Originally Posted by p3trol_h3ad
Sincere apologies for my incorrect terminology before. I said "calibration settings" while I should have said "picture settings." Actual calibration is something I leave to the pros, and while I'm sure it would make a difference, I'm going to stay with the factory calibration for now since pro calibration is outside of my current scope of interest / budget. But yes,
, general picture settings and advice is exactly what I am seeking! I know that there are some tips and things to consider, especially regarding the picture, motion, and smoothness options. I'm not a fan of the soap opera effect, but I do want smooth motion, and so I'm lost right now as I don't even know what some of these settings are! ha. I would go back through the thread to find this information, but the thread is nearly 200 pages long, so that would take me quite some time. I was hoping someone could point me at the correct post or page, perhaps. Thanks!
Since you asked p3trol_h3ad, I'll sum up my current settings below on the 75". I thought about DMing but figured it might be useful for others, so I'll just keep it to one post and put it in-thread. Settings are a very subjective thing, so I'm just listing MY recommendations based on my own experience and understanding, with my personal goal as getting things very accurate color-wise but pleasing to the eyes with a few small divergences (like SDR brightness). Please nobody take this as criticism of YOUR settings if you're using something else.
Custom SDR, which is the setting I use the most. Assume all Default settings to start:
* Brightness is 10 even though I'm in a fairly dark room with bias light. I tried Light Sensor On at Max Brightness but it was still a bit too dim for me. 10 is brighter than reference, but I find it works well in a dark or bright room without giving me headaches, and it has enough pop for me. 10 is also what RTINGS recommends for around ~200 nits (on the 65"). Reports here seem to have it somewhere between the 150-200 nits as well on the 75", but I can't test actual nits directly.
* Contrast (90) & Black Level (50) are at default, but I did boost Gamma to 0. I like a bit more shadow detail, and accordings to RTINGS, this should be the right setting for 2.2. (If you prefer the dimensionality of 2.4, the -2 default should be fine, but it's a little too dark for me personally.)
* Black Adjust and Adv. Contrast Enhancer are left to Off. Auto Local Dimming I kept at Medium. There isn't a big difference between Medium and High, but I felt Medium is safer for not eliminating small details. (Even then, very rarely I'll find individual stars in a starfield in a show like The Orville dim a bit more than I'd like - usually it's a reasonable compromise for the extra blacks, but Low in those situations will resolve that if it bothers you).
* X-Tended Dynamic Range should be set to Off. Initially, I thought I liked this, but it turned out really messing up colors in certain content, though it wasn't immediately noticeable. The best place to see this is on things like the PS4 menu. Reds especially become flat and yellows just look off to me. As explained way earlier to me in the thread, XDR artifically extends color range in SDR to be more like HDR, but it can cause things to look unnatural as there's not a way to do this particularly accurately. So for accuracy sate, the best setting is Off.
* Color (50) and Hue (0) should remain at default, with Expert 1 Color Temperature and Live Color Off.
* Sharpness (50) is left at default. I turn Reality Creation Off, but if you like some artificial sharpening, it could be left at default. Random noise reduction and Digital noise reduction I also turn Off, but since you feel the picture is noisy sometimes, you could experiment with these. I leave Smooth Gradation at Low as this can clean up some banding.
* Motionflow I personally keep Off as I prefer to see only the intended frames without any generated ones. This does lead to judder at times, but I find I prefer my brain doing the smoothing over artificial frames. Since you said you want smooth motion but without soap opera effect, I would recommend trying a Smoothness of 1 or 2 and seeing which you prefer. Clearness is up to you; it won't introduce artifacts, but you will need to bump Brightness a few notches to compensate for the black frames inserted; I'd try 1 to see if you like it. I personally don't like the image duplication I see with it, and it can give somepeople headaches, but a low level of Smoothness and Clearness can look quite good during pans if that's what you're looking for. Cinemotion I leave set to Auto, as my understanding is this setting looks for anything done with the signal and undoes it to preserve the original intended cadence as best as possible.
* HDR mode, HDMI Video Range, and Color Space should all be set to Auto.
Custom HDR is the exact same settings as for SDR above, except:
* Brightness is Max and should stay that way since tone-mapping takes care of not being overly bright.
* X-Tended Dynamic Range should be set to High for HDR. XDR works differently in HDR and properly expands the dynamic range (without altering colors the way it does in SDR) to use all the tone-mapping capabilities of the TV. [Unlike the others, this setting is independent for SDR and HDR and will save accordingly, so you don't have to worry about changing it in one carrying over to the other].
Dolby Vision Dark is the same as Custom HDR, except:
* Along with Max Brightness, Contrast is higher (Max) by default than other modes (including HDR) and should be left there.
* Smooth gradation should be set to Off, as based on some reports, it can lose detail in some Dolby Vision scenes.
Game Mode SDR is what I use for all consoles and should use the same settings as Custom SDR, with the following exceptions:
* Color by default is 55. Technically, 50 would be fine here as well, but I left it at the default 55 to give a bit of the game mode pop without much distortion to colors.
* I can't remember if Live Color was on by default for Game Mode, but I turned this Off personally. If you like a little extra pop (at the cost of accuracy), you could play with this, though.
* Not a change from my Custom SDR recommendations, but I've noticed Low Smooth Gradation is pretty important here and makes a big improvement in some scenes (for example, without it, Breath of the Wild on Switch shows a lot of banding in the menus).
* Not a change from my Custom SDR recommendations, but I was having a very tough time with colors at first on all my games when I first got the TV. Turned out the cuplrit was the X-tended Dynamic Range. Having it on (which I believe is the default) quite radically altered my reds, yellows, and other colors in a way I found very unpleasant. Once I figured this out, there was an immediate sigh of relief when I turned it off and everything instantly looked much better to me.
Game Mode HDR is the same as Game Mode SDR with the following exceptions:
* Again, Brightness is correctly Max by default for HDR.
* X-Tended Dynamic Range is High for HDR. Again, it works completely differently in HDR than SDR, so none of the SDR drawbacks mentioned above apply here.
Netflix Calibrated Mode as well as Apps should use the same settings as above, depending on sourse (SDR, HDR, Dolby Vision Dark, etc.).
To answer some of your other questions:
* The "swirl" you're speaking of sounds like what happens with reflections on this TV, and I think it is some light source reflecting. It does have to do with the X-Wide Angle Viewing layer. I'd see if you can try to pinpoint the source of that reflection; there's not much else you can do about it besides trying to eliminate the reflection light source.
* I have NOT examined my screen closely. To be honest, I prefer not to know about things like dead pixels, etc., if I can't see them during normal usage. That said, I haven't noticed any vertical line down the center of my screen, nor do I recall any reports of it from anyone else. It might be worth bringing up to either Sony or your retailer to see if it's normal.
* Brightness on a Sony is different than Brightness on most TV's and is actually Backlight. This can be set according to preference - it's not supposed to affect the rest of the image settings as the backlight should evenly change brightness of everything on the screen, preserving the amount of light difference between the darkest and brightest elements. Reference for SDR bright white is supposed to be 100 nits in a completely black room, but some people calibrate to 120 instead. I had a VERY tough time finding the right brightness when I first got the TV. RTINGS, which also bases it on your 65" size, found that a setting of 2 was about 100 nits in a dark room while a setting of 10 was 200 nits and suitable for a medium-lit room. A lot of users here have brightnesses ranging between 4 and 8. 25 would still be eye-searing as I tried to get used to higher brightnesses too. An alternate strategy would be to adjust Brightness to either 35 or Max and turn the Light Sensor on, which will adjust the TV to ambient lighting. This works well, but was still a touch too dark for my liking. I ended up at 10 on my 75", even for a dark room, which should be in the neighborhood of 150-200 nits and feels approximate to my old OLED in most situations (though the brights are still brighter). That's above reference, but after trying to get used to the dimmer settings, I just still prefer it a bit brighter. All that said, I find the difference between lowest brightness and highest brightness to be HUGE, so I really am a bit confused where you're coming from there [EDIT: I think I figured it out - see immediately below]. The brightness differenetial is definitely most noticeable on a bright white screen or colorful (ie. bright yellow) ad. On a dimmer scene, it doesn't seem as drastic.
* Another thing to consider (and why I think *I* had such a problem with this TV's brightness at first) is both Plasmas and OLED have something called ABL, Automatic Brightness Limiting. They can't handle a large, bright-white screen, for example, at full brightness, so they automatically dim down in those situations. What this means is, you can have an overall very bright picture, but it won't seem nearly as bright when it goes to a really bright full-screen image because that image must dim down in order to display properly. My two previous TV's were Plasma, then OLED, so I got very used to that. When I got this TV, everything just looked different, because the bright white full screens are REALLY FRIGGIN' BRIGHT since dimming them is no longer needed! What you may begin to notice is that certain things, like white shirts or larger white lights, are brighter in general than they used to be, even if the rest of the picture is the same or dimmer than you're used to. IMO, this is because we're relearning to see the image as it's actually mastered to be seen as opposed to the brighter darker scenes and dimmer brighter scenes we've gotten used to because of the auto-dimming technology used on our old TV's. It's actually a positive for the Sony, but it can feel like a negative until you get used to it. Start looking for these changes in content you're familiar with and hopefully you'll get what I mean.
* Regarding the noise you're seeing on the PS4, the first thing I'd do is make sure Enhanced HDMI is on for the TV. You can get there by (using the TV remote) going to Home -> Settings (Gear Icon in upper right) -> External Inputs -> HDMI Signal Format. Set whatever HDMI your PS4 is plugged into to Enhanced Format. After that, I'd go into the Display Settings for the PS4 and make sure everything is set to Auto. Once you're sure that's not the problem, you could play around with Random Noise Reduction and Digital Noise Reduction, though I'm not sure why they *should* be necessary. Cranking up Reality Creation or trying Auto for that could also potentially help (I can't recall for sure if it's available for Game Mode, but I *think* it is). One other possibility to consider - this is a much bigger screen than you're used to. It could just be that the blown up size is revealing more of the source limitations than you were able to see previously.
* Yes, you should only game in Game Mode for the best TV performance as those modes have dramatically better input lag. Most other modes will add quite a lot of lag. That's also why Motionflow Smoothness is disabled in game mode - it would add too much input lag.
* I'm not sure what you mean by HDR Effect, as that isn't really a part of most modes, unless you're talking about X-Tended Dynamic Range. Again, I personally would recommend this Off for all SDR content and games (but High for all HDR). That said, if it looks better to your eyes with it on, more power to you. You could also be seeing the +5 (over the 50 default in other modes) to Color, which is default for game mode and I also tend to like. Or you could be seeing Live Color on a setting other than Off. Any of those can add pop, but at the cost of accuracy.
Sorry for the delay in response - I needed some time to doulbe check these settings and type this all up. =) I hope some of it is helpful to you!