Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-HW45ES Projector – Calibration & Settings


Eric our ISF trained and certified calibrator provided these notes, charts, and data:

Sony has included a whopping 9 calibration presets (Cinema 1, Cinema 2, Reference, TV, Photo, Game, Bright Cinema, Bright TV & User) on the HW45. By default, all of them have the lamp set to high. Thing is they are all basically the same when you adjust their settings to the same values except for a few subtle differences.

Sony VLP-HW45ES Calibration Presets notes

For example, Reference is the least processed and closest to our target of D65 color temp with all of the enhancements turned off except Reality Creation which is Sony’s fancy name for its pixel sharpening, edge enhancement. On other Sony products you are able to adjust how much enhancement you want to use, but here is just on or off. With it on I could clearly see haloing around black lines in my resolution test patterns but this artifacting is less apparent in video content, so it’s really the user’s judgment call whether the perceived increase in sharpness is worth it, but a purist may want to turn it off.

Another example in where some presets are set differently, Bright Cinema is set to D75 (bluer color temp), contrast enhancer in the middle position and gamma is set to 8 providing a crazy (very bright) average gamma of 1.6. Photo is oddly set to D55, (warmer color temp than D65) . I did note one difference with reality creation being stronger in Bright Cinema compared to Reference.

Editor’s note: re:  Eric’s comments about color temp of Photo mode.  I believe Sony’s intent with Photo may be proper for watching “black and white movies” where the grayscale is targeted to 5500K, and B&W photos?   -art

So for my dark room calibration, I used the Reference preset with the less aggressive reality creation.

Note: for those of you who will choose to forgo a professional calibration (shame on you) Keeping the bulb on high (default position) yields a better out of the box grayscale as my RGB Balance charts indicate.

Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom and bright lamp):
Cinema 1 [email protected]
Cinema 2 [email protected]
Reference [email protected]
TV [email protected]
Photo [email protected]
Game 1541@7260
Bright Cinema [email protected]
Bright TV [email protected]
User [email protected]

Pre-Calibration Color Temp (D65 pre-set) over IRE Range

Color Temp (D65 pre-set) over IRE Range
Reference Mode Bright Lamp & Mid Zoom
Bright Cinema Mode Bright Lamp & Mid Zoom
30 IRE 6303K 7059K
50 IRE 6482K 7396K
80 IRE 6512K 7593K
100 IRE 6645K 7607K
 Average Gamma = 2.02                         Average Gamma = 1.56

Sony VPL-HW45ES Pre- and Post-Calibration Settings, By Mode

VPL-HW45ES Pre- and Post-Calibration for Reference Mode
Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Temp D65  D65
Gamma Off 2.4
Contrast Max 95
Brightness 50 53
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Sharpness 10 10


VPL-HW45ES Pre- and Post-Calibration for Bright Cinema Mode
Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Temp D75 D75
Gamma 9 2.2
Contrast Max 95
Brightness 50 53
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Sharpness 10 10

Note: color temp presets are global, so I had to use a different preset for Bright Cinema. Had I used D65 it would have messed up my Reference mode calibration.

Reference Mode Custom color temp w D65 starting point Bright Cinema Mode Custom color temp w D75 starting point
Gain Red = -1 Red = 8
Green = -4 Green = -3
Blue = -9 Blue = -22
Bias Red = 11 Red = -8
Green = 13 Green = =6
Blue = 13 Blue = 0

Reference Mode Pre-Calibration

Bright Cinema Mode Pre-Calibration

Post-Calibration Color Temperature

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post Calibration)
Reference Mode Bright Cinema
10 IRE 6477K 6464K
20 IRE 6332K 6385K
30 IRE 6438K 6455K
40 IRE 6555K 6522K
50 IRE 6518K 6548K
60 IRE 6523K 6523K
70 IRE 6464K 6523K
80 IRE 6439K 6467K
90 IRE 6483K 6431K
100 IRE 6486K & 1203 Lumens 6400K & 1203 Lumens 1168
Average Gamma = 2.17 (target 2.20) Average Gamma = 2.01 (target 2.10)