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post #1 of 93 Old 06-24-2006, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if im in the right section here but does anyone know what the best one is or does it make that much of a difference which one you use.I have used the AVIA dvd for my CRT.How is the HQV benchmark dvd?thanks

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post #2 of 93 Old 06-24-2006, 01:04 PM
 
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What is your display?

Also, use the search function.
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post #3 of 93 Old 06-26-2006, 02:56 AM
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The HQV DVD is a "torture test" DVD used to test video processing, and cannot be used for calibration. It does not have any test patterns for brightness, contrast, color and tint adjustments. There are many threads on calibration discs in this forum. If you read them, you will get many answers to the question you asked.

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post #4 of 93 Old 06-26-2006, 11:02 AM
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Avia can probably make a huge difference, i simply went through THX optimizer on one of my DVD's and I was blown away at the imrpovement of image quality.
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post #5 of 93 Old 06-27-2006, 06:12 PM
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The basic Avia is fine for adjusting color, tint, sharpness, white, and the black levels. However, it's not a good choice for adjusting gray scale: the IRE windows were corrupted by extraneous color.

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post #6 of 93 Old 06-27-2006, 08:29 PM
 
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One can easily eliminate the grayscale issues (which in any case is quite minor) by simply reducing color saturation to zero.
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post #7 of 93 Old 06-27-2006, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys.

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post #8 of 93 Old 06-28-2006, 07:08 AM
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Avical's DVE user-level video calibration tutorial

Introduction

DVE (Digital Video Essentials) begins with an introduction on basic video and splits off into different sections that one navigates through using their DVD player's remote. At Avical, we suggest viewing the entire disc as it includes many sections that will further troubleshoot video and audio systems beyond the scope of this article. For those wanting an even deeper explanation behind each pattern's intended use, Joe Kane Productions has provided test pattern descriptions available on their website.

Understanding a DVD player's navigational options and DVE's menu structure.

DVDs come with two different menu systems. The first (upper menu) is usually accessed via a "Top Menu" or "Title" button on a player's remote. The second (lower menu) is simply called the Menu and is accessed using the "Menu" button. It acts as a sub menu to the Title/Top menu system. The trick to DVE is knowing the exact locations of a few key test patterns and how to get to them quickly. For example, on most Sony DVD players, pressing the "Display" button will bring up a page that allows the title and chapter number to be entered. Since DVE comes with an index that lists the program in a Title/Chapter format, it is much easier to know the specific location associated with each pattern. But as a heads up, every pattern in this article is found in Title 12.

Perform adjustments in a light controlled environment.

A quality image cannot be attained in a room that doesn't have total light control. If this cannot be achieved during the day, the adjustments ought to be made during the evening with the lights off. A rear mounted Cinema Quest Ideal-lume bias light would be an exception.

Preparing the DVD player for calibration.

Whenever possible, the DVD player's video output should be connected directly to the display. Doing so will lessen the chance of potentially degrading the signal by having it go through unnecessary circuitry. There will likely be a number of different connectivity options. In order of grade, these may include composite (1 RCA), S-video, component (3 RCA), DVI, and HDMI.

The DVD player will also need to be adjusted within its own setup menu to ensure that it is outputting properly. This can get tricky as every make/model can have different controls. But in general, if the TV's screen is oblong (1.78:1), the "16x9" or "Widescreen" option should be chosen. If it has the older squarish shape (1.33:1), the "4x3" or "Normal" option should be selected. If there is a black-level control and the composite or S-video output is being used, place it in the 7.5 IRE position. If component is being used, place it in the "0" IRE position. On newer players with digital video outputs (DVI, HDMI), there is often one more adjustment for black-level consisting of a Normal or Enhanced mode. These modes differentiate between video based systems (16-235) and computer based systems (0-255). For most applications, this should be set to the "Normal" mode. As stated earlier, some players may offer additional controls such as brightness, contrast, color, tint, gamma, etc. Generally speaking, these should be left untouched although there are a few players that need further adjusting within these extended setup menus to output properly. Please refer to the player's owner's manual for additional setup configurations.

Preparing the display for calibration.

The display should be "neutralized" prior to running DVE as well. This entails turning off all controls such as "Iris", "SVM", "Black Extension", etc., putting the user-menu controls at 50% or down the middle, choosing a viewing mode that has the least amount of edge enhancement (often titled Movie, Cinema or Pro) and placing the TV within a color temperature that will be closer to the SMPTE D6500 color temperature reference standard (often titled Warm, Low, NTSC, etc.). However, keep in mind that no two displays will come out of the factory looking exactly the same. Consequently, while putting one in the "Warm" color temperature may bring it closer to the desired 6500K region, on another display of the same make and model, the Warm color temperature might be higher or lower than 6500k. This is where having an instrument like the Photo Research PR650 Minolta CS200 comes in handy as they will reveal with incredible accuracy where the grayscale lies.

Step 1: Brightness

The first two items adjusted on a display are the brightness and contrast. While these two controls are interactive, brightness primarily impacts the lower end of the grayscale (blacks) and contrast the top end (whites). It is also important to note that they will influence the grayscale somewhat and therefore any color information placed over it.

Navigate to Title 12, Chapter 2, DVE PLUGE w/Gray Scale



This pattern's function is to assess/adjust the brightness level on all types of displays and the contrast on a CRT. It consists of a background at video black and symmetrical PLUGE on both the left and right side of the log gray scale (four vertically aligned rectangles in the middle of the screen).

The log gray scale can be used to inspect the neutrality or lack thereof of the grayscale. A bluish tint is usually indicative of a grayscale that is higher (cooler) than D6500. A reddish tint is usually indicative of a grayscale that is lower (warmer) than D6500. A greenish tint, on the other hand, can be warmer or cooler than D6500 and is usually the least desirable as most people are more sensitive to its inaccuracies than a grayscale that leans towards blue or red.

This section of the PLUGE pattern can be used as a guide in selecting a color temperature preset that is closest to D6500.

The background of this pattern represents "black" while the three vertical strips at either side represent 4% below black, 4% above black, and 2% above black. Ideally, one should only be able to see the 4% and 2% above black strips.

Navigate to Title 12, Chapter 3, DVE PLUGE w/White



The previous PLUGE pattern represented a low average picture level (APL) whereas this one represents a high APL. Toggle between these two patterns to arrive at the most accurate brightness setting.

We have found that on many CRT displays, one will have to compromise by adjusting the brightness so that only the 4% above black is visible within this pattern. Otherwise, the blacks may look too washed out.

Those with CRT displays should adjust the brightness control and set it to where the 4% below black strip has disappeared while the 4% above strips are still viewable using T.12/CH2 & CH3.

On an LCD, D-ILA, and DLP display, this process is slightly different in that many of these do not have gamma curves similar to a CRT which cause the below/above black strips to appear/disappear. For these displays, it is necessary to look for where black is being "crushed" or lost. If one stands close to the screen and raises the brightness, they will notice that there is some "noise" in the black background. Conversely, as the brightness is brought back down, the noise eventually goes away.

Those with digital displays should adjust the brightness control until they can clearly see the noise in the background, and then lower it again until the noise disappears but where the 2% above black strips are still visible.

Step 2: Contrast

On a CRT, you may use the PLUGE pattern to set contrast.

Those with CRT displays should raise the contrast control while carefully viewing the top box (peak white) until it starts to bloom (become larger than the other boxes), or when it starts to turn yellow in comparison to the boxes below it. When this occurs, back off the contrast so that it is no longer clipping.

Contrast and brightness are interactive so make sure to recheck the brightness once you have adjusted contrast and vice versa.

If one is using a digital display, setting contrast is slightly different. For these, we recommend a different pattern.

Navigate to Title 12, Chapter 14, "Reverse Gray Ramps & Steps"



This pattern may be used to assess/adjust brightness, contrast, bit depth, and gamma. Here we will describe its use in setting contrast properly on a digital display.

Notice the top and bottom portions of this pattern which consists of a gray ramp. The twenty-two steps extend from 5% below black to 5% above white with the ramps extending to the limits of the digital video system. Markers, which appear as three vertical dots, are placed at video black, 50% and 100%.

Unlike an analog CRT, digital displays do not go into blooming. Hence the reason why a PLUGE pattern cannot be used to adjust contrast on an LCD, D-ILA, and DLP. On these displays, any video information must be below the clip point level. If the contrast is turned too high, chances are that part of the video signal will be pushed into clipping and whatever detail is in that portion will be lost. The contrast control must be turned down so that the bars towards the brighter sections of the ramp (top left or bottom right) are clearly delineated from one another.

Those with digital displays should run the contrast control up to see if the steps start to blend together. The proper position for contrast is below the point of clipping, i.e. when each bar is distinguishable and/or uniform in color.

On some displays, turning the contrast down will not pull the video out of the clip. This is often an indication that the DVD player is running into its own digital clip. If so, go back to the player's setup menu and turn down its contrast by one click. This will usually eliminate the clip. If not, lower the contrast by another click and so on until every bar is clearly visible. In some cases, the two lightest bars will remain blended together no matter how much the contrast is lowered. In such cases, revert the player to its factory contrast setting.

Step 3: Color and Tint

As with the brightness and contrast, the color and tint controls are interactive.

Navigate to Title 12, Chapter 6, "Color Bars w/Gray Reference"



For calibrating composite or S-Video, observe the blue channel (blue, magenta, and cyan squares) while viewing through the blue portion of the filter that came with DVE (the red, yellow, and green squares will be masked).

Adjust the color control (amplitude) so that the two outer blue squares appear close in shade with one another. This may alter the shade of the magenta and cyan squares which will need to be adjusted using the tint/hue control (phase) so that they appear as close in shade with one another as well. There may be a bit of going back and forth before favorable results are achieved.



For component video, the same observations apply except that the tint will control color balance instead of decoder phase. Tint is not normally available in component video.

While this procedure will work for the majority of displays, there are a few that require an ISF technician to achieve the desired results. For example, the current Samsung DLP RPTVs utilize a color coordinate adjustment mode known as "CCA" which color corrects the primary and secondary colors to system specifications. It does this by adding red and green to blue, thus negating the results when using a color filter. As such, it can only be adjusted properly by temporarily disabling the CCA option within the service menu.

Step 4: Sharpness

The last adjustment in the typical consumer menu is the sharpness control.

Navigate to Title 12, Chapter 17, "1.33 Overscan Pattern"



The Overscan pattern shows how much picture information is being displayed. This pattern may also be used to assess different aspects of a system's performance. Here we will describe its use in setting the sharpness control.

When the sharpness is set too high, it introduces noise as well as "ringing" on the edges of objects. Most people are used to this excessive edge enhancement and sometimes feel that a display looks too "soft" when it is turned down. It is therefore important for one to give themselves a period of time to acclimate to a less "edgy" picture once sharpness is lowered.

To set the sharpness, raise and lower the control while observing the image transitions between the gray and black areas of the picture. If halos or artificial edges start becoming apparent, the sharpness is set too high. Simply lower it until the edges are clean without any artificial edge enhancement.

On some displays, bringing the sharpness control all the way down may adversely affect image resolution. If when lowering the sharpness control the overscan pattern suddenly looks fuzzy from one click to the next, set it back to the position right before the major change. This can be the case with certain DVD players that have a sharpness control in their setup menu as well.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, there are many more patterns than the ones that we described that can assist in evaluating and setting up other aspects of a video (and audio) system. We just touched upon the critical patterns needed for a quick and easy user-level video calibration. Again, we suggest going through the entire disc to gain an even deeper understanding of how a home theater audio/video system works.

Eliab
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post #9 of 93 Old 06-28-2006, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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wow thanks this is very helpful.

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post #10 of 93 Old 06-28-2006, 01:59 PM
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You're welcome and good luck!

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post #11 of 93 Old 06-28-2006, 02:17 PM
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Quote:


One can easily eliminate the grayscale issues (which in any case is quite minor) by simply reducing color saturation to zero.

I agree that this would be a workaround to the problem. I think I disagree about the importance of it. I could eyeball the difference in a display that was recalibrated with uncorrupted gray scale patterns. It didn't seem that subtle to me.

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post #12 of 93 Old 09-08-2006, 08:57 AM
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thanks, this dvd is so complicated.
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post #13 of 93 Old 09-08-2006, 10:09 AM
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Our own GetGray's calibration DVD is the best if you know what you are doing!
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=586139
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post #14 of 93 Old 09-09-2006, 01:24 AM
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I agree Kroot. It's the fastest and easiest one to use (if you have an idea of what you are doing, and have a DVD burner on your PC). You can get the manual (scroll down the following web page) and particulars from www.calibrate.tv.

Eliab -- That's the best description of how to use DVE that I have seen anywhere . Thanks (didn't you post that description in another thread too?).

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post #15 of 93 Old 09-10-2006, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroot View Post

Our own GetGray's calibration DVD is the best if you know what you are doing!
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=586139

And you don't have to know much about what you are doing, particularly if you've used Avia or DVE already. They all use the same concepts.
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post #16 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 10:06 AM
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I have an older version of Nero and also DVD Shrink. I'm assuming that I can burn these .ts files to DVD on my computer using either one of these tools.

Or would it take something else?

Wayne
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post #17 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 10:18 AM
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They are just the DVD files, nothing special about them. The complete VIDEO_TS folder. It is identical to the output of a DVDShrink session ripping a DVD. If you can use DVD shrink to create a DVD copy, you should have no trouble making the calibration DVD. For that matter, I suppose you could use the open files option of DVDshrink and do it that way if you like.
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post #18 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 10:54 AM
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Thanks. I've just skimmed through your documentation PDF. That seems to help a great deal. I intend to acquire this. Good idea on just using the files option. I'll need to burn a copy if I want to calibrate my Oppo player though. Nice to know either method can be used.

Wayne
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post #19 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 11:19 AM
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In another thread I asked about the settings of my DVD player. The conclusion is, CALIBRATION DVDs DO NOT CALIBRATE THE DISPLAY; they only calibrate the specific combination of DVD player (with the current settings) plus display.

When you are watching video from any other source, your display is not calibrated for that source.

DVD players may have brightness/contrast/color/tint/sharpness settings that are quite far from "neutral". So by and large, calibration DVDs are being sold based on a false promise. I understand that test pattern generators (in place of the DVD and player) would result in a source-independent calibration, but they cost several hundred dollars.
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post #20 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Kalia View Post

In another thread I asked about the settings of my DVD player. The conclusion is, CALIBRATION DVDs DO NOT CALIBRATE THE DISPLAY; they only calibrate the specific combination of DVD player (with the current settings) plus display.

When you are watching video from any other source, your display is not calibrated for that source.

DVD players may have brightness/contrast/color/tint/sharpness settings that are quite far from "neutral". So by and large, calibration DVDs are being sold based on a false promise. I understand that test pattern generators (in place of the DVD and player) would result in a source-independent calibration, but they cost several hundred dollars.

Nothing false about calibrating the video chain. From source to display that's how it is supposed to be done. With a DVD player you need to use a calibration disk. If you use a pattern generator then you are calibrating to that as the source and that would get pretty boring after awhile watching the same patterns over and over

Yes a pattern generator has it's place when you are calibrating the service level or master settings for a base line or for a source input you don't have test patterns for. But you still have to then calibrate for each source device and for a DVD player that's a calibration disk. For other sources you may have a VHS cal tape, LD cal disk, OTA test patterns recorded, Cable or Sat patterns from HD-Net or you may just have to eyeball it based on what you learned from the other sources.

BTW, to answer the OP? GetGray is the best cal disk

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post #21 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Kalia View Post

In another thread I asked about the settings of my DVD player. The conclusion is, CALIBRATION DVDs DO NOT CALIBRATE THE DISPLAY; they only calibrate the specific combination of DVD player (with the current settings) plus display.

When you are watching video from any other source, your display is not calibrated for that source.

DVD players may have brightness/contrast/color/tint/sharpness settings that are quite far from "neutral". So by and large, calibration DVDs are being sold based on a false promise. I understand that test pattern generators (in place of the DVD and player) would result in a source-independent calibration, but they cost several hundred dollars.

They are not being sold on a false premise. The purpose of calibration is to align the playback chain for accurate video playback.

Signal generators do not really achieve this because if the source or playback chain is not the same as what the signal generator outputs, then you have not achieved an accurate image on the screen from your sources.
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post #22 of 93 Old 09-11-2006, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekjsmith View Post


BTW, to answer the OP? GetGray is the best cal disk

I'll second that. GetGray is the best bar none. I feel like pulling my hair out trying to use Avia after using GetGray...
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post #23 of 93 Old 09-14-2006, 10:28 AM
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I've just posted my review of SpyderTVPro in this forum under the SpyderTVPro reviews thread if anyone's interested.

Wayne
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post #24 of 93 Old 12-23-2006, 09:53 PM
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My 67" Samsung 6767 DLP has a lousy picture when driven by my HTPC. Whites are too white, blacks too black (no detail in both). Do I modify my ATI driver settings first (for contrast and brightness), or adjust the DLP's settings? How do you fine-tune cascades like that? I've use the Avia and modified the TV settings, but nothing looks right.

PS I'm in Boston but we don't seem to have any calibrators out here.

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post #25 of 93 Old 12-23-2006, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spearse View Post

My 67" Samsung 6767 DLP has a lousy picture when driven by my HTPC. Whites are too white, blacks too black (no detail in both). Do I modify my ATI driver settings first (for contrast and brightness), or adjust the DLP's settings? How do you fine-tune cascades like that? I've use the Avia and modified the TV settings, but nothing looks right.

PS I'm in Boston but we don't seem to have any calibrators out here.

Spearse

PCs are complex environments. Especially since graphics levels is not the same as video levels. Read my guide as linked in my signature it explains some of these issues.

As for what you're viewing via PC, you'll need to provide much more thorough details such as what software you're using and what you're using as the renderer, video card and drivers, etc.
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post #26 of 93 Old 12-23-2006, 10:12 PM
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Thanks chriswiggles,
You have a very comprehensive guide. I will analyze it thoroughly. I've been driving my HTPC for 6 years (ATI 9600 to Mits 65" via transcoder) with great results. I "upgraded" to my 6767 Samsung 67" 1080p, but am very disappointed so far. I have the same HTPC going directly into the Sammie's VGA port 1080p. Latest ATI drivers, with lots of fine tuning options. Avia looks the same whether from PowerDVD or WinDVD. Even the windows default sky/clouds desktop has over saturated whites and darks. Any attempt at correcting just greys blacks and whites to muddiness.

Basic question is do you assume PC input is default and correct the TV, or correct PC with default TV settings? Where do you start? The iterations can drive you crazy.

Also, why don't these DLP manufacturers ship a CD with .icm color profiles? My HTPC can import and use those .icm files and get colors just right. That would help tremendously. AVS forum search brings up nothing for HDTV color profiles.

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post #27 of 93 Old 12-23-2006, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroot View Post

Our own GetGray's calibration DVD is the best if you know what you are doing!

Hi,
sorry I'm a bit unclear on this - you download the DVD file from 'calibrate.tv' and burn it onto a DVD? How much does it cost?

thanks

Tim
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post #28 of 93 Old 12-24-2006, 06:26 AM
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Tim,

If I remember correctly they ask for a 'donation' of $25.00 as a one time fee. Seems very reasonable compared to the other discs floating around in calibration universe.

Wayne
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post #29 of 93 Old 12-24-2006, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstruth View Post

Hi,
sorry I'm a bit unclear on this - you download the DVD file from 'calibrate.tv' and burn it onto a DVD? How much does it cost?

thanks

Tim

Go to www.calibrate.tv. All of the information is posted there.

- Claus {non-Santa model}
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post #30 of 93 Old 12-25-2006, 05:52 PM
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Does this just improve the image?
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