I calibrated an M501d-A2R over the past few days. I did not use a colorimeter or spectroradiometer so I was not able to measure the accuracy of grayscale, nor the accuracy of primary and secondary colors. Calibration was done with a Sony BDP-S5100 as the HDMI source and Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark 2nd Edition
as the primary reference source. The BDP-S5100 was set for RGB output (unless otherwise noted) as it provided the best results on the Color Space Evaluation pattern.
I used Normal Color Temperature and did not change the settings for gains and offsets from their defaults. In the CNET testing for the M551D-A2R this resulted in a perfect D65 white (zero Delta E 2000). CNET's post-calibration DeltaE 2000 chart shows a slight variation in white from D65. The pre vs. post calibration charts for RGB balance also seem to support this. In scanning this thread I found that some confusion apparently exists in using these settings to address "red push" or "blue push". Color push is a function of the color decoder and does not affect grayscale. Color offsets and gains affect only the grayscale and not the color decoder.
Picture Mode - Computer -- After testing with Calibrated and Game modes, I found that Computer mode resulted in significantly less banding in blue ramps than the other modes, with no apparent adverse effects (referencing the Color Space Evaluation pattern).
Backlight - (Auto Brightness set to Mid) -- The TV is being used in a room that varies considerably in ambient lighting throughout the day. I believe automatic backlighting control to be an entirely appropriate way of addressing this. Variance of the backlighting is what I consider the only acceptable method of changing brightness to taste as it does not effect black level or clipping.
Brightness - 53 -- Achieves correct black level with 16 not visible and 17 barely visible. (Brightness pattern and verified with AVS HD 709
Contrast - 64 -- Any higher setting results in clipping of red. No clipping of White, Red, Green or Blue at 64. (Contrast Y, Red, Green & Blue patterns)
Color - 48 -- Set referencing Color and Tint Blue pattern (with both RGB and YCbCr output from Sony BDP-S5100). Verified that any higher setting results in clipping of Cb and Cr in Contrast Cb and Cr patterns.
Tint - (-4) -- Set with Color and Tint Blue pattern. Verified with Color and Tint Red pattern. Verified both with RGB and YCbCr output from Sony BDP-S5100.
Sharpness - 0 -- Set with Sharpness pattern. 1080p is perfectly rendered without loss of detail with sharpness at zero. Any sharpness setting above zero is adding false information to picture in order to create illusion of increased sharpness (as evidenced by increased brightness in the gray bordering a gray/black transition).
Everything but Auto Brightness Control is set to off (I tried Smart Dimming but find the resultant blooming unacceptable).
Film Mode set to Auto
I was rather surprised by the skewed tint. My understanding is that on most modern HDTVs, zero is the correct tint setting. Thanks to jdahlum's post
I caught the apparent fact that this is not true of the Vizio M-Series. -4 Tint was also required to get Cb and Cr to begin clipping at the same Color setting (49).
I also checked for "red push" or any color decoder inaccuracies. I found that correct color setting using the Color and Tint Red pattern required a Color setting of 50, indicating that the red output of the color decoder is actually slightly less than the blue output. Both Color and Tint Red & Blue patterns required a Tint setting of -4. I found green impossible to evaluate as the only available green filter allowed a significant amount of blue bleed. However there was a change in green output between RGB and YCbCr sources while there is no change to red or blue output. I believe I have a method to test green that I will try at some future time.
Copying these settings to broadcast TV reception looks good overall, but some night scenes and other dark material look overly dark. Has anyone been able to verify that the black level for broadcast TV matches that of the HDMI inputs? I don't know of any practical method of doing this short of catching a test pattern being broadcast, which I think is a very rare event now.Edited by KC-Technerd - 12/4/13 at 10:25pm