|Sony QUALIA 006 70-inch SXRD HDTV|
|Home Theater Rear-Projection HDTVs SXRD Rear-Projection HDTVs|
|Written by Jeremy R. Kipnis|
|Monday, 01 August 2005|
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I immediately set about calibrating this most impressive display. I always leave a basic picture memory set-up as it came from the factory (one of three available with this set). This allows me to compare my calibrated results, A/B fashion, against the way “out-of-the-box” look. “The Big Chill” is a terrific HDTV transfer (also on DVD) with a considerable number of scenes in the credits and elsewhere containing high contrast, with near blacks in the middle of bright whites as well as the reverse, and long shots with tremendous forest color detail in the far distance amidst a continuous medium film grain; this is characteristic of the film when I witnessed it at an Academy Screening at The Museum of Modern Art in 1991. While completely believable and vastly superior to almost any other rear-projection system, including those that feature a front projector set-up in a room behind the screen, a thorough calibration improved the image quality noticeably, even to the untrained eye, as many of my friends and customers would testify. A strong bluish overloaded quality, apparent in the whites, and a slightly greenish cast to most black and white material was quickly and effectively removed. The color temperature, measured using my Konica/Minolta CS-100A Photo Spectrometer, was remarkably close to spot on at +11.2/-5.3 degrees Kelvin (less than most people can see) from 10 IRE (pretty dark) through 100 IRE (full white). The calibration improved upon what was already a very, very well-delineated image into an open pair of bay windows, 70 inches diagonal.
Fortunately, I happen to have a concealable window on an adjacent wall of the same lab (Ciné 2) that is about the same size as the screen on this TV. I was therefore able to point my QUALIA 002 HDTV Camcorder (1440 x 1080i at 10 times less cost than the pro models) out the window and compare the actual image with the one produced on the 006 through the HD camcorder. They looked a hell of a lot closer to each other than anything else I have evaluated recently. This set can demonstrate precise detail without adding unnecessary edge enhancement or equally can amplify a poor source to whatever extent required. Thus, the very slightly limited resolution of this HDTV camcorder versus the pro camera versions used on The Tonight Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brian could easily be seen and corrected using the various controls available to the user. Small differences in the quality of lighting, make-up and even lens choices were immediately obvious. If a source or transfer, such as “The Ladykillers,” looks unusually soft (the HDTV version on Starz is far softer than even the DVD), the Sony 006 has enough range and three separate memories for each source and format (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i) to allow anyone with the patience to adjust the image exactly to his or her liking.