Geeksquad calibration settings, hows their service? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 113 Old 09-20-2011, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok well just got a new panny 50s30, and well after reading over and over of different calibration guides im just getting myself confused.


Im at the point where im willing to pay to get it calibrated. And well witha discount i can get geeksquad to calibrate it for $99 (as suppose to the $199)


R they goood? or am i better just doing it myself... eventually.
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post #2 of 113 Old 09-20-2011, 01:20 PM
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Greetings

It may be left in a better place than what they found ... but since they don't have time to talk to people much ... it is like giving you the correct answer ...

Problem is ... you don't understand why it is the correct answer so it doesn't do you much good.

Paying for an answer that you will not understand ... is that really a bargain?

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post #3 of 113 Old 09-20-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV View Post

Greetings

It may be left in a better place than what they found ... but since they don't have time to talk to people much ... it is like giving you the correct answer ...

Problem is ... you don't understand why it is the correct answer so it doesn't do you much good.

Paying for an answer that you will not understand ... is that really a bargain?

regards

This assumes they even give you the correct answer (AKA an accurate calibration) to begin with. Also, not everyone necessarily cares why or how their TV is calibrated. Some would be happy enough just knowing the job was done right (AKA a correct answer/accurate calibration), especially if they didn't have to pay $400 to $500.
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post #4 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 10:15 AM
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The real issue is that the GS has no "standards" for calibration - you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes they show up with a setup disc, mess with the user menu controls for 20 minutes and they leave. Sometimes a guy shows up with calibration gear but doesn't really know how to calibrate. Other times the guy may have some calibration skills and equipment. Based on the comments of people who have had GS calibrations, you have about the same odds of getting a good cal from GS as you have rolling snake eyes with a pair of dice. The other issue is that they seem to have a 90 minute limit for how long they can spend on the cal. A professional calibrator is typically going to spend 3 to 8 hours on the calibration depending on what controls the TV has and what the owner wants calibrated.

Paying for a pro calibration doesn't seem too bad when you understand that DIY calibration is going to require spending close to $500 on a meter that would be accurate enough for use by a pro (though few pros use meters that inexpensive). And you'll spend probably 100 hours of time studying calibration and practicing before you get your first really good calibration. Calibration can't be done well without understanding what you are doing so it requires quite a bit of study... and practice.

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post #5 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

The other issue is that they seem to have a 90 minute limit for how long they can spend on the cal.

I believe it has been reduced to 80 minutes including equipment setup and take down. They must be getting more efficient....

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post #6 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post


Paying for a pro calibration doesn't seem too bad when you understand that DIY calibration is going to require spending close to $500 on a meter that would be accurate enough for use by a pro (though few pros use meters that inexpensive). And you'll spend probably 100 hours of time studying calibration and practicing before you get your first really good calibration. Calibration can't be done well without understanding what you are doing so it requires quite a bit of study... and practice.

In the long-term and on a larger scale, the DIY approach makes more sense. You can calibrate as many displays as many times as needed for that $500 or so. Paying that much for a single calibration on a single display might give you a better result in the short-term but having to pay for periodic touch-ups and for additional displays can easily drive up costs. When you have your own software/meter combo, all you might need is periodic recalibration of your meter. For someone tech savvy like me, learning how to calibrate is quite easy once you put some time into it and truly get familiar with the displays you plan on calibrating and the software you are using. It's really not that hard as long as the display you're calibrating has controls that work properly and that are able to produce a good result. Also, resources on this site and others give excellent advice/knowledge for free which can really help a first time DIY'er.
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post #7 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:06 PM
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From the description of the Geek Squad service on the Best Buy web site:
Quote:


Our highly trained, ISF-Certified Elite Service Specialists will:
Calibrate your TV to ISF standards for top video performance and create dedicated settings for two different inputs
...
...


Are they lying? If so, can they be stopped by the ISF from advertising that way? If they can be stopped, why hasn't it happened? Or are they really truly ISF certified?

Larry
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post #8 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:14 PM
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My understanding is that they are using a Pod 5 device and software that is ISF rated. With that software, there are specific workflows that are like software "Wizards" that go step by step. I would imagine that GS has its own custom workflow.

I don't know what's included in their workflow, and the skills of the operators may vary, but it seems like they've taken a solid approach to calibration.
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post #9 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:16 PM
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they are ISF certified (they supposed to be, at least). i have heard some stories of guys getting back from training and going out before they pass the test.

some are more into it than others. few are very passionate about it, and really know whats going on. find out who the calibrator is in the area, and call him up. you might find that there are 3 guys in your area, and one doesnt give a crap, one is ok, and one is really good. where do you live?
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post #10 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:29 PM
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I know a GS member who is ISF certified. He had invested in an i1 Pro and Calman software.

When he arrived home with his brand new shiny certificate and new hardware/software, he wanted to apply his new knowledge on his own plasma. However, he found that he didn't have the vaguest idea of what needed to be done. He didn't know where to start.

He called me to help him understand the physical principals underlying the calibration process. It took at least 20 hours of instruction and practice over a two week period for him to feel confident to do it on his own.

He was certified by the ISF.


Larry
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post #11 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryInRI View Post

I know a GS member who is ISF certified. He had invested in an i1 Pro and Calman software.

When he arrived home with his brand new shiny certificate and new hardware/software, he wanted to apply his new knowledge on his own plasma. However, he found that he didn't have the vaguest idea of what needed to be done. He didn't know where to start.

He called me to help him understand the physical principals underlying the calibration process. It took at least 20 hours of instruction and practice over a two week period for him to feel confident to do it on his own.

He was certified by the ISF.


Larry

wow
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post #12 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:58 PM
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ugh. sucks to hear that. they dont hand pick people like they should. whomever interviews the best gets the job. i personally tinkered with calibration for YEARS before i went to training. and with a (small) background in broadcasting and photography. also with a major passion for audio and film. now they train the guy that has hung the most TVs in the shortest amount of time.

dont get me wrong though, there are a few guys around that company who really get it. thats why i say interview them first. especially for a $99 dollar deal. the op has a panny s30. super easy display anyway
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post #13 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

wow

Wow -- truly.

Larry
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post #14 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFairhurst View Post

My understanding is that they are using a Pod 5 device and software that is ISF rated. With that software, there are specific workflows that are like software "Wizards" that go step by step. I would imagine that GS has its own custom workflow.

I don't know what's included in their workflow, and the skills of the operators may vary, but it seems like they've taken a solid approach to calibration.

You just signed up today to post this?

Tyler Pruitt - Technical Liaison at SpectraCal
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post #15 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 05:42 PM
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You might get a kick out of this:

HDJ dot com/showthread.php?10971-BestBuy-Demonstrates-A-Full-Calibration-or-You-Gotta-Be-Kidding-Me&highlight=factory

Buzz
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post #16 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 06:10 PM
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To be fair, the guy that I was talking about did become one of the Geek Squad's good calibrators. He has since left Best Buy and moved to the west coast where he supplements his day job income by doing calibrations. Some of you might even know him.

Larry
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post #17 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryInRI View Post

To be fair, the guy that I was talking about did become one of the Geek Squad's good calibrators. He has since left Best Buy and moved to the west coast where he supplements his day job income by doing calibrations. Some of you might even know him.

Larry

oh...no...west coast....my neighbor hood

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post #18 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 08:12 PM
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Ray,

There's lots of west coast north of Palmdale -- about 2000 miles of it.

Larry
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post #19 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 08:22 PM
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post #20 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryInRI View Post

I know a GS member who is ISF certified. He had invested in an i1 Pro and Calman software.

When he arrived home with his brand new shiny certificate and new hardware/software, he wanted to apply his new knowledge on his own plasma. However, he found that he didn't have the vaguest idea of what needed to be done. He didn't know where to start.

He called me to help him understand the physical principals underlying the calibration process. It took at least 20 hours of instruction and practice over a two week period for him to feel confident to do it on his own.

He was certified by the ISF.


Larry

Larry,
I try and tell people that there is no replacement for "hands on" time.
That is sort of the problem with the ISF program....not enough "hands on" Time.
Experiance and time makes a good calibrator...not a piece of paper.

Just my $.02
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post #21 of 113 Old 09-21-2011, 09:01 PM
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Ray,

Aptitude and attitude are other important factors.

There were some well trained novice techs that worked in the lab and some of them never were able to master the art. They had plenty of time to gain experience but it was that undefined quality that they lacked. Unfortunately, for too long a period of time I had the responsibility of directing their efforts -- and dealing with the inevitable.


Larry
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post #22 of 113 Old 09-22-2011, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryInRI View Post

From the description of the Geek Squad service on the Best Buy web site:



Are they lying? If so, can they be stopped by the ISF from advertising that way? If they can be stopped, why hasn't it happened? Or are they really truly ISF certified?

Larry

So you believe everything every company says about itself? And you believe that every company always does everything it says it does?

Have you ever done one of those things where the teacher says one thing to one student and that student repeats what they were told to the student behind them... and that repeats until the last student (after perhaps 25 or 30 people have repeated the original message to someone else) says what they were told and nothing matches what the teacher said in the original message? The original BB training was done by ISF trainers. Shortly after that BB took over the training with their own people.

Then add to that the fact that pro calibrators get into calibration because they WANT to do it and they invest thousands of dollars on equipment... thousands of their own money. A BB calibrator makes $xx per hour and is told (or volunteers) to go to training and uses equipment he doesn't own or maintain and is allowed probably half the time (or less) that a good calibration requires. How could this sort of program produce anything good compared to the alternative. The only benefit to BB doing "ISF" calibration is that it makes more people aware of calibration. If the general public doesn't read any of the home theater forums or magazines, they probably have no clue what calibration is or that it even exists.

"Movies is magic..." Van Dyke Parks
THX Certified Professional Video Calibration
ISF -- HAA -- www.dBtheatrical.com
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post #23 of 113 Old 09-22-2011, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post

You just signed up today to post this?

No. I signed up to post this: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1361863

We took steps to ensure that Geek Squad and other installers would be able to participate in the lighting study without having to buy additional equipment. I'm a co-chair of the group in CEA that's leading this, so I happened to have some current insight into their process.

Anyway, I needed three posts before I could post the lighting study link (http://lighting.CE.org), so the post above was one of my three...
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post #24 of 113 Old 09-22-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

So you believe everything every company says about itself? And you believe that every company always does everything it says it does?

[snip]



Wow. What ever happened to civility? Why attack me?

So you think that all advertising is untrue? Is the inappropriate advertising that accompanies all your posts true?

I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings.


Larry
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post #25 of 113 Old 09-23-2011, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV View Post

Greetings

It may be left in a better place than what they found ... but since they don't have time to talk to people much ... it is like giving you the correct answer ...

Problem is ... you don't understand why it is the correct answer so it doesn't do you much good.

Paying for an answer that you will not understand ... is that really a bargain?

regards

Is that english? Did you just get back from Dagobah?

I don't understand your answer and I am glad I didn't pay for it.

Trying to decipher this I get -> They calibrate it correctly but they don't chat with you about it so even though it's right it's worthless.... <- Can't be what you were trying and so failing to say.

Or second try -> They train the GS people but not good enough.
If that's what you mean I'm sure your just making this up.



-Brian
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post #26 of 113 Old 09-23-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

Is that english? Did you just get back from Dagobah?

I don't understand your answer and I am glad I didn't pay for it.

Trying to decipher this I get -> They calibrate it correctly but they don't chat with you about it so even though it's right it's worthless.... <- Can't be what you were trying and so failing to say.

Or second try -> They train the GS people but not good enough.
If that's what you mean I'm sure your just making this up.



-Brian

Actually, that is what he's trying to say. I don't agree, however, that an accurate calibration is worthless just because the calibrator doesn't explain what he's doing and why he does it. Some people might wish to pay extra for that but I wouldn't considering how that info is readily available on sites like this.
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post #27 of 113 Old 09-23-2011, 09:52 AM
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Michael is kind of the "Yoda" of calibration......he wants you to answer your own question.....by thinking it out yourself.

Later
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post #28 of 113 Old 09-23-2011, 09:56 AM
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Ok,... I'll Try.

Or, er,... I'll do or do not.

-Brian
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post #29 of 113 Old 09-23-2011, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

Is that english? Did you just get back from Dagobah?

I don't understand your answer and I am glad I didn't pay for it.

Trying to decipher this I get -> They calibrate it correctly but they don't chat with you about it so even though it's right it's worthless.... <- Can't be what you were trying and so failing to say.

Or second try -> They train the GS people but not good enough.
If that's what you mean I'm sure your just making this up.



-Brian

What he's saying is that if you don't understand why the grass isn't neon green any more you might think the TV looks less colorful. If the whites aren't burning your eyes out any more, you might question why the set now looks dim.

Peoples perception of image quality is typically based off of what they have been accustomed to seeing. Without hand holding many people may look at the resultant calibration and feel the images looks muted and dull and just flip back.

Remember Micheal also has the point of view of the calibrator. If he just goes and bangs out his work he'll get the complaints from the people who don't understand what he did. From the point of view of an enthusiast excited about getting a calibration, as long as they have faith in their calibrator, they'll be comfortable with the image without the education.

So to keep with the Star Wars references ... "what he told you was true... from a certain point of view."

Joel Barsotti
SpectraCal
CalMAN Lead Developer
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post #30 of 113 Old 09-23-2011, 10:27 AM
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All clear.

Except for the spoon... I still don't know if there's a spoon or not.

-Brian
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