DisplayMate & HQV Tests
Calibration - Spyder3TV Report
We calibrated the AQUOS LE925M with a Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit prior to our display tests to maintain a standard across our review units. At this juncture, we've also disabled all of the TV's picture enhancements to minimize the variables during the calibration process.
To begin with, first-time Sharp users might be puzzled by the LE925M's oddball range. For example, Contrast is given as 0 to 40, and Brightness at -30 to 30. So take note if you are punching in the minimum and maximum values during your own calibration. Apart from selecting the Standard preset, we also used mid-point values for the backlights and color temperature. For the latter, Sharp recommends the "Middle" setting to acquire a more natural tone. Other variables include the "High" option for typically colder and bluish hues, and "Low" for a warmer and reddish result. Advanced users can make further changes to the RGB values (white balance) if they wish to
After calibration, optimized values were as recorded as such:- Brightness: +1, Contrast: +31, Color: -3 and Tint: +5, with black and white luminance readings measured at 0.144 cd/m2 and 223.210 cd/m2 respectively. Compared to the smaller LE820M model (0.133cd/m2 and 191.098 cd/m2), black luminance levels were comparable although the LE925M yielded a marginally brighter white luminance.
DisplayMate is an application which generates a sequence of test patterns to determine the capabilities of imaging devices like color and gray-scale accuracies for example. For our tests, we've hooked up the LE925M to our display test-bed PC via its HDMI connection. To be fair across the board, we have also disabled all visual enhancements on the TV in order to reduce the variables involved. Here are some findings based on the relevant and critical test patterns:
Typical of edge-lit displays, the LE925M displayed even luminosity on the white test image, but exhibited signs of poor uniformity with darker hues. Take the dark gray test pattern for example, where the horizontal bands became evident due to Sharp's choice of side-mounted LEDs. One way to resolve this is to tone down the backlights or brightness.
Dark Gray Scale
Retains black levels relatively well, but the panel is prone to contrast shifts at wider viewing angles. The gray blocks were consistent except for a visible discrepancy on box "24", whose hue differs from the corresponding "24" block. Balance between blacks and grays looked best with a Brightness value of "+10".
Color accuracy is better than average with generally uniform color gradations. Our only gripe is the premature darkening on the two blue bands. If we should nitpick further, we also spotted a tonal shift on the darkest step of the cyan strip.
256-Intensity Level Color Ramp
The LE925M demonstrated consistent gradients on the white, red, and green bands except for the blue strip. Similar findings were gathered from the LE820M, with subtle compression spotted on the green band as well.
IDT HQV Tests
IDT's HQV Tests are designed to assess image quality and the handling of digital displays and players through a variety of video signal processing tasks which includes decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction and film cadence detection. We've programmed the Blu-ray player to playback in 1080i in order to stress the TV's video processor. This compels the TV's processor to convert interlaced signals into progressive to accommodate the HDTV's panel. Here are the results we noted on two of the most crucial tests:-
Digital Noise Filtering
Technically, we were expecting similar noise filtering results as the LE820M, but this was not to be. In reality, Sharp's latest LE925M fell short when compared to its 2D predecessor which demonstrated a more adaptive temporal noise filter. A sizable level of noise grains persisted, even with the DNR settings clocked to "High".
Diagonal Filter Test
This is the only HQV test where the AQUOS Quattron truly shone. Its de-interlacers showed excellent reconstruction techniques with little signs of feathering or "jaggies" on the 1080i rotating bar.
Film Resolution Loss Test
Unfortunately, the TV was unable to apply the proper inverse cadence. Strobing persisted on the SMPTE pattern (originally recorded at 1080p24), despite trying out the TV's Film Mode in the Advanced (High), Advanced (Low) and Standard settings. It's best to disable its 24p recreation if you encounter any visual anomalies, say with a Blu-ray movie shot on film mode for example.