Updated Mar 17, 2017
By Eric Bousquet
Sony X900E LED TV Calibration Settings
These are the settings that were used to calibrate our Sony XBR55X900E TV, and we expect these also to be applicable for the 49" version (XBR49X900E), the 65" (XBR65X900E) and 75" version (XBR75X900E). The following settings are suitable for any content, from watching movies to TV shows and gaming. For Gaming, some little adjustments need to be done, and they are listed below.
For movies and TV content, we selected the 'Custom' 'Picture Mode', since it is the picture mode that gave us the closest result to our calibration goal and it brings the image quality close to what the content creator intended it be.
In the 'Brightness' tab, we set the 'Brightness' to 4 to get a luminosity level closest to our calibration target of 100 cd/m². Note that here the 'Brightness' is the equivalent of what other companies call 'Backlight'. The 'Brightness' can be changed to match your room lighting, and it won't affect the picture quality. We left the 'Contrast' to 90, the 'Gamma' to 0, and the 'Black level' to 50, their default values. The 'Black adjust' and 'Adv. contrast enhancer' were left turned off, since we don't want to add any image processing. Note that for the calibration, we turned off the 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tended Dynamic Range', but you should turn on these features for normal TV and movie viewing.
In the 'Color' tab, we left at the default value of 50 for 'Color' and 0 for 'Hue'. We selected 'Expert 1' for the 'Color temperature' as this is the closest to the warm temperature of 6500K we are trying to achieve during calibration. If you find the color temperature to be too warm (reddish or yellowish) you can set it to a colder temperature. 'Live Color' was also left turned off, once again because we do not want to add extra image processing.
In the 'Clarity' tab, we left 'Sharpness' to 50 (the default value) since we did not want to have any oversharpness. 'Reality Creation' was also left turned off. It could be turned on if you are watching some older content with a lower resolution since it can help to improve the quality of the image. You can adjust with the 'Resolution' slider how much effect you want to be added. The 'Mastered in 4K' option is a feature that will optimize the upscaling of 1080p Blu-rays movies that are listed as being 'Mastered in 4K'. It will not be possible to apply this setting if you are not watching a movie through other means than via a Blu-ray player, so in our case, we did not use this feature. 'Random noise reduction', 'Digital noise reduction' and 'Smooth gradation' were all left turned off, but those could be useful to ameliorate the quality of older and low-resolution content. 'Smooth gradation' is especially useful if you see a lot of color banding normally seen in 8-bit content since it will smooth the 8-bit gradation to make it look much better with less visual banding.
In the 'Motion' tab setting, we left the 'Motionflow' and 'Cinemotion' turned off, but if you like the motion interpolation (or commonly named the soap opera effect), simply adjust the 'Motionflow' setting to 'Custom' and increase the 'Smoothness' slider. The 'Clearness' slider controls the image flicker control of the TV. To know more about this feature you can click here. If you are watching a movie via 60p/60i and notice some judder, simply set 'Motionflow' to 'True Cinema' and 'CineMotion' to 'High' to have a judder-free experience. This doesn't add any soap opera effect.
When HDR content is detected the TV should switch automatically to the good settings, but if you want to be sure you can verify that the 'Brightness' is set to max, that ' Auto local dimming' is set to 'High' and that 'X-tended Dynamic Range' is set to 'High'.
In the 'Video options', just verify that 'HDR mode', 'HDMI video range' and 'Color space' are set to 'Auto' and it should change automatically to match the type of content you are watching, in this case, HDR content.
SDR Gaming and HDR Settings
For playing games via a video game console or PC (in SDR or HDR) simply choose the 'Game' 'Picture mode', and you can keep the general settings previously mentioned.
The following are the results of the white balance and colorspace
calibration on our unit. They are provided for reference, and should not be
copied as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same
model and same size as the TV we reviewed due to manufacturing tolerances. If
you want to try them you will need to enter all values shown, as all of them
are active at the same time.
If you end up with worse picture quality, simply reset them to the default
Questions & Answers
25 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Looking to buy either Sony x900e or 930e. Your review of the 900e was great. How soon will you post review of the 930e. Love to know which one will have to best picture.
You can check out our Suggest a Review
page to vote and suggest new TVs. We've already purchased the X930E, and the review should be published in the coming weeks.
What are your recommended settings for HDR gaming? I am using an Xbox One X and trying to get the best picture when playing a game in HDR mode.
First, connect the Xbox One X to HDMI port 2 or 3 and then enable 'Enhanced Format' as shown above. Enable HDR on the Xbox and select the 'Game' picture mode on the TV. Then follow these settings:
- Brightness: Max
- Color: 50
- Contrast: 90
- Black Level: 50
- Black Adjust: Off
- Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Off
- Auto Local Dimming: High
- X-tended Dynamic Range: High
- Color Temperature: Adjust to your preference
- Live Color: Off
- All 'Clarity' settings disabled
- Motionflow: Off
What settings would you use for sports? Like football for example?
Turn 'Motionflow' to 'True Cinema' or 'Off', but otherwise use the same settings as for movies.
Why do you have the settings at 4 for Brightness? I tried that and the screen was so dark.
You can turn the 'Brightness' setting up as high as you want, it only affects the brightness of the TV. We have it at '4' to hit our 100 cd/m² calibration target, but most people find that too dim.
I am considering the X900E
to use with my Xbox one x for 4K HDR gaming. I am worried that the input lag at 4K 60hz in the low to mid 30’s will be a distraction in first person shooters online. I am coming from a w800b 2014 Sony with 25ms of input lag. Would there be a noticeable difference?
It is unlikely that you will notice a difference in input lag between the two TVs. The threshold for most people to differentiate between TVs, especially while using wireless controllers which also have input lag, is about a full 60 Hz frame time (16,67 ms).
Can you tell me how to change the input names from HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc. to something else? I have the Smart TV features turned off, if that matters. Thanks.
From the home menu (where all the apps are), scroll down to the bottom and click on settings. From there, select the external inputs tab. In this menu, you can select individual inputs and edit their labels.
I have the 900E and my PC will send 1920x1080 at 120Hz but not 4k at 120Hz, is there no way to run 4k 120Hz? At 60Hz I can see my mouse skip some.
4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:4:4 color is beyond the bandwidth limitations of HDMI 2.0. It's theoretically possible for 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 color to fit in the bandwidth of HDMI 2.0, but it's nearly impossible to send such a resolution with current graphics hardware and software. Many people on PC forums have tried but no one has succeeded. 1440p @ 120 Hz @ RGB works no problem though with a custom resolution.
Great website, the best and most indepth review site! anyway i want to ask. Is getting X930E
worth it over the X900E
with Dolby vision? HDR10+? It seems much more future proof. Do they make a big different?
does not support HDR10+. In our eyes, it is not worth upgrading to another TV for Dolby Vision alone isn't worth the money. The X930E has some more advantages compared to the X900E
(better local dimming, brighter), but most people won't find them very different. If you want the best HDR experience of the two though, the X930E is a better choice.
First off thank you for always having great setting help. Was hoping you could send me a final “best settings” for all categories. Example: it says in the calibration to turn on dynamic range and auto local dimming but to what level? Low medium high etc. If you could just send me the general settings for custom with each section I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
Some things are up to personal preference, but here's an outline of the settings we didn't state explicitly:
- We test with 'Xtended Dynamic Range' and 'Auto Local Dimming' on their highest values, but if you notice distracting blooming then you can turn them down.
- It's best not to touch 'Adv. Color Temperature' unless you have calibration equipment, as our calibration settings are specific to our unit.
- Leave 'Smooth Gradation' off unless you notice distracting banding, which can happen in things like compressed YouTube videos. Similarly only enable noise reduction if you notice a lot of noise.
- Set 'Cinemotion' to 'High' unless you notice problems, which case turn it down or off.
- 'Motionflow' depends on if you're bothered by motion interpolation or flicker; the best configuration for smooth motion would be 'Motionflow Custom' with both sliders maxed out, but if the BFI flicker bothers you then turn 'Clearness' down or off, and if the soap opera effect bothers you turn down 'Smoothness' or remove it entirely by using 'Motionflow TrueCinema'.
You can watch our X900E Picture Settings video here
Hey folks! Just got my 65 up and man, it's a damn fine TV. Question: I have a Sony receiver (not 4k) and I want to be able to control everything from one remote. Understanding that ARC is my best bet for audio control, how should I configure my 4k devices? PS4 Pro and Xbox One S (movie player)? I don't want to have to manually switch a splitter... help!
The PS4 Pro and Xbox One S will only game in HDR on HDMI ports 2 and 3, so if you want to game on both without using a splitter, it'd be best to connect your receiver via optical rather than ARC.
I replaced a 60" LG plasma with the Sony, and it's run off the HDMI out from my Pioneer 1123 AVR, with Blu-ray and Verizon FiOS set top cable box run as inputs to the receiver. Right away, I hardwired Ethernet to the TV and watched some 4k content through the built in Netflix and Amazon apps on the TV - pretty impressive!
The issue that might have me return this TV is the playback of the Verizon cable - specifically sports, looks TERRIBLE! The judder, blurring and haloing is absolutely terrible. When I check the 'Display' on the TV, it's reading "4096 x 2160/24Hz". Guessing it's reading high resolution in it's effort to upscale and use the full screen capability, but the frequency of 24Hz is so slow and I think the reason for the picture issues. This exact setup had no problems on my previous TV. Shouldn't the cable playback be at least at 60Hz?! FiOS provides 1080p at 60Hz. I can't even watch a game it's so juddered, frustrating after spending this much on one of the best mid-range 4ktvs of 2017. I've played with the various Picture Adjustments, tried all different settings on Motion like "Motionflow" and "CineMotion", but nothing seems to address the issue.
Any help is welcomed, I'd hate to have to return this TV after I thought I bought one of the best out, and wall mounted and everything else. Watching live sports is a big reason for the TV, this needs to be fixed and I think there's a way, I'm just not seeing it through my playing around and online research.
It sounds like something may be wrong with your source, and either your cable box or AVR needs its settings adjusted to output the correct resolution. 4096 x 2160/24Hz will cause your TV to crop some of the edges and, as you noticed, greatly reduce the quality of the motion. It might be possible that the ports are in "limited bandwidth mode", or that the full HDMI 2.0 mode causes a conflict with your receiver. You can adjust this in the main settings found at the bottom of your home screen, under input settings. Under HDMI signal format, switch to either the "Enhanced" or "Standard" format depending on which was originally enabled.
Would you change any of your settings if watching Netflix/HBO/Amazon etc through the internal apps or a Roku? When I use the Netflix app for example, the picture settings change - should I adjust them to what you show on this page or is it different for streaming? Thank you.
The settings should apply to all types of content. Lower quality sources such as broadcast TV or online streams can sometimes benefit from adjusting the noise reduction features, but that is up to your preference. You can also adjust the backlight (it is called brightness on Sony TVs) depending on the environment, as it only makes the picture brighter without affecting the rest of the calibration.
Thank you very much for your detailed review and settings guidelines. This is my 1st 4K and HDR TV and I’m surprised at the eye fatigue I’m experiencing using the display. My question relates to the brightness/backlight setting. For HDR to be effective, I suppose I shouldn’t turn down the brightness from the maximum setting. It’s really bright. I have the 49 inch display and sit about 6 feet from the display. I suppose my question is if you were to adjust your recommended settings for comfort what would you change ?
Hi and thanks for contacting us. You could try to turn off 'X-tended Dynamic Range' if it was turned on, as this feature makes HDR content event brighter than what it usually is. If this feature was not turned on, then you could also try to simply lower the brightness setting from the max to something a bit more reasonable and that would better for you eyes. There is also another setting that could help and it is to turn on the 'Clearness' setting, which clears up movement with flicker, but also dim the screen considerably. To turn on this setting, go to the 'Motion' tab, and set the 'Motionflow' to 'Custom', then leaves 'Smoothness' to 'Min', and after, you can try the different settings of the 'Clearness' slider (the more you add the effect, the dimmer the screen will be). The drawback of the 'Clearness' feature is that it will introduce screen flicker, which can be annoying for some people, but if it does not bother you, it will dim the screen considerably, without you having to reduce the brightness setting.
I currently have a PS4 Pro and standard 1080p passthrough receiver using HDMI ports 2 and 3. I want to get an Apple 4k TV, but is there any way to take full advantage of the HDR if I do this, and still be able to use ARC? How much difference does it make between ports 1 and 4, and 2 and 3?
HDMI ports 1 and 4 have less bandwidth than ports 2 and 3; they can play 4k @ 30Hz @ 10 bit, but not 4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit, even when using 4:2:0. If an Apple TV 4K is connected to HDMI port 1 or 4 it can be set to '4K HDR 30Hz' and it will work fine for 30 fps and 24 fps content, which is the majority of movies and TV shows. On the other hand, 60 fps content like sports and soap operas will not work in 4K HDR. If you set the Apple TV 4K to 30 Hz, be sure to set (Settings > Video and Audio > Match Content) to 'Match Frame Rate' so that 24 fps content will be shown with minimal judder.
A good alternative with your setup would be to connect the receiver via optical rather than ARC, so that the Apple TV 4K can use HDMI port 3.
Is it possible to play video games with any of the motion or clarity settings on?
Hi and thanks for contacting us. When set in game mode, in the 'Motion' tab, you can set the 'Motionflow' option to 'Custom', but only the 'Clearness' (black frame insertion) feature will be available. In the 'Clarity' tab, the 'Sharpness', the 'Reality Creation', and 'Smooth gradation' features are available. Those will be the one that you can use while in game mode. Besides that, you could use another picture mode, but the input lag is more than 100ms, which is a lot even for the most casual of game.
I currently have the Sony 940D and although it's a great set, there is a bit of noticeable vertical banding in the middle of the picture. Not noticeable most of the time but it's more noticeable on 4k Blu Rays so I'm looking to get another set. My 2 options are the Sony 900E and the Sony 940E. I basically have 2 questions. Is the local dimming on the 900E worse than on the 940D? Is the motion on the 940E better or worse than on the 940D? I have read that the 940D also has a slow pixel response and some have stated the 940E is slightly faster. I find motion on the 940D to be more than acceptable so if the 940E has a slightly faster pixel response time I would not have an issue with motion. However, if the local dimming on the 900E is as good as the 940D, i think everything else would be a slight upgrade as well. Thoughts?
Short answer: If you're sensitive to motion blur, get the 75" X900E
. If you want the best local dimming, get the X940E
. The X940E has the worst motion blur we measured in 2017, but one of the best local dimming implementations.
Long answer: We unfortunately didn't review the X940D last year so we don't know how good its local dimming is, though we hear it's better than the X930D's local dimming. An even harder question is how the local dimming of the 75" X900E compares to the X940D; we can only guess, but they should be fairly similar, with a slight edge to the X940D. However the X940E's local dimming is likely much better than either of them, it's one of the best local dimming implementations we tested in 2017.
About the motion blur, the X940E has a bad pixel response time, the worst we tested in 2017, resulting in a visible trail following moving objects. The 75" X900E likely uses a different panel than the X940E, so it will have much less motion blur, though there is a possibility that it uses the same bad panel.
Just purchased Sony 49X900E
. My main source is HD Cable, connected via HDMI.
QUESTION: Does the input matter, or is there a preferred HDMI input on the monitor that I should use.
The TV monitor has 4 HDMIs, is any of the 4 better?
Thank you for contacting us. There should be no difference between the inputs for cable use. You might however want to enable the "Enhanced HDMI Format" for ports 2 and 3 as shown in our settings if you want to use them with an HDR input (this is not necessary for a cable box).
I bought this tv a few months ago. It’s my first 4K tv. I’ve updated all the settings per your videos, I’m using 4K hdmi and connect to a Denon 4K receiver. I’m not sure what I expected, but the picture quality doesn’t amaze me like I thought it would. It’s really just like a nice 1080. I’m typically watching Netflix with or without 4K. I assumed the upscalling would’ve been better. Would getting the TV calibrated help? Any other thoughts or suggestions?
Professional calibration, especially on higher end Sony TV is rarely necessary. 4k itself might not provide a noticeable difference in picture quality depending on your viewing position. If you sit far enough, it is likely that a 1080p TV would look identical. If you used to have a good 1080p TV, it is possible that the difference between the two is not large. The X900E
however features HDR which can dramatically improve the picture quality compared to older TVs. Since it is quite capable in that regard, watching HDR content on Netflix should look quite a bit better. You can learn more about the differences between 1080p and 4k here
Thank you for your review. I just bought the X900E
, partially based on your advice. This is my first Sony, and I'm wondering if my Samsung KS9000
and LG B7A
just have me spoiled, but I can't seem to get a seperate picture calibration for HDR vs. SDR content on YouTube. Am I missing something, or is the X900E simply too low of a grade TV to offer this ability?
Thank you for your question! This isn't due to the X900E
being too low grade of a TV, but instead due to Sony's general philosophy for calibration settings. In general though, we don't recommend an HDR calibration since it is difficult to do accurately, as there are no set standards on how to proceed that are currently available.
I own the LN49MU7000. Do you have information on the differences between the MU7000
and the MU7100? I am seeing it locally for sale in the USA, but due to it originally being a Canadian model, I am having a hard time getting information on it. According to your review of the Samsung MU7000, the panel has no dimming feature. However, Samsung states the MU7100 has "Supreme Local Dimming", with 1152 dimmimg zones. Is this true? If so, that makes it having more dimming zones than the Sony Z9...
We expect the MU7100 to simply be a store exclusive model that produces the same performance as the standard MU7000
. If there are differences in the local dimming, they should be quite minimal. The marketing terminology used with the MU7100 is "Supreme UHD Dimming" which is the same as what was found on last year's Samsung KS9000
, which you can look at for comparison. If the marketing material is accurate in this regard, the difference between the two is not worth buying over the other.
I just purchased the Sony 800d 43 inch TV. I had to return it because of the degradation while viewing it at any type of angle. I see this can be an issue with the the 900e also? How does the 49 inch 900e compare to the 43 800d?
The viewing angle of the X900E
will be a bit better than the 43" X800D
, but not nearly as good as a TV that uses an IPS panel like the X720E
or the 49" X800D. The X900E and 43" X800D use VA panels, which have a bad viewing angle but a great contrast ratio, while IPS panels have a good viewing angle but bad contrast. This makes VA panels better for most usages because people commonly view TVs from directly in front, but when viewing the TV from an angle an IPS TV is likely better.
Can the Sony X900E
Sony TVs do not currently support HDR10+
I appreciate your knowledge and input. I have purchased my units based on your website’s information! My question is in regards to the actual LCD panel. I have a Nov 2017 x55xbr900e and I was curious who manufactures SONY XBR LCD panels? Are there different panels fitted on different sets of the same make and model or are my eyes playing tricks on me? (I had to return my first 900E due to dead pixels and I wanted to know if they could have different panels based on the date they were made. If so is there a way to tell?
It is hard to know (manufacturers don't like to share this information) but our 55" X900E
which was manufactured in January 2017 looks like a Samsung panel. You can see the pixel structure looks almost identical to the MU8000
. We don't think that Sony sources different panels at different times, but it is possible.
I have just added the Sony UBP-X800 4K player to my 900e. I have it connected via HDMI to the TV as my receiver does not pass HDR10. I have the ARC setup but it’s only sending 2.0 sound to my receiver. How do I get the TV to send 5.1?
On Sony TVs, the 'Bravia Sync Control' setting must be enabled for ARC to work, which is seems odd but 'Bravia Sync' doubles as the TV's HDMI CEC setting. Here's the relevant settings for getting ARC to work:
TV > Settings > External Inputs > Bravia Sync Settings > Bravia Sync Control > ON
TV > Settings > Sound > Speakers > Audio System
TV > Settings > Sound > Digital Audio Out > Auto 1
When “HDMI video range” is set to auto it always plays content as “limited” and never switches to “full”. No matter what content is playing it is always “limited”. I can tell because when I switch between limited and auto there is no change but when I change between full and auto or full and limited the screen flickers and changes output. Is this normal? Should I leave it on auto even though it only plays limited or change to full? Also I have all high speed cables and settings are all are correct for HDR inputs.
'HDMI Video Range' 'Full' is only for sending an RGB full range (0-255) signal to the TV, which is mostly only done by PCs. The vast majority of sources send YCbCr 4:2:0, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4, which are limited range (16-235) signals. The X900E
's 'Auto' setting does a very good job at detecting whether the input signal is limited or full, so you should never have to change it from 'Auto'; forcing 'Full' when the input signal is limited will raise the black level and lower the brightness, severely harming the picture quality.
We are not taking any more questions for this product because we no longer have it in our lab.