Today I had a chance to evaluate two identical Sharp 80LE650U TVs at Cleveland Plasma/AV. In addition to calibrating the sets, I also wanted to experiment with sharing settings and see just how close or off base the results would be on a modern LED LCD. Sharing picture settings appears to be a very popular way to get calibrated, or near calibrated, results on a new TV; but how well does it work?
The sets had nearly identical serial numbers: C407825362 and C407825360. I began by calibrating 650U #1
, and the results can be seen below, titled "display 1 after". It was not easy getting that result, because the 650U's 10 point white balance adjustment, found in the advanced picture menu, nearly ran out of range making the required adjustments. Thankfully, the grayscale tracking, white balance, and gamma turned out very well. Here are the settings used to achieve these results, listed in order:
cms hue: -6,-3,-2,-3,11,3
cms sat: 12,3,7,5,6,4
cms val: -3,0,-8,0,-6,-1
CT: 10 pt: on (1:0,-6,5 2:2,-12,-30 3: -2,-12,-18 4:-4,-16,-25 5: -5,-17,-28 6:-9,-19,-30 7: -8,-20,-27 8: -5,-19,-27 9: -1,-17,-29 10:0,-13,-30
I recorded every one of those settings, from the basic brightness/contrast/color to the advanced 10 point and CMS controls, and moved my gear over to the second 650U and put those settings into it. I then measured the second display with those copied settings, using the same equipment and methodology, and the results are shown below, titled "display 2 copied settings". Instead of the white balance being a nicely calibrated D65, there was a distinctly bluish cast. The gamma was surprisingly high, resulting in darker shadow detail, so dark objects in the image tended to sink down into the black background. The white balance delta error averaged 3.68, with a maximum of 8.31, which is a visibly obvious error.
When I began to calibrate the second 650U for real, I found that, unlike the first 650U, the second did not have enough range in it's advanced picture controls to properly calibrate the white balance and gamma. Even in warm, the white balance peaked at up to 9300K, and the gamma started extremely high at the low end and decreased at the bright end. Even with the controls maxed out, the white balance was a little too blue and some mid-tone levels were over/under-emphasized in brightness. Correcting it required going into the 650U's factory service menu and adjusting it's 6 point control. I used the service menu sparingly, just to get things closer, and then used the normal advanced picture menu controls to finish the calibration. The results can be seen in "display 2 after". We can see it's measured performance is very similar to "display 1 after", but the settings required to get there were wildly different in the 10 point controls, and slightly different in the CMS controls:
cms hue -5,-2,-4,-2,11,3
cms sat 14,4,6,2,4,3
cms val -3,0,-7,1,-7,-1
ct 10 pt on (1: -20,-25,-18 2: -11,-21,-27 3:-2,-8,-10 4: -2,-9,-15 5: 1,-5,-12 6: 0,-5,-8 7: 0,-8,-7 8: 2,-6,-8 9: 3,-6,-13 10: 0,-6,-15
In conclusion, two identical displays, with serial numbers within 1 digit, show distinctly different performance with the same settings; so much so that the second display could not be considered "calibrated" even in the loosest terms. In addition, it was interesting and disappointing to see that, while the first display could be calibrated well using the available controls, the second display could not and had to have some adjustments made in the factory service menu to get it close enough to then finish with the normal picture controls.
I've listed the settings used above to show the difference in required settings. To use them in another 650U will not get you a calibrated picture; it will, more likely, just be "different."