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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed it takes quite a bit of tweaking to get some DVDs to look their best on my Sony 34XBR800, so I thought I'd post a few of the settings I'm using for some particular DVDs. Hope others will post some of their settings as well so I can compare notes.


NOTES ON MY SETUP

DVD Player: Sony 715P

Display Mode: Interlaced with no other enhancements

Black Level: 7.5 IRE


0 IRE players would make these settings seem too dark, and need an add'l 30% or so higher Brightness to compensate.


Higher levels of contrast are my preference, so the Picture and Brightness may be somewhat extreme. No adjustments have been made in the XBR800 service menu to correct red push yet. However, HSIZ and VSIZ have been reduced to eliminate overscan and increase sharpness (more about this in the 34XBR400 FAQ thread). Optimum viewing distance for me is about 6 feet. I need to be close enough to see some "tooth" from the grille and grain in the image for my aging spectacled eyes to focus well.


DISLAIMER: I take no responibility for how such extreme viewing conditions may adversely effect anyone else's vision or TV. So, any use of these settings is entirely at your own risk. :)

SHREK


Medium Ambient Light (indirect/overcast daylight)


STANDARD MODE (edited 5/6/03)

Picture: 90%

Brightness: 30%

Color: 35-40%

Sharpness: 35-40%

Color Temp: Neutral

ClearEdge VM: Low

DRC Palette: 1,1 (Custom 1)

DRC Mode: Cinemotion

Notes: ringing on bright edges, and visible compression noise in some darker areas.


Low Ambient Light (twilight, or a few interior lamps)


MOVIE MODE (edited 5/6/03)

Picture: 65-90% (depending on brightness of ambient light)

Brightness: 25-35%

Color: 40-45%

Sharpness: 30-35%

Color Temp: Neutral

ClearEdge VM: Low

DRC Palette: 55,50 (Custom 2)

DRC Mode: Cinemotion

Notes: best detail


PRO MODE (edited 5/6/03)

Picture: 65-90% (depending on brightness of ambient light)

Brightness: 30%

Color: 40-45%

Sharpness: 65%

Color Temp: Neutral

ClearEdge VM: Medium

DRC Palette: 1,1 (Custom 1)

DRC Mode: Cinemotion

Notes: some ringing on edges.


This has been one of the more difficult DVDs for me to adjust well. The perfect CGI edges, and lack of much grain make it difficult to achieve sharpness without introducing ringing. If these settings appear too soft, bumping the DRC Palette up to the next custom setting may help at the expense of greater edge anamolies. It'll be interesting to see how this may improve in Digital HDCP RGB scaled to 1080i.
 

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Your picture is totally washed out if you are using 100% contrast. You are also overdriving the set considerably at this picture/contrast level.





See my post in this thread for my setting:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=244288



My player is PS and set to 0 IRE so you will need to bring down the brightness just a little.


Best way to get things right is to get AVIA or Video Essentials to fine tune your settings.


As a standard rule you should NEVER have your picture/contrast setting over 50%!
 

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ADU


I am glad you are enjoying your 34xbr800 but you really have an unsual opinion with driving your set at 100% picture/contrast. This makes me wonder if your DVD player and TV set are working properly or your room environment is especially unique like very bright or something. Like Jeff says, running picture at 100% seems to be risky for the health of your TV and I also suggest calibrating with AVIA or Video Essentials. If that doesn't work to your satisfaction, consider ISF Calibration .


I also have a 34xbr800 and an interlaced DVD player. When my wife and I watched Shrek on our usual settings, we thought it looked fine. Perhaps we were too busy enjoying the movie to get ultra-critical of the picture quality but I can't imagine using 100% picture/contrast on anything. You may want to peek at the 34xbr800 faq to see what other 34xbr800 owners think. After I fixed some minor geometry issues and eliminated the red push in the service menue, I recalibrated with AVIA. My settings have been stable for about 6 months and dozens of DVDs. Briefly, they are:


Picture 13/32 (41%)

Bright 15/32 (47%)

Color 15/32 (47%)

Hue 16/32 (50%)

Sharp 12/32 (38%)


Color Temp: Neutral

ClearEdge VM: Off

DRC Palette: 1,1

DRC Mode: Cinemotion


I think you should use whatever you like best but since your reported settings are so far away from what others report, some calibration may be a good idea. Good luck and happy viewing. :)


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, Rick and Jeff.


My XBR800 was a demo unit that was a bit mistreated, and I'm sure it could benefit from so tweaking by a pro, but fundamentally I think it's relatively sound.


And yes, some of my original settings may have been a bit on the extreme and I've dialed them back a bit based on your suggestions. These aren't the kind of settings I'd use for everyday viewing though. And I certainly can't blame anyone for going more conservative to protect their investment.


IMO, the amount of ambient light has a lot to do with what contrast seems acceptable. And my perception of "low" and "medium" ambient light may be brighter than others. So I'd be curious to know what kind of lighting you're both using in your setup.


Initially I tried using the XBR800 in a dark room, figuring it would allow more conservative settings to be used, limiting CRT-related anomolies. But the streaking and internal reflections/scattering bothered me more than the clarity problems at brighter settings. Finding the right balance between contrast, ambient light, and the different "FX" a CRT creates under various conditions is something I'm still exploring.


The black level (7.5 IRE vs 0 IRE) factors in as well, making a one-size-fits-all approach difficult for different video sources.


My basic objective though is achieving that window on reality sensation, where the sense of depth is such that you can almost reach out and touch what's on the other side of the screen.


As I mentioned in the 34XBR800 FAQ, my feeling is that a well-mastered DVD is workable with more extreme settings, because there's better quality control (more attention to gamma and effective use of available dynamic range in video for FX and so forth) than, say, a live TV broadcast. Movies like Masque of the Red Death or American Werewolf in London are among the best examples of this I've run across so far. But Shrek falls into this category as well to a good degree, and I think folks may be missing out by not trying some more dynamic settings with these kinds of DVDs.


Since Brightness/Picture adjustments are somewhat environment-related, sharpness and edge settings are a bit more my concern here. These seem to need more tweaking from DVD to DVD. Maybe I'm bein too picky though.
 

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Ambient light does play a huge roll in what contrast setting should be used. The basic rule it try to get it as dark as possible in the room (especially from natural sunlight), then use a light behind the set to keep glare off the screen, and also use the VE or AVIA disk to tune in the ambient lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your suggestions are good, Jeff. This has been an education.


Shrek's lookin pretty convincing with the Movie and Pro modes as I've got em now. What I'm finding is that solid blacks and good edge settings are essential to achieving a good image on the 34XBR800. Tweaking the edge controls (Sharpness, DRC Palette, Clear Edge VM) seems easiest at high contrast. Once the edges and blacks are adjusted well, I can then pull down the Picture/white level to whatever's most comfortable for a given lighting situation, and achieve a very nice sense of depth, richness and realism. And maybe even knock the brightness back up a bit.


Solid blacks seem key because they hide nasty MPEG artifacts and have a rather profound effect on the perception of depth, clarity and color richness. (I'm sure this is old news to the gurus.) The factory preset of 50% is frequently too high IMO for 7.5 IRE material. Once you get the black level and edge controls looking their best at high contrast, then other things seem to fall into place more easily.


And the more you're able to pull down the Picture setting, the more the grittiness and edge anomolies are supressed. Good stuff. Shrek looks almost like he could step out of the TV into my room. :)
 

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Thanks Rick & Jeff,


After reading your posts I made a few adjustments on the color and picture which looks great. I want this TV to last a little while.
 

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Using Avia to set the picture on my 40BXR700, I cannot seem to get it to over-drive at all. The top white box never blooms, even at 100%, and the bars never bend, (indicative of overdriving the power supply). I keep my picture set high because of this, since Avia recommends setting it just below blooming. For whatever reason, I cannot get the top white box to bloom at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I haven't had a chance to check out any calibration disks yet. But the contrast adjustments on the 34XBR800 seem pretty conservative, so your result doesn't really surprise me.


Many DVDs seem to have a more convincing brightness curve at higher levels of contrast. The FX in Episode II just wouldn't look the same to me at 40-50% contrast.
 
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