Need Advice About Calibrating - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-30-2011, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I just purchased a Panasonic TC-PN50ST30. I've been reading a lot about complex calibration procedures. Meters, gauges, etc. These are tools I have never used.

What is the best way to start how to do a well done calibration? Where to begin? How to learn?

Any advice would be greatly appreciate!

I'm glad to have joined you guys!!!

Tony
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 01:03 AM
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I am on a similar journey but possibly a little further done the line... google greyscale and colour calibration for dummies..itll give you an idea of what things you will need, i got the xrite i display 2 well worth the 100 or so pounds and the dve hd basics blueray disc and color hcfr software. with this equipment you will be able to calibrate your pc monitors with ease and after a tough learning curve get started on the tv calibration.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 04:12 AM
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Here ya go, boys. There is indeed a learning curve so put aside some time....

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=852536

Buzz
THX Certified Video Calibrator

 

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of your replies.

Buzz,

Wow! I guess I'll need to put Grad School on hold for a while!!! haha, that's awesome....thanks so much, bro

Tony from Tampa
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toneuc View Post
Thanks to both of your replies.

Buzz,

Wow! I guess I'll need to put Grad School on hold for a while!!! haha, that's awesome....thanks so much, bro

Tony from Tampa
Once you read through Tom Huffman's post a couple of times you can go over to his site and watch the videos of how it's done - http://chromapure.com/demos.asp

Buzz
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-01-2011, 11:41 AM
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You asked for the "best way" - the BEST way is to become an unpaid apprentice/intern for a highly experienced calibration professional and put in 1000s of hours learning how to do things correctly. The next BEST way would be to pay an experienced calibrator to train you 0ne-on-one. The next best way would be to spend ~$2000 for the 3-day THX Video calibration certification training program or the equivalent ISF training program, then spend another 500-1000 hours on your own putting what you learned into practice.

After those "best ways" you get into DIY and the "Calibration For Dummies" thread here on AVS is something that has helped many get started. I wouldn't necessarily put this in the "best way" category, but it's certainly one of the few "free" options for learning calibration on your own without spending a lot of money. It won't be "free" though. I'd guess that to get really GOOD at calibrating, you'll invest 100-200 or more hours in study and practice before you get your first calibration that's reasonably good. And you will still have to spend some money on a meter and you may or may not want to spend money on calibration software (you will need calibration software, the question is whether the FREE software is acceptable and whether it supports the meter you get or whether spending money on calibration software has enough benefits in meter support, ease of use, and customization to make it worthwhile over the free calibration software). It's VERY VERY easy to spend $300 on a meter. In fact, $300 or thereabouts (some may say $200, but I question the value of meters that inexpensive) is really rock bottom. The issue with these lower-cost meters is that they use color filters that inescapably change over time. So they are only accurate for a year or 2 or 3 before the filters begin aging/drifting enough to throw the meter off. And often, meters on the inexpensive end of the cost spectrum have nobody offering calibration services for them, not even the original manufacturer. So at some point you have to throw the meter away and get a new one. But you have no way of knowing how far the meter has drifted unless you have something to compare it to. Some companies like Spectracal will "characterize" a meter against a freshly calibrated highly accurate meter but that's not the same thing as calibrating the meter and the meter will continue to drift as the filters age. You can load the characterization data into Spectracal's calibration software (CalMAN) if you have a version that permits characterization (the lowest cost hobbyist/home version may not support characterization, I'm not sure).

Many people faced with these issues simply hire a professional calibrator, often for $300-$400 depending on what calibration controls are available in the video display (and possibly more for 3D calibration if desired, since 2D calibration doesn't do anything to improve 3D image accuracy). The pro takes care of keeping the meter calibrated, often uses a far more expensive (and accurate) meter than hobbyists are willing to pay for, keeps current with changes in video displays and new display technologies like 3D and LED illumination of LCDs or projectors (which may not be measured accurately by lower-cost meters). So the pro calibrator insulates the home theater enthusiast for the large investment in time (to learn and practice) calibration as well as the potentially significant cost of purchasing a meter that may be useless in 5 years or less.

"Movies is magic..." Van Dyke Parks
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ISF -- HAA -- www.dBtheatrical.com
Widescreen Review -- Home Theater & Sound
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-01-2011, 01:22 PM
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I'd say from a cost standpoint getting a pro calibration done makes sense if you plan on only calibrating one or a few displays once (or with pretty infrequent 'touch-ups'). If you have many displays to calibrate and you need to recalibrate them pretty frequently (like 6 months or less between calibrations), then it makes more sense from a cost standpoint to get a decent meter/software bundle and do periodic recalibrations of the meter or replace it when needed if recalibration is not available. Good meters for DIY'ers include the new i1 Display 3 colorimeter (standard or enhanced) and/or the ColorMunki or i1 Pro spectros.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-01-2011, 01:37 PM
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Greetings

Cost - time - quality Triangle.

You put into it what you get out of it. Sometimes you get less out of it than what you put into it.

If the cost of your time is worth little ... then spend the time to learn how to do it yourself.

Then go spend $400 on a trustworthy meter ... and $200 more on a software package that will run said hardware.

Now you are in it for $600 and you still have lots of time left for studying and reading and reading and reading and practicing and hoping that what you read, you fully understood. No magical hand comes out of the monitor to slap you if you misunderstand something and then do it wrong as a result.

Regards

Michael Chen @ The Laser Video Experience
ISF/THX/TLV Video Instructor
The Video Calibration Education Hub - www.TLVEXP.com

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