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Sony Z9D LED TV Calibration Settings

For additional settings information, please consult the Common Problems and How to Calibrate pages.

These are the settings used to calibrate our Sony 65" (XBR65Z9D), and we expect them to be valid for the 75" (XBR759D) and also for the 100" (XBR100Z9D). The following settings work well for any content, from watching movies to TV shows and gaming. For Gaming, some little adjustments need to be made and these are listed below.

Before we start, it is important to know that on Sony TVs each input has it own independent picture setting. This means that setting changed while on HDMI 1 won't be applied to HDMI 2. It is important to change the settings to your liking for each input, as changes in one input won't affect the rest. OTA channels, Apps (Netflix, youtube, etc.), USB files (videos or picture) and video inputs and so on won't share settings.

General Settings

For movies and TV shows, we have chosen the 'Custom' 'Picture Mode', as it is the picture mode that brought us the closest to our calibration goal.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 2

To reach our calibration luminance of 100cd/m², we set the 'Brightness' to 2. You should set the 'Brightness' to match your room lighting, and it won't affect the picture quality. We also turn off the 'Light sensor' and the 'Auto picture mode' because we did not want the brightness and picture settings of the TV to change automatically. We also left the 'Color' setting at 50.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 5

In the 'Brightness tab, we set the 'Contrast' to "Max' to have a better range of contrast and also because it helped us to complete our calibration. The 'Gamma' to was left to 0, and the 'Black level' to 50, their default values. The 'Black adjust' and 'Adv. contrast enhancer' were left turned off, since we did not want to add any image processing. For the calibration process we turned off the 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tended Dynamic Range', but in your home setting, you should turn on both of these features as it will help to have deeper and more uniform blacks and better contrast ratio during normal TV use.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 6

In the 'Color' tab, we did not change the default value for 'Color' (50) and for 'Hue' (0). We choose 'Expert 1' for the 'Color temperature' as this is the setting closest to the warm temperature of 6500K we aim for 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 and aim to display the content true to what the content creator intended.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 7

In the 'Clarity' tab, we left 'Sharpness' untouched at 50 (50 does not add any sharpness to content). 'Reality Creation' was also left turned off, but it could be turned on if you are watching some older low-resolution movies or TV shows as it can improve the final image quality. You can adjust the 'Resolution' slider depending how much effect you want to be applied. 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'. This feature will not work 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 untouched at 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 typically seen in 8 bit content (often in skies) since it will smooth out the 8-bit gradation to make it look much better with less visible banding.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 8

In the 'Motion' tab setting, we left the 'Motionflow' and 'Cinemotion' turned off, but if you like the motion interpolation (also named the soap opera effect), you can adjust the 'Motionflow' setting to 'Custom' and increase the 'Smoothness' slider. The 'Clearness' slider controls the image flicker control of the TV and it can help to clear up fast moving objects. This can be particularly good to use while watching fast-paced action content like sport. To know more about this feature you can click here. If you are watching a movie via 60p/60i sources (cable or satellite feeds) and notice some judder, simply set 'Motionflow' to 'True Cinema' and 'CineMotion' to 'High' to reduce judder (see the '24p Playback' section of motion to know more about this feature). 

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 9

HDR Settings

When HDR content is detected, the TV should change automatically to the right 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' tab, just verify that 'HDR mode', 'HDMI video range' and 'Color space' are set to 'Auto', and then the TV will change automatically to the correct settings to match the type of content you are watching.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 10

SDR Gaming and HDR Settings

When gaming with a video game console or PC (in SDR or HDR), first choose the 'Game' 'Picture mode', and copy the settings previously mentioned for the 'General settings. Note that the TV will keep in memory the changes made in each 'Picture mode', so you must set them one time for each, but after you won't have to reset them every time.

Miscellaneous setting

If you connect a device that needs to use the full HDMI bandwidth, like a video game console or a PC set to output at 4k@60p 4:2:0 10 bit, 4:4:4 or 4:2:2, you'll need to connect them via the HDMI port 2 or 3 and set the 'HDMI signal format' to 'Enhanced format', via the 'External inputs' setting pages.

Sony Z9D Calibration Settings 22

White Balance 

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 values.

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Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
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Hello, Did you notice any measureable differences between Auto Local Dimming being set to High vs. Medium (default)? What is the recommended setting for SDR and HDR content? Thanks.
High is a bit more aggressive, and will cause content such as star fields to look quite uneven. Medium offers good balance for most scenes.
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