Posted on November 27, 2019 By Phil Jones
Epson Home Cinema HC3200 Home Theater Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Notes, Best Mode SDR Calibration, Best Mode HDR Calibration
The Home Cinema 3200 picture modes are applied for both HDR and SDR (Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Natural and Cinema). I performed two calibrations on the Home Cinema 3200 (Best SDR Mode & Best HDR Mode). Since this projector’s strong suit is brightness and it would probably be utilized in a room with some ambient light, I set my SDR target gamma at 2.2. I also set the lamp power to Medium to maximize brightness when watching SDR.
For my Best SDR Mode calibration, I chose Natural Mode and increased the Contrast from 50 to 55 which clips whites just above 235. Prior to calibration, the DeltaE measurements were between 6 to 10.
I left Sharpness along with Color and Tint at their defaults. The color temp pre-set was Medium which measured an 8500K average (plus blue / minus red). Setting the Color Temp to 6000K resulted in a white balance just under 6500K so I made some small adjustments to the Red Gain and Blue Gain to raise it back to a 6500K average.
Speaking of white balance, the Home Cinema 3200 offers only 2-point white balance adjustment. There was a multi-point grayscale adjustment menu which I utilized as well. In the end, I was able to achieve a DeltaE of less than 2. However, having more points of adjustment would have allowed me to fine tune the white balance even further. Post-calibration white balance was very good with a 6500K average.
The HC3000 Gamma settings are described using Gamma numbers. The settings are listed as -2 to 2. In Natural Mode the default Gamma setting is 0 which measured as Gamma 2.0. None of the factory Gamma presets allowed me to hit my target of 2.2. The -2 setting was too dark, while the -1 setting was too bright.
The HC3200 does offer a custom Gamma curve setting. Using the nine adjustment points, I was able to achieve a linear 2.2.
Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Normal Lamp.
Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.04 (target 2.2)
Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.17 @ 2855 Lumens
White Balance calibration settings for Night mode.
Final post-calibration looked and measured very well. After calibration, the projector’s brightness output was 1942 lumens which produced 36.1 ftL on my 120” screen.
After calibration, to increase perceived resolution, I set Image Enhancement (pixel shifting) to ON and selected Preset 2. Since pixel shifting was set to ON, frame interpolation was automatically switched to OFF. During calibration I set Auto Iris (Dynamic Contrast) to OFF but I turned it back ON after to improve dark scene black levels.
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.
For my Best HDR Mode calibration I chose Cinema mode. Pre-calibration HDR white balance was very similar to SDR Cinema with a heavy blue cast pushing the white balance to the 8100K range. DeltaE ranged from near 12 on the bright end down to 2 at the low end.
When in Cinema Mode the color temp adjustments are not listed in Kelvin but with a numeric value of 1 to 8. Setting the Color Temp adjustment to 6 once again brought the WB down to the 6300-6400K range. I raised the red gain slightly and reduced the blue gain a bit to bring the WB back up to a 6500K average. During HDR calibration I set Contrast to its max setting of 100. I left Sharpness along with Color and Tint at their defaults. Since most HDR content is 4K, the Image Enhancements settings are locked out. Since pixel shifting defaults to ON, Frame Interpolation was automatically switched to OFF.
The Home Cinema 3200 did a good job tracking the HDR EOTF right out of the box. The HDR10 Setting was used to adjust HDR EOTF tracking. The HDR setting has a total of 16 steps. Lowering the HDR10 setting, raises screen brightness but clips more highlights. Raising the setting maximizes highlight detail at the expense of overall screen brightness.
I raised the Brightness to 60 and left the Contrast at the default of 50. When adjusting the HDR Setting to 5 it results in good tracking of the EOTF in CalMAN (see EOTF chart). When viewing real world content, adjusting the HDR10 Setting between 6-14 (depending on how bright the content/scene was mastered) resulted in the best balance of picture brightness and highlight detail. For example, I usually set the HDR10 Setting between 6 to 9 for content mastered at 1000nits and as high as 15 for content mastered at 4000nits.
Overall, I was pleased with the 4K/HDR white balance and EOTF performance after calibration. Final lumen output measured 2664 lumens which produced 61.7ftL on my 120” screen.
Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.43
Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.30 (target 2.20) @ 4949 Lumens
White Balance calibration settings for Day mode.
© 2019 Projector Reviews (V0625)