CalMan software website has a page with a link to a good beginner's guide to calibration. See here.
- 2010-01-13: Added a link to the Screen center/size adjustment hack.
- 2009-11-29: Added a link to the Wide Zoom hack.
- 2009-11-27: Made note of the extra and separate overscan settings for picture-beside-picture mode and how they might be used to see the hidden area of HD material without harming full-screen picture quality.
- 2009-02-01: No changes, my optical blocks have been giving me too many headaches to care about further tweaking. It's not likely there will be more updates. The info above is all pretty good, though, and pre-dates my problems.
- 2008-02-23: Noted that Cool/Neutral/Warm1/Warm2 have separate white balance settings. Noted BeachComber's meter readings.
- 2008-01-28: Tweaked SD overscan again after finding AMC channel showing a ragged & mpeg-ringing left edge.
- 2008-01-27: Changed Power Saving from "Auto" to "On", because my low lighting means I always got "On" anyway. Added notes on lamp/tv timers in service menu. Added Further Reading links to Owen's tweaking and to the CalMan page with a beginner's calibration guide. Separated SD overscan tweaks into two different inputs. Fixed VOVERSFT after noticing I left the user size adjustment on.
- 2008-01-23: Tweaked SD overscan in service menu to perfectly fill Zoom mode with 16:9 letterboxed content.
- 2008-01-21: Put SD-only overscan reduction info into the Service Menu section.
- 2008-01-17: Added some notes about resultant color accuracy, based on strutter's pre-calibration report.
- 2008-01-16: Added a service menu section with my current iris fiddling; Added a really severe warning about the service menu
- 2008-01-15: Notes on low vs. min Sharpness; Noted that dark rooms might do better with lower Picture; Elaborated on Game Mode; Fixed colors for new forum skin; Added Change Log
- (prior to changelog): 18 months of slow tweaking