Posted on December 6, 2018 By Eric Pfoutz
Epson Home Cinema 4010/Pro Cinema 4050 4K Capable Home Theater Projector– Calibration Settings: Calibration Presets Notes, Best Mode 1080p Calibration, Best Mode 4K/HDR Calibration & Brightest 4k/HDR Calibration
Normally I do two calibrations for 1080p and one for 4K/HDR. For this review however, Art wanted me to do two calibrations for 4K/HDR (Best & Brightest Mode) and one calibration for 1080p (Best Mode).
The HC4010 has 7 presets (Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Natural, Cinema, B&W, Digital Cinema) plus 2 for 3D. The lamp had over 60 hours on it before I made any measurements or performed my calibrations.
Note: The terminology used in this calibration page, Brightest Mode and Best Mode, refer to two modes of this projector. “Brightest Mode” refers to the brightest (calibrated) mode the projector has, while “Best Mode” refers to the mode with the best calibrated color offered by the projector. These modes will often not be named “Brightest” or “Best” in the projector’s menu – these are merely terms we use to describe the brightest mode and the mode with the best color.
For my Best Mode (1080p) calibration I started with Natural mode (lamp medium) and saved it to memory 1. With Contrast set to its default value of 50 the whites clip around 229. I’d like to see white detail to be resolved beyond its max target of 235 to 240 or so. Lowering the Contrast on the HC4010 did nothing to improve the clipping. Thankfully though Epson has a way to fix this problem. Super White to the rescue. The idea of Super White is to give you white levels up to the PC max level of 255. With my clipping target set to 240 I was able to actually raise the contrast to 60.
With the color temp set to 6500 and skin tone to 4 the pre-calibration white balance was a little bit blue on the high end of the grayscale with the DeltaE ranging from 1.25 to just over 3 at 50IRE. The 2-point white balance calibration controls work fine but are a bit course especially the lower (offsets), but I was still able to achieve excellent results with a DeltaE (error) no more than 1.5. The default gamma was a little on the bright side at a 2.08 average. With my target set for 2.3 I lowered gamma to -1. Usually my target is 2.4 but I had issues trying to attain a flat gamma at 2.4 so I lowered my target slightly to 2.3. After calibration averaged a 2.26 with a slight bump in brightness at 90IRE. Overall, I was very happy with my post Best Mode (1080p) calibration and its 1553 measured lumens.
Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Medium Lamp.
Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.08
Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 226 @ 1553 Lumens
White Balance calibration settings for Natural mode.
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 Mode 4K/HDR I used Digital Cinema Mode (high lamp) and saved it to memory 2. On the HC4010 It is necessary to use either Digital Cinema or Cinema because they employ a color filter that allows the projector to achieve near P3 color gamut used for 4K/HDR content. The down side of this filter is that you lose more than 50% of light output (compared to Natural) which we so dearly want for HDR. So, one could make an argument for using Natural for 4K/HDR. Which is why we did exactly that for this review. (see below)
The default white balance (color temp 5, skin tone 3) had a blue push ranging from 7600K to 8300K. I found setting the color temp to 3 and skin tone to 7 got me the closest to D65 but was still a bit blue. After adjusting the 2-point white balance controls the white balance improved a bit but not to the same accuracy I got with my Best Mode (1080p) calibration. I left Super White off and increased contrast to 65. With HDR set to Auto/Mode 2 the EOTF (gamma) tracked quit well with the low end overly bright and the high end a little dark. With that said, most viewers will prefer the brighter image you get with HDR Mode 1/Auto (Bright). Post calibration DeltaE was excellent averaging 1.5 except for 40IRE which was a 3. Overall, I was impressed with the post calibrated image even though the light output was low (for HDR) at 993 lumens.
Measurements taken at Mid Placement with High Lamp.
ETOF (gamma) Post-Calibration: HDR Mode 2/Auto tracked flat except for the low end which was slightly brighter and the high end which is a little darker @ 993 Lumens.
White Balance calibration settings for Digital Cinema mode.
My last calibration was a Brightest Mode for 4k/HDR. I used Natural Mode (high lamp) and saved it to memory 3. I kept the color temp to 6500 and skin tone to 4 just like I did for my Best Mode (1080p) calibration. This combination gets you the closest to D65 but like color temp 6500 its still runs a little blue on the high end of the grayscale. After using the 2-point white balance I was able to improve grayscale and achieve a DeltaE that was not as good as I had achieved using Digital Cinema. The high and low end was excellent averaging around 1 but 40 to 60IRE bumped up between 3 to 5.
Like with my Best Mode 4K/HDR calibration I left Super White off and increased contrast to 65. With HDR set to Auto/Mode 2 the EOTF (gamma) tracked a little brighter as you would expect without employing the color filter with the low end overly bright and the high end a little dark. Again, most viewers will most likely prefer the brighter image you get with HDR Mode 1/Auto (Bright). As I mentioned earlier using Natural mode for 4K/HDR will gain you more lumens compared to Digital Cinema mode (2077 lumens to be exact) but at the peril of DCI/P3 color accuracy (see advanced calibration page for details).
Measurements taken at Mid Placement Normal Lamp.
ETOF (gamma) Post-Calibration: HDR Mode 2/Auto tracked a little brighter than Digital Cinema exhibiting the same overly bright low end and dimmer high end @ 2077 Lumens.
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