DisplayMate & HQV Tests
Calibration - Spyder3TV Report
To maintain a display standard across our review units, we calibrated the Sony BRAVIA NX810 with the Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit prior to our visual tests. This is to ensure we assess the HDTV based on optimal display settings, and not purely on visual estimation alone. At this point, we've also disabled all the necessary bells and whistles such as color and edge enhancement features. After the calibration process, optimized values were as recorded: Brightness at 50, Contrast at 98 (in the BRAVIA's case, contrast levels are labeled as "Picture"), Color at 51 and Hue at R2 (Red 2). Black and white luminance readings were measured as 0.190 cd/m2 and 271.158 cd/m2 respectively. Similar to Panasonic's VIERA VT20S, the NX810 did not require any offbeat settings which suggested Sony's Standard preset was more or less on track. Calibrated color and tint values sat comfortably in mid range. The only surprise was the NX810's white luminance readings were visibly higher than most LED-based HDTVs we've reviewed recently. This was an unprecedented result considering Sony's edge LED backlights are seated at the perimeter. Logically speaking, white luminance levels should depreciate towards the middle of the screen where we position the colorimeter.
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 BRAVIA NX810 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:-
Satisfactory uniformity on the white test pattern. However, subtle blemishes were evident along the panel's borders upon closer observation. This could be due to the TV's use of edge-lit LEDs. On the black pattern, the backlights proved to be excessive thus resulting in slightly murky blacks. Sony's OpticContrast panel is also prone to minor contrast shifts.
Dark Gray Scale
Darker gray blocks were comfortably visible, thanks to the screen's superior luminance levels. Black levels were slightly diluted as previously noted. We didn't spot any unnatural tints, although we noticed that the gray boxes positioned at the sides tend to be a shade lighter (or brighter) than those situated in the middle.
Gradients on the principal colors worked fine on the brighter scale. However, Sony's panel has a tendency to darken prematurely at the dimmer strip of the test pattern.
256-Intensity Level Color Ramp
We'll give the NX810 an above average score for color accuracy. Blue and green looked fine although the red strip could be deeper and less "cool". Our biggest gripe is the abrupt gradient "termination". The photo below doesn't tell the complete story, but the premature darkening of gradients is more telling with the naked eye.
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 signals to accommodate the HDTV's panel. Here are the results we noted on a few of the most crucial tests:-
Digital Noise Filtering
Two noise filters are incorporated under the NX810's hood - a general Noise Reduction feature and MPEG Noise Reduction filter to remove mosquito noise present in MPEG video images. Unfortunately, both filters failed to remove noise levels convincingly.
Diagonal Filter Test
Most good HDTVs are able to ace this reconstruction test and the BRAVIA NX810 is no exception. The bar's varying speed and angle didn't faze the TV's de-interlacer. With most angles, the rotating bar was nicely reconstructed without any hint of "jaggies" save for a minor wobble at the -10 degree angle.
Film Resolution Loss Test
The BRAVIA NX810 does not do inverse cadence conversion natively, but that doesn't mean it can't. Sony has added a Cinema Drive feature to recreate 1080p24 images, and we are pleased to announce that the "Auto 2" preset worked really well in this aspect over the "Auto 1" setting.