Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sony LCD Rear Projection, KDFEA10 Calibrations

I recently had the opportunity to calibrate 2 different Sony KDFEA10 LCD RP sets, a 50 inch and a 42 inch. These are excellent values for 720p HDTVs. They are discontinued now but many dealers still have them in stock. They have 2 component inputs and 1 HDMI input like other TVs of this type. Calibration is through the service menu and is global for all inputs. Grayscale can be set very precisely to track within 150k of D65. To adjust the color decoder, there is a "color axis" setting. This appears to rotate the gamut almost like a clock. There are about 50 different settings. I used the color analyzer to find the most accurate one. Once the grayscale and decoder is set, final tweaks are done with the iris controls. This varies the black level enough to affect the grayscale so I had to compromise to keep each input close to spec. In the end, I left the iris on its minimum setting for the component inputs and medium for HDMI. I also set different parameters for Black Corrector, Gamma and Advanced Iris to adjust for the grayscale shift through HDMI.

This TV was fairly difficult to work on because all the settings were interacting with each other. Luckily, the service and user menus are accessible at the same time. I went back and forth for quite awhile to get the results I wanted. I wound up with a great looking TV when I was finally done. I wish I could hide that awful Vivid picture mode. It's so bright and blue it's painful! Once you've become accustomed to a calibrated image, Vivid is downright offensive!

I still see these sets for sale at the big box stores. The prices are quite low. They're probably one of the best bargains for an HDTV right now. Even after adding the price of a calibration, you've still got a 50 inch HDTV for under $2000.

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