Sony KDL-55HX850 3D LCD HDTV HT Labs Measures
Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 29,500:1
All of the measurements here (2D and 3D) were taken in the Custom Picture mode, through an HDMI input.
With the Backlight set to zero, the Picture (contrast) control at 85, the Brightness at 51, the Gamma at –1, and the LED Dynamic Control on Standard, the measured peak white level was 29.5 foot-lamberts and the black level 0.001 ft-L. The latter is the minimum reading possible with our Minolta LS-100 light meter. To get this result, I used a test pattern disc on a Blu-ray player, selected a full-field black pattern, and set the player to pause, producing a small pause bug at the bottom left-hand corner of the image. Without this bug, the LED backlighting shut down completely, and the black level was not measurable. Using the same technique, the contrast ratio with the LED Dynamic Control on Low produced a full-on/full-off contrast ratio of 10,467:1 (black level 0.003 ft-L). With LED Dynamic Control off (no dynamic dimming), the full-on/full-off contrast dropped to 2,633:1 (black level 0.012 ft-L). Clearly, we recommend leaving LED Dynamic Control in its Standard setting.
With the Gamma control set to –1 and LED Dynamic Control on Standard, the 2D gamma averaged 2.29, with a high of 2.37 at 90 percent and a low of 2.2 at 70 percent.
There’s little to complain about in the Before Calibration Color Tracking chart. In the Warm 2 Color Temperature setting, the average gray-scale Delta E was 1.01, with a maximum of 1.54. Post-calibration, the average was 0.41 and the maximum 0.76! (Delta E is a figure of merit indicating how close the color comes to the D65 HD standard at each point in the brightness range. Values below 3—some experts say 4—are generally considered visually indistinguishable from ideal.) The color gamut, with Live Color off, was similarly excellent, with an average color Delta E of 1.51. Only the post-calibration CIE (color gamut) chart is shown here, but the pre-calibration result was nearly identical (the Sony has no user color management system to adjust the color gamut, but it doesn’t really need one).
The set was also calibrated separately for 3D. Calibrators attempting this should be aware that a good 3D calibration on current Sony displays requires a precisely horizontal orientation of the 3D glasses over the color meter (see the review discussion of the set’s head-tilt phenomenon). The 3D charts are not shown here, but more work was needed for a good result than in 2D. The pre-calibration 3D gray-scale Delta E averaged 4.34 (in the Warm 1 Color Temp setting, which in 3D measured better than Warm 2). Not terrible as an average, but it peaked at 9.71 at 100 percent. Post-calibration, the 3D gray-scale Delta E averaged 0.63, with a peak of 1.00. The post-calibration color Delta E (Live Color off) averaged 2.42.—TJN