I'm still wondering if my 850 can be brought to be as 'correct' as the 800 in THX. Are there any hidden settings etc. to work with? I went with the 850 hoping the 'tweakability' options would allow me to set this thing exactly to my liking if I didn't like the THX or studio mode...
Guess I'll find out, mine gets here Monday, but any comments?
Originally Posted by trekguy
We may never know unless someone does a rigorous comparison with graphs and photos. But again if the THX mode was "perfection", then the studio mode was the next best thing, and if they had not been side by side I would not have been at all certain that there was a difference.
Don't get too hung up on the 800u's THX preset as somehow being more accurate or "perfect" than the 850's Studio Ref. preset. Both are meant to display colors accurately, but from two different perspectives: HDTV vs. Cinema.
The THX preset on the 800 conforms color accuracy to the standards of color set for broadcasts of HDTV signals. It does not mean the colors displayed by this set using the THX preset are more accurately depicting the colors as seen by the naked eyes of the cast and crew. It merely certifies that the colors depicted meet the standards for HD broadcasts agreed upon by the industry.
As I understand it, the Studio Ref. preset -- with Digital Cinema Color set to "on," -- is meant to depict color more accurate to how filmmakers
intended them to be seen, rather than HD broadcasters.
If you think about this, neither preset does -- or even can, if you ask me -- guarantee lifelike color accuracy, simply because everbody opinion on what's lifelike is completely subjective. So one must simply choose based on their own particular taste.
One might consider, however, that it's much easier to dial it down from a wider color gamut than it is to increase from a narrow one. In fact, it's impossible to increase from a narrow gamut, so any tweaking is a simulation at best. If I wish to have less "pop" in my 850U, I can simply desaturate the color setting a notch or two to get closer to the HD broadcast standard.
Perhaps one's viewing habits are the best determiner for which standard to go for. Those who watch mostly documentaries and reality programming in HD may more appreciate the THX preset; where those who prefer to watch theatrical films and fictional TV shows will be happier with the D.C.C., knowing the colors they see are closer to as intended by the producers and filmmakers.
One final note: Even in real life, on sunny days, I wear sunglasses that filter out certain rays and colors in order to see the world more vividly and less "washed out" as it would be to my naked eye. So my question then is: Exactly what is "accurate" anyway?
Dogs don't even see color at all, and yet we know that colors are present. Yet, to the dog, a black & white TV picture is quite color-accurate, indeed. In fact, the dog would probably be of the opinion that even adding the slightest bit of washed out color to its vision would be oversaturation
And even with my beloved Studio Ref preset, certain shows do not look so good due to the director's lighting requirements. For instance, I watch the new drama, Life On Mars, about a modern-day NY cop who wakes up in 1973. The producers wreak havoc on my SR preset by shooting all the '73 scenes with yellow filters (among others) to add a sense of nostalgia to the visuals. The result of this is it completely throws the blacks way too dark.
The only solution to this would be to have a dozen or so customizable presets that I could tailor for specific 'special needs" shows such as this. Such a set does not yet exist, so next best solution is to use the one custom preset and create a special list of settings for this specific show and change them prior to watching. Or just live with the too deep blacks.
Bottom line: I prefer the wider color gamut as the vast majority of my viewing is theatrical films and ficitional TV shows. I watch those in Studio Ref preset. Documentaries and reality shows I watch in Custom preset where I dial down the color satch and tweak the other settings for more lifelike colors.