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Sony KDL40W5500 Settings

by Vincent Teoh
23 March 2009

What follows is the high-definition HDMI settings for our Sony KDL40W5500 review unit after calibration to D65 imaging standard in a dimly-lit viewing environment. These calibrated settings should be treated as guidelines rather than absolute values, because you may have a different input source or viewing environment. Also, samples have been known to vary from unit to unit. This is why we recommend that – at the very least – you use a basic calibration disc such as the Digital Video Essentials Blu-Ray to set your black level ("Brightness") correctly according to your source.

If you are not used to D65 images, you might initially find them too dark or too yellow. Most computer monitors (and most televisions on factory settings) are tuned to a colour temperature in excess of 9300k, which subtly brainwashes us into incorrectly thinking that the whites delivered by these displays are the "real, bright whites". On the other hand, broadcast and film studios adheres to the D65 standard, which is what we strive to achieve through proper calibration, so that we can watch movies in the way that the directors intended us to. We suggest sticking with the following settings for 3 days to 1 week to get used to D65 images, after which going back to the out-of-the-box values should hopefully make you realise how unnatural and garish the images were prior to calibration.

* Backlight and gamma should be increased in brighter viewing environment (e.g. daytime) to boost perception of overall luminance and shadow detail which can be easily obscured by strong ambient lighting.

** For standard definition, use [Film Mode] "Auto 2".

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