Originally Posted by sillysally
Yes I have been kicking all this around, and have PM Buzz about the eeColor box.
I really haven't had any problems with my Mini, and wasn't aware of "introduces heavy distortion at 2 stages". What is the distortion you speak of?
With CM 5.1 and the Mini I am getting some very good LUT calibrations ( both on paper and on my display). So I am not in any hurry to make changes, I am just tiring to sift though the hype and reality right now.
Anyway I did want to get your input on all this plus LS verses CM 5.1 for are VT50's.
Thanks for your post.
first of, me saying the distortion is "heavy" is obviously a subjective statement, but considering how (almost) perfectly the color box passes the signal, I call it "heavy"... others would call it "unnecessary"
The Mini introduces distortion for the first time (a), just by being in the chain. As Nudge explained, simply profile your TV w/o the Mini in the chain and then profile again with the Mini in the chain with an empty CMS slot, you'll see the distortion. The second time (b) the Lumagen introduces distortion is when it actually applies a LUT sitting in a CMS slot to the passing signal.
I'll keep this comparison between LS and CM with regards to the Mini, as it appears CM is still figuring out how to use the color box correctly. It is good to see that the color box is supported in CM E.
I've done heavy testing between LS and CM using the Mini. I'll go a little bit more in depth for other users, I know that you SillySally know most of the information posted below already.
Calman has a very nice interface and a heavy feature set, some are very useful.
No need to mention here that as a paying Calman customer, I was and I am heavily disappointed with the gazillion of bugs in this software. I'm in sw dev for 20+ years, sure my coding standards are ultra high, but man their QA / QC is almost zero to none. With every version they fix 4 bugs and introduce 20 more. As a coder, I'd be so embarrassed about some of these releases, that I wouldn't show up on the AVS until all of these bugs are fixed. Not trying to bore here the many of existing CM customers, they know what is going on, but since this is still a forum for USERS, this is rather information for potential new customers or cross over customers: You will be dealing with frustrating bugs.
I still hope they keep improving the software and finally deliver the stellar product they are not getting tired of marketing here in these user threads. IMO, (still) lots of potential there.
Biggest advantage currently of the software is it's customizable reports. That alone could be a reason to buy the software or Chromapure for that matter. Another plus of CM with the Mini is that it is pretty much a one-click solution, a customer does not need to know much about color science to start a calibration. Results are good (on the reports), but how would you know what you actually have until you visually compare it with results from either CP or LS... (?)
Btw, coming back to the double distortion of the Mini, mentioned as (a) and (b) above: With it's redundant approach of constantly reading / writing (not sure if this has changed recently), CM actually accommodates somewhat for the (b) distortion of the Mini, which LS does not with it's single write method.
Also, it appears CM uses a lot of guesswork not only in the data the probe returns but then also in their LUT creation. Now this does not matter (and could actually be a plus) for users who just want to get decent results quickly, but if you want information of what is actually going on, this software does not consistently return accurate data.
I can easily reproduce this every time I finish a 5^3 3D cube for the Mini, then see the final calibration verification report (all looks perfect). Take a screenshot. Then go to Quick Analysis, run the same verification tests. Results are different EVERY TIME. 2 mins after the 3D cube. This is very concerning and has been reported over and over - this alone makes the sw useless to me, at least in color critical application...
LS is a bare bones interface that has less automated workflows as CM. If you don't know much about color science and display calibration or you don't want to get your hands dirty a little bit and learn about it (at least the basics), then IMO this sw might not be for you. Better get a color box and have an experienced calibrator like Buzz use LS for you.
But LS offers reliable, working tools to get all the data you need. LS reports true, accurate data. You will see what is truly going on with your probe. You will see what is truly going on with your display. Every time. Make a Quick Profile a day later, you will see the same consistent results. Reports are by far not as customizable or in depth as CM, but all necessary ones are there.
It took me quite a while to get a good LUT for the Mini, as at that point in time, LS went through lots of feature improvements, and again it is not a one-click process. If you decide to use Ted's disk, the profiling session requires one click.
The final 5^3 LUT, although it does not compensate for the (b) distortion of the Lumagen, is visually better than the one achieved by CM. Better color accuracy, the picture has more depth. Very easy to compare between LUT's on the Mini, just load both into a CMS slot onto the Mini, load reference video material and switch between LUT's.
Running reports in CM for both of these LUT's showed that CM was on par with (or very slightly better than) LS when it comes to dE, but obviously, CM is reading it's own calibration points in it's reports, while with a LS LUT it does not read actually profiled points. So LS actually competing here shows how good the LUT is.
Also, and this has been mentioned before, dE is just one approach of validating a result... another approach is to LOOK at true reference video material... I personally rather have a slightly less perfect greyscale (as long as there is no visual contamination) with a better overall picture than to see really good dE's but an inferior picture... The LS color engine does a very good job of profiling the ENTIRE cube, including the interior of the cube (very important).
Be aware that if you're trying to use an i1D3, you need an OEM i1d3, the retail version is NOT supported. You might also need a different serial cable to interact with the Mini, although your current cable does work with CM. The profile data is saved on your PC, which you then use to generate a LUT. You can generate any of the many supported color spaces from the profile data. Lots of options there.
The generated LUT might need some polishing, e.g. in the lower IRE's... this can get somewhat complicated for newbies, but LS has now implemented an almost fully automated adjustment for users. You can always go back and tweak more, no need to run a profile again.
Mini vs. Color Box
For new customers, get a color box and avoid trouble and use the rest of the money for a pattern generator or just have a calibrator do it for you - US$1,500 for a 5^3 LUT box is way too much, and ask yourself honestly will you actually need any of the VP features of the Mini ?!
If you're looking for a second LUT holder box, get the color box if you already have the Mini. The color box is much cheaper, has more potential (65^3) and you can use the Mini as the pattern generator.
Edit: the color box referred to in this post is the eeColor box available from Buzz for US$600.00.