Sony VPL-HW50ES Home Theater Projector Review

Sony VPL-HW50ES Pre-Calibration Color temp, Cinema Mode

Color Temp over IRE Range (Best Mode, Pre calibration)
Reference Cinema Film 1
30 IRE 7357 7050
50 IRE 7342 7087
80 IRE 7339 7057
100 IRE 7369 7360

Ideally projectors should be calibrated to D65, basically 6500 degrees Kelvin.  Below you see two modes color temps listed, both in the low 7000 temperature range.  At 7000K you are going to be just a touch thin on reds.  At 7300, even more so, but still pretty slight.  You want to observe a color temperative that is obviously quite thin on reds, you are probably looking at a color temp of 8500K or higher.  In other words 7000K is pretty close, but still can definitely be improved upon.

As one calibrator expressed to me a few years ago, When he comes and calibrates a projector that starts out pretty good around 7000K (across the brightness rage), and then shows the client the finished calibration at 6500K, he often gets a hard time from them.

Why?  Because pre-calibration if that projector already looked pretty good, and after calibration it only looked a little better, then the person whose spent $400 – $500 on a professional calibrator might be expecting something more dramatic.  I’m talking along the lines of:  “wow – that’s a huge difference”.

As you can see, the Cinema 1 mode was the best “right out of the box” without adjustment. It’s a trifle on the cool side, just a touch thin on red. Cinema 3, was cooler still, so Mike based his D65 calibration on Cinema 1.

Mike calibrated and came up with the results below which he placed in User mode.

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration)
20 IRE = 6396
30 IRE = 6545
40 IRE = 6494
50 IRE = 6514
60 IRE = 6517
70 IRE = 6504
80 IRE = 6479
90 IRE = 6432
100 IRE = 6804
 Average gamma = 2.22

Mike calibrated and came up with the results below which he placed in User mode.

That’s about a 400K shift of temperature over the range.  but other than the very slight coolness of white (100 IRE, at 6804K, all the other numbers are within a range of only 121K. Pretty tight.

Next:  Let’s take a look at how all these different modes look.  There is a shot of each below.  User is after Mike’s calibration.  Others were really only adjusted for correct brightness, contrast, etc., and Sony’s almost dead on, on almost all of those settings.  In fact that’s one of Sony’s big “things”:  Out of the box performance.

User Mode
Bright TV Mode
Bright Cinema Mode
TV Mode
Game Mode
Photo Mode
Cinema Film Mode 1
Cinema Film Mode 2
User Mode
+Bright TV Mode

All were taken with the same exposure, which works nicely since the brightest mode isn’t even close to double the least bright.

It seems I did miss one, Sports.  Sorry about that. You can see that the three brightest modes are Bright TV, Bright Cinema and Game, and all are a bit cooler than the others, although they still look really good.  I’ve watched all my sports viewing in Bright TV and been very pleased with the settings.

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