Why is calibrated picture yellow and warm? Detailed explanation!

Why is calibrated picture yellow and warm? Detailed explanation!

One question I get a lot is regarding too
warm and yellow/orange picture after calibration. People are confused by this and I am sure
that they would rather jump back to the good old standard preset they were watching before.
After all, this is how manufacturer had adjusted the picture so it should be good, right?
Well, not really. If you have seen my calibration videos, you
know that I always make a comment about picture quality you get by default. My remarks are
always the same and they end up like this – as soon as you finish the initial TV setup,
go to the picture options menu and select preset called movie or cinema, THX Day or
THX Night, expert or professional and adjust backlight and gamma to be OK for your viewing
environment. Forget about Standard, Normal, Natural and similar presets and don’t even
think about presets such as Football, Stadium, Vivid or Dynamic.
The reason why I want you to do this is because TVs are in terms of picture quality poorly
adjusted. On every TV that I’ve reviewed in the past 7 years, default picture settings
are so inaccurate that they completely defeat the purpose to show you original color, shade
and detail information intended by the content creator. Add to this strong motion interpolation
which affects tempo and clarity of images and recepe for distaster is complete.
One of the reasons why image is so poorly configured by default is because there is
a whole market of calibrators and system integrators ready to take your money for calibration and
picture adjustment. Plain and simple – if you want to watch accurate picture, you have
to pay for it. The thing is, no matter how expensive the
TV is, by default picture will be inaccurate and begging for additional adjustment.
Last year I did a calibration for a friend who bought an 85 inch Sony TV. This expensive
big screen beast should give an awesome picture from the moment it is turned on – right?
Well, big picture yes, but not awesome. Additional adjustments were needed.
Another example – Panasonic’s best ever plasma TV – 60 inch ZT60. Studio Master
panel, fantastic blacks, THX certification. Years and years perfecting plasma technology
in every aspect, THX certified presets and again – picture by default is not accurate
at all. Same goes for LG’s OLED TVs, Samsung’s SUHD
line, Sony’s best Bravias, Philips high end series. Do you see a pattern here?
Default images always have too much blue, which can be clearly seen when measurements
are done. If you take a look at screenshots from SpectraCal’s CalMAN software which I
use to calibrate TVs, you will see several sections called RGB balance, Luminance, CIE
1931 xy, Gamut Luminance and so on… Now let me get a little technical for you
to understand this more easily. I will skip certain items like gamma and sharpness to
keep things simpler. RGB balance diagram shows how red, green and
blue are aligned at different levels from dark to bright. Ideally, they should be at
100% to produce grayscale without any color standing out. But not in reality. By default,
as luminance of the image increases, so do red, green and blue get more apart. As this
happens, grey is no longer grey but rather bluish, reddish or greenish depending on the
TV. Usually it is bluish grey since this gives perception of brighter image.
The CIE 1931 chromaticity diagram was invented in 1931 by the International Commission on
Illumination (CIE). The graph represents all of the colors that are visible to a human
eye. There is an infinite number of color spaces you can fit inside of it, but for HD
content the one that is used is called BT.709 or Rec.709. This triangle of colors has clearly
defined position of whitepoint D65 and primary and secondary colors. Primary colors are red,
green and blue and secondary colors are yellow, magenta and cyan.
This reference points are known to the content creators and are known to the TV manufacturers.
They are the industry standard. OK, so now we know where the targets are,
what does this have to do with RGB balance and the fact that image is yellowish after
calibration? Well, when talking about shades of grey and colors, everything is connected.
If you combine red, green and blue of the same amount, you will get white that will
fall right on the D65 point. If the amount of just one color is smaller or bigger, measured
white will be moved away from D65. This is valid for complete grayscale.
In this example let us start with whitepoint which is precisely on D65 target. I will now
increase red in the TVs white balance menu. See what is happening – white point is moving
towards red. If I increase green, whitepoint will move towards green and same is for blue.
We can also analyse this from the perspective of secondary colors. If we increase red, we
move whitepoint away from cyan, if we increase green whitepoint is moved away from magenta
and if we increase blue whitepoint is moved away from yellow.
So, with this said, let us once again check where is the whitepoint in default picture
preset. You see, it is moved towards blue, which means it has less yellow then it is
should have. To move it closer to D65, we have to reduce blue. We do this by switching
to better picture preset and by doing calibration. So it is completely normal that calibrated
picture looks like it has got too much yellow or orange in it. We basically took extra blue
from the image and aligned red, green and blue to be equally present.
I remember well when I did my first calibration on 32“ Panasonic LCD TV, how picture looked
too warm and with extra yellow. Let me tell you, it was weird at first and I was also
doubting the purpose of calibration. But with little time, education and also by comparing
how picture in movie theaters looks like, I started embracing calibration.
Whether or not you will perform calibration on your TV, my recommendation is that you
spend a minute or two in switching to presets like Cinema, Movie, THX, Expert or Professional
and doing small tweaks on backlight and gamma for optimum result in your viewing environment.
This way you will get closer to what you were suppose to get by default – accurate representation
of movies, TV shows and other content. Hope this video was helpful. I plan to do
more on the calibration subject – if you have ideas about next topic, please tell me
in the comment section. Happy calibrating!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Could you give video tutorial how to do tv calibration.. And Tank you making this channel, I have copied your LF5400 setting, I luv my LG more now.. 😊

  2. Great explaination. I like the way you simplify things. Hope in the future you can get more into details so things become clearer for us! Keep doin what you do brother, you are superb at it! Subbed for life!

  3. I'm not sure if this video was a response to my comment saying that the "IDEAL" was too yellowish.

    I can tell you that I got used to the setting and that my TV SET looks wonderous…

    Good , natural colors…nothing fancy, nothing sparky, just good natural picture.

    Would recommend!


  4. I am loving your videos Darko, i recently bought a PANASONIC CX700 out of a recommendation you gave to one of your viewers and I was wondering if you had any calibrations for it?

    Any help will be much appreciated.

  5. Hi Darko,

    I want to start calibration my tv's myself. I was thinking about buying the X-Rite i1Display pro (200 euro), but my question is which software should I use with it. I read you use CalMan software. I went on their website but they have like 10+ packages. Which software of CalMan does work with the X-rite? Thanks for help in advance.

  6. Hi darko, I just bought samsung led tv 5 series a week ago. I want to calibrate my tv right now, is it too late to perform calibration now?

  7. Last 2 TV's I buy, the Normal or middle white balance setting looks closest to neutral D65, and warm is way too much red+green. I have an i1d2 which tells me to remove blue, but I don't trust its colour accuracy because the resulting image is wayyy to warm. After 3 years my Samsung plasma blue subpixel loses much luminance, now I must use the Cool preset to even get close to something neutral!

    Easy mode calibration: set colour to 0 to make the image black and white, then switch between white balance presets. Pick whichever one looks the most neutral. Should be done in a dark room as surrounding light will change the perceived colour dramatically. If your TV room has yellow lighting on the surrounding walls, it will look different again. Different times of day = different sunlight coming in through the window = different perceived white balance again. There is an app to correct this called "f.lux". Just like gamma changes as room lighting changes, white balance changes as room lighting changes.

    D65 should look completely neutral like a 100% cloud filled sky on an overcast day. Due to different lighting conditions in room, this is quite difficult to achieve. Only expensive meters can accurately read colour.

  8. I do my own DIY TV calibration. Two years ago, I purchased an X-Rite ColorMunki Display (£120 / $160) and combine it with an HCFR (free alternative to CalMAN) and tweek TV's, monitors and projectors to D65 / Rec.709 / sRGB standards. This guarantees me an accurate 6500K image (with true whites) showing the correct colours.

    I have never thought a calibrated TV looks too warm / yellow / orange. I have always though that the newest of TV models (let's say those manufactured 2012 and onwards) have a too blue-ish and over-saturated image on their default "Standard" preset. This to me looks aweful and I cannot understand how people can watch their TV's set up in this mode. 🙂

  9. Hi Dark love your channel and videos I have the LG LF5400 and i used the D:V:E HD basics to calibrate it and these are the settings that I wound up with bright room Expert 1 energy saving off, backlight40, contrast 100, brightness 53, h sharpness 9, v sharpness9, color 50, tint 0, dynamic contrast off, color gamut wide, edge enhancer off, color filter off, gamma 1.9, color temperature warm 2, dark room expert 2, backlight 20, contrast 99, brightness 53, h sharpness 9, v sharpness 9, color 50, tint 0, dynamic contrast off, color gamut wide, edge enhancer off, color filter off, gamma 2.2 color temperature warm 2. according to the D:v:E HD basics the contrast was way to low wondering if that's because I'm not able to do the white balance and the color management system, it also showed that the brightness was a little low, has great picture color seems to be pretty close to spit on . Any thoughts and or comments would be appreciated thank you

  10. Izvrstan video. Upravo ista stvar se desila i meni. Imam panasonic as 650 i na true cinema modu sa colur temperature warm 2 mi sve izgledalo zuto i neprirodno. Iako sam po raznim forumima citao da je to pravilno i da ustvari to tako treba biti uvijek sam se ''vracao'' na standard mod. Nakon ovog videa dao sam sansu i 5 do 7 dana imao tv na true cinema modu i sad nema sanse da bi se vratio na standard ( koji mi sad izgleda kao da ima previse plave ). Treba par dana da se oko navikne i to je to 🙂 . Sve pohvale za Darka

  11. How do you decide on what brightness (is it 0, +2 or -1) you start calibrating the display. Let's say I want to calibrate my tv for night time viewing or daytime. so before the calibration, do I use those patterns which show shades of black and whites, the greyscale?


  12. Proper 1:1 is too dark and yellow. i agree Its for exact movies…..not 1080i broadcast TV Wrong. … the TVs are calibrated for bright picture in store under heavily strong overhead lights. Its to sell in store and not have a dark yellow image.The problem is TVs are too dark under perfect calibration. Who cares what is perfect color and brightness….it should be, what is pleasing to each individual viewer….not what is the perfect settings. You can maje a TV near accurate if its dark as hell. I wouldn't want to watch that. Better TVs can do this and be brighter. Movied are shown on extremely expensive equipment in theaters in very dark built rooms. I'd use my projector and become a depressed vampire if I just stayed in a perfectly dark room. It sucks with blinds closed all the time. $$$$$$

  13. My set is calibrated and I wouldn't call it yellow and warm, but I do understand how it appears that way after years of watching a blue grayscale. D65 white actually appears on the cool side, especially if the room your tv is in has traditional soft white warm lighting. My only gripe is with these modern day sets I find achieving D65 white and a 6504 grayscale often requires a decreased contrast level to not clip red top end. It is almost as if the majority of these panels are inherently much cooler (maybe the backlight) and therefore they can be driven harder and are more balanced at a cooler color temperature, if that makes sense.

  14. People say that dynamic contrast should always be off. but I was watching ridiculous 6 on Netflix and in the scene where he talks to his dad for the first time in the woods I noticed the backdrop was dark as hell. crushed blacks. but I messed with dynamic contrast and set it to low and the detail came out, then medium and it just made it brighter and high made colors pop more. so I set it to low because it was enough for the detail of the trees to come out but the fact that everyone says to shut it off is in the back of my mind. I have Samsung 55" 6290

  15. Why a calibrated picture appears yellow & warm? Average consumers didn't do anything when they bought their TV. They just plug it in and turn it on. Obviously the TV will be in the default settings such as Vivid, Dynamic, etc which is TOO bluish. After viewing a bluish color temperature for SO LONG, a properly calibrated D65 colour temperature would appear yellowish to them.

    Look at laptop computers, they are NOTORIOUS for having a bluish colour temperature to them!

    Good job of explaining of the value of calibration.

  16. vivid, bright or dynamic mode is most natural, is like you see world by your eyes (just look in the window) , cinema and other "calibrated" settings is – yellow and dark filter on image, is like sepia in photoshop

  17. Hi do you have a calibration for a LG 49UH610v as the presets are WAY off and the yellow colour is almost green, thanks.

  18. Video is a fucking waste of time. If you want the picture on your TV to look brighter just turn off Eye Comfort mode 👍

  19. When you enter in the calibrated TV/monitor world, you just can't stand when a TV set has no white balance adjustment or color management system… I just entered in this world and can't leave it !
    Every colors are (nearly) accurate ! I know that future TVs I will buy will have 20 point white balance and HSL RGBCMY system.
    So I choose LG as the best brand because even if its a HD TV (not Full HD) with some view on online manuals, we have the necessary adjustments ! LG is focusing their products for people who wants to calibrate everything. But some of their products haven't those adjustments. So beware and read carefully the manuals before you buy ! And a last advice, when you buy something like TVs, monitor, speakers, headphones or even PCs look what there's inside ! Be curious !

  20. Please help me, i want to turn my tv to "Warm 1" because i'm playing FH3.. but the problem is: I can't put Warm1 and Warm2.. pls help

  21. Because the current "PROFESSIONAL" color gamut is about 40 years old and outdated and it makes your calibrated TVs and monitors look like SHIT. Use your eyes, not your feelings when calibrating, people. And NEVER pay for calibration more than a few beers.

  22. I am so used to a warm picture that I dont see 6500k as warm.. 5500k is a warm colour temp to me.. I have my monitor set to 5500k, that is also a colour temp that people use when they work on stuff for magazines, print, posters.. etc.. My tv is set to 6500k, there I think 5500k is mostly to warm. It might be ok with movies, but sports and news channels or other stuff, nope there is a reason for the 6500k standard..

  23. I had calibrated 2 panasonic plasmas.. and the problem with those is that the warm colour settings is under 6000k, something like 5900k so it is too warm.. Normal was 7500 (!!!!!) k and cool over 9000k.. so without calibration these tvs are way off… which is really sad..

  24. This video is very enlightening. I've gotten into this by noticing how my new phone S9 plus is has a warmer yellowish display compared to my other LCD devices. After doing some research I came to realize that the s9 plus amoled display comes calibrated and accurate and so it looks more yellow cuz we are all used to blueish inaccurate LCDs

  25. You can get a accurate picture without calibration. Just put the tv in movie or cinema mode and turn all enhancements off, using a calibration disc also helps

  26. Sorry, I still can''t can't agree with spending between 2 & 3 grand on a beautiful 4K tv to enjoy the vivid colors and beautiful contrast then go dull it up like a movie theater picture. Not gonna happen in my house. Especially when watching Hockey , curling . Who wants to look at ice that looks like washed out brown swamp water.

    I will admit though when watching blu rays I will usually set my picture on the blu ray player at Theater mode.

  27. But which is superior? What looks better? Warm or cool/neutral? Or user? What is better? I want answer based on experience, not theories.

  28. It is snowing now where i live. The snow out there is much more whiter than the snow from red dead redemption 2 in warm 2 mode on my lg oled tv. In neutral the snow looks like the real one. I know movies are mastered on warmer temperatures but it seems so unnatural to me.

  29. True to the narrator's point on this video, my recollection going back to the 720p days is that default picture settings skew blue (too cool). However, on the Sony X800E I just bought the presets are so yellow — across the board — that the white balance is visibly off even to an untrained eye (makes people look jaundiced). I have used Photoshop for over two decades to edit photos so I was able to correct for this without professional video calibration tools. However my impression is either that I got a faulty set or that the manufacturer has now gone from erring on the cool side to the warm side. Even the "neutral" setting on the TV is not a true neutral (whites appear as eggshell color).

    Here's my question: Since inaccurate out-of-the-box color can be confusing for consumers to self-correct — and because consumers likely return a lot of HDTVs as a result of poor picture impressions — why don't manufacturers calibrate these sets better before they leave the manufacturing plant? Better yet, why don't today's Smart TVs come with an on-screen prompts to guide the user through some sort of inbuilt calibration procedure for white balance and black levels (basic but better than the "guess" method most people will use)?

    As someone who has been editing photos since the inception of digital photography, I am extremely picky about natural skin tones and about not blowing out highlights or shadow detail. With that in mind, the other thing that confuses me when I read professional HDTV set reviews is the assumption that sky-high contrast ratios are necessary to achieve a good image. I know from editing photos, for example, that the right amount of contrast will help the image "pop" but too much contrast will eliminate detail (shadows become too deep, highlights become too bright and fine details drop out). Does the same hold true for HDTVs?

    In my case, the X800E Sony consists of an IPS panel with sub-par contrast ratios per the professional tech reviews. I don't know if I lucked out but that's ONE problem I didn't have with this set out of the box. The blacks are plenty deep and I don't see clouding or gray where I should see black. To read the professional reviews, however, I should have refused to pay Sony's nearly double-the-going rate for a 4K HDTV of its size/type because it suffers from unacceptable contrast ratios. I see a lot of problems with the picture on this set — including the fact that it won't Auto switch successfully into HDR and that forcing the set into HDR10 on 4K content makes the color look so bad a four-year-old would complain about the picture quality — but poor black levels isn't among the problems I've personally seen.

    I'd like to understand what I am seeing and whether or not it is normal that even the Expert1/2 "Advanced" settings reveal a horrible out-of-the-box white balance.

  30. Hi Darko, I was wondering if the Calman samples you were showing were the Cinema warm/expert presets or vivid presets. I have been experimenting with HCFR and a Colorimeter and my Sony X900e still had almost 20% too much blue in the 80-100 percent greyscale patterns in the expert cinema settings. Is this within the realm of reason or is it a bad colorimeter?

  31. This issue has been driving me nuts. I just got a Sony 900F, and I've used the Cinema Home and Cinema Pro settings and tweaked values based off recommendations from calibrators that use the calibration tools/software. I just don't see how a muddy, yellowish picture across the entire image is considered "accurate" or as "how the content creator intended". Snow is generally white. White clouds are…white…..
    I'm sitting here at my desk looking at my iphone cord, which is clearly white….I guarantee if I shoot video of this and throw it up on my Sony with these Cinema settings that white cord will now look yellow.

    So why would I change settings on my tv that now turns stuff that should be white into something that is now a brownish yellow?
    Certain scenes in movies that I know are during the day, now look like it's dusk when the sun is setting because of how badly yellowish these Cinema settings make the picture.

    I am still completely baffled by all of this.

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