Calman MobileForge for External Displays- Can it really be? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Calman MobileForge for External Displays- Can it really be?

So today I see the SpectraCal mobile forge app for IOS can now actually be used as an auto pattern generator for external displays via an HDMI adapter? SpectraCal claims it is accurate. I have just ordered an apple lightning to HDMI adapter to try this as it would be a much easier way to do pre and post cal runs. I have their westerdigtal/USB patterns generator but it just too painfully slow and I can work a BD player remote much faster.

This sounds too good to be true!

Anyone try it on their projector or TV yet?
What adapter did you buy?
Did anyone test it's accuracy against another reference generator or disc with a known good player? Can it really be close to a hardware based pattern generator costing in the thousands?

Have I died and gone to heaven? Now if only JVC and SpectraCal could get autocal working with the newest JVC projectors.....
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curlyjive View Post
Did anyone test it's accuracy against another reference generator or disc with a known good player? Can it really be close to a hardware based pattern generator costing in the thousands?
What's the advantage of using a mobile device to generate the test patterns? Why not just use the PC itself, given that it's already needed to run Calman? I can't image the mobile device video output to be more accurate than the PC video card.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:53 PM
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Well in my case I will be using Nvidia Shield devices connected to my TVs for playback. Now I can Google Cast to those TVs (the shield is its own Google cast device) and calibrate for that device.

With regard to the PC, if that is not the device for playback, then that may not be convenient. Plus, people who use an Oppo can connect to the MHL input with their phone and calibrate directly from it as well.

Very cool I think!
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic Chan View Post
What's the advantage of using a mobile device to generate the test patterns? Why not just use the PC itself, given that it's already needed to run Calman? I can't image the mobile device video output to be more accurate than the PC video card.


From what I have been told from spectracal and others output from a pc or Mac hdmi port is not accurate. They do sell hardware interfaces to use with virtual forge but those are a few hundred.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by curlyjive View Post
From what I have been told from spectracal and others output from a pc or Mac hdmi port is not accurate. They do sell hardware interfaces to use with virtual forge but those are a few hundred.
That depends on the specific PC. I'm using my Dell Latitude E6420 laptop HDMI output, and found the test patterns to consistent with my Samsung Blu-Ray player, the WD TV, and Roku 3. My Sony BX-520, on the other hand, is way off.

Granted, PCs are not precision instruments compared with signal generators, but I'd be really surprised in mobile devices are more accurate, overall, than PCs.

Last edited by Dominic Chan; 06-25-2015 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic Chan View Post
That depends on the specific PC. I'm using my Dell Latitude E6420 laptop HDMI output, and found the test patterns to consistent with my Samsung Blu-Ray player, the WD TV, and Roku 3. My Sony BX-520, on the other hand, is way off.

Granted, PCs are not precision instruments compared with signal generators, but I'd be really surprised in mobile devices are more accurate, overall, than PCs.
I haven't gone to the effort to test. But this is free besides besides the adapter and I like the idea of this being a standalone-ish generator.

I'll finally be motivated to do sweeps and run a full color checker. Maybe it's just me but this will make my process much faster.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:48 PM
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I just played with the app on my iPhone and CalMan on my laptop. I was able to control the grayscale and color gamut patterns through CalMan, but the only "speciality patterns" I saw were full black and full white. No brightness, contrast, color bars, etc. I may be missing something though.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barefoot Joe View Post
I just played with the app on my iPhone and CalMan on my laptop. I was able to control the grayscale and color gamut patterns through CalMan, but the only "speciality patterns" I saw were full black and full white. No brightness, contrast, color bars, etc. I may be missing something though.
Nope, no specialty patterns at present.

It's stripped down and simple.

Supports all the APL and window options, but not much more.

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Old 06-25-2015, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curlyjive View Post
So today I see the SpectraCal mobile forge app for IOS can now actually be used as an auto pattern generator for external displays via an HDMI adapter? SpectraCal claims it is accurate. I have just ordered an apple lightning to HDMI adapter to try this as it would be a much easier way to do pre and post cal runs. I have their westerdigtal/USB patterns generator but it just too painfully slow and I can work a BD player remote much faster.



This sounds too good to be true!



Anyone try it on their projector or TV yet?

What adapter did you buy?

Did anyone test it's accuracy against another reference generator or disc with a known good player? Can it really be close to a hardware based pattern generator costing in the thousands?



Have I died and gone to heaven? Now if only JVC and SpectraCal could get autocal working with the newest JVC projectors.....

I personally did a lot of the HDMI/AirPlay/Chromecast output testing for MobileForge. We used a Quantum Data HDMI analyzer, as well as a Tektronix HDMI waveform monitor. MobileForge is bit accurate on all the Android/IOS phones/tablets HDMI outputs and via Chromecast/appleTV screen mirroring on devices we have tested.
Kris Deering likes this.

Tyler Pruitt - Technical Liaison at SpectraCal
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post
I personally did a lot of the HDMI/AirPlay/Chromecast output testing for MobileForge. We used a Quantum Data HDMI analyzer, as well as a Tektronix HDMI waveform monitor. MobileForge is bit accurate on all the Android/IOS phones/tablets HDMI outputs and via Chromecast/appleTV screen mirroring on devices we have tested.
Great to hear. My adapter will be around arriving this weekend. Just from testing it with calman and the simulated meter it is years faster than the western digital solution and much easier than a disc to do gamut sweeps. Very excited to try this.

Paired with jvc's built in autocal process to flatten out gamma and this to accurately dial in greyscale and gamut with calman on my jvc rs4910, I will should hopefully save a lot of time. With a 5 year old and a 6 week old, every second saved counts!
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post
I personally did a lot of the HDMI/AirPlay/Chromecast output testing for MobileForge. We used a Quantum Data HDMI analyzer, as well as a Tektronix HDMI waveform monitor. MobileForge is bit accurate on all the Android/IOS phones/tablets HDMI outputs and via Chromecast/appleTV screen mirroring on devices we have tested.
That's good to know. Did you also test the HDMI outputs on the PCs and Mac? I'm just curious how they compare. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFi-Spy View Post
I personally did a lot of the HDMI/AirPlay/Chromecast output testing for MobileForge. We used a Quantum Data HDMI analyzer, as well as a Tektronix HDMI waveform monitor. MobileForge is bit accurate on all the Android/IOS phones/tablets HDMI outputs and via Chromecast/appleTV screen mirroring on devices we have tested.
Being true to my nature (questioning everything), I would like to pose a question. In the recent past I calibrated my Samsung s4 with the MobileForge app. Due to the lack of sufficient display controls such as a CMS within the phone, the final outcome was one of a "best fit" scenario. Although the image was improved, I am sure the colors were not to any standards. Now my question is will these so called non standard parameters be transferred to the display or is the circuitry of the phones image by-passed and the mobile device merely acts as a conduit (or a transfer station), between the computer and the display?

This sounds like an excellent start and a very ingenious concept but will a special workflow be designed to capitalize other test screens such as sharpness, brightness, contrast and others to mention a few? How far does one go down this path? In doing so you would possibly put your competition in jeopardy but will you also undermine the products that your business now offers? As a possible business model this seems to be counter-productive. Why would someone buy a $1000 video signal generator when you are offering an alternative for almost free? This does seem to be a double edge sword.

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Old 06-26-2015, 08:00 AM
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I tried it last night with my iPad through Appke TV mirroring. Works pretty well. The screen ratio that shows is that of the iPad, not the 16:9 screen of the TV. Since mine needs full fields for calibration, do I need to zoom the picture to fill?

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Old 06-26-2015, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randal_r View Post
Why would someone buy a $1000 video signal generator when you are offering an alternative for almost free? This does seem to be a double edge sword.
It may, but if they don't do it, someone else will.

This has been going on for a few years in the music industry. If one wanted digital samples of various instruments to use during live performance, you needed a laptop or a rack mounted computer type hardware interface to store these samples in and play via MIDI control interface. The cost of the samples along with the associated hardware can get quite expensive. Now, samples of these instruments are being offered as apps to be played interfaced to an iPad or iPhone. Some of their earlier examples were not quite up to par with the traditional samples on the market but lately they are becoming quite good. Some of the major players in the business are now offering these to consumers.

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Old 06-26-2015, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randal_r View Post
Now my question is will these so called non standard parameters be transferred to the display or is the circuitry of the phones image by-passed and the mobile device merely acts as a conduit (or a transfer station), between the computer and the display?
In our testing the screen mode testing did not effect the output levels. Several people have various Samsungs in the office, I'll have them double check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randal_r View Post
This sounds like an excellent start and a very ingenious concept but will a special workflow be designed to capitalize other test screens such as sharpness, brightness, contrast and others to mention a few?
We'll be looking at the possibility of adding specialty patterns. It doesn't requires a custom workflow, it needs a mobile forge update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randal_r View Post
Why would someone buy a $1000 video signal generator when you are offering an alternative for almost free? This does seem to be a double edge sword.
There are still many situations where you would want control over frame size or frame rate, neither of those are supported here. Also higher bit depth and HDR support aren't likely coming to mobile forge. So there will always be a need for professional grade hardware. But having a good solution for the home market is just as important to us. Since I joined SpectraCal, it's always been one of my goals to make DIY calibration as easy and inexpensive as possible.

Joel Barsotti
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Last edited by sotti; 06-26-2015 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by keyoctave View Post
Since mine needs full fields for calibration, do I need to zoom the picture to fill?
Just out of curiosity, what types of TV "need" full fields for calibration? I know some TVs need "windowed" pattern, but thought the others can use either full field or windowed patterns.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Dominic Chan View Post
Just out of curiosity, what types of TV "need" full fields for calibration? I know some TVs need "windowed" pattern, but thought the others can use either full field or windowed patterns.
This has also been my experience. Many TV's calibrate better with windows or APL patterns, I've never seen an instance where full field outperforms the other options. On some TV's it is the same, but not better.

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Old 06-26-2015, 11:50 AM
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This has also been my experience. Many TV's calibrate better with windows or APL patterns, I've never seen an instance where full field outperforms the other options. On some TV's it is the same, but not better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic Chan View Post
Just out of curiosity, what types of TV "need" full fields for calibration? I know some TVs need "windowed" pattern, but thought the others can use either full field or windowed patterns.
Maybe 'need' was not the correct word to use but all my reading on calibration of LCD sets seem to imply the use of full fields. I was using windows with my previous plasma's and tried them with my LCD but was getting different readings at the lower APL levels.

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Old 06-26-2015, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyoctave View Post
Maybe 'need' was not the correct word to use but all my reading on calibration of LCD sets seem to imply the use of full fields. I was using windows with my previous plasma's and tried them with my LCD but was getting different readings at the lower APL levels.
If there is a difference, than using constant APL is more likely to be the correct thing to do.

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Old 06-26-2015, 12:07 PM
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If there is a difference, than using constant APL is more likely to be the correct thing to do.
Ok. Thank you.

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Old 06-26-2015, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post
In our testing the screen mode testing did not effect the output levels. Several people have various Samsungs in the office, I'll have them double check.


We'll be looking at the possibility of adding specialty patterns. It doesn't requires a custom workflow, it needs a mobile forge update.



There are still many situations where you would want control over frame size or frame rate, neither of those are supported here. Also higher bit depth and HDR support aren't likely coming to mobile forge. So there will always be a need for professional grade hardware. But having a good solution for the home market is just as important too us. Since I joined SpectraCal, it's always been one of my goals to make DIY calibration as easy and inexpensive as possible.
Thank you for the reply. I agree with your philosophy.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyoctave View Post
It may, but if they don't do it, someone else will.

This has been going on for a few years in the music industry. If one wanted digital samples of various instruments to use during live performance, you needed a laptop or a rack mounted computer type hardware interface to store these samples in and play via MIDI control interface. The cost of the samples along with the associated hardware can get quite expensive. Now, samples of these instruments are being offered as apps to be played interfaced to an iPad or iPhone. Some of their earlier examples were not quite up to par with the traditional samples on the market but lately they are becoming quite good. Some of the major players in the business are now offering these to consumers.
Thank you, I see were you are coming from. As with any field of interest or industry, economics is one of the key factors in deciding which product is going to be purchased. If my goals are going to be achieved with purchasing a more economical product then that is what I'll do. This also applies to manufactures, hence the stories of car manufactures choosing an item because it is half a cent cheaper. (Which will add up to a hefty sum of money over a million cars). In business the secondary objective is to get an upper hand on the competition if not to stop them in their tracks. If a company which sells the same type of product and then introduces a secondary product that undermines the "cash cow" product, then all they are doing is shooting themselves in the foot. Hence the rhyme and reason for my question. Scotti's reply shed enough clarity on the subject that satisfied my concerns.

Your example of how technology has changed a product and/or situation to which it applies is well noted and agreed upon.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:05 PM
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I have CalMAN Enthusiast for Home Video with Calman 5.
I downloaded the MobileForge application to my Android device.
The Android message says "Waiting to connect to CalMAN..."
The meter is a Spectracal C6.

I feel quite ignorant at this point.
What are the proper steps and connections to get this up and running in order to calibrate a home display?
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:19 PM
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Ok, I have to ask this...
What is wrong with a HDMI or similar connection from the PC doing the profiling?
We have tested loads of PC s with different graphics cards, and if they are set to 'default' the results have been perfect.

The setting requirements are outlined here: http://www.lightillusion.com/direct_hdmi.html

I may be missing something with respect to HDMI connections, but so far no users have seen any issues.

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Old 06-26-2015, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razz1 View Post
I have CalMAN Enthusiast for Home Video with Calman 5.
I downloaded the MobileForge application to my Android device.
The Android message says "Waiting to connect to CalMAN..."
The meter is a Spectracal C6.

I feel quite ignorant at this point.
What are the proper steps and connections to get this up and running in order to calibrate a home display?
Try this.
http://www.spectracal.com/Documents/...QuickStart.pdf

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Old 06-26-2015, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I connected both an iPad 4 and an iPhone 6 plus tonight using an apple lighting to HDMI adapter.

The iPad 4 output at 720p and the iPhone 6 plus at 1080p. Is that the limitation of the iPad 4 hardware? I am guessing that for calibration purposes the resolution of the patterns should not matter?

Also I did notice some vertical lines in certain patterns. Particularly lower IRE patters and the full field black pattern. Any thoughts on that or has that been seen before?
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:19 PM
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I ran a quick test comparing the apple TV screen mirrored output via an iPhone to the DVDO-TPG, both set to YCC output. Operation was smooth and the aspect ratio, APL levels, and video levels were all correct although there were some rounding errors. So this is a viable alternative if you don't need a bit perfect RGB triplet generator.

I couldn't find a way to screen mirror to my Chromecast, Allcast just does stored photos and videos, any hints?

Btw, ArgyllCMS/DCG and HCFR have already implemented a close to bit-perfect dithered Chromecast generator a couple of months ago and it doesn't require any additional hardware, apps or cables.


edit: I also found you don't have to run the apple TV with YCC out, it also works with RGB low and set CM output levels to video.

Last edited by zoyd; 06-26-2015 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:23 PM
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Thanks. That is exactly what I needed.
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:57 PM
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The Chromecast display mirror feature is 'beta' and has limited device support (as I found out yesterday when I bought one for this purpose).

https://support.google.com/chromecas..._topic=2995192

The display mirror feature is only supported on android and unfortunately none of my devices are supported.

I am very excited to use the MobileForge app and now looking for other options.

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Old 06-27-2015, 03:56 PM
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Edit: the below issue was due to running outdated CalMAN 4.5.2 with "expend to PC levels" checked, as explained by Joel in the following post. It is working fine now.


The ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T inbuilt HDMI output does not appear to be accurate with MobileForge.

Greyscale luminance levels step-up but are capped around 30% luminance (higher greyscale percentages display 30% luminance)

I'm not sure if these devices should be able to present ColorChecker colours, but I'm seeing most colours having off the scale errors and some colours presented as white.

Last edited by csy; 06-28-2015 at 12:46 AM.
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