Projector Reviews

Acer VL7860 4K UHD Laser Projector Review – Calibration Settings

Acer VL7860 4K UHD Laser Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Presets Notes, Best Mode Calibration, Brightest Mode Calibration

Acer VL7860 Calibration Notes

The VL7860 has 10 modes (Bright, Standard, sRGB, Rec.709, Movie, Dark Cinema, Game, Sports, Silent & User. Plus 2 locked ISF modes that add CMS controls. I spent most of my time with Rec.709 and User. All of these modes have the same controls, what sets them apart is how these controls are preset. They all offer 3 color temperature options (CT1, CT2, & CT3) 2-point grayscale adjustments, gamma presets 1.8 – 2.4.

Best (dark room) Mode Calibration for 1080p and REC.709 – Rec.709 Mode

Acer VL7860 Rec.709 Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Rec.709 Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

I used Rec.709 mode for my Best/Dark Room calibration. Brilliant Color is off by default and I left it off for my calibration. Sharpness was defaulted to 10, I reduced it to 4. Super Resolution, which is a global control was set to 2, I left it there. There is another enhancement section called AcuEngine which houses AcuColor & AcuMotion, both are off by default and I kept them off. Also note that AcuEngine is not accessible with 24p content.

Rec.709 mode out of the box definitely could use some improvement, measuring 4 to +12 DeltaE between 10 – 100 IRE. Remember we want to be below 3 and I always strive to hit 1 or less if the projector is capable. The average color temp was 8000K range, quite a bit cooler than our target of 6500K (D65). No matter where I set contrast the whites clipped at 232 just shy of our target of 235. I lowered contrast to 48 to help with grayscale tracking. After calibration, I was very pleased to hit 1 to 1 1/2 DeltaE across the entire grayscale (10 – 100 IRE).

My target gamma for my Best/Dark Room calibration was 2.4. Setting the projector to 2.4 gamma averaged pretty close at a 2.34. After calibration gamma tracking was actually a little worse at the 80-90 IRE. but the big improvement in white balance was well worth the tradeoff.

Overall there were no real surprises with my Best/Dark Room calibration. All of the controls work as there supposed to and yielded exceptional results with pleasing, natural colors and skin tones.

Note: The CMS controls are locked behind the 2 password protected ISF modes. Even though I knew our readers won’t be able to use my CMS settings I still wanted to evaluate how well they worked in improving the color accuracy of the VL7860. For those who want to see my pre & post color gamut charts along with my calibration data you can find them on our Advanced Calibration page.

Acer VL7860 Rec.709 Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.41 Average Gamma (target 2.40)
Rec.709 Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.41 Average Gamma (target 2.40)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 8212K 6822K
20 IRE 8481K 6692K
30 IRE 8011K 6502K
40 IRE 7987K 6454K
50 IRE 8003K 6473K
60 IRE 8040K 6472K
70 IRE 7972K 6531K
80 IRE 7955K 6498K
90 IRE 8038K 6548K
100 IRE 7952K 6488K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Normal Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.34

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.41 @ 1341 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 50 48
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Color Temp CT2 CT2
Gamma 2.4 2.4
Brilliant Color Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Sharpness 2 2
HDR Off Off
AcuColor Off Off
AcuMotion Off Off
Super Resolution 2 2
Wall Color White White
RGB Gain Offset
Red 48 50
Green 52 50
Blue 30 50

White Balance calibration settings for Night mode.

Acer VL7860 Rec.709 Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
Rec.709 Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

Delta E is a metric for understanding how the human eye perceives color difference. The term delta comes from mathematics, meaning change in a variable or function. The suffix E references the German word Empfindung, which broadly means sensation. Simply put, look at Delta E as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy. 3 and under is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye.

Brightest Mode Calibration for 1080P and REC.709 – User Mode

I used User mode for my Brightest mode calibration. By default, Brilliant Color is on and I left it on for my calibration. The only reason I leave it on is it increases the white level output which is what we are after for a bright room calibration. If you are looking for pure accuracy leave it off like I do for my Best/Dark Room calibration. The before calibration DeltaE was in the 4 to 9 range. Average color temp was 7200K, a bit closer to our D65 target than Rec.709 mode. This is because Brilliant color effects white balance. After calibration, I was able to get DeltaE down to 1 across the entire grayscale range except for 10 IRE which measured about a 4.

Acer VL7860 User Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
User Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

Like with my Best/Dark room calibration I reduced sharpness from 10 to 2 and turned off AcuColor & AcuMotion. Default gamma in User mode is set to 2.2 and I left it there. Pre-calibration measured an average of 2.30 with 70-90IRE reaching around 2.4. After calibration I was able to flatten out the high end a bit and achieve an average gamma of 2.18.

Acer VL7860 User Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.18 Average Gamma (target 2.20)
User Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.18 Average Gamma (target 2.20)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 7788K 6133K
20 IRE 7659K 6393K
30 IRE 7134K 6483K
40 IRE 7298K 6464K
50 IRE 7317K 6457K
60 IRE 7264K 6550K
70 IRE 7278K 6529K
80 IRE 7109K 6475K
90 IRE 7007K 6465K
100 IRE 6886K 6467K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Normal Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.30

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.18 (target 2.20) @ 2334 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 50 50
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Color Temp CT2 CT2
Gamma 2.2 2.2
Brilliant Color On On
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Sharpness 10 4
HDR Off Off
AcuColor Off Off
AcuMotion Off Off
Super Resolution 2 2
Wall Color White White
RGB Gain Offset
Red 47 52
Green 52 52
Blue 40 50

White Balance calibration settings for Day mode.

Acer VL7860 User Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE-2000 (target below error of 3)
User Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

What to do, for watching 4K/HDR

I did not do a separate 4K/HDR calibration on the VL7860. All of the modes have an HDR option that is engaged when fed an HDR signal. There are 4 HDR settings, each one brighter than the next. Most times projector manufactures will disable gamma when HDR is enabled but not in this case. You are free to mix ‘n’ match gamma and HDR presets. I found that a gamma set 2.2 and HDR set to 2 or 3 yielded the best results with most content. Although using User Mode with Brilliant Color on will be a little brighter 4K/HDR picture, I prefer the more accurate slightly darker image from Rec.709 mode.

 

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