Newbie looking to start DIY calibration, Equipment/Software Recommendations - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-16-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am interesting in investing my time and some money to start calibrating my own displays. I have read the stickies and while they are relatively old, I think the science and fundamentals remain the same. They are a great help and will be of continued use moving forward. However, I am worried that that software and equipment mentioned (specifically TomHuffman's post) may be dated (2007).

When I owned a RPTV, I did some modest DIY calibrations with the AVIA DVD and a plastic template for focus and geometry. I ultimately had an ISF calibrator come to my old house and professionally calibrate the set with wonderful results.

Now that I have moved (7-years ago) and have a dedicated theater and several plasma and LCD displays, I am interesting in giving it a go myself. While I know my efforts will not meet the same standards as a trained professional, I am interested in trying to learn more about the science and going DIY as I plan to change my projector in the theater within the next 3-years. So, I figured, now is the time to start my learning.

I ordered the Disney WoW disc and the DVE BD yesterday but I am interesting in hearing some recommendations on possibly using a colorimeter and calibration software. I see the larger threads discussing the possible options but wanted to ask for recommendations specific to my skill level, expectations, and budget. I would like to keep my costs below $1000 (500-700 would be great!) as anything beyond that I would most likely not consider. So, any recommendations for me to get started?

My current equipment in the theater:
HTPC
Panasonic AX100u projector
SMX acoustically transparent screen
DVDO Edge

Other displays that I would consider calibrating would be various LCDs and Plasma displays in the house but nothing beyond my own equipment.

Thanks for looking.

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post #2 of 30 Old 02-16-2012, 07:40 AM
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Purchase an EFI ES-1000 UVcut for $300 on ebay. They are essentially identical to i1Pros (try to get a Revision D version). Purchase the Panasonic BDT-210 Blu-Ray player for less than $150 to use as your source. Download and burn the AVSHD 709 disc (onto DVD or Blu-Ray format) for free. I think that HCFR should support the EFI ES-1000, but if not get Calman ($350 for the DIY version and the i1Pro add-on license) or get Chromapure ($200).

Grand total: $650 to $800

With the above setup, you'll be performing professional level calibrations... Just after you spend 40+ hours on researching WHY the equipment listed is adequate and another 100+ hours on how to calibrate.
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post #3 of 30 Old 02-16-2012, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZandarKoad View Post

Purchase an EFI ES-1000 UVcut for $300 on ebay. They are essentially identical to i1Pros (try to get a Revision D version). Purchase the Panasonic BDT-210 Blu-Ray player for less than $150 to use as your source. Download and burn the AVSHD 709 disc (onto DVD or Blu-Ray format) for free. I think that HCFR should support the EFI ES-1000, but if not get Calman ($350 for the DIY version and the i1Pro add-on license) or get Chromapure ($200).

Grand total: $650 to $800

With the above setup, you'll be performing professional level calibrations... Just after you spend 40+ hours on researching WHY the equipment listed is adequate and another 100+ hours on how to calibrate.

ZandarKoad,

Thank you for the quick and thorough response to my questions. I truly appreciate the tips and advice. When I search eBay, I found a few listings and will continue to monitor while I do more homework. It looks like someone has a unit listed as buy it now for $175. That seems too good to be true so I usually avoid those auctions.

Anyone else with other ideas or agree with ZandarKoad?

Thanks again,
T.Wells
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-16-2012, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

ZandarKoad,

Thank you for the quick and thorough response to my questions. I truly appreciate the tips and advice. When I search eBay, I found a few listings and will continue to monitor while I do more homework. It looks like someone has a unit listed as buy it now for $175. That seems too good to be true so I usually avoid those auctions.

Anyone else with other ideas or agree with ZandarKoad?

Thanks again,
T.Wells

Totally agree with ZandarKoad. I bought a EFI ES-1000 from ebay using $300 as well; and is working very well in ColorHCFR; and I used it to profile my Spyder3. The result is awesome. It confirmed my Spyder3 is consistently measuring red less; so the actual color temp is ~6,000K even though the measurement shows spot on at D65. Other color measurements for CMS work are also off.

Now, with profiling against the EFI ES-1000 (which is the i1Pro uv cut version), the image from my AE4000 is noticeably better, esp. on skin tone, and everything appears much more natural.

Yes, true, be cautious of that $175 deal as well. It even does not show whether it is Rev D.
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post #5 of 30 Old 02-17-2012, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominickwok View Post

Totally agree with ZandarKoad. I bought a EFI ES-1000 from ebay using $300 as well; and is working very well in ColorHCFR; and I used it to profile my Spyder3. The result is awesome. It confirmed my Spyder3 is consistently measuring red less; so the actual color temp is ~6,000K even though the measurement shows spot on at D65. Other color measurements for CMS work are also off.

Now, with profiling against the EFI ES-1000 (which is the i1Pro uv cut version), the image from my AE4000 is noticeably better, esp. on skin tone, and everything appears much more natural.

Yes, true, be cautious of that $175 deal as well. It even does not show whether it is Rev D.

If "be cautious" means checking the guys seller rating and asking pertinent questions like "is it revision D" or "What accessories does it come with?" then I'd agree. If it means don't buy it, then I'd disagree. Just my 2 cents.
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-17-2012, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZandarKoad View Post

If "be cautious" means checking the guys seller rating and asking pertinent questions like "is it revision D" or "What accessories does it come with?" then I'd agree. If it means don't buy it, then I'd disagree. Just my 2 cents.


Thanks. I am with you on "being cautious". I checked into the listing. The title can be deceiving. He is only selling the box, software and cradle (the accessories).

That does not help me.
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-17-2012, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dominickwok View Post

Yes, true, be cautious of that $175 deal as well. It even does not show whether it is Rev D.

I don't think there was anything dishonest about the $175 deal, it clearly says "No meter, only software and accessories". He was just selling batches of the software where the meter was sold separately.


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post #8 of 30 Old 02-17-2012, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I wanted to add that I am also considering buying a DVDO Duo type package with an AutoCal type software. I realize that this is beyond what I mentioned in my above post but I am considering the option.

It sound like this may get me a very good calibration in my theater (quickly and easily too) and allow me to move my DVDO Edge to serve another purpose. I believe I would still have the option of calibrating my other displays with the software and colorimeter but these displays are of much less importance to me.

I had been considering adding another scaler to the house but no so soon. Maybe this push me there.

Thoughts on how this would compare to the EFI ES-1000 approach?

Thanks again,
T.Wells
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-17-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

I don't think there was anything dishonest about the $175 deal, it clearly says "No meter, only software and accessories". He was just selling batches of the software where the meter was sold separately.

I agree. Nothing dishonest about the $175 deal and the item description is very accurate. I just noted that the title could be deceiving.
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post #10 of 30 Old 02-18-2012, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

I wanted to add that I am also considering buying a DVDO Duo type package with an AutoCal type software. I realize that this is beyond what I mentioned in my above post but I am considering the option.

It sound like this may get me a very good calibration in my theater (quickly and easily too) and allow me to move my DVDO Edge to serve another purpose. I believe I would still have the option of calibrating my other displays with the software and colorimeter but these displays are of much less importance to me.

I had been considering adding another scaler to the house but no so soon. Maybe this push me there.

Thoughts on how this would compare to the EFI ES-1000 approach?

Thanks again,
T.Wells

No colorimeter can hold a candle to the i1Pro / EFI ES-1000 in terms of accuracy, which is why I mention it. Normally, you'd pay $900 for a non-UVCut version of the i1Pro, so $300 to $350 is a STEAL. (All the research I've done indicates that the uvCut aspect of the meter has no effect on display calibration.) Not even the C6 has the inherent accuracy of the i1Pro.
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post #11 of 30 Old 02-18-2012, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

I wanted to add that I am also considering buying a DVDO Duo type package with an AutoCal type software. I realize that this is beyond what I mentioned in my above post but I am considering the option.

The DVDO Duo we sell on Amazon does include CalMAN v4, D2 meter and AutoCal.

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post #12 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZandarKoad View Post

Purchase an EFI ES-1000 UVcut for $300 on ebay. They are essentially identical to i1Pros (try to get a Revision D version). Purchase the Panasonic BDT-210 Blu-Ray player for less than $150 to use as your source. Download and burn the AVSHD 709 disc (onto DVD or Blu-Ray format) for free. I think that HCFR should support the EFI ES-1000, but if not get Calman ($350 for the DIY version and the i1Pro add-on license) or get Chromapure ($200).

I'm curious why you suggest he buy a Blu-Ray player instead of using his HTPC? If he intends to use the HTPC as the source, would he be better served using it to do the calibration?
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post #13 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 08:27 AM
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I'm curious why you suggest he buy a Blu-Ray player instead of using his HTPC? If he intends to use the HTPC as the source, would he be better served using it to do the calibration?

Yes, he could (should?) calibrate using his HTPC, but only after he calibrates the input on the display that the HTPC connects to using the Panasonic BDT-210. At least, that's what I would do. It might be an unnecessary step. But if he's going to the trouble of buying a meter, he may as well have a reliable source for other displays.
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post #14 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ZandarKoad View Post

Yes, he could (should?) calibrate using his HTPC, but only after he calibrates the input on the display that the HTPC connects to using the Panasonic BDT-210. At least, that's what I would do. It might be an unnecessary step. But if he's going to the trouble of buying a meter, he may as well have a reliable source for other displays.

If the HTPC is the only source then it's all that really matters.

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post #15 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 09:41 AM
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Hi,

Just another data point to offer.

I have been using projectors since 1999 and have always enjoyed setting them up myself or with a little help (esp from here for example.)

I recently bought a EFI ES-1000 Rev D for $300 from Ebay. I use it to profile a eye1Display2 meter that I've had for some years.

I never knew how accurate the display2 was but profiled with the EFI ES1000 it reads like the EFI ES1000 and I believe the readings of the EFI ES1000.

You want to be sure to shop for Rev D (because they are newer, faster, and more valuable) and be sure it runs though the Eye1 diagnostics without failure.

I can confirm the EFI ES1000 works with HCFR and is seen as I1 Pro.

(I have seen some "new" EFI ES1000's sell on Ebay for ~$160. Seems to good to be true but those were just lucky buyers.)


-Brian
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post #16 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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First off, I wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful help and advice I have received here.

I think I have myself down to 2 choices.

First, I will say that after reading here and in several other places, I am sold on the EFI ES1000. Therefore, I think I am going to proceed in one of two directions.

1. Buy a calibration bundle (DVDO Duo, entry level meter, and software with an automatic calibration (e.g. CalMAN or ChoromaPure). Then, keep watching eBay for a EFI ES1000 to add in the near future.

- Pro to this path is that I will get a quick fast calibration in my theater and allow myself to learn on some of my plasma displays that I don't consider critical viewing devices (my kids do though).

2. Get a EFI ES1000 (Rev. D) on ebay and purchase CalMan or ChromaPura.
- Pro to this path is that it is cheaper and I'll have a better meter from the start.

To answer a few questions listed above. I use HTPCs with all of my displays. Also included are a few DVRs that run through a matrix switch.

Feedback on these is also greatly appreciated and thanks again for all the help in getting a new guy started.

Kind regards,
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post #17 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

To answer a few questions listed above. I use HTPCs with all of my displays. Also included are a few DVRs that run through a matrix switch.

Feedback on these is also greatly appreciated and thanks again for all the help in getting a new guy started.

Kind regards,
T.Wells

CalMAN 4 also has the CalPC add-on so you can use it to calibrate your HTPCs as well. With CalPC we control the LUT/ICC/DDC as a single set of presets so you can easly switch from day/night/etc... with just a right click on the CalPC client tray app.

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post #18 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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CalMAN 4 also has the CalPC add-on so you can use it to calibrate your HTPCs as well. With CalPC we control the LUT/ICC/DDC as a single set of presets so you can easly switch from day/night/etc... with just a right click on the CalPC client tray app.

Yes, CalPC looks very interesting to me. The theater would never need day/night settings as the room is completely light controlled. The other TVs with HTPCs would benefit but I do not have a mouse setup as I use RF or IP control. I assume that CalPC works with plasma, LCD, and front projection displays as none of my HTPC are actually running a monitor.

I think CalPC would automate things for me and could save me the expense of the DVDO Duo (only real purpose for me was to automate calibration in the theater).

Thanks,
T.Wells
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post #19 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

Yes, CalPC looks very interesting to me. The theater would never need day/night settings as the room is completely light controlled. The other TVs with HTPCs would benefit but I do not have a mouse setup as I use RF or IP control. I assume that CalPC works with plasma, LCD, and front projection displays as none of my HTPC are actually running a monitor.

I think CalPC would automate things for me and could save me the expense of the DVDO Duo (only real purpose for me was to automate calibration in the theater).

Thanks,
T.Wells

You can remotely log in to the CalPC client over your network, although I guess that would be a bit of a pain for changing day/night mode.

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post #20 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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You can remotely log in to the CalPC client over your network, although I guess that would be a bit of a pain for changing day/night mode.

Yes, most likely more than I would do. Now if the client synced based on the time on the PC, that would be sweet!
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post #21 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 08:02 PM
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Yes, most likely more than I would do. Now if the client synced based on the time on the PC, that would be sweet!

Oooh, that would be uber!
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post #22 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

Yes, CalPC looks very interesting to me. The theater would never need day/night settings as the room is completely light controlled. The other TVs with HTPCs would benefit but I do not have a mouse setup as I use RF or IP control. I assume that CalPC works with plasma, LCD, and front projection displays as none of my HTPC are actually running a monitor.

I think CalPC would automate things for me and could save me the expense of the DVDO Duo (only real purpose for me was to automate calibration in the theater).

Thanks,
T.Wells

Actually, a Duo or other processor with grayscale and CMS control would still help. Whatever app (media player, paint software, etc.) you are working with must be able to use ICM profiles for them to be of benefit. Not all apps do, and this includes some of the more popular commercial media playing software.

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post #23 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 09:46 PM
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Yes, most likely more than I would do. Now if the client synced based on the time on the PC, that would be sweet!

I like that idea. Joel I think we need to add TOD option to the features wishlist for the next client

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post #24 of 30 Old 02-19-2012, 10:46 PM
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Actually, a Duo or other processor with grayscale and CMS control would still help. Whatever app (media player, paint software, etc.) you are working with must be able to use ICM profiles for them to be of benefit. Not all apps do, and this includes some of the more popular commercial media playing software.

You still get the gamma/grayscale correction with all apps.

But yes to get gamut correction you need an ICC aware app. Although I do believe MPC-HC supports ICC for video playback.

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post #25 of 30 Old 02-21-2012, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am still considering my options which leads me to another question.

In terms of doing a DIY calibration, it appears that my projector (Panasonic AX100U) offers the following for adjustment:

Contrast
Brightness
Color
Tint
Sharpness
Color Temp
Harmonizer (Manual)

Advanced:
Gamma H
Gamma M
Gamma L
Contr R
Contr G
Contr B
Bright R
Bright G
Bright B
Overscan

Would the DVDO Duo add much more to my calibration experience? If so, would you consider those options to be of significance for me to include a Duo in my setup? Based on my reading, the CMS of the Duo looks superior to the AX100 and DVDO Edge due to the secondary color gamut control, lum control for color gamut, white point settings for grayscale. However, I wanted to hear the opinions of the experienced folks here in the thread and forum.

Currently, the main reason I am using the DVDO Edge (in addition to doing is normal VP work) is to use the vertical stretch feature in combination with my anamorphic lens. It (the Edge) obviously lacks a a CMS implementation and I read that it can not (or will not) be added.

Thanks,
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post #26 of 30 Old 02-21-2012, 07:09 PM
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Since we are talking about equipment purchasing, what humidity proof case and other anti-humidity stuff to buy to hold my meters. Would prefer one that is not too expensive and can hold an eye-one pro, i1lt, and a C6 if possible. At least room for 2 of the 3 meters.


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post #27 of 30 Old 02-21-2012, 07:28 PM
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Since we are talking about equipment purchasing, what humidity proof case and other anti-humidity stuff to buy to hold my meters. Would prefer one that is not too expensive and can hold an eye-one pro, i1lt, and a C6 if possible. At least room for 2 of the 3 meters.

I did extensive research on this topic a few months ago, even before I knew what meter to buy!

There was only one choice: The Pelican 1510. Fully customizable foam interior.

http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-1510-C...880967&sr=1-14

But that was a while back... There may be others worth looking at.
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-23-2012, 06:52 AM
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Amazon has the i1Display Pro for $249.

sorry, but is that completely different than the i1 Pro and the EFI ES-1000 meters mentioned here?
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post #29 of 30 Old 02-23-2012, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

Amazon has the i1Display Pro for $249.

sorry, but is that completely different than the i1 Pro and the EFI ES-1000 meters mentioned here?

I believe the i1Display Pro is a colorimeter, wheareas the other two are spectroradiometers. The spectros are the standard against which the colorimeters are calibrated.
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-23-2012, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

Amazon has the i1Display Pro for $249.

sorry, but is that completely different than the i1 Pro and the EFI ES-1000 meters mentioned here?

Welcome to the nightmare that is X-Rite's naming conventions. What you saw was the i1 Display Pro 3. The i1Pro is different.
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