Originally Posted by jasperm
But there are some assumptions that I feel I'm missing in terms of how to approach this:
1) . . . I'm guessing there's no way for me to calibrate for cable box input without including DVD in loop - is that right?
Yeah, that's probably right. But if you use the same input class for both (say, component on V5 and V6), you are at least guaranteeling that the TV is calibrated closely enough. I believe the DVD player contributes very little to color distortion, and you'll have to take it on faith that the cable box is similarly neutral. Broadcast-HD *material* is not completely conststent in color balance, although I find the black level to be way better than SD/analog.
2) Assuming I can use only the DVD to calibrate, what about the various adjustments on the DVD player? Do I leave those at default and just adjust the tv?
For color you don't have any controls in the DVD player, right? So that's not an issue. But black level is dependent on what is offered by the DVD player. My Toshiba SD-3950 has settings for Standard, Enhanced Black Level, Movie 1, Movie 2, and Animation. Each tweaks the black level and brightness-span. Since my player always passes both super-black (pluge) and super-white, I have picked the setting that most closely matches other inputs in black level. Then I used 2170P-3 #13/UBOF to adjust black level to match among the inputs: DVD (V5), VCRs (V1, V3), HD (tuner-720p and 1080i), and analog cable SD (tuner-480i). Note that the UBOF setting will be *different* between interlaced and progressive signals from the DVD player.
Given the user settings, the serv menu tweaks, and the DVD's settings, what order would you go about adjusting things in to get not just the DVD input good, but also as many of the others, too?
I would concentrate first on overall black level (2170P-1, SBRT), a color temp near 6500K (2170P-1, RDRV thru BCUT) and a neutral grayscale. (See my early articles in this thread.) Then calibrate color decoding with what the Avia disk offers (2170P-4, RYR thru GYB).
On top of this foundation, you can then fine-tune for matching black levels among the inputs/devices (2170P-3, UBOF) as well as color level and hue balancing, if needed (2170P-3, UHOF, UCOF). If you find that the blacks are color contaminated in one of your inputs (mine was 1080i HD broadcast = yellowish), you can adjust 2170P-1, CBOF and CROF for blue and red only. YOF is yet another place for black-level balancing, it seems, but I haven't used it.
3) Is it that for each combination (eg video 6, 480 p, Movie) for MIDE, the number in the appropriate column points to the column of settings in MID5 that are used for that set of 17 values (the MID5 parameters?). . . . Am I getting this right?
Yep. You have it exactly right. "Getting" this is a requirement for intelligent image tweaking, as I described in Article #12.
4) Finally, for someone who doesn't want to spend dozens of hours working on this (and can't given family and work!), could you help me figure out what changes will get the most bang for my buck, and what order to do them in? I figure black level, gamma, white level - reducing VM? Best targets to use from AVIA?
I think you are on the right track. I would go from the global to the specific, and the order in which I wrote the articles implies what order I considered important as I did this. I think gamma is *very* important, as much program material is dead-wrong in contrast in Pro mode. I highly recommend using two or three of the picture modes for your own purposes. For me, I have set Standard - Movie - Pro to be identical except for gamma, with GAMH thru GAML parameters of (respectively) 6 - 3 - 0 (and GAMS = 0). A setting of 3 is dead-on the TV standard of gamma = 2.2 and is what I use the most. But it's nice to have the others available as a simple button-press. Vivid is reserved for experimentation. I have no use for Sony's original settings!
I can't comment on the Avia targets, as I have only the DVE disk. But be sure to use the color-gun controls in 2170P-2 #1/RGBS instead of the hand-held color filters. If you want to start with decent settings, you might try settings of 14-15-7-5 for RYB thru GYB.
The current orthodoxy that "all VM is bad" is dead wrong! Certainly Sony's presets for VM are coarse and ugly, but that just reflects on Sony's lack of sophisticated judgement here, not on what VM potentially can do for image quality. I have increased its finesse and decreased the amount and choose now to use it all the time! It makes a subtle and attractive correction in a fine picture that sharpness enhancement doesn't quite match. See Article #12.
Clarification for Croc: In 2170P-3, VMLV is a temporary setting that is not saved. It always reflects the current ClearEdge VM setting, and if that's set to None, VMLV = 0. VMCR thru VMDL have no effect if ClearEdge VM is set to None. They are how you control the "look" of VM *if* it is applied. Note that some VM seems to be added by other settings that are not under user control, possibly 2170P-3, one or more of F1LV thru CTLV. I keep these set to "no effect", as I don't like what they do to the image.
Overall focus is a compromise between focusing bright objects and focusing dark objects, as the scanning dot "blooms" as it gets bright. I will be writing an improved article #07 soon about how to do this more precisely, including the internal focus control on the HV transformer. QPDC *adjusts* the overall dynamic focus of the screen, and its effect is mostly visible in the center. But other adjustments in the 2170P-4 "QP--" series affect the sides, top & bottom, and corners. Using anything but a 2-dinensional high-contrast pattern will mislead you into focusing wrongly -- don't use the raster lines as a criterion! One could argue that an HD broadcast of a sporting event and its long shots of the crowd might be the best pattern. If you diddle, write down the settings before changing them.
DF and DQF are left-right spot-shape balance controls and should maybe be left alone for now. My article will describe how to adjust them using Sony's official methods.