Back on 3/12 and 3/13 i posted here wondering how much of an upgrade the 55X900E would be compared to my 2014 Sony 55W800B 1080p LCD TV in my Man-Room, but for watching my regular Non-4K content (primarily local and cable news, primetime programming, some Blu-Ray movies, some sports, and lots of auto racing via Roof Antenna, Time Warner Cable, and Netflix). All year i've been reading posts and reviews and the general consensus seems to be that a good UHD "4K" TV will display good Non-4K sources and content pretty well, with some folks saying the TV upscales such content to "near 4K quality" which i thought is a bit of a stretch.
So last weekend i picked up a 55X900E before the remaining inventory dries up and set it up next to my 55W800B in my Man-Room (both fed by an HDMI splitter) to do some side-by-side comparisons for the first few hours. When i first turned it on it looked like absolute crap on the factory settings but after several minutes exploring the settings menus i had it looking better than the W800B, and after more experimenting and tweaking this TV has exceeded my expectations. Not unexpectedly it does have a better contrast ratio, deeper black levels, better shadow detail, better colors, better processing, and a clearer image and is a definite upgrade over my W800B in every category. My favorite improvement is the much better facial detail and more accurate skin tones which are my two most important aspects. This TV does not disappoint. It's considerably better than my 55W800B when i had them side-by-side, and is very comparable to my 55ST60 (currently lonely in the guest room) and even exceeds that in some categories (except for consistent Shadow Detail).
As for settings, i always adjust my TVs by eye while tuned to my local news broadcasts because the news anchors' faces in the studio are a good source for fine-tuning facial detail and skin tones, and their suits and dresses are good for adjusting black levels and shadow detail (pin stripes and button holes etc). Once these are set everything else pretty much falls into place, but some areas sometimes need more tweaking. KCBS ch 2.1 here has an excellent 1080i signal but some of the other local channels (like KTLA ch 5.1) are good too so i'm lucky there. My Elysium Blu-Ray looks incredible !! And when i turn my Darbee on it all gets even better. Formula One Qualifying this morning looked amazing.
I've posted my initial settings below. People have liked my eye-balled W800B settings as well as my ST60 and other Plasma TV settings so maybe some of you would like these. I tend to lean more towards a realistic look where others seem to like it more saturated etc, but this TV still pops even with my modest settings. I do find myself bumping the Color up but then it starts to look fake so i back it off. I'm going to experiment with other Picture Modes again but so far i'm finding Cinema Home the best fit for my particular content. I've also tried some 4K videos from the onboard apps and my settings seem to work well for that as well, but i'm still learning about the new unfamiliar-to-me categories and experimenting. I'm enjoying this TV more than i thought i would !!
Edit on 4/7: I've been trying different picture modes and other settings but i keep coming back to Cinema Home, and i have fine-tuned some of my settings as i discover issues. My biggest struggle is getting consistent Shadow Detail - on some broadcasts and channels i get it looking good, then on other shows or channels it's not so good so i keep bouncing back and forth with the Black Level setting. I'm still very happy with this TV and it's a big improvement over my 2014 55W800B in all categories.
Edit - i've updated my settings as of 4/23/18 below and they're looking good on my Spectrum Cable and Antenna content.
On my Spectrum Arris DVR and my Tivo Roamio i set them to output everything at 1080i instead of Native or 720p. I've actually compared all three methods at home and on installs for other people over the years and have repeatedly found that doing this results in more detail. Even on 720p channels, things like blades of grass and close-ups of faces shows more detail when using the 1080i setting. The same holds true on my new 4K TV.
Picture Mode: Cinema Home
Auto Picture Mode: Off
Brightness: (see below)
Color: (see below)
Light Sensor: Off
Brightness: was 15, now 26
Gamma: was 2 , then -1, now 0
Black Level: was 45, then 49, now 42
Black Adjust: High
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: was High, now Off
Auto Local Dimming: Medium
X-Tended Dynamic Range: Medium
Color: was 50, then 48, now 40
Hue: was R1 now R2
Color Temp: Expert 1
Adv. Color Temp (B-Gain, R-Bias, etc): (See these settings below)
Live Color: Low
[Adv. Color Temperature in the Color section]
B-Bias: -12 (reduced blue push in news anchors' black suits and dresses)
Sharpness: was 60 now 55
Reality Creation: Manual
Resolution: was 80 now 78
Mastered in 4K: On
Random Noise Reduction: Low
Digital Noise Reduction: Low
Smooth Gradiation: Low
Motionflow: Was Custom, now Standard
Smoothness: was 4, now 2
HDR Mode: Auto
HDMI Video Range: was Auto now Limited
Color Space: Auto
Last edited by RandyWalters; 11-22-2018 at 09:56 AM.
Reason: Updated my settings a little