Sony XBR-65X900A 3D LCD Ultra HDTV Settings


Unit-to-unit sample variations, the viewing environment, and the source might render these recommendations less than optimum. They are provided only as a potentially useful starting place.

The settings here that are most likely to translate reliably from one sample to another are those involving specific features with only a few selections, such as Gamma and Noise Reduction. The ones most likely to be subject to sample variations are video controls offering a wide range of adjustment, such as white balance (grayscale) and color management (where available). Even relatively small differences in the common control settings, such as Contrast, Brightness, and Gamma, can shift the white balance, though the resulting visible change may be minor. Production tolerances can do the same.

We strongly recommend that you find the optimum basic video settings for your sample by using one of the many available display setup Blu-rays, such as Spears & Musil HD Benchmark or DVE HD Basics. These will help you to set the basic controls, Brightness, Contrast (called “Picture” in Sony sets), Sharpness, and sometimes Color and Tint, correctly. Experimenting with the more complex color calibration and other controls in the user menus will do no harm; the changes may be easily reset. But adjusting these by eye is unlikely to produce an accurate result and is no substitute for a full calibration. The latter is best left to a trained and properly equipped technician such as those certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) or THX.

Scene Select CinemaCinema
Picture Mode Cinema 1Cinema 1
Backlight: 7Max
Picture: 8696-98*
Brightness 49-51*49-51*
Color TemperatureWarm 2Warm 2
Noise ReductionOffOff
MPEG Noise Reduction OffOff
Dot Noise ReductionOffOff
Reality CreationManualManual
Mastered in 4KAs required NA
Video Area DetectionOffOff
Smooth Gradation OffN/A
Motionflow OffOff
CineMotionAuto Auto
Advanced Settings
Black CorrectorOffOff
Advanced Contrast Enhancer MediumMedium
Gamma -2 or -3* -1 or -2*
LED Dynamic ControlStandardStandard
Auto Light LimiterOffN/A
Clear White OffOff
Live ColorOffOff
White Balance
Red Gain-4-7
Green Gain-1-6
Blue Gain0-1
Red Bias-1 -3
Green Bias+1-3
Blue Bias 0-1
Detail EnhancerOffOff
Edge EnhancerOffOff
Skin NaturalizerNANA
Screen: Wide ModeFullNA
Screen: Display AreaFull PixelFull Pixel
Color MatrixAutoAuto
HDMI Dynamic Range AutoAuto
Pro Picture
HDMI Dynamic Range Auto Auto
Color Matrix Auto Auto
SBM (Super Bit Mapping) On On or Off*
*Source dependent
(877) 865-SONY

SirPoon's picture

Thanks for a detailed review. Do you have the detail calibration settings? 2D and 3D?


tpherson's picture

What disk type and player were you using in your 3D tests. For example, am I going to get 3480 x 1080 if I use a playstation 3 as my player with any current 3D bluray I already have in my collection? Or, am I going to have to invest in a new player type (Sony's 4K Ultra HD Media Player or PS4) or new disks (Mastered for 4K or other 4K format)?

Thank you

maj0crk's picture

The sentence that begins "Switching to a wider color gamut on playback when the source is mastered to the Rec. 709 color standard, however, will merely distort the color choices made by the program producer." reminds me of earlier advertising claims by all manufacturers called "Deep Color." I've not heard this claim for some time. Has "Deep Color" been reintroduced to us under the 4K banner? If so, why haven't you referred to it in your 4K reviews to date?

Thomas J. Norton's picture
While I have no personal experience with the PS3, the information available to me suggests that it will do 3D. You shouldn't need another player. (For the review I used the Oppo BDP-103 for 3D playback.) To clarify, however, the 3480 x 1080 you will see on the screen is an upconversion from the standard HD on the 3D disc.

Also, to be clear if redundant, the so-called "Mastered in 4K" discs are NOT true 4K. The 4K studio masters are downconverted to 2K when transferred to Blu-ray. There is, at present, no consumer disc format that offers a true, native 4K resolution, either 2D or 3D.

JustinGN's picture

I think what they're referring to is the actual use of xvYCC/Deep Color by letting the user swap color gamuts on the set itself. I remember PC monitors that supported such a wide gamut had a "sunburn effect" on human skin until color management systems allowed them to process sRGB accurately again, and I think this is a similar setup here. Without having an actual set and instrumentation, this is speculation, but it sounds like the set uses a wide color gamut by default (xvYCC/Deep Color compatible) while using the on-board processor to adjust the image into Rec. 709 should the user desire it.

As for Deep Color coming back under 4K, it makes sense from a marketing standpoint (more color AND resolution? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY, say the serial upgraders). Unfortunately, HDMI doesn't have the bandwidth for both 4K and xvYCC, hence why it was (if I'm reading the article right) passed via a metadata table instead of hard coded into the video stream of the testing material. From a practical standpoint, more color may not be a good idea for living room display; Rec. 709 covers a pretty sizable spectrum as is, and I'm not seeing any producers using the expanded color gamut in digital video (or even in gaming, which seemed a ripe prospect for xvYCC many years ago with the PS3).

aleksandr's picture

excellent review with no bias.

Jarod's picture

More hi-end sets need to have better speakers like the XBR-65X900A appears to have. I have a dedicated HT but in my living room I just have my Pioneer Kuro that comes with the removable soundbar. One of the best sounding tvs ive ever heard. Why dont more companies do that? Even though some people will add a surround sound and never use the internal speakers many live with the tvs internal speakers and more sets need to not try to cram those little speakers in the tiny bezels of the flatpanels of today.

JustinGN's picture

I'm torn. On the one hand, I love the idea of better speakers on the sets themselves, especially for smaller installations like bedrooms or living rooms outside the theater itself. On the other, I loathe such large speaker installs on my sets, because I use my external speakers only.

For TVs of this price range, I'm shocked detachable speakers are no longer an option. Those speakers add so much weight to the set, that I'll need a brand new mount and entertainment furniture for it if I were to buy one. Bleh!

Speakerphile's picture

" As with the other flat-screen sets we’ve tested (and we only added this test recently), if you connect a source with any form of DTS or Dolby Digital multichannel audio directly to an HDMI input, the Sony will only give you two-channel PCM audio at its TosLink optical digital audio output. This may be a concern if you plan to connect a multichannel powered soundbar to this output."

You made this claim with the 55W900A as well, but you were wrong. Are you sure this set actually lacks the ability to pass DD or DTS through optical from an HDMI source?

Thomas J. Norton's picture
You argue that we were wrong but offer no details as to why.

To perform this test we fed both DTS and Dolby Digital audio into each set over HDMI. The set's Toslink output was fed into an Integra pre-pro that indicates either DTS or Dolby Digital on its front panel display when it receives such a signal. The only indication we received was "Dolby Pro Logic II," which indicates a 2-channel mixdown over Toslink.

We provide all of our reviews to manufacturers prior to publication to offer corrections for any factual errors Sony did not contest these results.

Speakerphile's picture

The manual for both models states that they support output of "Dolby Digital" via the optical output. I am not disillusioned enough to think the manual couldn't be wrong, but it would be somewhat surprising if they got it wrong on both. Maybe there was something wrong with the review sample? It would be one of few models that offer this feature, which makes it substantial. Would you guys be willing to investigate this with Sony?

JustinGN's picture

I'm just going to swipe this from Mr. Norton real quick...

The manual isn't wrong, but it isn't entirely right either. Technically the sets do pass Dolby long as it comes from the ATSC tuner built into the set itself. As was explained, when they sent a DD & DTS signal over HDMI into the display, the TOSLINK output only output PCM stereo, rather than the DD/DTS track being sent from the source component. If they had switched to a terrestrial antenna for testing, and picked up a channel using Dolby Digital for audio, the display would've output the signal fine.

Short version: the displays do support output of Dolby Digital, but only when used with a specific source, in this case being the ATSC/Antenna input.

bsd107's picture

OK, I just bought a 65x900 two weeks ago. As my Sony 5300ES AVR does not support ARC, and my family greatly prefers to use the TV itself to switch between components (I.e. have all my devices connected directly to the TV via HDMI, I was greatly interested im the answer to whether surround is passed through the TV.

What I have found is the following, using my devices connected via HDMI to the TV, and using optical out from the TV to the AVR:

XB360 Slim: the AVR sees DD5.1 or 2-Channel PCM.
PS3 Slim: the AVR sees DD5.1 or 2-channel PCM.

Any game or movie disk on either sends DD5.1 to the AVR, and I have verifies that I am indeed getting discrete audio to the rears (not simulated).

Using the PS3 HDMI setup (I think it's called "Video Settings", the PS3 reports the TV as being both DD5.1 and 2-channel PCM capable. Standard DTS is not selectable, which I think means the TV is reporting that is not compatible with DTS.

One key point: I have the TV configured to use external audio and NOT the internal speakers (which get disabled in this mode). That may be a key requirement to pass through DD5.1.

Note also that I received an updated firmware as soon as.I installed the TV. Possible that this changed the audio passthrough, but my bet is that you did not defeat the internal speakers when testing.

I have not used the TV's built-in tuner at all, so I can't speak to that.

Hope this helps. I know I was thrilled to find the DD5.1 being passed through, as it will hold me off until I can get a HDMI 2.0 AVR.

MrSatyre's picture

"Pause bug". That's a good one. I'll have to remember that. Thanks!

Nikotod's picture

Great review! Thank you!
I'd really appreciate SHARP LC-90LE757E review :)

Thomas J. Norton's picture
Sony is touting the capability to display x.v.Color (also known as xvYCC) in its new 4K sets, but that's not the same thing as Deep Color. Nor is it as yet certain that a new 4K delivery system will include either x.v.Color or Deep Color.

x.v.Color produces color beyond the current HD standard Rec.709 color gamut. Deep Color increases the number of bits used to represent color. Our current consumer system uses 8-bits per color (8-bits each for red, green, and blue). Deep Color uses 10-, 12- or even 16-bits per color. While there has been talk about providing such enhancements in a 4K format, the number of total bits required to add x.v.Color and Deep Color to 4K will result in a huge increase of data over a 4K system that otherwise adheres to our current HD standards. Whether or not this will be possible without creating other issues is still an open question, given the added compression required. More compression brings its own tradeoffs.

JustinGN's picture

I like the idea of xvYCC color being presented as metadata, rather than hard-encoded into the video stream (which, as you mentioned, would dramatically increase the bandwidth necessary). Would it be as accurate as the raw stream being encoded in xvYCC? Likely not, but if the mastering and compression software doesn't botch the job, it could be an interesting way of increasing fidelity of the picture on supported displays/sources without completely redefining HDMI again (though aren't we due an HDMI 2.0 spec any time now?).

Thomas J. Norton's picture
JustinGN, thanks for the clarification. That's entirely possible. For buyers who use on-board HD tuners this will be a useful feature. But these days few viewers use these tuners, so we don't test them in our reviews. Nor to our knowledge does any other review publication. And even if we did such tests it wouldn't tell a buyer how the set's tuner would perform under his or her unique reception conditions.

In future reviews I'll clarify that we're testing for the pass-through of DD or DTS from an HDMI input to the Toslink output.

JustinGN's picture

Oh, I found the review perfectly clear, though I suppose it's only because I'm all too familiar with that problem myself from my early foray into digital AV with HDMI; I can see how it's an even bigger problem today with the prevalence of soundbars.

Great review otherwise, well worth the read! Despite its immense value, I'm going to have to take a rain check on this Sony set and wait for either DP 1.2 MST support (unlikely) or an HDMI spec supporting a base 60Hz refresh rate at the 2160p resolution of the panel. It just feels like a bad idea jumping into 4K when you'll be limited to 24/30Hz, depending on the signal being passed (since I'm a gamer, that's a larger point of contention to me).

Macahan's picture

Right now I have a chance to buy the Sharp Elite Pro60X5FD new in the box, or I could get the sony. I'm not interested in 4K at this time and both tv's cost $5,000. What would you guys do in my place?

thecubsman's picture

I love this review, the details...
And especially the calibration report that's included! I know all panels are different, and one may still need professional calibration even after tweaking to these specs...but it's a good start!

I've looked all over, and can't find anything close to these calibration reports for the 850A...
Anything that doesn't just seem like someone's best "eyeball estimate"??? If anyone has similar calibration report for the 850A, I'd sure appreciate direction to that!