46UX600U Calibration and Benchmark Testing
For measuring and calibration, we utilized SpectraCal's CalMan software (v3.7) and an X-Rite Chroma 5 meter. This is a great combination for reviewing LCD flat panel TVs and the newest Chroma 5 now handles LED backlit televisions. The Toshiba 46UX600U offers tons of controls, from RGB Gain & Offset controls, to Base Color Control which allows you to adjust Hue Saturation and Brightness for each color. To begin, we set the white and black levels, using several key test patterns that allow us to dial in the settings exactly how we like them (in particular we pull out either the Spears & Munsil Calibration BD or AVIA's Pro Calibration DVD). Once we dialed in the Brightness (which we happened to set to '1') and Contrast (which could go all the way up to 100 without overdriving the display) we took a measurement. Our contrast ratio came in at 2698:1 - and this was without any of the software Dynamic modes engaged! Considering the average movie theater might net you a contrast ratio of 300:1 or so, this is a very dynamic picture that holds up well to bright ambient light as well as light-controlled or darkened rooms
It was nice to see the measurements back up my initial observation that this was a very dynamic set. We got several measurements depending upon where we set the backlight, however they didn't differ much (nor should they). For night time viewing, and our evaluation, we set the backlight at '15'. This seemed to deliver a good mix of vibrant whites and deep blacks. In a completely darkened room this was the perfect setting, though some may prefer a slightly brighter display overall.
We started in Movie Mode, that being the obvious choice for best color and performance. The display is initially set to Color Temp 2, which we found to be much higher than our desired target of 6500K. Once we dropped it to '1' we measured an average of 6700K from our two test points (30 and 80 IRE) even before calibrating the television.
After we dialed in the RGB grayscale, we were able to make some pretty impressive improvements. Here is where we started and how far we were able to bring the television into compliance (all calibration started with Movie mode, though we switched the Color Temperature to '1' before calibrating):
Initial color temperature, defaulted at '2' tended towards Blue, with the color coming in at over 10,000K - way too high for our tastes. After switching to '1' it was at a fine place to start calibrating - and we noted that even those who can't calibrate their TVs will enjoy a more accurate picture once you are in that mode.
Color accuracy as represented by the CIE chart snapshot was quite a bit off on the secondary colors when we began (leaning dramatically towards Blue), and we'd attribute this to the shift produced by the Color Temperature control. After calibration the color gamut actually looked pretty good, with only a slight narrowing of the color dynamics existing between green and red. This was not something that we could notice apart from measurements, however. We also found that the entire system could technically be made to bring green and yellow into better alignment by adjusting the global Hue control - this simply didn't seem necessary, however, and we were pleased enough with the other colors to not want to compensate in this manner. Incidentally, the Base Color Controls, which are designed to allow you to adjust Hue, Saturation and Brightness for each of the six primary and secondary colors, seemed unpredictable. We couldn't use them, for example, to truly dial in the Red, Yellow and Green colors to bring them closer to Rec. 701 (the high definition ATSC color standard).
HQV HD Perfect Score is 100
Toshiba 46UX600U HD Benchmark Score: 100
|HD Tests (Samsung BD-C6500/1080i)||Max
|Video Resolution Loss||20||20||Pass|
|Film Resolution Loss||25||25||Pass|
|Film Resolution Loss Stadium||10||10||Pass|
Comments on Testing
We found the Toshiba to be a relatively good performer. It passed all of the tests with flying colors, unless we had the menu system up, which seemed to throw the Film resolution results askew (which we felt was insignificant.) It's getting such that every set we test these days does very well at rendering standard definition material as well as high definition. Color and contrast seem to be the main differentiators as well as how well they do frame interpolation and whether they have the features to make them stand out in terms of practical, observable dynamic range.
Finally TV/Projector review with proper done benchmarks and measurements !!
Whoo hoo, my inner geek is bursting out with joy !!! (I swear - I'm not being sarcastic)