Taking it to the next level - AVS Forum
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys. I've been playing around with my i1 Display 2 in HFCR, adjusting color and greyscale, and having a good time doing it.

I'm interested in learning as much as I can about professional screen calibration. Not just enthusiast level but professional level, like the guys in the ISF calibrators thread. That being said, I'm usually pretty good at being a self starter and finding relevant content on google.

I've noticed two things however: first, there seems to be a huge gap between the pros and the DVD disk calibrators. Second, there doesn't seem to be a good central source of knowledge on the subject. There are tons of threads talking about this aspect of calibration or that aspect, but nothing that starts slowly and goes on to higher level stuff. Information on the forums is very inconsistent like that. So I wonder, how do the pros get their expertise? Am I missing some super-awesome website that I just haven't found?

How is the ISF certification course? Do you learn most of what you need to be a pro there? Is the course actually good for learning, or is it more of a "you should already know this stuff" kind of certification course?

I'm sorry if this is asked to death, but I'm having a hard time getting started in my learning and it's not motivating to try and piece together a big puzzle with scraps of information here and there on the forums!

Thanks guys!
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:02 AM
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Greetings,

A good place to start is to go to the tlvexp.com site and read the articles there on how the industry really works and what you are not taught at the isf course.

I started at a time when there was even less knowledge available on the subject and pieced it all together then. compared to what we had in 1999, it is a piece of cake today. For those willing to put in the effort that is.

The successful calibrators are pretty much all self taught first... Rather than attending a class first to get their start.

The industry does not work quite the way the isf program portrays things. Most find out the hard way after the fact when it is almost too late in the game.

Regards

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

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Old 03-09-2012, 12:22 AM
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Not to discourage but it's a rough field to be in (especially in the current economy) and considering the up front investment and risk involved with a return on that substantial investment (can easily exceed $10K for certifications and new gear) it should not be considered a logical career move by anyone new to this particular area of AV.

This coming from somebody that was enrolled in the courses and had the financing in place for the latest gear before the economy started to go south, in retrospect I am glad I didn't proceed (and I truly enjoy calibrating). I even had a good friend that was one of the better calibrators out there, truly knew the stuff as well as anyone (ISF/HAA/Cedia and Masters in Audio), and he found himself selling off the gear for pennies on the dollar after several years of trying to make a career change with it.

I know that sounds awful but I truly wish you the best of luck if you 'jump in'.

Jason
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I just want to put out there that I already work as a freelance computer tech. I find calibrations would be a good addition to what I already offer my customers. Even if it doesn't pay off right away, i'm ok with that.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:53 AM
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It's very difficult to become a successful professional calibrator.

There is a lot more involved than just hooking up a laptop and meter and adjusting someone's display.

You'll need to:
  • Have a full understanding of the fundamentals of calibrating, through a combination of spending many hours educating yourself, and taking courses.
  • Learn the differences of the various equipment and software available, and learning how to properly use them in all situations.
  • Spend hours and hours of practice in honeing your craft, continuously familiarizing yourself with all types of displays...each make, model & year, and the nuances of each, through a combination of research, doing free calibrations, and/or buying the latest displays to practice on and then reselling them.
  • Learn to successfully market yourself and the benefits of calibration
  • Be willing to travel
  • Love what you're doing....so much so that seeing an uncalibrated display is annoying to you.
  • Be willing to invest a large sums of money without a guarantee of return on your investment


And even then, there is no guarantee of becoming a successful pro calibrator.

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Displays are like 100% cotton t-shirts. Always buy a size larger than you think you'll need, as they tend to shrink over time.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsskid View Post

...so much so that seeing an uncalibrated display is annoying to you.

Isn't this already the case for everyone??

I'm detective John Kimball!!
I'm a cop you idiot!!
Now, I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions... and I want them answered immediately.
-What's your question Sir?
-Who is your daddy, and what does he do?
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .:GRiFFiN:. View Post

Isn't this already the case for everyone??

I can't speak for everyone.

ISF Calibrator
Samsung PN64F8500
Pioneer Kuro Elite Pro-111FD
Pioneer Kuro BDP-320
Displays are like 100% cotton t-shirts. Always buy a size larger than you think you'll need, as they tend to shrink over time.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:56 AM
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The Calibration For Dummies thread here has all the information.

I would also warn those thinking about trying to make a career of calibration that the playing field has drastically changed. In the 1990s you could BARELY find a calibrator and it might take MONTHS to get an appointment if you could find a calibrator in your area or who was traveling through. Since then, both ISF and more recently, THX have been running training programs for people wanting calibration training and certification. Today there are many thousands of people trained by ISF and many hundreds trained by THX. You are no longer competing with 20 calibrators spread across the country... there could be 20 active calibrators in a major metro area alone. People who may already have a customer base who aren't likely to give a newbie a chance. You do NOT get inundated with calls for calibrations once you open a web site and announce your availability for calibration work... you will have to market yourself. And if the tech stuff is easy for you, it's quite possible that the marketing end of the business will completely elude you (there aren't many people who are good at BOTH sales/marketing AND the technical side of video). And even if you are good at marketing yourself, finding enough people who are interested in calibration to earn a good living wage with so many other calibrators out there trying to get the same customers to go their way... it's not the easy way to make a living that it might seem. And "in this economy" as someone else mentioned... do NOT underestimate the power of that statement. Many calibrators have seen more than a 50% drop-off in the number of calibrations they do per month compared to prior to the huge crash in 2008. The pile on the HUNDREDS of new "calibrators" being trained by ISF and THX each year and you have to wonder if the whole thing is getting saturated to the point there are far more calibrators looking for calibrations than there are people who are willing to pay for calibration.

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Old 03-09-2012, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys, I understand the risks involved. I am not going gung ho quitting my day job and hoping to serve 20 customers a week calibrating.

I asked for learning resources, not business advice, though I do appreciate everyones concern. Some people have unrealistic business expectations (in all business fields). Also, if I was a pro calibrator I wouldn't want the information to be too easily available either I suppose
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV View Post

Greetings,

A good place to start is to go to the tlvexp.com site and read the articles there on how the industry really works and what you are not taught at the isf course.

I started at a time when there was even less knowledge available on the subject and pieced it all together then. compared to what we had in 1999, it is a piece of cake today. For those willing to put in the effort that is.

The successful calibrators are pretty much all self taught first... Rather than attending a class first to get their start.

The industry does not work quite the way the isf program portrays things. Most find out the hard way after the fact when it is almost too late in the game.

Regards


tlvexp.com seems to be what I was looking for... thanks!
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