Sony VPL-HW10 Projector Review

RGB Settings

These are the adjustments we made to Red, Green and Blue for the grayscale balance:

Please note, if you are planning on using these – we put these in, in the Custom 2 Color Temp area. Since the starting color temp is different in each Custom Color Temp mode, these numbers WILL NOT work, if you put them in a different custom mode.

Contrast (gain) Red: 17
Green: 0
Blue: -20
Brightness (offset) Red: 2
Green: 0
Blue: 0

Brightest mode: We did not attempt to recalibrate Dynamic mode, as Mike advised me that you can’t use the High color temp as a starting point. It is possible that one can calibrate the Standard preset, to get out more lumens, but Mike did not try that.

Remember that the default Dynamic mode is not that much brighter than a calibrated Cinema mode. As mentioned in the Performance section, in the Brightness topic, the calibrated Cinema mode for the HW10 measured 836 lumens, only 37 lumens less than the uncalibrated Dynamic mode. Dynamic mode is very cool with whites not much over 9000K. The Standard mode is much better in this regard, just under 8000K, and a reasonable, if not ideal temperature, for viewing sports, etc.

Bottom Line: Forget the numbers – once we calibrated the HW10, it produced some great looking color. No issues with skin tones which I consider the most important thing. That, no doubt is due to the fact that you aren’t working up at 100 IRE when reproducing skin tones.

CIE Chart:

For those of you familar, here are two post calibration CIE charts. The first is for the settings we recommend, which is to use Standard Color Space. The second CIE chart which is for expanded color space, shows that greens in particular, but also, to a lesser degree, the reds, are oversaturated. We find Standard makes for a better picture.

Here is a bit of an explanation of the CIE chart, and what it shows, provided by Mike:

The color charts used in our reviews is the CIE 1931 color chart from the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (International Commission on Illumination), issued in 1931. As you can see, it displays the full spectrum of light with the primary colors of red, green and blue, as well as combinations of those colors to form secondary colors of cyan, yellow and magenta. The combination of all the colors results in the white point in the center. The chart is depicting a two-dimensional slice of what is actually a three-dimensional color space. The x and y coordinates are the chromaticity (defined by Wikipedia as an “objective specification of the quality of a color . . . that is, as determined by its colorfulness” – ie: saturation and hue) values of the colors. Luminance, which is the darker or lighter shades of these colors, accounts for the third dimension of the CIE color space. Obviously, this cannot be shown on a two-dimensional chart.

Typical CIE Chart

HDTV programming has a specified color space which is depicted by the solid white triangle on this chart. The primary colors of red, green and blue form the three corners of the triangle, with the secondary colors of cyan, yellow and magenta appearing at points along each leg of the triangle. Measured values of the primary and secondary colors appear as a dashed triangle on the chart.
If a projector is perfectly displaying the HDTV color space, its measured values of the primary and secondary colors will directly overlay the triangle. As you can see from the chart above, while the blue corner is close to being correct, the red and green points are clearly outside the defined color space. While this is typical of most digital displays these days (many people like a more “colorful” picture, even if it isn’t accurate), it can result in unnatural colors with some sources. This manifests itself as “sunburned” faces and grass that looks abnormally green. Similarly, if the projector’s measured color points resulted in a triangle that was “inside” the solid triangle, this could result in colors that appear “washed out”. One other problem occurs if the color points lie closer than they should to an adjacent color. This can result in a color like yellow looking to green or too red.
Some projectors have color management systems that can help adjust the saturation and hue of primary and secondary colors to their correct points on the charts. While a proper color management system should also include luminance adjustments, even the two dimensional adjustments can make a big difference in providing natural colors.
So, when looking through the reviews, take note of the projector’s color space and, if it’s not correct, whether the projector offers some type of color management or optional color space settings.

OK, that completes our calibration information. Time to discuss matching the Sony HW10 to a good screen, that will work well for your viewing habits, room, and preferred screen size.

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