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Samsung LE40B650 Calibration

by Vincent Teoh
14 March 2009

Greyscale

Out of the box, "Movie" [Mode] with its default "Warm2" [Colour Tone] yielded the greyscale closest to D65 standard on the Samsung LE40B650 LCD television:

Pre-calibration CCT
Pre-calibration CCT with "Movie" [Mode] & "Warm2" [Colour Tone]
Pre-calibration RGB Tracking
Pre-calibration RGB tracking and delta errors (dEs)

Both the red and blue components were slightly higher than ideal, which meant that delta errors (dEs) were not suppressed under the perceptible limit of 4. Tweaking the RGB offset and gain controls in the [White Balance] submenu easily rectified this – post-calibration dEs were below 2.5 from 30% stimulus onwards:

CCT after calibration
CCT after greyscale calibration in "Movie" [Mode]
RGB Tracking after calibration
RGB tracking and delta errors (dEs) after greyscale calibration

Colour

Three [Colour Space] options are available in the user menu of the Samsung LE40B650 HDTV: "Auto", "Native" and "Custom". As you can see from the CIE diagrams below, [Colour Space] "Auto" produced undersaturated reds and relatively accurate secondary colour hues, whereas [Colour Space] "Native" yielded a colour gamut that was more well-saturated, but exhibited deviations in magenta and (to a lesser extent) cyan hues. In both cases, green primary was tilted towards blue.

[Colour Space] "Auto" [Colour Space] "Native"
[Colour Space] "Auto" CIE [Colour Space] "Native" CIE

By setting [Colour Space] to "Custom" on the Samsung LE40B650 LCD TV to access its colour management system, we worked on bringing all 6 primary and secondary colours closer to high-definition Rec. 709 specifications:

Post-calibration CIE chart
Post-calibration CIE chart with reference to HD Rec. 709

Unfortunately some sacrifice in red and green saturation was unavoidable if we wanted to maintain accurate hues and colour decoding. Still, because the secondary colour hues were well-aligned and colour decoding was accurate, flesh tones should look realistic without any hint of red push.

Benchmark Test Results

Dead pixels None
Screen uniformity No clouding and backlight bleed once calibrated
Overscanning on HDMI 0% with [Size] set to “Screen Fit
Blacker than black Passed
Black level Deepest among non-LED LCDs (0.04 cd/m2 calibrated)
Black level retention Stable in "Movie" [Mode]
Primary chromaticity Good after calibration in "Custom" [Colour Space]
Scaling Good
Video mode deinterlacing Excellent
Film mode deinterlacing Passed 3:2 cadence in 480i and 1080i; and 2:2 in 576i
Viewing angle 90°
Motion resolution [100Hz Motion Plus] "Smooth": 650; "Clear": 600; "Off": 300
Digital noise reduction Acceptable at baseline
Sharpness Defeatable edge enhancement
1080p/24 capability (PS3) Accepts 1080p/24 video signal; no telecine judder
Input lag (rel. to Samsung F96) 17-33ms in [Game Mode] or over VGA; 85-100ms otherwise

Power Consumption

Default "Standard" [Mode] 141 watts
Calibrated "Movie" [Mode] 93 watts
Standby <1 watt

Notes On Video Processing

Armed with Samsung's new billion-dollar picture processing circuit, standard-def video processing on the Samsung LE40B650 was better in almost every respect than the A656 series (and any other HDTVs bar the Pioneer Kuro plasmas and the latest Toshiba LCDs).

The quality of upconversion/scaling was good: details in the grass and stone bridge on the HQV test disc looked sufficiently sharp without any sign of excessive ringing. Nevertheless, the picture still appeared slightly softer than the Sony PS3, which is perhaps an unfair comparison given that the PS3 is quite a formidable SD DVD upscaler especially when updated with the latest firmware.

The Samsung LE40B650's video mode deinterlacing is right up there with the best of all the HDTVs we have tested so far, masterfully smoothening the jagged edges in the rotating wheel, bouncing bars and waving flag test patterns.

With [Film Mode] engaged, the Samsung LE40B650 aced the 3:2 cadence tests in 480i and 1080i, and the 2:2 cadence tests in 576i...  the LCD TV even managed to lock onto the second variant which we've never seen any other HDTV do before.

Here's the difference between [Film Mode] "Auto 1" and "Auto 2":

  • Auto 1: passed 3:2 cadence in 1080i, but exhibited tearing/combing on scrolling text overlay;
  • Auto 2: failed 3:2 cadence in 1080i, but no tearing/combing on scrolling texts.

Needless to say, [Film Mode] should be set to "Auto 2" for SD viewing.

Now, before you start salivating at the prospect of forever eradicating moiré, line twitter and jaggies from your TV screen, please remember that the Samsung LE40B650's excellent result in film mode deinterlacing was achieved in test patterns. There exist quite a number of tricky, poorly flagged real-world material that can even make a fool of expensive dedicated video processors. One such notorious test scene is found in the PAL DVD of Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason. The Samsung LE40B650 didn't manage to remove the moiré from the red Coca Cola sign saying "Go Bridget Go", but then again not many HDTVs (or external video processors for that matter) do.

4.5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended

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