Completely impressed by GS Calibration... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 89 Old 08-10-2012, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So, yeah, I know it's cool to hate on Best Buy on the internet but if you are a RZ Premier Silver member, they now offer free Geek Squad ISF Calibration. First I was a little skeptical, but I went ahead and scheduled it anyway.

Dude was late, and that was a little annoying. However, I was completely impressed once he did it. First off, I have an older Toshiba 42ZV650U. He brought in QUITE a bit of equipment, I didn't know necessarily what it was, but there was some sort of reader hooked up to the TV he had, another box, he also had a light sensor hooked to a tripod and he had CaliMan software on his computer. He was fully isfCCC certified and he appeared to know exactly what he was doing. He took his time, spent about 2 hours doing the installation, we made small talk, he explained what he was doing, what the picture would look like and explained the difference in between what the TV normally looks like and what it will look like done. He did not do any ISF Day/Night modes, however I assume this is because my TV does not have these settings. He seemed extremely knowledgeable, showed me exactly what my TV's issues were before and the levels to what he calibrated it at, explaining to me IN DETAIL what levels for white balance and gradation it shouldn't be over and what it looked like after calibration. Gamma curves, everything. I can't remember exactly but he was saying it shouldn't be above 3, and was just INCREDIBLY detailed. Gave me a readout of the post-cali graphs and color temperatures. This was a Geek Squad guy. He did only use the remote, no service menu here, but he spent an hour and a half just tweaking the TV's menus based on gradients and the like that were showing up on the TV. After that, he went and tweaked my cable box to set correctly, fixed overscan, went into my Blu Ray Player and set the settings it has (it has a lot) correctly for movies and then went to my Xbox. He calibrated the Blu Ray on a THX demo, then played it for me, then the Olympics to make sure I liked it. He literally spent a good 2 hours at my apartment. Keep in mind this was free. He said he was good friends with Joel Silver, after I asked him about LG TVs and their ability to be calibrated.

My TV looks damn incredible now. Still fairly light black levels, but just after talking to this guy, he CLEARLY knew his stuff.

Just wanted to make sure people know on here that Geek Squad does do a good job. Kind of made me want to become an ISF calibrator.
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post #2 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

So, yeah, I know it's cool to hate on Best Buy on the internet but if you are a RZ Premier Silver member, they now offer free Geek Squad ISF Calibration. First I was a little skeptical, but I went ahead and scheduled it anyway.
Dude was late, and that was a little annoying. However, I was completely impressed once he did it. First off, I have an older Toshiba 42ZV650U. He brought in QUITE a bit of equipment, I didn't know necessarily what it was, but there was some sort of reader hooked up to the TV he had, another box, he also had a light sensor hooked to a tripod and he had CaliMan software on his computer. He was fully isfCCC certified and he appeared to know exactly what he was doing. He took his time, spent about 2 hours doing the installation, we made small talk, he explained what he was doing, what the picture would look like and explained the difference in between what the TV normally looks like and what it will look like done. He did not do any ISF Day/Night modes, however I assume this is because my TV does not have these settings. He seemed extremely knowledgeable, showed me exactly what my TV's issues were before and the levels to what he calibrated it at, explaining to me IN DETAIL what levels for white balance and gradation it shouldn't be over and what it looked like after calibration. Gamma curves, everything. I can't remember exactly but he was saying it shouldn't be above 3, and was just INCREDIBLY detailed. Gave me a readout of the post-cali graphs and color temperatures. This was a Geek Squad guy. He did only use the remote, no service menu here, but he spent an hour and a half just tweaking the TV's menus based on gradients and the like that were showing up on the TV. After that, he went and tweaked my cable box to set correctly, fixed overscan, went into my Blu Ray Player and set the settings it has (it has a lot) correctly for movies and then went to my Xbox. He calibrated the Blu Ray on a THX demo, then played it for me, then the Olympics to make sure I liked it. He literally spent a good 2 hours at my apartment. Keep in mind this was free. He said he was good friends with Joel Silver, after I asked him about LG TVs and their ability to be calibrated.
My TV looks damn incredible now. Still fairly light black levels, but just after talking to this guy, he CLEARLY knew his stuff.
Just wanted to make sure people know on here that Geek Squad does do a good job. Kind of made me want to become an ISF calibrator.

Just think what your results would be like from a "real" professional calibration, your experience is rare sadly.

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post #3 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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It was a real calibration. It was a 2 point calibration by an ISF guy to the standards. I don't know what else someone else would have done considering it was a great job. People just love to rag on GS...
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post #4 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

So, yeah, I know it's cool to hate on Best Buy on the internet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon View Post

Just think what your results would be like from a "real" professional calibration...[/quote]

You called it rjmunthe. Incredible.

Thanks for sharing your positive experience.
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post #5 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

He was fully isfCCC certified

FYI, ISFccc stands for ISF Certified Calibration Controls. So, it applies to displays not people. For example, LG TVs have ISFccc modes (two per input).

http://www.avsforum.com/t/826315/isfccc-calibration-ready-what-does-it-mean
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post #6 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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His patch said ISFccc, he never said he was that or anything, just that he had been ISF certified and was trained by Joel Silver. I just would like to spread some positivity in GS's direction.

I know a lot about Home Theater but I still felt this guy knew his stuff well.
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post #7 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

he never said he was that or anything, just that he had been ISF certified and was trained by Joel Silver.

Yeah, that makes more sense.
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post #8 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 10:20 AM
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Did he do gamma and CMS? According to CNET, your TV has these settings.

"Picture adjustments are extensive on the ZV650U series. The set offers five adjustable picture modes and a sixth, called "AutoView," that automatically adjusts certain parameters (like Contrast) according to its own logic, based on ambient lighting and picture content. Each of the other modes is independent per input.

Moving beyond the basics, Toshiba included a big bag of tweaks. Most are quite useful, such as a 31-position gamma slider that allows a great deal of fine-tuning, an extensive color management system, and the ability to lock your settings. We also loved the presence of red, green, and blue filters, which allow you to tweak color and tint, and as always we appreciated the full color temperature controls (a first for Toshiba)--although we question the utility of 10 color temperature presets, when most sets get by fine with three or four. A few other less-useful settings include the "Control Visualization" window that displays a brightness vs. "number of pixels" graph; and the oodles of automatic adjustments, including dynamic contrast, dynamic backlight (called Dynalight), and the automatic room lighting sensor, which is also adjustable."

http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/toshiba-regza-42zv650u/4505-6482_7-33490635.html


Also, did he bring a spectro with him (second meter) or just a puck type colorimeter?
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post #9 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 09:42 PM
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90 minutes in and out would likely not have allowed enough time to calibrate the advanced settings (especially since Toshiba panels I have worked with in the past can be a bit troublesome when it comes to adjusting the CMS).. Two point calibration as well as the basic user controls is quite possible to do in this time frame barring actually talking about calibration to the customer.

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post #10 of 89 Old 08-11-2012, 10:43 PM
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Did he give a read out of the "before settings" in case?

I have my tv adjusted slightly and have silver status but wary of a free calibration... Would be nice to be able to switch back and forth and compare.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

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post #11 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 04:28 AM
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He may have done a decent job and if you're happy I guess that is all that matters.

A frame of reference is required to know if he did, in fact, do a quality job. A session with a dedicated calibration professional would probably reveal much more about the world of imaging science.

Remember, just going to class does not make someone a calibrator. In fact, far from it.

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post #12 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstate-avfan-da View Post

Did he give a read out of the "before settings" in case?
I have my tv adjusted slightly and have silver status but wary of a free calibration... Would be nice to be able to switch back and forth and compare.
Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

Yes, he did the gamma slider as well. It was a very large box he used, didn't pay too much attention to it, believe it was a spectro. Gave me the before and after settings. You can choose to believe it or not, I really don't care. Geek Squad did a proper ISF Calibration, a professional one, and after reading the curves and graphs he handed me as well as the picture quality, doubt that much better could have been done. He clearly was a trained and due calibrator, judging him before you know what he did based off of him working for GS is hilariously pompous. Guaranteed one of the guys here did it, there wouldn't be much of a difference. The purpose of this thread was to say that GS does a great job $200/free, considering a regular cali is normally $350/400.
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post #13 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

judging him before you know what he did based off of him working for GS is hilariously pompous.

That seems to be an epidemic around here

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post #14 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 08:38 AM
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I'm going to schedule this. I bought a washer and dryer last year so I qualified for silver and I don't think I'll qualify again any time soon.

I've been doing my own calibration since 1999 and now I have good tools ( i1pro spectrophometer.)

Still, it's FREE.

And I have all my settings written down, what can I lose except some time and hopefully the guy won't be casing my home to plan a future visit as a thief. biggrin.gif

-brian
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post #15 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 09:02 AM
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I received a GS calibration more than 4 years ago for 46" XBR panel. I was impressed with the process, and my TV has not changed one bit from that calibration since. I still have the printouts of the before and after settings just in case something happens, but as I said, this TV has been rock-solid for 4+ years.
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post #16 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

Here's the deal. So I work in Magnolia and just end up giving into my impulses which results in me purchasing speakers, receivers and all the like. I just moved into my apartment, and am at a loss. Here's what I have, a Marantz 1402 ($200 what a steal), a Pioneer VSX-519, B&W M1, Yamaha NS-A100XT, Bose 161 and a cheap Sony center channel, a Kenwood turntable with an Audio Technica 8008 cartridge and original needle, and a NuForce uDAC. I have two completely different systems for two completely different uses. In my living room, currently, I have my new Marantz, the Yamaha as front speakers, the Sony center channel and the two Bose rear speakers for my surround. I mainly use this area for movie/TV watching but occasionally I will listen to music on it. In the bedroom however I have a setup ONLY used for music listening, kind of as an extension of computer speakers but also for records. Currently I have the B&W M1 hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-519, with the turntable hooked up and my Mac hooked up to the uDAC then to the portable output on the Pioneer to get music. I also use the Pioneer for headphone listening as it does a surprisingly amazing job at pushing headphones. I know it's a cheap barebones, no frills receiver but I kind of feel like I'm wasting the B&Ws on it, and vice versa the Marantz in my living room, or putting my B&Ws in the family room...aaah, first world problems.
I absolutely love my Marantz receiver, the sound on it is impeccable and those Yamahas are surprisingly excellent on Pure Direct from the Marantz...(flat receiver, flat setting=earsex) but I also love the B&Ws I have and think the sound quality on the Pioneer is pretty damn good for the basement price I paid for it on discount. But I still think maybe I should turn elsewhere for the B&Ws...I'm a pretty hardcore audiophile so I dig what I have and did the best I can on a budget, but still, any suggestions on a better way to optimize what I have?
I'm not going to upgrade my main speakers, (my B&Ws and my Yamahas) but any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

This is very interesting...from another post...looks like a little self promoting of his employer.
I really hope that employees of magnolia have a little more knowledge of video and displays, then this guy lets on to.

Just my $.02

RayJr
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post #17 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 01:23 PM
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Thanks Ray. Thought something smelled fishy. I just fixed a very poor geek calibration on a Sharp 80LE632U a week ago. Calling it a calibration is a real stretch.

He had the brightness set 17 clicks too low (!) and the white balance was lacking green, giving things a purple hue.

No doubt a few people with straightforward TVs get good results, but this is about the 6th botched job from them that I've fixed.
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post #18 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayjr View Post

This is very interesting...from another post...looks like a little self promoting of his employer.
I really hope that employees of magnolia have a little more knowledge of video and displays, then this guy lets on to.
Just my $.02
RayJr

very interesting indeed
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post #19 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 01:44 PM
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post #20 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 03:22 PM
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If I get the gs calibration it will be FREE so it's not really helping best buy much.

I know they will try to sell me stuff but I know that and I'm not worried.

I also have all my setting logged. With today's digital sets you can record all the settings in minutes,

Given its free and theres a small chance I would learn something (anything), I will sign up for it.


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post #21 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Why's it curious? I'm promoting it the same way the pompous calibrators on here promote themselves. I simply would like to let people know that you can have GS do a good job. I can probably run circles around people on here surrounding TVs, but I don't know much about ISF Calibration, other than the ISF settings on the VT50, Sharp and LG LEDs. I lerned a lot after the calibration and it made me a believer. Nice try, though.
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post #22 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

Why's it curious? I'm promoting it the same way the pompous calibrators on here promote themselves. I simply would like to let people know that you can have GS do a good job. I can probably run circles around people on here surrounding TVs, but I don't know much about ISF Calibration, other than the ISF settings on the VT50, Sharp and LG LEDs. I lerned a lot after the calibration and it made me a believer. Nice try, though.

And neither does BestBuy - ************** dottttttt commmmmmmm /showthread.php?t=10971#.UCg4hZ3Oi8A

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post #23 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 04:16 PM
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hdj /showthread.php?t=10971#.UCg4hZ3Oi8A

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post #24 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 04:22 PM
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This topic is getting funny.


I know a bit about calibration and honestly I expect not a lot from the geek squad but Im curious at least.

If I get it soon,.i will post my impressions for what that's worth.

First I'm going to change the bulb though and rack up some hours so that it's ready to calibrate so it may be a while.

(and I'm thinking this will be closed by then cuz tempers flare)
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post #25 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 05:41 PM
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Brian, what TV do you have that you plan to have them calibrate? It will be interesting to follow.
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post #26 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 05:54 PM
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Here's the measured results of the GS's calibration I mentioned above. I had the session saved and was able to make a quick grayscale/gamma report. Meter used was the Jeti 1211. Display was a Sharp 80LE632u with 2 point white balance adjustment and simple gamma slider (no 10 point). Brightness was set 17 clicks too low, which is severe enough that I suspected a levels issue. If there was a levels issue, it wasn't with the customer's equipment; I checked the DTV receiver and the BD player and both had normal output levels. Because of that, black was severely crushed and gamma started out at 3.1 at 10%.
GS Sharp 632u1.jpg 91k .jpg file
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post #27 of 89 Old 08-12-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

Here's the measured results of the GS's calibration I mentioned above. I had the session saved and was able to make a quick grayscale/gamma report. Meter used was the Jeti 1211. Display was a Sharp 80LE632u with 2 point white balance adjustment and simple gamma slider (no 10 point). Brightness was set 17 clicks too low, which is severe enough that I suspected a levels issue. If there was a levels issue, it wasn't with the customer's equipment; I checked the DTV receiver and the BD player and both had normal output levels. Because of that, black was severely crushed and gamma started out at 3.1 at 10%.
GS Sharp 632u1.jpg 91k .jpg file

So, it seems (at least in this case) the BB guys can't even get the basics right. How can ISF allow these 'calibrators' to use their name and still expect that name to mean something? I mean, come on, how hard is it to set brightness and do 2-pt grayscale correctly?
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post #28 of 89 Old 08-13-2012, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

Brian, what TV do you have that you plan to have them calibrate? It will be interesting to follow.

It's actually a projector, Sony VW60. I just installed a new bulb so when I have some hours on it I'll schedule this.

My projector had a CMS (that is wonky and maybe better left off) and has software to adjust the gamma response. I expect them to not use either of those but we shall see.

It also has a dynamic iris that I tend to leave off.

I'm curious to see what type of "service" this would be so given its free I'm up for it.

-Brian
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post #29 of 89 Old 08-13-2012, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmunthe View Post

Why's it curious? I'm promoting it the same way the pompous calibrators on here promote themselves. I simply would like to let people know that you can have GS do a good job. I can probably run circles around people on here surrounding TVs, but I don't know much about ISF Calibration, other than the ISF settings on the VT50, Sharp and LG LEDs. I lerned a lot after the calibration and it made me a believer. Nice try, though.

If you are so confident he did a top notch job one way to prove that post the before and after setting here let the pros and other knowledgable folks take a look.

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post #30 of 89 Old 08-13-2012, 09:13 AM
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Greetings

This isn't really isolated to just the BB guys. There are plenty of ISF guys that went through the normal classes that make a mess of things just as well. Often a function of not actually doing any real practice in the class. Make the mistakes once you get home ... no one there to catch those errors ... or point out that something is wrong. The error filled methodology is then offered up as ISF services to all. frown.gif

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