Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-VW295ES 4K Home Theater Projector Review – Calibration Settings

Sony VPL-VW295ES 4K Home Theater Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Presets Notes, Best Mode Calibration, Brightest Mode Calibration & 4K/HDR Calibration

Sony VPL-VW295ES Calibration Notes

Note: The projector had over 60 Hours on the lamp before I calibrated it and took the light measurements.

Sony has included 9 calibration presets (Cinema Film 1, Cinema Film 2, Reference, TV, Photo, Game, Bright Cinema, Bright TV & User) on the 295ES. 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.

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.

 

Best Mode Calibration for 1080p and REC.709 – Reference Mode

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Reference Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

I performed my Best Mode calibration using Reference mode with low lamp. Pre-calibration Reference measured quite well with DeltaE measuring from 2 to just under 6 in the mid/lower IRE range. White balance pushed a little plus blue with a 7250K average and with the gamma setting set to off it tracked a decent 2.2 curve. The BT.709 color gamut was also tracking quite good with some of the colors undersaturated at their low to mid points.

During calibration I lowered contrast to 94 to help with grayscale tracking and white clipping. I upped sharpness to 50 from 60. I left Reality Creation on and at its default settings. With 1080p test patterns you can see a little artifacting but felt it was not perceptible with normal content.

After calibration everything tightened up and the VW285ES became a great performer. My target gamma of 2.4 was fairly linear except for a small rise in brightness between 20-50IRE. White balance linearity was not as tight as I wanted, ranging from 6252K on the low end to 6785K at 70IRE then back down to 6395K at the top end. DeltaE was still excellent however with errors between 1 and 2.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Reference Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.33 Average Gamma (target 2.40)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 6843K 6252K
20 IRE 7182K 6301K
30 IRE 7366K 6572K
40 IRE 7334K 6701K
50 IRE 7318K 6727K
60 IRE 7269K 6711K
70 IRE 7154K 6785K
80 IRE 7133K 6547K
90 IRE 7054K 6425K
100 IRE 7013K 6395K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Low Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.18

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 233 @ 885 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Temp D65 D65
Gamma Off 2.4
Contrast Max 94
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Hue 50 50
Sharpness 50 56
Contrast Enhancer Off Off
Motionflow True Cinema True Cinema
Input Lag Reduction Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Reality Creation On On
Database Normal Normal
Resolution 20 20
Noise Filtering 10 10
NR Off Off
MPEG NR Off Off
Smooth Gradation Off Off
Color Correction Off Off
Clear White Off Off
x.v. Color Off Off
Color Space BT.709 BT.709
RGB Gain Offset
Red -2 0
Green 0 -2
Blue -9 -1

White Balance calibration settings for Reference mode.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Reference 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.

Brightest Mode Calibration for 1080P and REC.709 – Cinema Film 1

Next up I did my Brightest Mode calibration using the Cinema Film 1 preset with the lamp set to bright. This combination yielded similar pre-calibration results I got with Reference mode. I had the biggest issue with my target gamma of 2.10 and after trying different setting combinations I ended up using Color Temp: custom color 3 & gamma 2.1. White balance was pretty good pre-calibration and color gamut again like Reference mode showed similar errors with lower IRE saturation levels. DeltaE hovered in the 1-4 range.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Cinema Film 1 Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

After calibration results were excellent and measured actually slightly better than my Best mode (Reference) calibration. This may be due to the lamp running on high which is how it was designed. Gamma tracked a 2.12 average (2.10 target). White balance shifted a tiny plus green at 90-100IRE but average white balance is in the 6550K range. DeltaE stayed at or under 1.5 across the IRE range. Color gamut was the standout showing off extremely accurate BT.709 triangle.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Cinema Film 1 Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.12 Average Gamma (target 2.10)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 6931K 6329K
20 IRE 7047K 6402K
30 IRE 7139K 6599K
40 IRE 7237K 6568K
50 IRE 7180K 6637K
60 IRE 7173K 6612K
70 IRE 7107K 6608K
80 IRE 7080K 6557K
90 IRE 7107K 6495K
100 IRE 7061K 6601K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Bright Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.02

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.12 (target 2.10) @ 1239 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Temp Custom 3 Custom 3
Gamma 7 2.1
Contrast Max 98
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Hue 50 50
Sharpness 50 56
Contrast Enhancer Low Off
Motionflow True Cinema True Cinema
Input Lag Reduction Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Reality Creation On On
Data Base Normal Normal
Resolution 40 20
Noise Filtering 10 10
NR Off Off
MPEG NR Off Off
Smooth Gradation Low Off
Color Correction On On
Clear White Off Off
x.y. Color Off Off
Color Space B.T.709 B.T.709
RGB Gain Offset
Red 5 -1
Green 0 -3
Blue -7 -3

White Balance calibration settings for Cinema Film 1 mode.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Cinema Film 1 Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

4K with HDR Calibration– Cinema Film 2 Mode

My last calibration was for 4K/HDR. For this mode I used Cinema Film 2 with lamp on high. While in any mode the projector will detect a 4k signal and set the contrast to 60, separate from wherever you had it set for HD/1080p. It also removes many of the adjustment settings you have with HD/1080p such as gamma. This allows you to use the same picture mode you used for 1080p content. I however chose to use a different mode (Cinema Film 2) So I can get the most accurate image by doing a separate CMS calibration.

I upped the Contrast to 80. Although this may result in a tiny bit of content clipping it helps improve the ETOF (gamma) at the brightest point.  White balance was quite good with using Custom 3 (Brightest Mode) calibration as a starting point averaging 6400K with the low end pushing a little more towards red with a 5800K average.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Cinema Film 2 Mode 4K/HDR Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

Sony has a setting called Contrast Enhancer which raises the dark end of the grayscale. By default, the projector is set to low. With it off the ETOF tacks the most accurate but you may feel the shadow detail is too dark. As a calibrator I feel it best not to go past low. But as a realist I know that most will want to turn it to med or high as it does make the overall HDR image brighter. As you may know, there are no projectors can come close to the light output (need for HDR) of flat panels which is why projector manufactures give their users these adjustments. So, season to taste.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Cinema Film 2 Mode 4K/HDR Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 5729K 5877K
20 IRE 5904K 6041K
30 IRE 6227K 6237K
40 IRE 6380K 6463K
50 IRE 6595K 6607K
60 IRE 6550K 6506K
70 IRE 6405K 6410K
80 IRE 6489K 6510K
90 IRE 6487K 6519K
100 IRE 6499K 6518K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement High Lamp.

ETOF (gamma) Post-Calibration: Contrast Enhancer set to Off tracked fairly flat except for the low end which was slightly brighter than the target and the high end rolling off the brightness @ 1350 Lumens.

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Color Temp Custom 3 Custom 3
Gamma n/a n/a
Contrast 60 80
Brightness 50 60
Color 50 50
Hue 50 50
Sharpness 50 50
Contrast Enhancer Low Low or Medium
Motionflow True Cinema True Cinema
Input Lag Reduction Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Reality Creation On On
Data Base Normal Normal
Resolution 40 40
Noise Filtering 10 10
Smooth Gradation Low Off
Color Correction Off On
Clear White Off Off
x.v. Color Off Off
HDR Auto Auto or HDR10
Color Space BT.2020 B.T.2020
RGB Gain Offset
Red 5 -1
Green 0 -3
Blue -7 -3

White Balance calibration settings for Cinema Film 2 mode.

Sony VW295ES Calibration Charts
Cinema Film 2 Mode 4K/HDR Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)