Sorry it took so long but have been thinking about this and trying to evaluate the best I can. First off, the appointment was set 2 months ago and on Friday I got a email confirming the appointment for Saturday. On Saturday, the calibrater called and he said he would be there in a few minutes and make sure the set is on and "nice and warm". The cost of the calibration was $199 and the invoice said the time would be 1.5 hours. FYI, I have the Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U. He was right on time and seemed very clean, nice but in a nerdy way. He was fine. I decided to put a little pressure on him and I said do a good job because I was going to report back to all of you. He didn't respond to that really. He did say right after that he has been doing this for 10 years, ISF and THX certified and does this sort of thing for actual movie theaters. My wife and I were kinda chatting him up or at least trying too and then I realized, wait we need him to work and then kept quiet.
He didn't seem to have a lot of equipment but he had that yo yo thingee (technical term) that he put in the middle of the screen, a color spectro meter? I think he said and of course his computer. He then started to work. I think the total time of actual calibration was maybe 50 minutes+-. He printed out 3 graphs and showed me what the pre-calibration was at and what it should be at according to him and everything was in line after the calibration. He did ask me a few questions like do you know what "OPC" is, etc. He explained that the calibration is based on what the movie maker wants to see on the screen. I knew going in from what I have been reading that I may not like the calibration as the picture will look dull or less bright. I am coming from a 65 inch CRT that I believe is more like plasma than a LCD. We have been living with the pre calbration LCD "bright" picture and to be honest we really liked it. Some programs can range widely though and not sure if it's just the nature of most LCD's, my middle of the road LCD, etc. But all things considered, we liked the picture pre calibration.
My first impression after he left and watching TV was that the picture was dull. What a shocker. It has been a week now and just a couple of days ago I would go into the settings and change the OPC and you can see the brightness rise a bit but I couldn't really tell if I liked that either. My wife did make the comment that if were not using or changing the calibration, what was the point. I fought off the urge to change the OPC and yesterday I realized the picture was more stable in general or consistent. I think I am now on board with what Best Buy has done but frankly I have nothing to compare it with in regards to someone else's calibration. In my area of Socal, the cost of calibration that I found outside of Best Buy was a low of $400 and a high of $500. If money was no object, It would be real interesting to see a comparison but I would rather put the difference towards a new Outlaw or HSU subwoofer.
In conclusion, I am certain the experts will say that 50 minutes of calibration is worthless or at least not supportive of a $199 fee just because I could do this for free or spend 30 bucks for a calibration disk. But he did use devices that I don't have and according to him, the calibration is right on. I will try to get someone to help me download the 3 graphs at some point. I hope this helps or gives some additional information for people contemplating this service. In my opinion, I think it's more about the quality of the TV than anything else. If someone really wants to know for sure, they can come out and calibrate my set again and I can comment about the difference. Hehehe. I will even feed them pizza.