Anyone using Milori Colorfacts Pro? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to get a Calibration software/hardware for all my displays. CRT monitors, CRT pj, Plasma's and maybe a future LCD front pj. Since I'm not pro but a serious videophile, I won't be interested in much more complicated and expensive systems. Well, this one is not very cheap either but I already own many displays worth thousands of $.

So, if anyone used or still using this product, how does it really work? How is the learning curve? (I'm a complete novice when it comes to using such calibration equipment) Is it really worth?

Thanks
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post #2 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 01:05 PM
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It's pretty simple, you can just about hunt and peck your way around all the menu possiblities and start tuning a grayscale.

You start with aiming then choose constant readings for 6500k as starters, also noting gamma levels. I'm no pro at it but found it pretty easy to use.

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post #3 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 02:07 PM
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PRO comes with reporting and database capabilities for your calibration customers. For DIY this is handy for keeping your own records of your various display calibration. It also offers support for signal generator.

Color science and calibration learning curve is very steep. The tool is helpful in terms of wizards and graphics that tell you what to do. But like all tools - if you do not understand the science you can only go so far.

There was rumoured support for a DIY version without the extra features - but then they came out with this adjust your TV presets version instead?
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post #4 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies :)

So you can use the same sensor with all displays (above) except LCD monitors, right?

What do you do for FP's, just place the sensor infront of your screen at a specific distance(?) and aim to a certain area(?)

Do you think I'll need any of the optional sensors they mention on their web site?
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post #5 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 03:04 PM
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I too am looking to buy a calibration tool/software combination and was waiting for the ColorFacts announcement at CES. The "Spyder TV", what a dissapointment. Anyway, my research into the two products I can afford reveals the Optic One with Avia Pro streets for a lot less than ColorFacts Pro and comes with support for Sencore pattern generators and is rumored to have support for AccuPel shortly. The OpticOne sensor appears to have better sensitivity at low IREs also. The ColorFacts software appears to be more user friendly, which may make the learning curve less steep. I'm leaning toward the OpticOne but haven't purchased it yet as no one seems to be using it which makes me worried that I must be missing something.
Please someone tell me what I'm missing, or that I'm not missing anything as I don't want to spend this much $ and regret it later.
Thanks,
Bill
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post #6 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 03:11 PM
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Electron Mover,

The Trichomat on ColorFacts Pro is the same sensor in OpticOne and Sencore packages. CF Pro supports the same generators. ColorFacts supports many sensors that the others do not.

Sensivity is a function of exposure time - which is defaulted and can be changed in either package.

Of course getting AVIA PRO as a freebie is an advantage! Obviously CF PRO cannot throw that in!

Various sensors all have pros/cons - and there are always new models coming out. Buy based on desired software features and hardware support. Something this expensive will be kept for a long time.
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post #7 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 03:16 PM
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Which is a better calibration method :

- Calibrate the FP unit with a test pattern generator using ColorFacts?

or

- Calibrate the FP unit with a DVD outputing the test pattern using ColorFacts?

This also applies to using SMART III as well.
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post #8 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 03:22 PM
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You want to calibrate the entire video chain.

Makes no sense to calibrate an input for an ideal source which you do not have.
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post #9 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Electron Mover
The ColorFacts software appears to be more user friendly, which may make the learning curve less steep. I'm leaning toward the OpticOne but haven't purchased it yet as no one seems to be using it which makes me worried that I must be missing something.
You are not missing anything.

A number of us are very pleased with the Optic One. Colorfacts and Optic One are both very fine products. They are not identical, but they both work well and have similar accuracy. Colorfact's wizard based system is a little easier initially, but is substantially slower. This isn't to say that Optic One is difficult. It isn't. Both of them are easy enough to use, IMHO.

Both the Colorfacts and Optic One tri-chromat sensors are made by Sequal Imaging and use the same filter set. Accordingly they are similarly accurate.

You have nothing to worry about considering the Optic One.

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post #10 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 03:43 PM
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The general rule is to calibrate the system rather than the device. The DVD player has some impact (some more than others) on all aspects of the video image, so it should be included in the calibration to ensure that the DVD image is displayed at D65, with proper color saturation, etc. This means all components are calibrated together (which is how they work in the real world) starting with the DVD player, the connection to a switcher or processor (if applicable), and the connection to the display device.

On the other hand, a signal generator provides a more pure and accurate pattern that can aid in calibration or trouble shooting. A generator can also help you see what impact the DVD player has on grayscale, color etc., by comparing the same pattern from both sources. The signal generator is also essential for calibrating other inputs that are inconsistent with your DVD’s outputs (e.g., you can’t calibrate the DVI or HDMI input on the display device with a DVD player that only has component outputs). Finally, a generator is essential to calibrate HDTV inputs at the various resolutions (720p, 1080i, etc.). Some generators can even output an ATSC RF signal that runs the test patterns through the HDTV tuner.

That being said, if you have a quality DVD player, you should get a good result, at least for that input and resolution.

I use the OpticOne and agree with Glenn's comments -- they are both fine products, it just depends on what features are more important to you. Send me a PM if you want more information.

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post #11 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 04:12 PM
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What about colorfacts with the Macbeth One eye, which is more expensive? Andrea at HT-projectors was hinting to me that the One-eye is way superior to the Trichromat.

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post #12 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Murat
Thanks for the replies :)

So you can use the same sensor with all displays (above) except LCD monitors, right?

What do you do for FP's, just place the sensor infront of your screen at a specific distance(?) and aim to a certain area(?)

Do you think I'll need any of the optional sensors they mention on their web site?

Can I get some quick answers? :rolleyes:
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post #13 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 05:13 PM
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I used it with CRT and DLP's okay. You use a tripod for front projectors with both colormeters. The one-eye comes with several devices for getting it right on the RTPV's or Tube TV's.

The Tri-chromat meter comes with it's own tripod mounter and nothing else. I guess for RPTV/tubes you'll hv to rig a way to lay in flat on the screen.

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post #14 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
The Tri-chromat meter comes with it's own tripod mounter and nothing else. I guess for RPTV/tubes you'll hv to rig a way to lay in flat on the screen.
The sensor has suction cups that allow you to place it directly on the screen.

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post #15 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 07:09 PM
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My new Optimagery Spyder came with a LCD panel light pipe - solves that problem - just got a new 15" LCDTV I am itching to try this on. You might ask Milori what plans are for this attachment and Spyder2. I think I got a Spyder1 and this attachment was for Spyder2, but it fit.

I got a new one on a refurb deal - not sure if they are selling it or not. Though I am sure their parent company would like them to - since they make it!

I have not tried off the screen readings- I find I only get accurate contrast readings if I measure the projector at a distance that results in a 2.5' wide image.


If you are very interested in spectrograph and accurate CIE x,y numbers for arbitrary source primaries - then you want the eye-one. A professional calibrator cannot use it because it is too slow - reading speed and dark reading requirements. The Trichomat is much faster - but relatively less color accuracy - but just as good at grey scale.
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post #16 of 137 Old 01-13-2005, 08:26 PM
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If I remember correctly, the Eye-One is handy for printing applications - you can use it to color correct your printer output to a high-degree of accuracy. Calibrate the monitor, the printer, the scanner...all of that can be done with the Eye-One if you are willing to spend the money on it.
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post #17 of 137 Old 01-17-2005, 07:48 PM
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I ordered a Optic One today and was told that support for the AccuPel HDG-3000 would be available via ovation's website as early as tomorrow (1/18/05)!
Thought y'all might want to know...
Bill
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post #18 of 137 Old 01-18-2005, 03:42 PM
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So how where does the light meter go? Do you mount it on a tripod and face at wall or the projector? Or do you build a cup and cover the PJ lens? If so, that means you have to take it out when you skip to next chapter for the test patterns, right?
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post #19 of 137 Old 01-18-2005, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
So how where does the light meter go? Do you mount it on a tripod and face at wall or the projector?
For FP, place the sensor on a tripod and EITHER place the sensor close to the screen and angle the sensor towards the screen to measure the light that reflects off it OR place near the screen and aim the sensor directly towards the PJ's lamp.

The former will more accurately measure the light that actually hits your eyes, but the latter will take measurements from a stronger light source, which, also aids accuracy. Both methods are valid, though I suppose the off-screen method is the purist approach.

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post #20 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there any huge difference between Trichromat colorimeter and Eye-One spectroradiometer in terms of overall results. Will the Trichromat sensor provide good calibration for an amateur like me for all the displays I listed above?
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post #21 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 07:46 AM
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Kevin, et.al:

I, too am in the market for a calibration device. I’ve tried SmartIII but it didn’t work out for my projector using the generic version. I considered and spoke to Sencore, but they are clearly business oriented, high pressure, and too expensive so I ruled them out. It’s down to wanting Milori’s or Ovations’ product.

“Trichromat colorimeter and Eye-One spectroradiometer “

Hmm, now I’m getting confused.

As I understand it the two choices are:

Milori’s colorfacts. It has:
a) Trichromat-1 tristimulus colorimeter.
b) Optional GretagMacbeth Eye-One Beamer (Spectroradiometer)
c) uses colorfacts software
d) use your own caibration discs (Avia) or signal generator

Ovation’s OpticOne: It uses:
a) OpticOne sensor. Ovation’s website dosen’t specify what type of sensor it is. This thread has folks who think they are the same, or are very close. Are they?
b) uses OpticOne software for calibration
c) included avia pro for test discs. I presume these will only be usefull for calibrating inputs that can be connected to a DVD player. Otherwise, a signal generator is required.

I am technically inclined but a color novice. I want to be able to tune my DLP front projector(s) (and if possible other "direct view" displays but not a priority).

I need some help deciding if the OpticOne would work for me and meet my needs. It is a good deal less expensive than CF. For the price of CF, I believe one could get a OpticOne AND a signal generator.

As a private user, speed is not a big issue to me. I can see where it would be for a pro calibrator in someone elses home. But for me, I could spread the work over several evenings to do it if needed. Reports are not that important to me either, I can write. Automation isn’t that important to me, I can push buttons.

What IS important is the quality of the resulting calibration, AND my ablility to properly operate/use the tool.

So the bottom line is, given my perceived needs:

1: Can the OpticOne package do as good a job as CF on measuring and producing end-results?

And 2: I read it’s (OpticOne) manual, it looked a little overwhelming. It has ton’s of info, but no real directions on exactly what to do as far as I could see. Can a novice use it effectively?

Input and suggestions very welcome. Cheers, Scott
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post #22 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 01:12 PM
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Both a) are the same thing as the Sencore meter. The software defaults may control them differently trading off accuracy and speed.

The spectroradiometer is useable to train the Trichomat if its color points are drifted. One meter better at color, the other better at greyscale. Some buy both!

Milori also supports professional priced Motorola meters.

If you can find a laptop with a good DVI and powerstrip support - that can sub for a DVI signal generator. A DVI DVD player can as well. RadioShack RF modulator to get you channel 3 when you need it. Just make sure you have the ability to test the standard compliance of the outputs.

So far only Sencore has a generator with all outputs. Some serious price on that one. I don't see what a home user has need for such a generator - but it is certainly on my list of things to buy if I cannot find above workarounds acceptable.

These tools are targeted with features and price for professional calibrators. Have a look at the ColorFacts manual - it does have more GUI and wizards to get the novice up to speed. Not sure what happened with ColorFacts DIY but SpyderTV ain't it!

Have you considered stepping up to a model specific Smart III? Since it is just for home use and speed is not an issue - it might be an option.
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post #23 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by krasmuzik
So far only Sencore has a generator with all outputs. Some serious price on that one. I don't see what a home user has need for such a generator - but it is certainly on my list of things to buy if I cannot find above workarounds acceptable.
What about the Accupel 3000? It appeared to have every output I have inputs for anyway. Except for an encoded HDTV feed to the Motorola HD STB. Just for curiosity, what signal is it missing?
Quote:
Have you considered stepping up to a model specific Smart III? Since it is just for home use and speed is not an issue - it might be an option.
No such animal. Steve couldn't get Optoma to lend him one. I would have purchased that one if it had existed. The generic DLP version results didn't look good on my H77.
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post #24 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scotthorton
1: Can the OpticOne package do as good a job as CF on measuring and producing end-results?

And 2: I read it’s (OpticOne) manual, it looked a little overwhelming. It has ton’s of info, but no real directions on exactly what to do as far as I could see. Can a novice use it effectively?

Input and suggestions very welcome. Cheers, Scott
Both Colorfacts and OpticOne using their respective trichormat sensors will yield equally accurate calibrations.

The Eye-One sensor (a spectroradiometer) has one advantage over the trichromat sensors. It can read directly from the screen, and thus can take any coloration imparted by the screen (I'm talking front projection here) into account in the calibration. The trichromats can't. They are designed to be pointed at the PJ. If you use a color accurate screen, like a Stewart, you don't need to read from the screen, IMO.

The Eye-One has some disadvantages in comparison with the tri-chromats, especially in the areas of speed, usability, and accuracy when measuring low IRE's. Several folks I've spoken with who own both sensors, only use the trichromat sensor. If I were buying Colorfacts, I would buy the Colorfacts trichromat sensor, not the Eye-One. If you are willing to spring for both types of sensors, use the Eye-One to set the PJ to D65 by reading directly from the screen at 80 IRE (the Eye-One is very accurate at high brightness levels). Then use the trichromat to read the calibrated 80 IRE directly from the PJ. You can tell Colorfacts that this is D65, regardless of what the trichromat is reading, and Colorfacts will derive the appropriate correction factor so that you can then use the Trichromat sensor to calibrate the whole grayscale to the same x,y color coordinates that it read at 80 IRE. The same technique can be used with a spectroradiometer and OpticOne, also.

As far as how the two trichromat sensors compare to each other, they are not identical, but they are very similar. They use the same filter set, which largely determines how accurate they are with a variety of light sources. The Optic One sensor responds to calibration changes instantly. The Colorfacts sensor takes several seconds to respond. IMO, the most significant difference between Colorfacts and OpticOne is the price.

Both systems require an understanding of color science and calibration techniques. One of the best sources of practical info on this can be found on the Smart III website: http://www.smartavtweaks.com/Dummies3.html
You will find a practical step by step procedure for performing calibrations and the basic color science behind it. Colorfacts also has articles on color science and calibrations which are helpful.

Posted below is a step by step procedure written by forum member, Htomei, for calibrating an SP7200 with an older version of Colorfacts and Avia. He wrote this as a memory jogger for his own use. It contains specific terminology referencing commands in Colorfacts, Avia, and the SP7200's menu. That part of the instructions might be confusing if you are not familiar with the Colorfacts, Avia, and SP7200's menus. However, the particular method that HTomei describes can be applied to any PJ and calibration system. After reading the material on the websites referenced above, the procedure below will make more sense.

There are two key elements. The first involves establishing the PJ's limiting color, and determining the limiting color's maximum effective Gain setting at 100 IRE. This Gain setting is used as a constant when adjusting the Gains. The second key involves determining the extinguishment points for R,G,and B at Black. The Green Bias setting that creates extinguishment at Black is used as a constant when setting the Bias/Offset controls.

SETTING THE BASIC SETTINGS WITH AVIA:

1. SET FOCUS:

2. SET BRIGHTNESS & CONTRAST:

- Brightness:

- Set PJ to 4:3 display mode
Either: Avia / Title / Advanced Avia / Basic Patterns / Black Bars; then,
When dithering is eliminated you will still be able to see both moving dark grey bars in the pattern
Or: Avia / Title / Advanced Avia / Video Test Patterns / Greyscale Levels /
Window Patterns / 0 IRE; then, Lower brightness until dithering just disappears (side bars act as a point of reference for black, or lack of dithering). Looking at border between black bars and the 4:3 image will make it easier to see when dithering disappears

- Contrast:

- Avia / Title / Advanced Avia / Basic Patterns / Needle Pulse
- Right bar should be barely visible; (this will be fine tuned later
by setting the Gains)


3. SET COLOR SATURATION & HUE:

- Avia / Title / Advanced Avia / Basic Patterns / Blue Bars
- 7200 / Picture / Color
- With blue filter over eye, flashing & solid boxes should appear same
- With blue filter over eye, hue (tint) inner two boxes should disappear


4. AIM COLORIMETER:

- Avia / Title /Advanced Avia / Video Test Patterns / Grey Scale & Levels /
Window Patterns

- Set to 40 IRE and pause if possible

- Colorfacts / Continuous Reading / “Blow up” RGB Levels Bar Graph

-Colorfacts / Luminance Meter
- Move sensor until it ‘maxes out’
- Go down to 30, then 20 to see if enough light on RGB Levels Bar Graph


5. SET GREY SCALE (COLOR CALIBRATION):

- Avia / Title / Advanced Avia / Video Test Patterns / Greyscale & Levels /
Window Patterns

- Set Gains & Offsets as described below




Colorfacts Calibration Steps
CALIBRATION STEPS


1. Put Colorfacts into “Continuous Measuring” and view the “RGB Device”. In Avia, select the 100 IRE window pattern. Determine the limiting color (R G or B?) by raising each color’s “Gain” on the PJ in succession to the point where it stops affecting the “RGB Device”. Lower the Gain setting back one step to the last setting that had an effect on the RGB Device when that color’s Gain was raised. After doing this, the color which is the lowest on the RGB Device is the “limiting color”.

2. We are going to set the RGB Gains using an 80 IRE window pattern. We are going to set the RGB Offsets (or Bias or Cutoffs) with a 30 IRE or 40 IRE window pattern. (Use the dimmest window pattern that is still bright enough for the meter to read accurately).

3. In Avia, select the 80 IRE window; use Colorfacts RGB Device to balance RG&B by adjusting the gain only on the two non-limiting colors. Don’t change the setting of the limiting color. It is already set to highest setting that will still result in D65 at 100 IRE. (In doing this, the Contrast setting gets fine-tuned as referenced above.)

4. In Avia, select the 30 or 40 IRE window. (Use the dimmest window pattern that is still bright enough for the meter to read accurately). Adjust the Red & Blue Offsets (Bias or Offsets) controls to balance out the colors on Colorfact’s RGB Device. Don’t change the Green Bias setting. (Back when we set the Brightness, we were mainly setting the Green Bias.)

5. Recheck color balance at 80 IRE because adjusting Gains or Offsets can effect the other. Recheck the Contrast and Brightness settings.

6. Do a grey scale run from 0-100 IRE.
- Take out of continuous reading into single reading
- Measure / Greyscale Wizard / Window Pattern 0 IRE (Black) / Run through 10, 20, etc. to 100 IRE


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post #25 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 02:53 PM
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That was mighty nice of you setting up the format. I've been doing some things the wrong way. About CR check, which is the best way to aim each meter for best results? I've been using the Tri-chromat at the screen :(
Newbie's! ;) How far away from the projector lens do I want to have the Tri-chromat?

Same ? for the One-eye, how far away from the screen?

Another thing tricks for dark reading with the Tri-chromat, the Ony-eye has a neat black lens slide. I've beening laying black velvet over the Tri-chrome but feel light is still seeping in. What do you do?

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post #26 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 02:58 PM
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Glenn:

Thanks. Very informative. Steps all made sense to me except a couple. I have used the smart III so I got some pre-lessons via those docs.

One thing that was new though - dithering instead of using the black bars. I don't know what dithering looks like. Does it apply to DLP's, and if so, what do I look for?

Thanks,
Scott
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post #27 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 03:01 PM
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scotthorton

Ch3 HD is only on Sencore generator at the moment. That would be main reason for getting a generator - the rest of the inputs can be worked around. And you want to calibrate the system not the input anyways.
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post #28 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 03:04 PM
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"I don't know what dithering looks like"

Sure you don't you have an H77 :)

I see it on my H31, it looks like millions of teaming ants moving in the black shades.

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post #29 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 03:05 PM
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Thanks for the info Glenn.

BTW, I believe the OpticOne has built in adjustments for reading off a variety of screen types. When I got the demo from Cliff Plavin at CEDIA, he just set it for the make and model of screen they were using, then read directly off it.

Enjoy!

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post #30 of 137 Old 01-19-2005, 03:07 PM
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glenned,

Only thing to add to the tutorial - you can lock the limiting color with the current ColorFacts so it will tell you to adjust the other colors.

I don't use the sensor to find the limiting color - I use DisplayMate color ramps to find the point at which they clip by eye. CF color ramps patterns are not sufficient.

The new version has a wizard that takes you step by step thru an entire calibration. I don't use it but certainly helpful for newbies.

I have been considering the Eye-One solely for the training reason - but I don't know if it will work with my Spyder. Also it is good for doing reviews of primary/secondary color - or if the projector has capability to adjust those.
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