Sony W95 series (KDL-55W955B) Settings

Nirm

Active Member
Over the next few weeks it would appear that there will be an increase in owners of the W955. Despite it being dubbed a bit of a "white elephant" at launch by professional reviewers, as a real user I have had it now for over a month and am keeping it! Whilst I accepted the "legendary" 2013 W9 black & contrast levels could not be matched, I was determined to get the best out of it and with 2 software updates, plenty of adjustments by me (which involved a lot of to-ing and fro-ing over several weeks), the W955 is blossoming in to great family TV, worthy of praise!

Many people in various forums have asked me to share my settings. Initially I didn't to want but have decided to do so (to give the TV a worthy chance), with the following reservations in mind:
  • everyone's environment is different, i.e. different lighting conditions and when they watch most TV (i.e. what works during the day will be probably too bright for the evening, especially if you have a dimly lit room, hence straining the eyes). I tend to do adjustments in the mornings with curtains shut (they are not black outs) and with normal viewing lights on.
  • I/ we prefer brighter images when watching live/ recorded broadcast (with eg Casualty, Holby, The Voice, BGT & the Endeavour really showing off the W955's Triluminos and X-tended Dynamic Range capabilities) whereas some people just like to have one "calibrated" setting (usually relative to watching a Blu-ray movie which tends to be dimmer and more cinema-like).
  • We all have different devices (eg SKY boxes, Blu-ray players, etc) and they all output slightly differently (even same models), so what adjustments might be acceptable for us may not be for you.
  • using Freeview HD to make adjustments by eye, imo, is quite problematic as the quality of programmes vary on a daily basis and therefore can have a large impact on results. Popular SKY HD channels (eg SKY1, Atlantic, BBC1 HD and ITV1 HD) are more consistent, quality wise. For Blu-ray/ cinema like viewing I have used the Disney Wow Calibration disc***.
Before making changes, please note:
  • make sure you have the latest software update (eg 2.112 issued 04 April) installed before making any changes.
  • do not switch on the ECO > Power Saving mode, its slows the operation of the TV. It does improve blacks as it simply steps down the backlight, but you can do this manually anyway.
  • if you are going to make adjustments, at his stage switch off the light sensor as all your effort will be for nothing as the TV tries to determine "best" brightness relative to ambient light conditions and doesn't get it right at the moment!
  • I would recommend making subtle adjustments to TV Freeview HD or normal SKY HD viewing in the "Standard" Picture Mode below; if you want to experiment a lot, then use "Custom" Picture Mode which will start with a very flat picture, mainly because Live Colour under "Advanced Settings" is off. For the latter Medium or Low are very acceptable, The Skin Naturaliser, imo, appears to have little or no effect! Unless you know what you are doing I would avoid playing around with White and Gamma balances(at the moment I cannot decide if the overall effect of slight darkening at -1 Gamma is beneficial, so it is left at 0).
These are some of my/ our settings preferences (as of 16 April 2014) for the W955:
  • TV Freeview HD > Scene: General > Picture Mode: Standard; Backlight: 4; Contrast: Max; Brightness: 46; Colour: 56; no other adjustments necessary.
  • SKY HD* HDMI Input > Scene: General > Picture Mode: Standard; Backlight: 5; Contrast: Max; Brightness: 45; Colour: 54; Advanced Settings: Black Corrector: Medium. No other adjustments necessary.
  • SKY Movies HD > Scene: Cinema > Picture Mode: Cinema1; Backlight: 5; No other adjustments necessary.
  • Blu-ray** HDMI Input > Scene: Cinema > Picture Mode: Cinema1; Backlight: 5; Contrast: 99; Brightness: 47; Colour: 52; Advanced Settings: Black Corrector: Medium. No other adjustments necessary.
Some observations:

This TV is highly power economical compared to my previous TVs and therefore I certainly don't need to use the general Power Saving mode, however, 2 settings in the same section could be useful (and not because I want to save power!):
  • Light Sensor - try not to use! It is a pity that when all adjustments have been made that you cannot "advise" the sensor that your current lighting conditions are the "ideal" point and any brightness changes should be made relative to this. Unfortunately, when switched on, in most cases the picture gets dimmed during dimmer conditions (brightening in brighter conditions seems ok) - possibly needs a fix and/ or Sony have missed a trick here!
  • Scene Select Sync - interestingly, switching on the option (after doing adjustments) seems to have little adverse effect, in fact it seems to naturalise the overall picture (especially skin tones) and reduce the Triluminos effect slightly (which is no bad thing as red, green and blue can be too bright at times, eg hi-viz gear and certain grasses) - there is come clever stuff going on here by Sony and at the moment I am keeping it switched on (I need to see what effect it has on Blu-ray/ sports and will advise). When switched it on I only had to adjust the Black Corrector and the current settings are reflected above
  • in "normal" use, the TV Scene is set to Auto (24p Synch) but don't forget to set Scene back to Auto (24p Synch) after viewing a SKY movie else "normal" viewing will seem dim (this happens automatically if you watch a Blu-ray, hence the Auto setting).

Final thoughts:

In the main Sony have done most of the hard work and have generally done a good job, however, if some time is taken to delve & dabble amongst the W955's huge amount of settings (which expert reviewers don't have enough time to do, plus don't have the advantage of software update improvements), you will wonder why the reviews weren't better, they should have been! You will not get personal settings right first or even second time round, and let everyone get used to the picture for a few days before tweaking again... you even need to let the TV settle down for a couple of weeks! And... if you tweak everything, I guarantee you will get in to a complete mess and have to reset... I know :facepalm: ... oh, and I wish there was a "hotel style" menu lock so that the new settings can't be tinkered with by little hands :mad:

* using a SKY HD 2TB Amstrad DRX895 box; ** using a Pany BWT720 recorder (settings for General Freeview HD viewing via the Pany source are different but am not detailing as I would think there are more people using a SKY HD box!) *** For Blu-ray, settings were optimised using the excellent and easy to use Disney WOW calibration disc from the USA (it's region free and can be bought for approx. £12)
 
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Nirm

Active Member
Having had this TV for approaching 4 months now I am so glad we stuck with it! After 4 software updates the 55W955 has matured beautifully and whilst the "infamous" black levels will never reach the levels of the 55W905, the picture quality has improved markedly (in grasses, hi-viz gear and skin tones particularly) and is a real pleasure to watch in all environments except a pitch black room (which we don't do!).

The 55W955 really now justifies Sony's title of their best overall Full HD TV they have produced... if it was re-evaluated by the same reviewers as in March/ April this year, undoubtedly this TV would be receiving 8/9 out of 10 rather than 6s and 7s! The fact that only a few have recently reappeared as refurbs (as compared to several 100s, possibly 1000s of the W905) is testimony to a good TV - why oh why didn't Sony get it right first time, perhaps being sponsors of the FIFA World Cup had some thing to do with them rushing out unrefined TVs (btw, I have to say I actually like the football setting :clap:).

REVISED Settings: these are of course personal, but after the 4th update (PKG2.166EUA), they have been tweaked, but importantly relative to the Light Sensor now being switched on and Scene Select Sync off (the former's performance has been improved, imo) which makes the TV easy to watch in all conditions without having to make adjustments on the fly:

  • TV Freeview HD > Scene: General > Picture Mode: Standard; Backlight: 5; Contrast: Max; Brightness: 46; Colour: 56; Advanced Settings: Black Corrector: Low. No other adjustments necessary.
  • SKY HD HDMI Input > Scene: General > Picture Mode: Standard; Backlight: 6; Contrast: Max; Brightness: 45; Colour: 54; Advanced Settings: Black Corrector: Medium. No other adjustments necessary.
  • SKY Movies HD > Scene: Cinema > Picture Mode: Cinema1; Backlight: 5; Colour temperature: Neutral. No other adjustments necessary.
  • Blu-ray HDMI Input > Scene: Cinema > Picture Mode: Cinema1; Backlight: 5; Contrast: 99; Brightness: 47; Colour: 52; Colour temperature: Neutral. Advanced Settings: Black Corrector: Medium. No other adjustments necessary.
I do not think Sony can improve the picture any further, so it will be interesting to see what the next software update (any time now) brings... in the mean time keeping enjoying the W955 :cool:
 
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hakonthegreat

Novice Member
Hi Nirm, and thank you so much for creating this thread! I have a few questions that you might have some answers for! :)

Firstly, I just bought the 65W955, liking it so far! :D

I'm trying out your settings, like them a lot.
The thing is, I have a pretty decent DVD collection, and I view my DVDs with my Playstation 4. Do you use the same settings for DVDs as for Blu-rays? I suppose the colour-, brightness- and contrast settings and so on are OK, but what about things like MPEG-/Dot-/-noise reduction? Detail enhancher?
(EDIT: I've actually ripped most of my DVDs and have them on my NAS, so maybe even more "aggressive" settings are needed for viewing those files... although inserting the DVD gives the best quality, I guess.)

Also, do you use Netflix, either on your PS3 or on the TV itself? If you do, any suggestions for settings?

Right now I don't really view any TV broadcast content, so I'm most interested in your movie settings :)
Oh, and for games, I guess we have to use game-scene to keep latency low, right? The two game profiles were very different out of the box, IMO... Have to play around with them some more.

By the way, is there anywhere I can read what each individual setting actually does with the picture, in detail?
Would love to know exactly what stuff like detail enhancer, Reality Creator, smooth gradation and so on does with the picture, benefits/drawbacks, does it introduce artifacts/latency, etc..
 

Nirm

Active Member
Hi Nirm, and thank you so much for creating this thread! I have a few questions that you might have some answers for! :)

Firstly, I just bought the 65W955, liking it so far! :D

I'm trying out your settings, like them a lot.
The thing is, I have a pretty decent DVD collection, and I view my DVDs with my Playstation 4. Do you use the same settings for DVDs as for Blu-rays? I suppose the colour-, brightness- and contrast settings and so on are OK, but what about things like MPEG-/Dot-/-noise reduction? Detail enhancher?
(EDIT: I've actually ripped most of my DVDs and have them on my NAS, so maybe even more "aggressive" settings are needed for viewing those files... although inserting the DVD gives the best quality, I guess.)

Also, do you use Netflix, either on your PS3 or on the TV itself? If you do, any suggestions for settings?

Right now I don't really view any TV broadcast content, so I'm most interested in your movie settings :)
Oh, and for games, I guess we have to use game-scene to keep latency low, right? The two game profiles were very different out of the box, IMO... Have to play around with them some more.

By the way, is there anywhere I can read what each individual setting actually does with the picture, in detail?
Would love to know exactly what stuff like detail enhancer, Reality Creator, smooth gradation and so on does with the picture, benefits/drawbacks, does it introduce artifacts/latency, etc..
Thanks your comments... with reference to DVDs, in truth in the past few years I have only purchased/ viewed Blu-rays making a conscious decision not to play regular DVDs as I did not want to be disappointed by the "inferior" quality. Having said that quality is very dependent on the player and at times I have been astonished at the upscaled quality, therefore it would be wrong for me to post any comments relating to them from a settings point of view. Bear in mind, I used the Disney WOW calibration disc for my initial help and it goes quite a way to explaining some of the questions you may ask (eg that sharpness has actually nothing to do with sharpness!). Regarding the PS3, I don't game much having used it initially to play my Blu-rays, however, the TV seems to make great judgements when playing FIFA games with the latest World Cup game looking superb, once again the wrong man to ask, sorry! Presently I don't use Netflix though will be looking at Amazon once the app is up and running as I am an Amazon Prime member... presently I stream/ download most HD movies from SKY and I simply use Scene Select to change to Cinema if I feel its warranted (especially as Blu-ray defaults are supposed to be more representative of how the director wants the movie to feel... but younger members of the household tend to like everything brighter...). Sorry I couldn't help you further and hope you manage to find the information you are looking for. N
 

hakonthegreat

Novice Member
Thanks again so much for your input. I'll just play around with some settings for watching a DVD, when/if that day comes :)
So my PS4 just got support for 3D Blu-ray, finally.
Do you watch any 3D Blu-rays? Or 3D content? Any recommendations? :)

For now, I'm using pretty much the same settings as for Blu-ray right now (just testing), perhaps a bit brighter (well, it's not completely dark in my living room, especially during the daytime).
However, I noticed that currently the only Motion-flow options available are; Off / Impulse / Standard / Smooth.
I like smooth, but will keep an eye out for artefacts.. I used to prefer CLEAR, which is not available in 3D mode :(
 

penfoc

Novice Member
Hi -
now that there has been a few excellent updates to the W95, can anyone share their latest settings for watching HD channels? I have been impressed with this tv and viewing angles, however I just need to tweak the settings further

Cheers

Chris
 

john2303

Active Member
Hi -
now that there has been a few excellent updates to the W95, can anyone share their latest settings for watching HD channels? I have been impressed with this tv and viewing angles, however I just need to tweak the settings further

Cheers

Chris

I would also like to ask if any updated settings are available - I got the TV at the weekend and have not messed about with any settings yet - any help appreciated..
 

Sakishiro

Novice Member
I'm also interested in any new updated settings for this TV. Want optimal settings for HDMI inputs. I mostly use the TV in darkness. Please help guys, thanks.
 
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Evertigo

Novice Member
Hello! I have just bought this tv and really like it. I´m also interested in peoples different settings for different situations. It would be fun to see a little revival on this thread.
Personally I play a lot of games on my ps4. I´m also wondering if using black corrector and contrast enhancer does something too the input lag on this tv?
 

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