Epson TW9400 / TW8400 / UB6050 / UB5050 – Ultimate Dynamic Calibration

UPDATE 11 Nov 2021 – Specific HDR calibration details at the end of the article along with tricks to fix lifted blacks in HDR for your current calibration at the very end of the article.

UPDATE 29 Dec 2021: Added Digital Cinema HDR calibration for reference at the very end of the article.

Display Calibration Guides

Want to calibrate your own projector? Check out the Display Calibration Guide – Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Related Articles

Epson Bright HDR for UB6050 / 5050 / TW9400

Epson Pixel Shifting

Epson TW9400 / TW8400 / UB6050 / UB5050 Tips and Tricks

Why Calibrate Dynamic Mode?

Dynamic Mode on the Epson TW9400 / UB6050 / 5050 has a lot more aggressive dynamic iris than on the other modes. What this means is the following

  1. The iris will clamp down harder during dark scenes
  2. The iris actually has a range below the lowest position in the other modes creating more contrast
  3. The iris will clamp down to its lowest position during a fade to black and eliminate almost all light (not quite but low enough that your pupils will need a lot more time to adjust than in other picture modes)

Aims of the Calibration

I wanted to create a calibration that could be used for both SDR and HDR without having to switch picture modes – or load a new memory. What’s more, I wanted the gamma controls to be usable to switch between 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 gamma (0, -1, -2 settings on the Epson).

To achieve this, I needed to have the following:

  1. Greyscale and Gamma as accurate as possible for SDR and HDR without using the custom gamma controls
  2. SDR gamut that was as accurate as possible and then let the Epson tone map to the HDR gamut which it does quite well – HDR gamut not as much a priority however.
  3. If possible, have the calibration be accurate for both medium and high lamp (this is always a tall order but wanted to measure the errors regardless)

Results

  • The resulting calibration is accurate for SDR without any visible errors (apart from 100% blue, 100% yellow and 100% red).
  • The resulting calibration has accurate greyscale and gamma in both medium and high lamp with the same settings
  • The gamma is flat without using the custom gamma controls. Instead the greyscale controls were used to dial in the gamma and allow the use of the normal gamma controls.

With regards to HDR:

  • The resulting calibration is accurate for HDR greyscale and gamma – as the Epson uses the SDR gamma to tone map.
  • With the Epson doing the gamut translation, the BT2020/P3 gamut is not going to be as accurate as doing a dedicated HDR calibration but it looks visually accurate when compared to a calibrated HDR Natural picture mode. The errors are a bit higher however – between 2 and 6 – as opposed to 0 and 3 for deltaE.

I try and avoid using the offsets when calibrating greyscale on the Epson as anything other than defaults compromise the near-black gamma for one or two colour channels without any controls to be able to correct them. Unfortunately, this is not a JVC where auto-calibration takes care of the internal mapping tables and corrects for these issues. I was able to avoid using them however.

Visual inspection of the calibration shows excellent colours and gamma response that stays accurate when switching between lamp modes.

Graphs and numbers confirm the accuracy seen in SDR – and HDR in fact. The only thing left to measure will be the HDR gamut, however it looks visually as good as the Epson is capable of without its P3 filter.

The gamma controls allow for switching between 2.2 gamma for brighter rooms (0 setting) and 2.4 gamma for home theatre type environments (-2 setting).

Graphs

Medium Lamp Gamma and Greyscale:

High lamp Gamma and Greyscale:

BT.709 Gamut Before and After – Medium Lamp

All targets under 75% are under the visible threshold of 3 so no concerns here. 100% targets line up pretty well also, except for blue which is way too bright (you can’t see luminance on this diagram). Red and Green 100% are less of a concern.

Could this be improved even further? It is entirely possible. However, more accuracy would require a lot more time and it is unlikely to result in visible differences when viewing normal content. It is worth exploring as the lamp ages – and drifts less. Spending so much time getting things 100% aligned when the lamp is still new and shifts is not worth the effort.

P3 within BT.2020 Container Gamut – Before and After – High Lamp

While the BT2020/P3 gamut that Epson tone maps once SDR gamut is calibrated isn’t as accurate as a dedicated HDR calibration, it is still within the visible threshold of 6 for targets below 75% saturation, except for green – and lots of the points do line up under threshold of 3. However, green is not going to improve without the filter in place. What is good however, is that cyan is corrected, which had the most detrimental effect on image quality out of the box and most colours are pulled closer to their targets. In normal viewing the errors are not obvious and will do for an evening binge around Netflix or Disney+ without having to keep loading memories or switching picture modes. Job done!

P3 within BT.2020 Container Gamut – Natural and Digital Cinema Out Of the Box

For reference, I wanted to post what the HDR gamut looks like for Natural and Digital Cinema Picture Modes out of the box. Natural picture mode lines up pretty well, but Digital Cinema could use some work, and is worse in some areas than our SDR to HDR gamut mapping.

Calibration Settings – SDR / HDR Combo – Accurate for SDR

Lamp Hours: 35hrs, Screen type used: 0.9 gain – no colour push

Colour Temp: 7

Skin Tone: 3

Lamp mode: Medium or High (e.g. use Medium for SDR and High for HDR but either works for both)

Dynamic Iris: High Speed

Custom Colour Temp

Offset R: 50, Offset G: 50, Offset B: 50

Gain R: 50, Gain G: 40, Gain B: 50

Greyscale

8: 0,-48,-34

7: -37,-44,-47

6: -46,-42,-50

5: -41,-38,-42

4: -36,-29,-33

3:-23,-18,-21

2: -13,-8,-8

1: 0,0,0

CMS (RGBCMY)

R: 56,41,56

G: 61,44,44

B: 45,35,52

C:2,50,50

M: 70,39,50

Y: 55,43,53

Calibration Settings – HDR Specific

If you don’t mind switching between two memories and you want more accurate – and frankly much better looking – HDR results, here is a calibration I did at 150hrs on the lamp.

Everything is the same as above, except for the following:

Lamp Hours: 150hrs, Screen type used: 0.9 gain – no colour push

Colour Temp: 7

Skin Tone: 3

Lamp mode: High

Dynamic Iris: High Speed

Custom Colour Temp

Offset R: 48, Offset G: 48, Offset B: 48

Gain R: 50, Gain G: 40, Gain B: 50

Greyscale – same as above

CMS (RGBCMY)

R: 55,66,20

G: 45,60,36

B:45,40,43

C:2,65,30

M: 50,50,25

Y: 60,60,35

Gamma

Custom gamma with everything at 0 except for the following values:

  • Color tone 2: -4
  • Color tone 3: -3
  • Color tone 4: -1

Editing Calibration for Your Unit or Older Lamps

Please note that there is variation between units, lamps and especially as the lamps age. It is only really possible to ensure your unit is accurate by calibrating it yourself – or having it professionally calibrate.

HOWEVER, if you find that the picture is not looking great (e.g. too red, too blue or too green), you can adjust the Custom Colour Temp controls to let more light through as follows:

Picture is too red: Either reduce red or increase green and blue.

Picture is too green: reduce green even further (unlikely scenario however)

Picture is too blue: Reduce blue

This is a rather simplistic way to troubleshoot this, but in absence of having your unit calibrated, this may be your best option. Otherwise, if things are not looking great, use the Natural picture mode on your unit.

Editing Gamma for Other HDR Calibrations / Fixing Lifted Blacks in HDR

If the specific calibration you are using looks a bit washed out in the blacks, you can apply the gamma changes under my HDR settings by subtracting the numbers from your existing gamma. This is not particularly scientific but if you have an OLED at hand, you can compare the two and reduce gamma on color tones 2,3 and 4 until you have visually matched near-black detail.

Another trick is to pull down the offsets to 48 or 49. This works better than messing with the brighness control and can be applied along with the gamma changes to fix the lifted black level and gamma near black in Dynamic (and also Natural) HDR calibrations.

Calibration Settings – Digital Cinema HDR Calibration – For Comparison

Lamp Hours: 100hrs, Screen type used: 0.9 gain – no colour push

Colour Temp: 8

Skin Tone: 3

Lamp mode: High

Dynamic Iris: High Speed

Gamma: -2 or -1

HDR Slider Value used for calibration: 4

Custom Colour Temp

Offset R: 49, Offset G: 49, Offset B: 49

Gain R: 50, Gain G: 50, Gain B: 39

Greyscale

8: 0,0,-5

7: 0,0,-2

6: 2,0,1

5: 2,0,2

4: 1,0,3

3:-1,0,3

2: -1,0,1

1: 0,0,0

CMS (RGBCMY)

R: 50,80,30

G: 75,95,40

B: 65,77,19

C: 48,90,25

M: 75,60,40

Y: 45,82,40

55 thoughts on “Epson TW9400 / TW8400 / UB6050 / UB5050 – Ultimate Dynamic Calibration

Add yours

  1. These settings really make you rethink whether it is a good idea to use the color filter modes. I think that if it is necessary to refine a little more in the colors for HDR, the dynamic mode ends up being the best way to see HDR content in the Epson 9400, considering that they will never be perfect, but they could be almost perfect, I see that I just need to refine a little more in some colors. Good job .I will follow the progress carefully

    Like

    1. Yes, HDR can look pretty excellent in Dynamic Mode.
      In fact, the gamut translation done by the Epson is not at all bad once SDR gamut is calibrated.
      Add to that the better black floor due to a more aggressive DI and it makes for an enjoyable experience.

      The colour errors in HDR are not obvious during normal content so I’m not too concerned until the lamp settles. This isn’t a JVC that really can and needs to be kept a 100% to reference.

      A specific HDR calibration would yield a lot better results with regards to the charts but at only marginal visual difference – and more hassle switching modes constantly.

      Like

  2. I have compared the color in my calibrated Digital Cinema mode and this Dynamic Mode, and they certainly look very similar in general, the only thing that in my Epson, I have to raise the saturation 5 or 6 points so that they are almost traced, with the saturation in 50 look a bit dull. At first glance, the only color that appears to be less accurate is blue, which is more purple than blue. All this comparing it to my calibrated Cinema Digital mode, which uses the color filter as you well know. In my unit, it would be the only one that maybe I should adjust a bit, the others seem to look pretty good. But the difference in brightness between Dynamic Mode and Cinema or Digital Cinema is abysmal, with the HDR slider at 4, it emits much more brightness in the image than in the other modes, even with the HDR slider at 1.

    Conclusion, this Dynamic Mode works really well on my unit for HDR content, which is what I consume the most in the projector, apart from 3D. I only had to set the saturation to 56 and the HDR slider to 4 (I already had it that way in my calibrated Cinema Digital mode) but the difference in overall image brightness is mind-boggling! Maybe I should work on that blue a bit, but I’ll just leave it that way for now.

    Like

    1. Yes increasing saturation is not a bad idea if using it for HDR only.

      I would try the other Dynamic HDR calibration – especially the gamut – that’s on my main Epson article: Tips and Tricks! That could work better for an HDR only mode on yours.

      Like

    2. But definitely, dynamic has a much better colour volume which – in my book – trumps saturation for HDR. 🙂
      Do a specific cal on your unit if you’re able. It’s worth doing an HDR only cal if that’s your main use!

      Like

      1. Unfortunately, I no longer have the X-Rite i1Display Pro, therefore it is impossible for me to do any calibration right now. If I had known how well Dynamic Mode for HDR works at the time, I would have performed a specific calibration, but it is too late. I will have to closely monitor your progress and see how well it works in my unit, which at the moment works quite well.

        Like

  3. simplemente sensacional !! No podía creer que en modo dinámico esto pudiera lograrse. Me gustó más la imagen al forzar el Offset R, G, B a 47 y el croma personalizado, color-tone2: -5 color-tone3: -4 y color-tone4: -2
    una configuración sensacional de Roland;)

    Like

  4. simply sensational !! I couldn’t believe that in dynamic mode this could be achieved. I liked the image better by forcing the Offset R,G,B to 47 and custom chroma, color-tone2: -5 color-tone3: -4 and color-tone4: -2
    a sensational Roland setup;)

    Like

  5. Hello Roland, why should I choose the gamma -1 or -2? Didn’t you use the custom gamma in this setting?

    Happy New Year to everyone

    Like

    1. Where I didn’t provide custom gamma, the greyscale controls were used to correct gamma and allow you to choose 0,-1 or -2. SDR gamma is relative so you need those controls dependent on environment.
      While HDR standard is absolute it was dreamed up by a bunch of cowboys as our visual system didn’t magically change to absolute. For HDR, where no custom gamma is given, -2 is more accurate but I encourage you to experiment if you have light coloured walls or no light control. I hope that makes sense.

      Digital cinema (HDR only) does not really need further gamma correction. It’s pretty accurate out of the box. However, it’s only there for comparison.

      Like

  6. Roland, I have found this through the av forum. I must say great work. This has made a huge difference to my epson tw9400.
    I just thought I would add something, whilst playing with he gamma curve, jumping in and out to check picture etc I noticed the iris settings opened up. I’m not sure if this happens to you or anyone else but this has never been an option in Dynamic. I have lowered the iris to 14 and wow, my blacks are insane. HDR slider at 4 and in eco mode. I’ve then went in to check if iris still works, it didn’t at 1st but then came on again. I had a play with it and settled on 14. Just for info and thanks again.

    Like

    1. Thx for that feedback, Cineal.

      Nope, iris settings never appear under dynamic for me and I’ve been in and out of gamma a million times. That’s curious though.

      If you are able to reproduce it, let us know exact steps.

      Like

      1. Sorry I just seen your reply. As I said I stumbled across it. I’ve managed to replicate opening the lens iris slider. Source was sky q. Then power was in eco, went into advanced and it was there. Tried it again and didn’t work, went into gamma and back out and it came up again.

        Like

      2. Thanks, Neal. I wonder what framerate and resolution sky was playing at. It could be important! When you mean into gamma, do you mean just into the gamma selection menu or also went into custom gamma? That’s two levels down. Again, might be important to be able to reproduce it. What firmware version do you have on your unit?

        Like

  7. HI Roland – great work. I’m still fiddling around with the gamma a bit. I’ve turned them down to color-tone2: -6 color-tone3: -5 and color-tone4: -3 and the blacks are incredible. However, I may try Juan’s suggestion above and change the offset values to 47. Currently I have them at 48.

    On another note, I’m using an Arcana to get Dolby Vision (LLDV). Are the HDR values above the same for Dolby Vision or should they be tweaked. I only ask as I know you use LLDV too.

    Like

    1. Hi Al,
      Thank you so much. Also thx for commenting. It helps to know what people are doing!

      Yes, the settings will work for LLDV as well. If you wanted, you could get a 4000nit or 10000nit pattern up and increase contrast until you cut the content off at 1000nits (or whatever nit value you set for LLDV in Arcana). But the settings will work as is.

      Just be mindful that reducing offset to 47 will cut some content off – it will be different per different movie or source. I do find that some source devices have slightly elevated blacks so maybe that’s what’s going on for you too.

      Enjoy! 🙂

      Like

      1. Thanks Roland – good to know. I have my Arcana set to 1000nits as 4000nits seemed to blowout the whites. I’m assuming I would need an X-rite or some colour meter to use a pattern and increase contrast until 1000nits.

        Good to know about reducing the colour offset to 47. I think I’m going to stick with offset at 48 or 49 with color-tone2: -6 color-tone3: -5 and color-tone4: -3. It is dark for some Disney+ content (ie Rogue One) but Disney+ content is also very dark on my OLED.

        By the way I’m watching mostly 4k content streamed through an ATV4k (new model). SDR looks really good with these settings too.

        Like

      2. That’s awesome to hear then!
        Nope, you don’t need a light meter. All you need is an HDR peak brightness pattern. There are some free HDR patterns on AVS (or Spears & Munsil which I use). You may need to play it through a blu ray player however, unless you find a way to play HDR patterns on your AppleTV 4K. You need to be careful though as Apple TV has a habit of converting from SDR to HDR and it behaves differently in HDR conversion mode than in LLDV. So best to use a Blu Ray player if you can…

        Like

  8. Wow. Congratulations for this research…

    I am considering a 6050 to hit a 158 screen (gain 1.0). I am afraid that I’ll need all lumens available so this calibration could be the solution.

    How many lumens will deliver such a dynamic calibration? Without calibration it is around 2600 according to several reviews.

    Just to calculate how many fL I’d have…

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi Amo,
      Thank you! It is quite effective!

      Well, some units measure a bit more than 2600 lumens with a brand new lamp but after calibration you need to calculate with around 2100-2200 lumens to be on the safe side.
      Lamps are relatively cheap so you may want to swap lamps yearly like I do if you are a heavy user!

      If you need more brightness than this especially as the lamp ages, you can increase the contrast control by 5 clicks. It will crush whites a bit but it isn’t noticeable for most content. This is also a trick to do for a day mode for example!

      Like

    1. No dramas. You can use whatever slider position looks bright enough for you. I use position 4 on a 125” screen. Anywhere between 3 – 6 are good settings.

      Like

  9. Hi Roland – I’ve moved to the Natural setting as I found that it would take a while for the image to come back after a black scene with auto iris at high. Is this normal? Is there any way to fix this issue?

    Like

    1. Hi Al, Unfortunately, the auto iris is very aggressive in dynamic and in addition Epson employs lamp dimming as well to increase contrast and plunge the black floor aggressively for dark scenes.
      I have requested Epson to make dynamic iris and lamp dimming configurable separately but it was not really a priority for them. With the new laser units this isn’t an issue of course.

      It’s worse with some material than others. Also some people are more bothered by this than others.

      Personally, for problematic HDR material I disable the iris on dynamic or put the unit into medium lamp which reduces the severity.

      Like

  10. Hi Roland! Thank you so much for your work! I’m a home cinema novice and just got my first projector – the tw9300/6040ub. Would your recommended settings work for my projector? Thank you in advance for your help.

    Like

    1. Hi Adam, no worries. Unfortunately the 6040 is a different beast I’m afraid. These settings are unlikely to work. Your best bet is the owners forum on AVS. I know they have some good settings there.

      Like

  11. Hey, I’ve found your article yesterday and immediately tried it. I love every part of it, except the green. As soon as I open the Menü I can see that the picture is too green. I’ve tried to decrease the gain but it didn’t help. Do you have any idea to fix that?

    Like

    1. Mmm, I would check the CMS values if the gain is not having an effect!

      Otherwise, reset the picture mode, reboot projector and try again.

      Make sure you’re in dynamic pic mode!

      If that doesn’t work then your lamp or unit is very different. (Remember that the previous model is very different for example and won’t work with these settings)

      Ultimately, the only sure thing is calibrating the unit yourself. I’ll have a display calibration guide out within a month so check back. (Likely USD9.99 to start with which beats the $100s you’d pay to have someone come do it and it’s a lifetime skill.)

      Like

  12. Yeah you’re right I should definitely learning to calibrate. I got a Epson 9400. What exactly are the CMS Values?
    Can you please check if your Menü looks green on the projector? I can not post a picture here but for example on the storm report scene in the Martian everything is clear white. And no matter which Gain I increase the Menü itself stays always litte green. So maybe it is just normal or a software mistake?

    Like

    1. Ah ok, it’s just the menu! Haha

      I wouldn’t worry about the menu colour. My menu isn’t green but that could be an issue in your firmware.

      As long as the picture is not green, and looks fine, then there’s zero issues!

      (CMS values are in the article under the CMS heading, but sounds like it’s not the issue!)

      Like

    2. Just remembered… you must make sure you have v 1.03 or 1.04 firmware on your unit. Prior firmware had a green tinge to near blacks on dynamic mode.

      Like

  13. Hey Roland, I’ve tried it with CMS and with the greyscale it looks better know. Only thing I have to do now is to decrease red a little bit. It seems like the greyscale is a gamechanger here. But hard to adjust without the right equipment.

    My Version says in the first row 104 and on the second row 103 at the end. It’s a new Epson 9400 and I’m not sure about the difference. Maybe I should try to update it manually. Maybe you know more about that?

    Thanks for you help 🙂

    Like

    1. That’s the latest firmware, Burak. You’re all set!

      That’s the best you can do without a sensor (minus double-checking your numbers).

      Enjoy!

      Like

  14. This is brilliant info thank you. However I use an elite screens Cinegrey 5D which is a 1.5 gain. Are there any changes I should
    Make to your settings or would it be too different to try? Any reccomendations would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks.

    Like

    1. The settings should work fine. I believe the CineGrey 5D has a slight blue push so you may need to lower blue gain a little (or up the other two) but a blue push is not normally noticeable or objectionable. If you have a green / blue push that’s different (but can happen).

      Ultimately, you can only try and see if they work for you. Otherwise you’re gonna have to get down to calibrating it yourself. (Display Calibration Pro Guide out by end of the month!)

      Like

  15. Hey Roland, I again need your help 🙂
    I “calibratet” the Dynamic Mode as good as possible without any professional calibration tool. When you calibrate the Brightness with black bars on what numbers you do that? If I calibrate it like suggested to 0,005 nits then I have to increase the Brightness to 61 and that results in a black crush during a movie. Do you have any advice? By the way I’m using the Panasonic 424 Bluray Player with HDR Optimizer and the picture is just amazing. Thank you so much for your help and your idea 🙂

    Like

    1. The dynamic calibration was set up so blacks are slightly crushed to combat elevated black levels in some HDR material (and incorrect low-end gamma).

      However, if you must set blank level, you need to have an HDR calibration disc or usb with the patterns. On the HDR black level chart, Level 77 must be black with levels above it flashing slightly so that you are cutting 0.005nits off. But you may not be able to detect this by eye correctly unless you’re in a black room.

      Like

  16. These settings are great. Thanks for sharing.
    I have a question though. I’m finding in darker scenes in dynamic mode hdr that motion can sometimes blur the image. Is there anything I can change to improve this? Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi Steve. I’m glad they worked for you.
      I haven’t really experienced that. Would you have a particular movie scene (or a couple), I could check out that show the issue for you?

      Like

  17. Thanks for getting back to me. Some of the scenes in The Batman can look slightly blurry. I will be watching a couple of movies this weekend. I will let you know how I get on. Do you use any of the image enhancer presets. If so which ones? Thanks again

    Like

    1. No worries. Mmm. I haven’t watched the Batman yet. Could it be the source? Do watch some other movies and report back. There shouldn’t be any noticeable blur. At least not on my unit.

      Yes, Preset 3. Ensure you disable all noise reduction though from the defaults. Now that could cause some blur actually if noise reduction is on! It can blur fine detail. And it’s on by default in all those presets.

      Also ensure image processing is on the fine and not the fast setting!

      Like

  18. Just an update on picture looking artificial. Noise reduction is greyed out for 4k. I have reduced sharpness for 5 to 2 on all settings. This seems to have resolved the issue.

    Like

  19. Hi Roland,

    Do you have any specific calibration for SDR in Natural mode or another mode that is not Dynamic mode?

    Like

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