Comparing Results between CalMan and HCFR - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

A couple people in another thread heard that I recently purchased CalMan and asked for a comparison of results between CalMan and HCFR, so I started this thread to share the results.

DISCLAIMER #1: I am totally new to the world of TV calibration - I've been learning as much as I can, but I certainly have much left to learn. I am using both apps the best way I know how, but it's entirely possible, and likely, I am using them incorrectly or have them improperly configured. This thread is part learning experience for me anyway, so if you have any suggestions for other things for me to try out, I am all ears.

DISCLAIMER #2: I am not making any statements about which software is "better". I am no where near qualified to make such statements (see disclaimer #1). I am just showing the results I got. Make your own conslusions. Though I am curious to hear what the more experienced on here have to say.

Equipment:
TV: Pioneer SD-643HD5 RPTV
Colorimeter: Eye-One Display 2
Calibration software: CalMan v3.2 & HCFR 2.0.1
Test Patterns: DVE HD-Basics (BluRay)

How I tested: for HCFR, I used Kal's *excellent* guide here. For CalMan, I used a combination of the built-in help and Kal's guide. I attempted my first grayscale calibration about a week or so ago using CalMan. Last night, to gather data for this thread, I re-ran measurements using CalMan and then ran measurements using HCFR immediately afterwards. The TV had been on for a couple hours before I took measurements. I plugged the data into Excel so I could graph both sets of results using charts that have consistent scales, dimensions, etc. I felt this was the best way to make accurate judgements about the differences. My Excel, Calman, and HCFR files are in the ZIP file attached to this thread.

So, without further ado:



I couldn't figure out how to get the individual RGB values for gamma from CalMan, so they aren't shown here.




I plotted the target curve the way it shows up in the respective app, which is why they look different here. I guess I should have made them consistent.




The color coding indicates how far apart the results are between CalMan and HCFR. The more red, the farther apart the values are.


I will say one thing: the HCFR results leave me thinking I still have quite a bit of calibration left to do, whereas I felt like I was more or less done with CalMan. So this begs the question, which app do I listen to?

 

CalMan & HCFR Results.zip 52.6904296875k . file
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post #2 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 06:23 PM
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Don't take offense, but from the data I have to say that you have misconfigured something.

There have been other comparisons of HCFR and Calman and while the results have been different, they are not as wildly different as what you are showing.
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post #3 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 07:02 PM
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I'm scratching my head why your xyY measurements vary that much. For the most part your procedure seemed good. Only two questions come to mind:

- Were you in a light controlled room or is there a chance that light in the room could have affected readings? I took my readings with the only light being a bulb behind the TV and the laptop monitor.

- Did you move the meter at all? I know I moved mine a bit because I did CalMAN first and then lifted the meter for the HCFR calibrate the meter step. It probably would have been better if I would have done HCFR and then CalMAN because my SXRD doesn't have stellar uniformity and measurements vary when the meter moves.

Anyway, my measurements are generally within repeatability regardless of the software used. I just did grayscale and attached my readings. I like the new "alt + direction arrow" added to CalMAN and I greatly prefer the non-normalized luminance graph in CalMAN, but as far as readings go I really get no significant differences.

HCFR:


CalMAN:

LL
LL

 

COMPARE.zip 1.7802734375k . file
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post #4 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 07:03 PM
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Using HCFR, I've found that configuring the sensor (Measures/Sensor/Configure) set to "Average many reads on dark measurements" produces a higher degree of accuracy. Also periodic calibration of sensor offsets is also beneficial( I use 10 min). And, I respect that keeping the room as dark as possible helps too !
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post #5 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alluringreality View Post

- Were you in a light controlled room or is there a chance that light in the room could have affected readings? I took my readings with the only light being a bulb behind the TV and the laptop monitor.

Same as you, the only light was a lamp behind the RPTV and my laptop screen, which stayed put for the duration of the exercise.

Quote:


- Did you move the meter at all? I know I moved mine a bit because I did CalMAN first and then lifted the meter for the HCFR calibrate the meter step. It probably would have been better if I would have done HCFR and then CalMAN because my SXRD doesn't have stellar uniformity and measurements vary when the meter moves.

Yes, I did move the meter, and for the same reason as you: I did CalMan first and then needed to lift the meter to calibrate HCFR. I put it back in roughly the same spot - it shouldn't have been off by more than, say, three inches. I'll try again tonight with HCFR first to see if that changes anything.
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post #6 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvincent View Post

Don't take offense, but from the data I have to say that you have misconfigured something.

What do you think I might have misconfigured?
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post #7 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoe View Post

What do you think I might have misconfigured?

The most obvious example is how did you configure the sensor in HCFR (CRT/LCD)?
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post #8 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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As per Kal's instructions in his guide I did the following:

- "LCD" calibration mode
- I calibrated the sensor offsets by placing the colorimeters on the inside cover of a black DVD case.
- Rec 709 color space

I just noticed that Kal's guide says:
Quote:


If you run into issues such as finding that the software locks up or takes very long (30-60 seconds) to take readings sometimes, you may want to try "CRT" mode instead. We're still trying to figure out the logic behind all this and which is the best mode to use for CRT rear/front projectors - sorry!

HCFR did appear to take a long time making readings (though it was more like 15-20 seconds) so I will try CRT mode tonight to see if that makes a difference.
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post #9 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 08:01 PM
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For CRT TVs you need to be in CRT mode because the sensor needs to sync to the refresh rate of the TV.
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post #10 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvincent View Post

There have been other comparisons of HCFR and Calman and while the results have been different, they are not as wildly different as what you are showing.

Any difference should scare the hell out of someone.

Looks like a 3rd piece of software is needed to determine "who's right".
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post #11 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoe View Post

DISCLAIMER #1: I am totally new to the world of TV calibration

He's also using a Display 2.. drift may be an issue...

ColorHCFR / CalMAN and X-Rite Display 2 or LT / I1 Pro Comparisons and Observations

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post #12 of 65 Old 12-30-2008, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I re-ran the measurements, this time with HCFR set to "CRT" mode. The results are much more similar this time, so I guess that was the cause. The differences flare up a bit in the lower levels. I'm guessing some of this is to be expected.











 

CalMan & HCFR Results - 2nd Try.zip 52.4326171875k . file
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post #13 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
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If I change CalMan's default DeltaE formula from "1976" to "u*v*" then the DeltaE graph matches much more closely with HCFR:



Which one is the more popular to use?
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post #14 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachComber View Post

Any difference should scare the hell out of someone.

Looks like a 3rd piece of software is needed to determine "who's right".

Why should it scare somebody?

In the first case he had the meter configured incorrectly so of course they should be a difference.

In other comparisons the differences have been within the error of the meter, so for all intents and purposes they are the same.
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post #15 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoe View Post

Ok, so I re-ran the measurements, this time with HCFR set to "CRT" mode. The results are much more similar this time, so I guess that was the cause. The differences flare up a bit in the lower levels. I'm guessing some of this is to be expected.

IIRC the Calman team have worked with the meter vendors and have implemented some algorithms in the S/W which improves their accuracy in the low light readings.
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post #16 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 07:19 AM
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Thanks for the info Schmoe. This clears up a lot for me.

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post #17 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 08:47 AM
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jvincent

Quote:
IIRC the Calman team have worked with the meter vendors and have implemented some algorithms in the S/W which improves their accuracy in the low light readings.

Simply applying averaging to bad input data only provides you with a median value which is more repeatable however it is still inaccurate data. The i1Pro needs to be re "Dark Measured" every ten minutes as it is not temperature compensated and will drift over time. This makes attempting to characterize the noise of the instrument rather pointless as it is constantly changing. The Dark Measure noise is subtracted from the actual measurement and there is no additional methodology on improving the readings available from X-Rite for this instrument. We have been working very closely with Sequel/GretagMacBeth/X-Rite for over nine years now and can tell you that aside from applying averaging to the instruments data there is little that can be done to improve its performance.

The instruments data becomes unreliable as it approaches 1.0 fL and becomes progressively worse as the light intensity diminishes. Derek has agreed with this in previous posts so I see no reason why you should think differently. The same thing applies as far as averaging the data for any of the filter based instruments which most users currently have.
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post #18 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 08:53 AM
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The probe in question here was the Display2/LT which I believe has better low light performance than the Pro.

I was going from memory and I thought I remembered that there was something beyond simply averaging that they were doing but I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

I generally ignore the 0% and 10% reading from my Display2 anyway.
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post #19 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghibliss View Post

jvincent



Simply applying averaging to bad input data only provides you with a median value which is more repeatable however it is still inaccurate data. The i1Pro needs to be re "Dark Measured" every ten minutes as it is not temperature compensated and will drift over time. This makes attempting to characterize the noise of the instrument rather pointless as it is constantly changing. The Dark Measure noise is subtracted from the actual measurement and there is no additional methodology on improving the readings available from X-Rite for this instrument. We have been working very closely with Sequel/GretagMacBeth/X-Rite for over nine years now and can tell you that aside from applying averaging to the instruments data there is little that can be done to improve its performance.

The instruments data becomes unreliable as it approaches 1.0 fL and becomes progressively worse as the light intensity diminishes. Derek has agreed with this in previous posts so I see no reason why you should think differently.

Yes the i1Pro does become unreliable under 1fL. This thread is about the Display2 which does not require data modelling to get the best result just a longer integration time.

BTW, our low light handler for the i1Pro is not just a simple average. We take 20 to 30 readings and then run a data modelling algorithm to determine the result. This includes removing noise and any readings suspect of being of low quality.

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post #20 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 09:52 AM
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First off... thanks Schmo for taking the time to run both programs and making the comparisons.

For the DIY and for the non professional this teaches a very important lesson, that the way the setup/configuration of ALL settings is of the upmost importance.

Very interesting and impressive.

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post #21 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvincent View Post

Why should it scare somebody?

In the first case he had the meter configured incorrectly so of course they should be a difference.

In other comparisons the differences have been within the error of the meter, so for all intents and purposes they are the same.

Because even in the second comparison which is supposedly correct, there is still too much variation in the results.

Is your gamma 2.32 or 2.2 at 100IRE?

Is your red +105 at 10IRE or is it 90?

Is your blue luminance above the target or below the target over the entire scale?

Yes, it would scare the hell out of me - perhaps not you, but it does me with people that want reproducable results.
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post #22 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachComber View Post

Because even in the second comparison which is supposedly correct, there is still too much variation in the results.

Is your gamma 2.32 or 2.2 at 100IRE?

Is your red +105 at 10IRE or is it 90?

Is your blue luminance above the target or below the target over the entire scale?

Yes, it would scare the hell out of me - perhaps not you, but it does me with people that want reproducable results.

Not trying to pick on Schmoe, but he has said himself that he is a novice so I wouldn't take his numbers as gospel.

Some of the very experienced folks on this forum have done comparisons between the two pieces of S/W with the Display2 and have had differences that were within the error of the instrument.

Calman is probably better for novices in that they handle a lot of the setup and guide the user through the steps. They have also implemented some proprietary features that give them an advantage for low light readings. That's what you are paying for.

HCFR requires a little more hand-holding in that you have to set up manually. If you mess that up, it makes sense that the readings would be very different.
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post #23 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvincent View Post

Not trying to pick on Schmoe, but he has said himself that he is a novice so I wouldn't take his numbers as gospel.

Some of the very experienced folks on this forum have done comparisons between the two pieces of S/W with the Display2 and have had differences that were within the error of the instrument.

Calman is probably better for novices in that they handle a lot of the setup and guide the user through the steps. They have also implemented some proprietary features that give them an advantage for low light readings. That's what you are paying for.

HCFR requires a little more hand-holding in that you have to set up manually. If you mess that up, it makes sense that the readings would be very different.

I don't have charts to post, but I have used both programs with the Display2 and I thought my results correlated pretty well.

I am surprised with the above observation that the Calman is easier to use than HCFR. I used HCFR first, with both the guides by Kal and Huffman, and found everything straightforward and sailed easily through calibration attempts on two displays. After reading about Calman, I decided to give that a shot as well, and I did not find it very effective at guiding the novice. It took me a couple of hours to get the feel for the interface, before getting the hang of it, and I still don't quite get what to do with the target diagrams. I had to use it in intermediate mode, as the novice mode did not offer the features I needed, at least in an apparent fashion. Irrespective, both adequately accomplish what I am trying to do.

I was toying with the idea of monkeying around with them some more this weekend, and if I get some good side by side results, I try and remember to post them.
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post #24 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvincent View Post

For CRT TVs you need to be in CRT mode because the sensor needs to sync to the refresh rate of the TV.

They also use different calibration tables in the meters, so for an apples-to-apples comparison, one should always use the same "mode" when comparing across software. That being said, the OP should use CRT mode anyway since, well, he's calibrating a CRT-based display!

Color accuracy evangelist and CalMAN insider
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post #25 of 65 Old 12-31-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghibliss View Post

Simply applying averaging to bad input data only provides you with a median value which is more repeatable however it is still inaccurate data. The i1Pro needs to be re "Dark Measured" every ten minutes as it is not temperature compensated and will drift over time. This makes attempting to characterize the noise of the instrument rather pointless as it is constantly changing. The Dark Measure noise is subtracted from the actual measurement and there is no additional methodology on improving the readings available from X-Rite for this instrument. We have been working very closely with Sequel/GretagMacBeth/X-Rite for over nine years now and can tell you that aside from applying averaging to the instruments data there is little that can be done to improve its performance.

The instruments data becomes unreliable as it approaches 1.0 fL and becomes progressively worse as the light intensity diminishes. Derek has agreed with this in previous posts so I see no reason why you should think differently. The same thing applies as far as averaging the data for any of the filter based instruments which most users currently have.

Cliff - Thanks! Since you are jumping in to participate, I think it would be great for someone to compare your app against ours and HCFR's, as well. Also, given your experience that you note, I am sure that we could engage in a fairly informative discussion on various noise reduction (really: data reduction) techniques as they are applied to measurement of color, but that should probably be done in a different thread. I like statistics a lot, but even my mind can wander with some of the drier techniques/methods (e.g., using SEM to test for violation of the assumption of heteroskedasticity)!

Bill

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post #26 of 65 Old 01-01-2009, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear5k View Post

They also use different calibration tables in the meters, so for an apples-to-apples comparison, one should always use the same "mode" when comparing across software. That being said, the OP should use CRT mode anyway since, well, he's calibrating a CRT-based display!

Makes perfect sense! I was following the instructions in Kal's guide which said to start with LCD first and fall back to CRT if the measurements take too long. Seems this is wrong.
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post #27 of 65 Old 01-04-2009, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for this post. I am currently wondering if it is worth the more than double cost to go with the CalMan\\Display 2 bundle vs. an I1 LT with HCFR. I merely want my black levels to be pretty good and my colors relatively accurate. I can't justify the cost of a pro cal when the set will be used in a non-controlled watching environment (living room).

My personality is that I always try to drink champagne on a beer budget.

For a first time BEGINNER like myself would it be recommended to go with the CalMan or just get to know the basics using HCFR and the great tutorials written here and elsewhere?
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post #28 of 65 Old 01-04-2009, 02:23 PM
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I think you answered your own question. If budget is an issue then DisplayLT + HCFR is your best option.
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post #29 of 65 Old 01-05-2009, 03:39 AM
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I think you are right. Plus it is much easier to explain the $130 cost than the $280.
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post #30 of 65 Old 01-05-2009, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassfreak View Post

Thanks for the info Schmoe. This clears up a lot for me.


I would like to say thanks as well. Still on the fence about getting CalMAN here. Not sure some of the extra features are worth $200 to me. I already have the D2 and there is a new version of ColorHCFR comming out. I hope they add the ability to switch to dE94 to it.

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