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Sony XBR X850B Television Custom Calibration Settings
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Post 1 made on Tuesday April 14, 2015 at 07:05
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
October 1998
After much tweaking and experimentation, I thought I'd archive my settings for the Sony X850B series of LED edge lit LCD televisions. These are specifically for the XBR-49X850B, but should also work for the  XBR-55X850B and XBR-65X850B, and to a slightly lesser extent, the XBR-70X850B (as it uses a different panel technology than the others.

Scene Select - Cinema
Picture Mode - Cinema 2 (Before you ask, Cinema 1/Cinema 2 are identical *except* for what curves are applied by the Advanced Contrast Enhancer. On "Low", the difference is minimal - Cinema 2 is slightly darker - but on "Medium" there's a bigger change.)

Backlight - 3 (The lower you can keep this, the better your blacks will be on average.Adjust this to your room's ambient light level, and how bright you need the picture to be. A lot of folks use a setting of 5. Some like even lower than 3, but I find that "2" tends to sap some of the life from the picture.)
Picture - Max (Some claim they see white blooming at Max, but with these combined settings I don't have any loss of light shades. Between the Backlight and Picture settings, you are setting your maximum white level output, and the worst case black level you will see when simultaneously displaying pure white. So long as you also have ACE enabled, you are NOT actually calibrating your panel's contrast level, as the screen will take care of all that automatically via constant automatic backlight dimming and adjustment of the picture level.)
Brightness - 51 (This is source dependant. Most will want to stick with the default of 50, however I was missing *one* shade of grey above pure black with Kodi running on a Chromebox.)
Color - 60 (Adjust this to your saturation preference. I like a saturated image, but I'm still toying between 55 and 60. Some like this in the 40-50 range.)
Hue - R1 (Goes hand-in-hand with my later white balance adjustments.)
Color Temperature - Warm 2 (This will seem red and dull at first to anyone not used to a proper D6500 calibration, but it's not off - it's accurate and How Things Should Be. At least try using Warm 1, however note that my color adjustments are not designed for anything but Warm 2.)
Sharpness - 50 (A "neutral" sharpness setting is around 35. Some with larger screens may prefer a setting of 42-45, however at 49" I think it can handle 50 without ill effect. SD sources may be able to handle up to 60-65.)

Noise Reduction - Off (AKA, "let's airbrush the picture".)
MPEG Noise Reduction - Off (Perhaps useful for heavily overcompressed SD sources.)
Dot Noise Reduction - Off
Reality Creation - Auto (A note about Reality Creation - you can set these values manually, but I haven't seen the need to. Note that despite its appealing name, "Resolution" at high values results in a jagged, non-antialiased image. Anything above 40-45 is generally quite unpleasant, and most users who set this manually seem to stick around 20. Always keep Noise Filtering on Min.)
Mastered in 4k - On (This enables more aggressive sharpening on ONLY 1080p24 sources. It has absolutely no technology connection with Sony's "Mastered in 4K" line of Blu-rays, although the intention is that there's more detail that can be extracted and fewer compression artifacts.)
Smooth Graduation - Off (While this can actually smooth out posterized graduations like you might see in poor encodes, it also removes a LOT of natural texture from the picture in places were you DO want it, giving things an overly "airbrushed" look, even on Low. Not recommended.)
Motionflow - True Cinema (Or Standard if you want moderate Soap Opera Effect.)
CineMotion - Auto

Black Corrector - Off (This is essentially a contrast enhancement, but only to scenes without pure black in them, and only to the lower half of the gamma curve. This is a fix for something that may not actually be broken, and as such can cause serious shifts in dark colors. Not recommended.)
Adv. Contrast Enhancer - Low (Absolutely needed on IPS panels to enable LED frame dimming!)
Gamma - Minus 1 (Closest to the target curve without crushing shadow detail.)
Auto Light Limiter - Off (Basically, if there's a lot of pure white on the screen, the set dims the entire image to tone it down. The greater amount of white there is, the more it dims. For normal scenes it does nothing. This might be useful for viewing in a very dark room to prevent "blinding" flashes, or if you want to emulate one of those annoying old plasma power supply limitation effects!)
Clear White - Off (This is one of the set's weirdest options. Basically, it applies a white balance adjustment ONLY to bright whites. So, you can have a nice calibrated D6500 image... except for bluish, 8500k whites that are completely out of place. Weird combination.)
Live Color - Low (Color rendition is more accurate with this set Off, but I like a little bit of the "Sonyish" look!)

White Balance
- R-Gain 0
- G-Gain -3
- B-Gain -2
- R_Bias +1
- G-Bias -1
- B-Bias -1

Detail Enhancer - Low (Another kind of sharpening, but I like what it does on Low.)
Edge Enhancer - Off (Never, ever enable this! Creates dramatic false shadows/contours around sharply contrasting objects. Like turning sharpness up to Maximum Overdrive.)
Skin Naturalizer - Off (I haven't actually found a test image where this seems to do anything. However, the concept is basically that it airbrushes faces smooth, so no thanks.)

Other Settings
Display Area - Plus 1 (No overscan mode.)
Quick Start - Enabled
Eco - All Off (Well, you can leave Auto Shut-off to On, and depending on your personal needs, you may also want to enable the Light Sensor.)

If you have any questions about these sets, I'm open.
Post 2 made on Tuesday June 23, 2015 at 09:54
Lurking Member
June 2015
Hi, Im curious how this was calibrated? Did you use a disc,a meter or by eye?
OP | Post 3 made on Wednesday June 24, 2015 at 04:39
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
October 1998
At least as far as color settings go, this is NOT the result of my own meter calibration. The color settings are based on someone else's meter calibration of the same model, combined with comparison with my ISF-calibrated Pioneer Kuro.

If you have the capability to meter your own set, I would suggest doing that.

Everything else is based on numerous test patterns and extensive analysis of each setting and its effect, since Sony does not document anything very well. In the end, however, this is not an ISF-style flat calibration, and includes some degree of personal preference. It should be a good starting point for anyone looking for an unmolested/D6500 image that's still vibrant and sharp.
Post 4 made on Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 12:42
Lurking Member
February 2017
Hi Daniel,

I was thinking of upgrading my blu ray player to the the Oppo 4K unit which is also HDR capable. Since the HDR function can be switched on or off on the player, would you recommend turning it off? I don't think that the 850b is HDR capable. Thanks in advance for your advice,

Steve P.
S.M. Priolo
OP | Post 5 made on Friday April 14, 2017 at 23:06
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
October 1998
Since HDR capability is something that's negotiated between devices, there will be likely no difference between it enabled or disabled on the X850B. Pretty sure that's mainly to disable HDR on an actual HDR set.

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