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Vizio M series calibration and HDR notes

by katzmaier CNET staff/forum admin / September 15, 2016 10:34 AM PDT

Vizio M65-D0

Related products:

Calibration reports:
[see below]

TV software/firmware version tested:

SDR calibration notes: As mentioned in the review, I ended up buying two Vizio M65-D0 review samples. A defect covered under warranty--a vertical line of stuck pixels with Input 1--caused me to return the first one to the store in exchange for a new one. I measured the first sample before taking it back, however, as well as the second one that I used for the bulk of my review, and there were some slight differences between the two.

The differences were large enough, however that applying my post-calibration picture settings from the first TV to the second (or vice-versa) would result in a less-accurate image than simply using the default settings. For this reason, I will not be publishing any picture settings for this TV. I will provide some details below, however.

Both TVs showed the most-accurate image for my room using their Calibrated Dark settings, with decent gamma in the 2.4 setting and a light output of 30 fL. Both samples' grayscale were relatively close to the target out of the box, if somewhat plus-red.

In the end both TVs calibrated very well, as you can see in the charts below. I relied on the two-point system for most of the heavy lifting, with just a couple tweaks on the 10-point system on the second sample, and the results for both TVs were excellent. I do appreciate that Vizio finally updated its app to make those adjustments easier, however. Instead of depending on the slider, you can also click each number up or down incrementally.

Neither sets' CMS worked well to fix minor errors there, however. I tried tweaking all of the colors, and then just one at a time but in each case afterward the color checker and saturations sweeps were significantly worse than default. As a result I didn't make any changes. The good news is that the colors still relatively accurate on both TVs after grayscale calibration with the CMS zeroed out (in its default settings), with none except for blue showing a delta error higher than 4.

Note that the third sample I tested, the one Vizio sent, didn't figure into my SDR testing at all (although for what it's worth I did measure it, and as expected it was quite accurate). I used it primarily for HDR testing.

HDR notes: A recent firmware update added HDR10 support to the Vizio M and P series, providing me my first opportunity to measure and compare their HDR capabilities to other HDR TVs using the more common of the two formats. Many other TVs I've reviewed have HDR10 support but not Dolby Vision.

As with other recent TV reviews, I measured HDR10 using workflows supplied by Spectracal, makers of the CalMan software I use for calibration, along with a Murideo Fresco SIG-6 signal generator. With better equipment and improved workflows I'm getting more confident in these measurements, but I still don't consider them as definitive as with SDR (especially the EOTF measurements). Everything noted below relates to HDR10 testing; I did not perform extensive measurements of the M series' Dolby Vision capabilities.

I measured all three review samples--the one I returned to the store (#1), the one I kept for the full review (#2) and the one that Vizio sent (#3). I'm listing numbers for all three below in order (eg #1returned/#2kept/#3Vizio's).

In the default picture settings (I don't calibrate for HDR), HDR10 all three M65 samples measured worse than many TVs I've tested. Neither of the two best picture modes, Calibrated and Calibrated Dark, was particularly good at following the target EOTF. Calibrated was a bit better at color accuracy metrics on both store-bought samples, however, so I'd recommend that mode for HDR10 viewing on the M series.

Calibrated scored a 5.2/9.9/6.1 delta error on the P3 saturations test and a 3.9/8.1/7.2 on the color checker, compared to 8.2/12.7/7.9 and 4.8/8.8/5.5, respectively, for Calibrated Dark. The better TV's I've tested were in the range of 2 to 4 for these tests.

The M was also the worst HDR TV I've measured in terms of P3 gamut coverage. Its best mode, Vivid, covered 80/78/81 percent of P3, but the two "Calibrated" modes (which are much more accurate than Vivid in pretty much every way) only cover 75/72/75 percent. The P series measured a bit better with HDR10, 85 percent in Vivid and 78 percent in Calibrated, but still not as good as most other TVs. As usual these percentages were slightly higher using the CIE 1976 uv chromaticity diagram, but since I've been using the older CIE 1931 xy diagram in past reviews, I'm sticking with it this year.

As detailed in the main review the M and P series are also relatively dim (compared to other HDR TVs) with HDR10 content. Vizio says it's working on a software update that will improve light output with HDR sources however, and indeed the third sample, the one they sent me (with as-yet unreleased firmware, version number was brighter: 603 nits in Vivid as opposed to 503 for the store-bought unit with current software (as listed in the light output table in the main review). Results in the Calibrated modes with the new software weren't significantly brighter than with the current software as seen on the store-bought samples, however, so I'll reserve full judgement until I can test the publicly-available version(s).

Both TVs were a bit brighter in Dolby Vision mode according to spot measurements, but I'm not yet able to measure DV in a rigorous way that I fully trust, so I can't say how they really compare yet. If you have the choice, I do recommend using DV instead of HDR10 with both of these TVs, based on what I saw with program material.
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Gamma Setting
by Rbk23 / September 16, 2016 6:38 PM PDT

So you recommend changing the default 2.2 gamma setting to 2.4 in Cal Dark?

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by katzmaier CNET staff/forum admin / September 19, 2016 6:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Gamma Setting

Based on what I saw with the 2 store-bought samples.

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Other changed
by Roadwarrior980 / September 20, 2016 2:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes

Are there any other settings that would influence the accuracy of the gamma, such as backlight? The I've seen that leaving tint, contrast, and color at the defaults for the 'calibrated' presets seemed a little more accurate.

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Color Calibration (color tuner and white balance)
by Roadwarrior980 / September 20, 2016 2:16 AM PDT

Do you have any thoughts or input on the color calibration (color tuner and 11 point white balance). I am sure that changes can provide more detailed, accurate picture but the range of options available is extensive.

Would you recommend sticking with the defaults for something like the 'calibrated dark' preset?

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by nadrojcote / September 29, 2016 8:05 AM PDT

If you read the review he states that both of his store bought units were different. So using his colour calibration settings would end up making the picture worse than the out of the box settings.

You're right the TV can be tweaked to be more accurate, but it will take a professional calibration done on your unit.

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