However, now I find myself trapped going forward due to SpectrCal's pricing/product structure. I'm ok for the next year as I have a maintenance extension, but after that I will have to pay $500/year for a maintenance fee to keep current on the software.
Is this information correct? If, so where did you get it, as I have not found it anywhere on SpectraCal's site and I would think that it would an important fact to know if one were to consider buying the Professional version. And is there a "maintenance fee" for the enthusiast and/or home editions?
Speaking of price comparisons, let's assume for the minute that there are no "maintenance fees" and once you buy the product, you are all set. There is a huge variation in price depending on the gear that you own. Here are some examples:
1. If you own a Spyder 2 and nothing else, both programs will cost you ~$200.
2. If you own an i1 Pro and nothing else, ChromaPure will still cost you $200 and CalMAN will cost you $499.
3. If you own an i1 Pro and an Accupel generator (which happened to be my EXACT hardware up until last week), Chroma Pure costs $200 and CalMAN costs $2995...
4. If you want to buy a Chroma 5 w/software (like I did last week), it costs $695 for the ChromaPure bundle and $999 for the CalMAN bundle. Both are listed as enhanced meters, but I do not know to what extent the CalMAN meter is enhanced. ChromaPure has offset tables built in for Plasma, CRT, Sony LCD, Sony LED, Samsung LCD, Samsung LED, Front projection, and LCD generic. From the description on SpectraCal's website it seems as if the only offset table they provide is for LED calibration, but I do not know for sure (someone please correct me if this information is wrong).
To be fair, there is one instance that I know of where CalMAN can be the lower cost option - If you buy the CalMAN DPG-1200 Digital Pattern Generator. If you want to use automated pattern generation from a reliable reference source (as opposed to pattern generation from a DVD player that may or may not be reference), then one needs to buy either the Accupel HDG 4000 for $1600 (I think) or the CalMAN HDG-1200 for $699. I personally own an HDG 3000 and can attest to its accuracy, stability, ease of use, etc., but I know nothing about the DPG-1200, so I can not comment or compare. If one were to buy a Chroma 5/DPG-1200/CalMAN 4.0 package the cost would be $999 + $699 = $1698, and if one were to buy the Chroma 5 Pro/ChromaPure/Accupel HDG 4000 package it would cost $695 + $1600 = $2295.
But remember, until we get a final word on the "maintenance fee" issue, the cost over time
could change drastically.