Sony KDL-65W850A 3D HDTV Test Bench

Test Bench

Full-on/Full-off Contrast Ratio: Unmeasurable

With the Backlight set to 3, the Picture (contrast) control at 90, the Brightness at 51, the Advanced Contrast Enhancer and Live Color off, and the LED Dynamic Control on Standard, the measured peak white level was 32.2 foot-lamberts and the black level was unmeasurable. This does not mean the Sony has infinite contrast, only that the LEDs turn off in the presence of a full screen black signal, such as a fadeout between scenes. Turn the LED Dynamic Control off, and the black level jumps to 0.006 ft-L—not bad, but a noticeable increase.

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In the 0 setting of the Gamma control, the gamma averaged 2.19 (low 2.16, high 2.2). At a setting of –1, the gamma averaged 2.29.

The set produced its maximum brightness in the stock Vivid mode, with a peak white level of 98.5 ft-L—though with a very blue gray-scale Delta E averaging 42 (!) in the Neutral Color Temperature setting (there are no Warm options in the Vivid mode).

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.

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In the Sony’s Warm 2 Color Temperature setting, the average pre- calibration 2D gray-scale Delta E was a respectably good 3.37, with a low of 1.05 at 20 percent brightness increasing to a high of 5.13 at 100 percent. Post-calibration, the average 2D gray-scale Delta E was 0.55, with no value higher than 0.84, and the 2D color Delta E averaged 2.57.

The pre-calibration 3D gray-scale Delta E in the Standard Picture Mode (charts not shown) averaged an unimpressive 9.7, peaking at 13.5 at 100% brightness. Post-calibration, the 3D gray-scale Delta E averaged 2.35, peaking at 5.7 at 100%. The post-calibration 3D color Delta E averaged 2.64.

The Sony easily passed our 3:2 HD and 2:2 HD video processing tests and was close enough to earn a passing grade on the MA HD test. If you watch standard-def content, note that it passed the 2:2 SD test and was borderline on our 3:2 SD test, pulling out a passing grade by its performance on some of the more challenging 480i DVD movies in my collection—the non-anamorphically enhanced first release of Titanic (the ship’s railings and hard edges), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951 version—including a rotating radar antenna near the beginning), Star Trek: Insurrection (haystacks and a slow pan across a village in the title sequence). But it failed the MA SD test. Overall, the set’s video processing performance was merely fair.

As with most HDTVs, a multichannel Dolby Digital or DTS HDMI source fed directly into the set comes out of the TosLink output as two-channel PCM. This may be a concern if you plan to connect a multichannel soundbar directly to the set.—TJN

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