Posted on November 15, 2018 By Eric Pfoutz
Sony VPL-VW295ES 4K Home Theater Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Presets Notes, Best Mode Calibration, Brightest Mode Calibration & 4K/HDR Calibration
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.
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.
Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Low Lamp.
Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.18
Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 233 @ 885 Lumens
White Balance calibration settings for Reference 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.
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.
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.
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
White Balance calibration settings for Cinema Film 1 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 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.
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.
White Balance calibration settings for Cinema Film 2 mode.
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