Projector Reviews

LG HU85LA CineBeam ThinQ 4K UHD Projector – Calibration Settings

LG HU85LA CineBeam ThinQ 4K: Calibration Notes, Best Mode Calibration For 1080P, Best Mode Calibration for 4K/HDR

Calibration Notes

The HU85LA has 8 1080p/SDR modes (Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Sports, Game, HDR Effect, Expert (Bright Room) & Expert (Dark Room). For 4K/HDR content there are 5 modes (Vivid, Standard, Cinema Home, Cinema & Game) Only Cinema and Game have white balance and CMS controls. I performed 2 calibrations on the HU85LA (Best Mode 1080p & Best Mode 4K/HDR). The menu layout is identical to LG’s OLED & LCD TV’s which in of its self I have no issues with, however, some of the preset values seemed copied over too and don’t make much sense here. For example, Expert Dark, Expert Bright modes all have contrast defaulted to 85 which is too low making the projector dimmer than it needs to be. Like LG’s OLED’s these modes are nearly identical to each other except for some slight gamma differences.

Best mode Calibration For 1080P

Expert (Dark Room) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance : Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Expert (Dark Room) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance : Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

For my Best Mode 1080p calibration, I choose Expert (Dark Room) and increased Contrast from 85 to 97 which clips whites just above 235. Pre-calibration was not so great with DelatE between 6 on the low end to 10 on the high end. Part of this was due to contrast being set to 85 and the other factor was the color temp pre-set was oddly set to Medium which measured an 8500K average (plus blue / minus red) Setting the Color Temp to Warm knocked the white balance just a tad under 6500K so I decreased the red gain to raise it back to a 6500K average.

Speaking of white balance, like with LG’s flat panels the HU85LA offers both 2, 10 and 22-point white balance calibration in some of its modes with SDR & HDR content. This is the first time I have seen a 22-point on a consumer projector. For this review I did not use the 10 or 22-point calibration as I was able to achieve a DeltaE of 1 or less with the 2-point. However, I did experiment with 22 point and it worked quite well.

I was able to increase Sharpness from 10 to 15 without creating any halo artifacts. Once again Super Resolution seemed to have no effect with 1080p (or 4K) content so I left it off. I left Dynamic Contrast, Noise Reduction, MPEG NR, Smooth Gradation and True-Motion all off. Post-calibration white balance was very good with a 6500K average. The default gamma for Expert (Dark Room) is BT.1886 which should be the best choice for a dark room but it was a bit brighter than it should be measuring at a 2.28. Selecting the 2.4 preset ended up being a spot on super linear 2.4. Final post-calibration looked and measured fantastic with lumen outputting 1942 lumens.

Expert (Dark Room) Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.40 Average Gamma (target 2.40)
Expert (Dark Room) Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.40 Average Gamma (target 2.40)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 13251K 6567K
20 IRE 9017K 6651K
30 IRE 9414K 6621K
40 IRE 8467K 6553K
50 IRE 8766K 6601K
60 IRE 8747K 6585K
70 IRE 8699K 6658K
80 IRE 8887K 6540K
90 IRE 8535K 6567K
100 IRE 8653K 6511K & 1942 Lumens mid zoom)

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Energy Savings at Minimum: Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.28. Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 240@1942 Lumens.

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 85 97
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Tint 0 0
Sharpness 10 15
Color Temp Medium Warm
Dynamic Contrast Off Off
Super Resolution Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Gamma BT.1866 2.4
Noise Reduction Off Off
MPEG Noise Reduction Off Off
Smooth Gradation Off Off
Black Level Low Low
Real Cinema On On
True Motion Off Off
RGB Gain Offset
Red -4 0
Green 0 0
Blue 0 -3

Post-calibration Expert (Dark Room) Mode color temp warm preset

Expert (Dark Room) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
Expert (Dark Room) 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.

BEST MODE CALIBRATION FOR 4K/HDR - HDR10 MODE

Cinema (HDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance : Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
Cinema (HDR) Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance : Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

For my Best Mode 4K/HDR calibration I chose Cinema (HDR) mode. Pre-calibration white balance was very similar to Expert (Dark Room) with a heavy blue cast pushing the white balance to the 8800+K range. DeltaE ranged from near 12 on the bright end down to 2 at the low end. Changing the color temp from Medium to Warm once again brought the WB down to the 6300-6400K range so I reduced the red gain a bit too bring the WB back up to an 6500K average. I kept Contrast set to its max setting of 100. I increased Sharpness from 10 to 15. I left Color, Tint & Brightness at their defaults. I turned Super Resolution, Noise Reduction, MPEG NR & True Motion all off.

With HDR the HU85LA does not offer Gamma control per se, however Dynamic Contrast does effect EOTF (gamma) and although keeping it Off does measure the flattest my guess is most viewers will prefer the slightly boosted image you get from Low or Medium. The High setting overcooked the image on my screen. Post-calibration DelataE was excellent with all points measuring just 1 or below except for 60IRE coming in at just under 3. The reason for this is if you look at the EOTF chart you will see the luminance measured at 60 is a little under than where it should be. The projector runs out of gas just past 50IRE, this is very common with a most DLP projectors. Overall, I was pleased with the 4K/HDR white balance and ETOF performance after calibration. Final lumen output measured 1750.

Cinema (HDR) (dynamic contrast med) Mode Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma
Cinema (HDR) (dynamic contrast med) Mode Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 8474K 6501K
20 IRE 9374K 6694K
30 IRE 9190K 6688K
40 IRE 8656K 6487K
50 IRE 8646K 6414K
60 IRE 8897K 6451K
70 IRE 8762K 6487K
80 IRE 8871K 6471K
90 IRE 8852K 6543K
100 IRE 8762K 6506K & 1750 Lumens (mid zoom)

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Energy Savings at Minimum: With Dynamic Contrast set to medium: the post-calibrated EOTF (gamma) measured quite flat till about 50IRE then rolled off in lumen output to about 65IRE. Max lumen output is 1750.

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 100 100
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 35
Tint 0 0
Color Temp Medium Warm
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Sharpness 10 15
Dynamic Contrast off off
Super Resolution Off Off
Color Gamut Auto Auto
Noise Reduction Low Off
MPEG Noise Reduction Low Off
Smooth Gradation Low Off
Black Level Low Low
Real Cinema On On
True Motion Off Off
RGB Gain Offset
Red -5 0
Green 0 0
Blue 1 -3

Post-calibration HDR10 Mode color temp normal

Cinema (HDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
Cinema (HDR) Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)