Sony HW40ES Contrast: Room, calibration, or panel degradation? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-14-2020, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Sony HW40ES Contrast: Room, calibration, or panel degradation?

I've been messing with my Sony HW40ES projector calibration lately trying to maximize the contrast in my room (and try to keep myself from upgrading). I'm using an i1 Display Pro to read using HCFR on a 100" white Silver Ticket screen. The best on/off contrast I can get is around 4000:1, but it's way off in that mode. When I get the greyscale as close as I can get it, I'm getting closer to 2000:1. However, my ANSI is a steady 60:1, no matter my on/off.

I'm a little confused about which one really matters on a projector, but according to this article from Projector Central, it seems ANSI is the more important of the two. So I'd really like to improve that paltry 60:1, but I'm not sure what exactly to do. If I'm getting the same ANSI regardless of the video mode used, I'd assume it's either the room or the projector panel degrading.

My room is painted dark grey with matte paint, and blacked out completely. So only reflected light from the dark grey walls/ceiling, as well as my brown speakers, is coming back to the screen. I'm not "allowed" (wife) to treat everything in velvet, so paint had to do. When I look at the projector lens, I do see some dust that looks to be trapped between the elements of the lens. I'm sure that's hurting my ANSI, but I don't know if or how I can remove the dust. Is it even worth trying?

I've been considering upgrading to a 4k projector, but don't want to downgrade my picture quality due to my limited budget. I know the lower-end DLP 4k projectors don't have nearly as good an on/off as the Sony, but what about ANSI? That seems to be an elusive measurement to find, despite Projector Central claiming it's the more important of the two. Thanks for any help, suggestions, and recommendations.

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post #2 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I went to Joann today and got a few yards of the Royalty velvet, and hung it on the wall and ceiling. When I took measurements, I get the same results: around 60:1 ANSI and 2000:1 On/Off. So I guess it’s either panel degradation, or dust in the light path.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
I've been messing with my Sony HW40ES projector calibration lately trying to maximize the contrast in my room (and try to keep myself from upgrading). I'm using an i1 Display Pro to read using HCFR on a 100" white Silver Ticket screen. The best on/off contrast I can get is around 4000:1, but it's way off in that mode. When I get the greyscale as close as I can get it, I'm getting closer to 2000:1. However, my ANSI is a steady 60:1, no matter my on/off.
60:1 sounds really low. What meter are you using for the ANSI contrast measurements? In particular, how do you ensure that the black square measurements are not “polluted” by the adjacent white squares?
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dominic Chan View Post

60:1 sounds really low. What meter are you using for the ANSI contrast measurements? In particular, how do you ensure that the black square measurements are not “polluted” by the adjacent white squares?
The meter is an i1 Display Pro. I thought the point of an ANSI contrast measurement was to tell you the perceived on-screen contrast during content, including it polluting itself. Am I wrong about that, shouldn’t the black squares be polluted by the white to get an accurate ANSI?

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
The meter is an i1 Display Pro. I thought the point of an ANSI contrast measurement was to tell you the perceived on-screen contrast during content, including it polluting itself. Am I wrong about that, shouldn’t the black squares be polluted by the white to get an accurate ANSI?
Yes, the black squares will be polluted by the white squares. My question was how you ensure the meter is only measuring the (polluted) black squares, and not also picking any light directly from the adjacent white squares.

For a TV in contact mode it’s fairly easy; for a projector screen with the meter at a finite distance it’s much harder.

Last edited by Dominic Chan; 01-20-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I see. The meter is only a few inches from the screen in the bottom 1/3 of the square angled slightly upward. It’s a 100” screen.

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-20-2020, 12:44 PM
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i doubt your meter is reading black Y accurately.

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post #8 of 19 Old 01-20-2020, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gregg Loewen View Post
i doubt your meter is reading black Y accurately.
I've been wondering if my meter has drifted over time, but don't have a spectrophotometer to profile it with. Is there a way I can check the black Y measurements for accuracy? I'm also having trouble getting gamma accurate on this Sony. It doesn't have gamma controls, just presets, and I can't get any above 2.1, with most closer to 2. Would that cause the washout on an ANSI pattern?

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post #9 of 19 Old 01-20-2020, 01:22 PM
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you need a K10 or reference spot meter to measure black luminance correctly, a spectro will not help.

This has nothing to do with meter "drift".

Not uncommon for a Sony to max out at 2.0- 2.1 gamma, use their Image Director Software to correct the gamma.

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post #10 of 19 Old 01-20-2020, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm downloading it now, but it doesn't list the HW40ES as supported. I'll still try it tonight to be sure, I'd love to get something between 2.2-2.4. And I'll just ignore the ANSI contrast, as I have been for years, since my meter can't read it properly. Thanks for the help.

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post #11 of 19 Old 01-22-2020, 09:51 AM
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You shouldn't be ruining your 4000:1 contrast with calibration.

To me this makes me think that you raised some of the R/G/B bias/offset values in the white balance settings.

You should not do this as on the Sony projectors, raising the R/G/B bias/offset will raise your black level and wreck your contrast.


Before you start, you want to make sure you are working in the best gamut mode. The rec709 mode on the Sony is likely actually way smaller than actual rec709 so look at the other 3 color gamut modes (as they are much wider) and measure their primaries in HCFR to find the widest one and start from there.

Just use the user picture mode to calibrate.

To do a good calibration, simply bring up a 100% white in HCFR and set the R/G/B gain to balance that 100% white pattern to 6500K.

Then use Sony Image Director to fix the rest of the greyscale and gamma. You adjust gamma by moving all 3 colors, but you fix white balance at levels below 100% by moving just that 1 color in Sony Image Director.

Doing the white balance in Sony Image Director will allow you to dial in the 20 point white balance in HCFR without affecting for 4000:1 contrast ratio.

Also ANSI contrast is not really realistic as that's 50% APL. No movie scene ever reaches that level. The average movie scene is under 5% APL but yes some scenes can reach up into the teens or 20% ranges.

Native in/off contrast is definitely important especially if you watch movies that take place at night in the dark (horror movies or similar) and space scenes (sci-fi).

After you do the Sony Image Director calibration for white balance and gamma, then you can move to the CMS (called RC - Real Color engine) on the Sony. In here you will do your R/G/b/C/M/Y sweeps to set the hue, saturation, and lightness.

Don't worry about 100% color patterns, instead focus on dialing in 75% and make sure 25% and 50% don't get too far off either. Re-run and look at the saturation sweep as a whole as you adjust the color settings.

At the very end don't forget to check black and white clipping patterns to set contrast and brightness.

I have calibrated a bunch of the 1080p Sony's and gotten excellent results. It's pretty easy in general to get the Sonys dialed in.

Last edited by SirMaster; 01-22-2020 at 10:00 AM.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-22-2020, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMaster View Post
You shouldn't be ruining your 4000:1 contrast with calibration.

To me this makes me think that you raised some of the R/G/B bias/offset values in the white balance settings.

You should not do this as on the Sony projectors, raising the R/G/B bias/offset will raise your black level and wreck your contrast.
I have a rs232 cable and null adapter coming tomorrow to give Image Director a shot. But you are correct, I did adjust the RGB gain quite a lot to correct the errors I was reading. I had to max out red, reduce green to -23, and up blue to 15. On the bias , I only lowered blue to the max, -30.

I re-did some adjustments yesterday, and am getting around 3000:1 now. I’ll try using the method you suggest if I can get Image Director working with the HW40ES. The best thread I could find specific to the HW40ES says they got it to show up in the software, but options were grayed out. Hopefully I can figure it out. Thanks for the detailed info.

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post #13 of 19 Old 01-22-2020, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
I have a rs232 cable and null adapter coming tomorrow to give Image Director a shot. But you are correct, I did adjust the RGB gain quite a lot to correct the errors I was reading. I had to max out red, reduce green to -23, and up blue to 15. On the bias , I only lowered blue to the max, -30.

I re-did some adjustments yesterday, and am getting around 3000:1 now. I’ll try using the method you suggest if I can get Image Director working with the HW40ES. The best thread I could find specific to the HW40ES says they got it to show up in the software, but options were grayed out. Hopefully I can figure it out. Thanks for the detailed info.
To be clear, RGB gain adjustment is fine and necessary to alter 100% white.

With Image Director there is no reason to touch the RGB bias, so leave those at 0 and just fix 5-95% grey with the gamma curve editor in Image Director.

I used Image Director with a HW 40, 45, 50, and 55 and it worked just fine on all of them.

In Image director I found it was easiest to form my calibration curve by using the fine adjust mode on Curve3 and 7 point adjust area.

Make sure you right click on the white balance graph in HCFR and enable the "with Gamma" option so that you can dial in white balance and gamma at the same time as you bring all the color points in line to 100%.

I recommend first adjusting all colors at once (white line) in Image Director to bring the color that's already closest to the line (in HCFR) to be fully in-line. Then bring the other 2 remaining colors into line individually.
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-24-2020, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, my RS232 cable came in, and I got Image Director working with my HW40ES. I spent 6 hours getting acquainted with the software and making adjustments (day off). I got all 21 measurements under 3 dE, most under 1. The gamma goes up and down between 2.2-2.3 though. It looks like a landscape view of a mountain range. At least it’s not around 2.0 like before. I’m going to keep working on it.

What gamma curve should I be trying to get with the HW40ES? Right now I’m just going for a flat 2.2. The contrast is now measuring 3500:1, so that’s good. Thanks again for all the help, I had a blast calibrating for 6 straight hours. I couldn’t believe it’d been that long.

Edit: I also didn’t get to re-calibrating the CMS with the color space that had the widest range (Color Space 2 I think?). So for now I have it on the calibrated BT 709 setting.


Last edited by smeg36; 01-24-2020 at 05:37 PM.
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-27-2020, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
Thanks for the help, my RS232 cable came in, and I got Image Director working with my HW40ES. I spent 6 hours getting acquainted with the software and making adjustments (day off). I got all 21 measurements under 3 dE, most under 1. The gamma goes up and down between 2.2-2.3 though. It looks like a landscape view of a mountain range. At least it’s not around 2.0 like before. I’m going to keep working on it.

What gamma curve should I be trying to get with the HW40ES? Right now I’m just going for a flat 2.2. The contrast is now measuring 3500:1, so that’s good. Thanks again for all the help, I had a blast calibrating for 6 straight hours. I couldn’t believe it’d been that long.

Edit: I also didn’t get to re-calibrating the CMS with the color space that had the widest range (Color Space 2 I think?). So for now I have it on the calibrated BT 709 setting.
I would pick your target gamma based on your screen brightness and your room.

If your room is pure dark you can go with a higher gamma and if you have more brightness, a higher gamma.

If you are under 20fL brightness, I would stick with 2.2 gamma personally. Or if you have ambient light in your room.


You should find the largest color gamut, set white to a balanced D65 with RGB gain controls, use image director to dial in the gamma curve, then do the CMS adjustment to tweak the saturation tracking, and finally check the brightness and contrast controls with clipping patterns.
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-27-2020, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I would pick your target gamma based on your screen brightness and your room.

If your room is pure dark you can go with a higher gamma and if you have more brightness, a higher gamma.

If you are under 20fL brightness, I would stick with 2.2 gamma personally. Or if you have ambient light in your room.


You should find the largest color gamut, set white to a balanced D65 with RGB gain controls, use image director to dial in the gamma curve, then do the CMS adjustment to tweak the saturation tracking, and finally check the brightness and contrast controls with clipping patterns.
Thanks again, I spent a few more hours fine-tuning the gamma and greyscale, then did the CMS. My room is fully light controlled, but open to the dining room and kitchen. So when the family his home and not watching with me, there is ambient light. All critical viewing is done fully blacked out though. As such, I targeted a compromise ~2.3. I calibrated the CMS with the 75% color fields from the AVS 709 disk, but the saturations are all way off when I do saturation sweeps. Any ideas there? The picture looks fantastic now, it makes me a little upset I've had it for 3 years and didn't know I could do this level of calibrating.

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post #17 of 19 Old 01-27-2020, 11:17 AM
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Thanks again, I spent a few more hours fine-tuning the gamma and greyscale, then did the CMS. My room is fully light controlled, but open to the dining room and kitchen. So when the family his home and not watching with me, there is ambient light. All critical viewing is done fully blacked out though. As such, I targeted a compromise ~2.3. I calibrated the CMS with the 75% color fields from the AVS 709 disk, but the saturations are all way off when I do saturation sweeps. Any ideas there? The picture looks fantastic now, it makes me a little upset I've had it for 3 years and didn't know I could do this level of calibrating.
Any reason you are not using HCFR to generate the patterns?

You can easily do color patterns in HCFR. It is good to try to get 50% and 75% saturations close, but you just have to balance each of their accuracies out.

Here is the results of a HW55ES that I did.

https://nicko88.com/misc/sony55es/

This was after white balance and gamma but no CMS:



And here is after using the CMS:

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post #18 of 19 Old 02-03-2020, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Any reason you are not using HCFR to generate the patterns?

You can easily do color patterns in HCFR. It is good to try to get 50% and 75% saturations close, but you just have to balance each of their accuracies out.
I wanted to check back in to say thanks again. No, there wasn't any reason I wasn't using HCFR to generate the patterns other than I was used to AVSHD 709. The HCFR patters make the calibration go so much faster! I changed Gamma 8 to BT.1886, Gamma 9 to 2.2, and Gamma 10 to 2.4 so I could do A/B/C comparisons of all three to see what I liked. I think I prefer a flat 2.2. The colors looks much better too. I want to be sure I have HCFR set correctly though, I changed the References setting for Color Space to REC 709 (75%/75%). This seems to give me 75% saturation windows for the CMS calibration, correct?

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post #19 of 19 Old 02-03-2020, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
I wanted to check back in to say thanks again. No, there wasn't any reason I wasn't using HCFR to generate the patterns other than I was used to AVSHD 709. The HCFR patters make the calibration go so much faster! I changed Gamma 8 to BT.1886, Gamma 9 to 2.2, and Gamma 10 to 2.4 so I could do A/B/C comparisons of all three to see what I liked. I think I prefer a flat 2.2. The colors looks much better too. I want to be sure I have HCFR set correctly though, I changed the References setting for Color Space to REC 709 (75%/75%). This seems to give me 75% saturation windows for the CMS calibration, correct?
I've always used the normal rec709 100% reference setting in HCFR

But I do most of my CMS adjustment when looking at 75% saturation pattern. If I really want to make sure my color is tracking well I turn on 10 point saturation in the parameters setting in HCFR and check the 10 point sweeps for all colors.
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