BestBuy says MUST have professional calibration on Sony 70" 3D - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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In speaking with a rep at Best Buy in Phoenix concerning the SONY KDL-70r550a, I was told that after a month or two of use I must have the HDTV professionally calibrated. She was quite firm on this. I can see that calibration would have to be done, but thought that a home DVD would suffice. Am I wrong in this assumption? And would the WDW calibration disc be adequate for my 71 year old eyes?
I posted this question here as opposed to the model specific site since I felt that it would apply to any HDTV.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 07:16 PM
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I think some others may join in with more complete answers, but my short reply is that it will benefit from a good calibration. It does sound like she overstated the need, using the term "must have". rolleyes.gif After all, the percentage of owners who get a professional calibration is small, yet many owners enjoy their sets.
It does benefit from a real calibration with a meter over what can be done with a disc, though a disc can help you get some of the fundamentals right.

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 07:18 PM
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Greetings

Welcome.

A good place to start off is to get some reading done. Try here.

Read the article on what calibration is really about first.

Then read the article on what TVs don't come properly set up.

Then move onto the article about whether this stuff is worth it or not ... (psst ... it really depends.)

Then try the article on what you might expect as an end result if you let the BB guys actually play with your set.

If you follow the instructions correctly on a calibration disc like the Disney WOW disc, it will help improve things.

Well go read first and then come back here for questions.

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 07:59 PM
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Like what was said above, she overstated the need for a professional calibration. It's not a must by any means and I think most on here would argue that what BBY/GS offers is not exactly professional however by that same token, most on here would also quickly state that your TV can only benefit from a true professional calibration. Start with a set up disc (Spears & Munsil, AVS 709, Disney WOW) and see how that helps.

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 08:04 PM
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Agree with all that has been said. Do keep in mind that this is Best Buy, and they have a tendency to overstate some things such as their recommendation of "M" brand HDMI cables.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-14-2013, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to Michaels's link, I see there is a good deal of information, in one place, that I can use to add to my knowledge.
Enjoy your viewing, and thanks to all who responded with advice and suggestions..
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-15-2013, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saguaro48 View Post

Thanks to Michaels's link, I see there is a good deal of information, in one place, that I can use to add to my knowledge.
Enjoy your viewing, and thanks to all who responded with advice and suggestions..

I'd start with a calibration/setup disc and then if you want to go further you should consider getting a professional calibration from an independent calibrator (choose carefully as there great, good, and bad ones just like in any field) or getting your own meters/software and doing it yourself.

Also, it helps if the professional calibrator is THX and ISF certified (both or just THX), but this certification (especially the ISF one) is no guarantee of competence/skill/experience/etc. In general, I'd avoid BB calibrations as they usually don't compare well to good/great independent ones.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-15-2013, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Called BB to order the Sony KDL 70R550A since I could not order it on-line (???) . On-line price was $2,599. ($100 off regular price.) When I spoke with the store, found out they had a $500 off special (Father's Day sale ?) so drove up and ordered it for Tuesday delivery. The set also had a BB special which includes Sony 3D Blu-Ray player and one year of Netflix which we use already so these were nice bonuses for a total of $2199 delivered. Now to see how the set looks in the family room. I think I'll try a DVD calibration disc and see how that looks to me.

Thanks again to all who were kind enough to reply.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-15-2013, 04:04 PM
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Micheal,

He's 71,... He don't have time for all the articles on your site. smile.gif
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-15-2013, 07:18 PM
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The other elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is that Best Buy has a long term and very well established track record of producing what independent calibrators would call a "good calibration" about 10% of the time. Which means 90% of the time their calibration offers no improvement at all or makes the TV look worse than the out of box settings. If you do decide to have a professional calibration, your odds of getting a good result are about 95% positive with professional independent calibrators who will spend 2.5 to 5 hours (depending on what you want done) calibrating your TV while Best Buy offers you about a 90% chance of no improvement or making the TV worse. I think it is time for customers to begin telling Best Buy that they have failed (miserably) at trying to establish themselves as a source of professional quality calibration, and that you understand why someone would want to have their TV calibrated, but you'll go elsewhere to get your TV calibrated.

Before anybody gets all bent out of shape... please recognize that I did say that Best Buy appears to get calibration right about 10% of the time. I don't know of any competent independent pro calibrator who would still be in business with a track record like that. In fact, every one I've met would be horrified with himself if that's the best he could do. The times I've calibrated after a Best Buy technician had done the first calibration, my measurements indicated the BB calibrator had no real grasp about calibration. Of course, I would not likely see a BB calibration if a good job had been done. But there are a lot of threads right here on AVS where you see comments about a high level of dissatisfaction with the quality of BB calibration.

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post #11 of 16 Old 06-15-2013, 09:18 PM
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Doug,

I don't think anyone was saying that BBY delivered a "professional level" calibration service. We were merely stating that the individual the OP worked with in store was clearly overstating the "need" for a calibration. I even stated earlier in the thread that many people on here believe that the GS delivers far from a "professional" calibration. I would think it's safe to say that quite a few people on AVS know about the inadequacies of the GS calibration services. I however disagree with the notion that BBY "tried to establish themselves as a source of professional calibration." None of their employees(or a very, very few number) can even truly speak to the benefits of proper display calibration and what it truly involves. They may/might offer it as a service, but there's a reason why they now offer it as a "free service" for RZ Premier Silver members, because it's not popular enough as a stand alone option, or because they truly know the worth of that service performed by their installers. I'll go with the latter.

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-16-2013, 05:34 AM
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I would think that Sony displays Do in fact need calibration,... They tend to have blue cranked off the charts.

At least with the projectors I have had,... Flat panel could be totally different.

I agree that the Best Buy version calibration service isn't even worth taking the risk. I had them visit for free due to being Rz silver. They tried.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-16-2013, 08:41 AM
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Best Buy Geek Squad "calibration" is probably and likely to make your picture worse specially if you get someone who doesn't have a great deal of knowledge calibrating a tv . I have read many horror stories where the image was worse then factory default. A lot of the issues are around the fact that they just don't spend enough time doing the actual calibrating on the tv. It's a quick and dirty job and then they are on to the next job. I would get the set calibrated myself DIY and learn how to do it, requires some time investing in equipment and reading about calibration and what's involved. The other option is get a professional to do it but not Best Buy. Just my opinion though. In the meantime just set the picture to Movie Mode, Cinema etc. turn off all enhancements and use a set up disk like Disney WOW or AVS HD 709 and set up your tv using the basic picture settings. L8tr.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-16-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungro View Post

Best Buy Geek Squad "calibration" is probably and likely to make your picture worse specially if you get someone who doesn't have a great deal of knowledge calibrating a tv . I have read many horror stories where the image was worse then factory default. A lot of the issues are around the fact that they just don't spend enough time doing the actual calibrating on the tv. It's a quick and dirty job and then they are on to the next job. I would get the set calibrated myself DIY and learn how to do it, requires some time investing in equipment and reading about calibration and what's involved. The other option is get a professional to do it but not Best Buy. Just my opinion though. In the meantime just set the picture to Movie Mode, Cinema etc. turn off all enhancements and use a set up disk like Disney WOW or AVS HD 709 and set up your tv using the basic picture settings. L8tr.

here's another 'horror' story about BB: http://www.tlvexp.ca/2013/05/ravings-of-a-mad-man-inside-the-big-box-store/

dE's of 14 in 'calibrated' day mode (target of course is 3 or less)
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-16-2013, 11:41 AM
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I cant imagine even walking in a B.B. anymore. Keep reading on this forum and others about bad experiences with them. 6 years ago I walked in to one to buy a little 27 lcd that was on sale for may wife's work shop and just about had to fight my way out of there. Good price on panel, but they tried to push a bunch of other stuff including installing it. What, a couple of hundred to put 4 screws in the wall, what a joke. Somebody is going for it or they would not push.
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-17-2013, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

Doug,

I don't think anyone was saying that BBY delivered a "professional level" calibration service. We were merely stating that the individual the OP worked with in store was clearly overstating the "need" for a calibration. I even stated earlier in the thread that many people on here believe that the GS delivers far from a "professional" calibration. I would think it's safe to say that quite a few people on AVS know about the inadequacies of the GS calibration services.

Clearly the op had no background on this matter... I was supplying some. "Quite a few people" does not apparently include the op based on the content of the post. So again, my comments are entirely appropriate.
Quote:
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I however disagree with the notion that BBY "tried to establish themselves as a source of professional calibration." None of their employees(or a very, very few number) can even truly speak to the benefits of proper display calibration and what it truly involves. They may/might offer it as a service, but there's a reason why they now offer it as a "free service" for RZ Premier Silver members, because it's not popular enough as a stand alone option, or because they truly know the worth of that service performed by their installers. I'll go with the latter.

WHAT? I mean WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? They charge money for calibration. When you charge money for something (or get paid for something), you are a professional. BB set out intentionally to establish themselves as a source of professional video calibration... employees were sent to ISF training. ISF worked with BB so BB could setup their own internal video calibration training program which is still running. Premier members are not the only people using the calibration "service"... there are people paying money for it, $299 is the "standard" price that is sometimes lowered or waved during promotions. Nevertheless, there is a price on calibration and it is offered as a paid-for service so that makes them "professional" whether they are good at it or not. We just bought a 43 year old house with a kitchen that had been remodeled in the last 7 years or so through a Sears design center. The upper kitchen cabinets were installed by driving small headed screws through the rear panel of the cabinets. Problem is, the rear panel of the cabinets is cosmetic only. It is not a load-bearing element of the cabinets because it is just 1/8" thick and has a thin veneer to accept the same stain or paint as the outside surfaces of the cabinets so you see the same finish on the inside-back of the cabinets as you see on the outside. So fully loaded, those upper cabinets could EASILY fall off the wall. The cosmetic rear panel is only connected by being slid into a groove routed into the back panels of the cabinet. This was a "professional" installation... roughly equivalent to a "professional" BB calibration. "Professional" does not imply it is done correctly or even done well. It just means you paid for it. It is damn difficult to avoid getting bad "professional" results in many things in life... there are bad doctors, bad car mechanics, bad home builders, ad infinitum... but they are still all "professionals".
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