Help with Video Settings

Is anyone here an expert in setting up and configuring A/V equipement? I could use some advice on what is the best setting to use. There are so many combinations, and a lot of the settings don’t really seem to help (or even harm).

The issue I am have it color. Many times it seems to be way off, either way to dark or they have a green or even purplish hue (tint?). The issue is usually with dark scenes, and the progression from one color to another shows distinct bands (i.e., the flow of a light gray to dark shows discrete lines of particular shades, not a smooth tradition).

Plus, the issue doesn’t appear for all source material. I have some movies with very dark scenes, but the problem doesn’t manifest. I have old and news movies that have the issue, and ones that don’t. So, it doesn’t appear to be related to the age of the film.

I’d like to better understand the purpose of each setting. Search Google hasn’t been very helpful. There is a lot of contradictory information out there. But what I’d really like is opinions from other people, given my setup, what they would do.

My setup:

  • Sony Bravia (KDL-52XBR7), connect to my WD TV Live via HDMI. It has A LOT of picture settings. It has been calibrated (actually, once I turned off the “showroom mode” it was pretty much dead on. Regarding my issue, there are many setting related to color. Specify there is a “wide color” option (color space) which they don’t define, and many online have speculated what it really means. I’ve tried playing with the settings, but the differences seem subtle. Should I be using (for example) warm color, or cold? I’ve noticed that the picture is actually better if I turn off a lot of their features (e.g., motion enhancer, cinemotion, etc.). But they also have things like “black corrector,” “Advanced contract enhancer,” “clear white,” “live color,” which don’t (for my amateur eyes) make much difference.
  • Source material is mostly DVDs transcoded to MKV files (h.264 codec). The color information is YUV 4:2:0, 8 bits. I realize DVDs aren’t nearly as good as Blu-ray, but I don’t like Blu-ray (for reasons I don’t wish to debate) and only buy them if the movie I want isn’t available in its orginal aspect ration on DVD (i.e., pan & scan **bleep**).
  • WD TV Live (of course). Given the above, can you make a judgement on how best to configure the video on this device? High RGB is often too dark (I think this is the "crushed blacks issue. Yes?). Low RGB is better for dark areas, but the colors are often weird (greens and purples as above). YVbCr seems about the same as low RGB. So, should I use YVbCr because the files are YUV, or should I use RGB because I have an LCD? Does it matter?

Again: I know DVD’s are the best source material, but when I view them on my computers (large LCD screens), they look great, not color issues. My MKVs are a mix of 29.970 and 23.976 fps. So, I am not sure of the best HDMI setting to use. If I leave it on “auto” does it automatically adjust based on source or does it pick one at the beginning and stick with it? 8-bit vs. 12 doesn’t seem to make a difference (and I wouldn’t expect it to given the files are 8-bit).

Sorry, this is so long. I wanted to give all the relative information I could think of. If you don’t wish to waste you time reading through it all, I understand. Time isn’t free.




Have you try using a different cables to see if there’s an issue on it?

Let’s see if any of the users can provide you some information about their settings.

Thanks for replying. I think I’ve fixed my problem, though I am no more educated about this stuff. I set all the video settings on my WD to “auto” and told it to match the frame rate of the video file, and the color is much better. I guess it’s just smarter than I am!