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Sony VPL-HW40ES Projector Review - Calibration and Settings

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Phil Jones
SONY VPL-HW40ES PROJECTOR - CALIBRATION AND SETTINGS: Pre-calibration settings, Post-calibration settings, General Notes, Grayscale Notes

Sony VPL-HW40ES Pre-calibration

Settings for measurements (default values are in parenthesis):
Reference TV Cinema Film 1 Cinema Film 2 User
Contrast (90) (90) (90) (90) (90)
Brightness (50) 51 52 51 51 51
Color (50) (50) (53) (50) (50)
Tint (50) (50) (50) (50) (50)
Color Temp (D65) (D65) (D65) (D55) (D65)
Color Space (BT.709) (Color Space 1) Color Space 3) Color Space 3) (BT.709)
Gamma (Off) (2.4) (8) (Off) (Off)
Film mode (Off) (Auto 1) (Auto 1) (Auto 1) (Auto 1)


Settings for measurements (default values are in parenthesis):
Photo Bright Cinema Bright TV Game
Contrast (90) (Max) 90 (90) (Max) 90
Brightness (50) 51
Color (50) (55) (55) (55)
Tint (50) (50) (50) (50)
Color Temp (D55) (D75) (D75) (Custom 5)
Color Space (BT.709) (Color Space 3) (Color Space 2) Color Space 3)
Gamma (Off) (9) (10) (9)
Film mode (Off) (Auto 1) (Auto 1) (Off)



Lamp Mode=High (unless noted otherwise)

All other settings at default (untouched)

Sony VPL-HW40ES Projector - Brightness by Mode, Mid-zoom (at 100 IRE)
Mode Brightness (Lumens) Color Temp at 100 IRE
Reference 1497 6721
TV 1509 6723
Cinema Film 1 1497 6721
Cinema Film 2 1354 5720
Game 1722 6860
Photo 1330 5725
Bright Cinema 1592 7787
Bright TV 1616 7789
User 1497 6722
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Game mode):
Zoom out 1731
Mid-zoom 1722
Zoom in 1588

Lumen Output (Low Lamp, Game mode):  1117

Color Temp over IRE Range (Best Mode, Pre calibration):
30 IRE 6432
50 IRE 6578
80 IRE 6711
100 IRE 6721

Sony VPL-HW40ES: Calibration

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration):
2.2 Gamma 2.4 Gamma
20 IRE 6413 6219
30 IRE 6432 6376
40 IRE 6476 6375
50 IRE 6578 6500
60 IRE 6647 6598
70 IRE 6695 6675
80 IRE 6711 6690
90 IRE 6725 6721
100 IRE 6721 6721
Average gamma 2.11 2.30

Calibration settings for User:  Gamma on 2.2 and 2.4, otherwise none, see notes

Mike's General Notes

As was the case with other Sony projectors, a number of modes are almost identical when it comes to default grayscale. Reference, Cinema Film 1, TV and User modes all have roughly the same RGB balance that is excellent right out of the box.  Red is slightly low and blue is slightly high in the upper IRE levels, but that’s about it.  The RGB balance is also quite consistent across the entire IRE range.  Delta E averages only 1.23, with a minimum of 0.6 and a maximum of 1.8.  This is very good performance for a calibrated display, much less one in a preset color temp.  This performance surpasses some of Sony’s more expensive models and is probably the best I’ve seen for a projector in this price range.  Also, the BT.709 color space is extremely accurate with very low chromaticity error.  However, as will be even clearer from the following discussions, this is not a projector for the tweaker.

Mike's Grayscale Calibration Notes

The excellent grayscale performance is needed, mainly because of Sony’s inexplicable decision to only include one adjustable color temp, which unfortunately corresponds to the brightest color temp.  Usually, Sony provides the usual preset color temps (ie; D55, 65, 75 etc.), but then also provides custom color temps that use one of the presets as the starting point.  Here, the adjustable color temp (Custom 5) is so low in red and so high in green that even maximum adjustments to the RGB gain and offset will not make to overall balance as good as the default D65 setting.  Since there are already slightly less bright, but better color balance alternatives to the Game mode (Bright TV and Bright Cinema) that uses Custom 5, there’s no particular reason to adjust Custom 5.

Gamma settings allow for an overall gamma of 2.11 (with gamma set to Off or 2.2) or 2.30 (with gamma set to 2.4).  Greyscale is slightly worse with gamma set to 2.4 as it increases red in the lower IREs, but not greatly.  With both, the gamma curve starts at the target gamma at 20 IRE, then slowly drops as you move up the IRE scale.

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