Best Buy charging $250.00 for calibration ( Samsung UN55ES6500 ) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I just bought a Samsung UN55ES6500 from BB and they are claiming to get the best picture and most life out of the TV I should consider having them calibrate the system for $250.00...I feel like this is crazy but I want some expert opinions on the subject.

Has anybody used this services and is it worth it?

Is there a calibration online available for this TV yet? ( I've looked and couldn't find anything )

Just a side note: I am not 100% sold on this TV yet It has it's moments of wow but sometimes I am less then impressed. I still have time to return it if I need too and was wondering on any suggestions for 55" TV's for around the same price that would be better if any at all.
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post #2 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 01:45 PM
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Looking over the fence already, oh brother.

Calibration - I dunno, u give me fine wine and it would be a waste, they are all alcohol to me! Play with it as it for now, calibration can be done any time, no need to rush.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #3 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Looking over the fence already, oh brother.

Calibration - I dunno, u give me fine wine and it would be a waste, they are all alcohol to me! Play with it as it for now, calibration can be done any time, no need to rush.

I was lucky to have my wife give in on upgrading from my dlp so I just want to make sure I made the best purchase for $1700 I could...
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post #4 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 02:11 PM
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Some people swear by professional calibration. (Remember, you cannot truly calibrate an HDTV yourself no matter how many disks, etc. that you buy. It requires expensive equipment and training.)

I have seen 2 different exhibits of side by side calibrated / non-calibrated sets. ........... If it were necessary, I would pay NOT to have my set calibrated. I don't care how much they say you will like it much better in your own home.
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post #5 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Stan54 View Post

Some people swear by professional calibration. (Remember, you cannot truly calibrate an HDTV yourself no matter how many disks, etc. that you buy. It requires expensive equipment and training.)

I have seen 2 different exhibits of side by side calibrated / non-calibrated sets. ........... If it were necessary, I would pay NOT to have my set calibrated. I don't care how much they say you will like it much better in your own home.

So did you notice a difference between the calibrated and non-calibrated sets?
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post #6 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 02:30 PM
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Real professional calibration will tweak the last drop of performance out of the set ..

That said, don't second guess yourself .. or you'll just be chasing your tail forever .. you either go with it or not .. and from the sound of your post, you are sceptical already .. and apparently not even fully sold on the set itself yet ..

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post #7 of 93 Old 05-28-2012, 07:58 PM
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It is not necessary that you like professionally calibrated picture better then the one you adjust to your own viewing preferences.
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post #8 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JtoThaMtoThaP View Post

Just a side note: I am not 100% sold on this TV yet It has it's moments of wow but sometimes I am less then impressed. I still have time to return it if I need too ...

If I were in your shoes and felt that way I'd return it.
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post #9 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 06:08 AM
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Most recommend that you don't let BB touch your tv since they aren't allowed to do a proper cal. They are allowed .5 to 1 hr max. A top calibrator will spend about 4 hours and cost $3-400

Definitely some horror stories of peoples tv's being worsened by a BB cal.

Here's a thread in the calibrators forum that touches on the subject.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1361624

I'd recommend the tc-p55gt50, I know, yes I have my flame suit on
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post #10 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 06:24 AM
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I've been getting my main HD set professionally calibrated since 2001. Calibration can make a big difference. But you also need a calibrator that has the proper equipment and knows what they are doing. From what I've read about Best Buy it's more likely they will give you a bad calibration. They wouldn't be my first choice. I know the local one here, when I inquired about the equipment they used, it was all a equipment that was very old and the people doing it supposedly didn't have alot of training.

I plan on getting equipment soon and doing the calibration myself from now on. And using the auto-calibration feature of my scaler/video processor.

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post #11 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JtoThaMtoThaP View Post

So did you notice a difference between the calibrated and non-calibrated sets?

I don't know if you are joking or serious, so I will say that I thought the results of calibration were not what I wanted. Technically (according to the equipment readings), the colors may be truer, etc., but in my eyes, the picture is far inferior to the uncalibrated set. Two different exhibits, two different stores, side by side comparison. I had all I could do not to laugh in the face of the people telling me the calibrated picture was better and that I would agree when I had it in my home (where there is no comparison).

Someday, I may come across a comparative exhibit that will change my mind, however, I'm not expecting that to happen.
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post #12 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan54 View Post

I don't know if you are joking or serious, so I will say that I thought the results of calibration were not what I wanted. Technically (according to the equipment readings), the colors may be truer, etc., but in my eyes, the picture is far inferior to the uncalibrated set. Two different exhibits, two different stores, side by side comparison. I had all I could do not to laugh in the face of the people telling me the calibrated picture was better and that I would agree when I had it in my home (where there is no comparison).

Someday, I may come across a comparative exhibit that will change my mind, however, I'm not expecting that to happen.

If someone has never experienced a calibrated set in their own home it's not surprising that they wouldn't like it. A store is a poor comparison because so maybe variables are out of the consumer's control. If your set can store multiple calibrations then one can always go back to what they prefer after the calibrator has left (but then you've paid for something you don't like). The reasoning is simple, most people are used to non-calibrated sets that have just been tweaked to their liking as opposed to one that has been set to rec.709 standards taking into account the viewing environment. It takes awhile for your eyes and brain to get used to it. Source material can also affect how a calibrated set looks so even after calibration, some material may not look good. Calibration is a slippery slope and one must be careful before they calibrate their set, either DIY or by a professional (not BB), that they understand the definite benefits and pitfalls.
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post #13 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan54 View Post


I don't know if you are joking or serious, so I will say that I thought the results of calibration were not what I wanted. Technically (according to the equipment readings), the colors may be truer, etc., but in my eyes, the picture is far inferior to the uncalibrated set. Two different exhibits, two different stores, side by side comparison. I had all I could do not to laugh in the face of the people telling me the calibrated picture was better and that I would agree when I had it in my home (where there is no comparison).

Someday, I may come across a comparative exhibit that will change my mind, however, I'm not expecting that to happen.

I don't know how my question could be considered a joke but thanks for elaborating
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post #14 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 05:00 PM
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buyer beware
what does BB consider calibration?
are they simply running a disc and adjusting user controls?
i would bet that they are
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post #15 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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buyer beware
what does BB consider calibration?
are they simply running a disc and adjusting user controls?
i would bet that they are

They claim to hook up equipment to the tv and adjust everything internally and adjust the tv to your room surroundings and lighting etc
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post #16 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 05:12 PM
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To my own dismay I am a frequent BB shopper to the tune of thousands per year but I have to be honest and say that I would not let them calibrate my Ipod Touch. I was offered a free calibration previously and declined it.
Have a reputable Pro do it if you don't wish to get the proper gear for DIY.

Best of Luck,
Jason
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post #17 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 05:20 PM
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I'm no calibration expert, but I've had 3 sets calibrated from best buy and I'm pretty satisfied. They do more then run a disk. They hook equipment up to the tv, etc. I definitely wouldn't be able to do it without that equipment. That said, I'm the only one I know of in my circle that has a calibrated set, so I have nothing besides store models to compare it to.
The techs easily spent an hr, maybe more doing the work so I felt good about it. Now, when I go into the menu and click on the standard or dynamic picture settings it's almost unbearable to watch. It does take a sec to appreciate it, but I'm glad I had it done.
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post #18 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 07:50 PM
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For what it's worth...Geek Squad calibrators use professional calibration equipment and are ISF certified calibrators. To say they leave the TV looking worse than when they found it is just wild exageration. One could argue that they are not given enough time to dial the set in with as much precision as some of the independant calibrators, but they also charge at least $150 less. On a $1700 set, I would struggle to recommend a $400 calibration, but $250 is much more reasonable. I would probably recommend a more advanced calibration on sets in the $3000 range and higher though. Before you spend $2100 on a calibrated E6500, you should probably look at sets like the 55VT50 from Panasonic.

Though I am an employee of Magnolia Home Theater, the views and opinions I express on this forum are those of my own and not my employer.
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post #19 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speakerphile View Post

For what it's worth...Geek Squad calibrators use professional calibration equipment and are ISF certified calibrators. To say they leave the TV looking worse than when they found it is just wild exageration. One could argue that they are not given enough time to dial the set in with as much precision as some of the independant calibrators, but they also charge at least $150 less. On a $1700 set, I would struggle to recommend a $400 calibration, but $250 is much more reasonable. I would probably recommend a more advanced calibration on sets in the $3000 range and higher though. Before you spend $2100 on a calibrated E6500, you should probably look at sets like the 55VT50 from Panasonic.

At bb the vt is 2500 I can't get that one...I could swing the gt for 1899
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post #20 of 93 Old 05-29-2012, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JtoThaMtoThaP View Post

At bb the vt is 2500 I can't get that one...I could swing the gt for 1899

It's 2200, not 2500. The GT is in fact a MUCH better TV than the 6500 though and provides THX (both the GT and VT do) preset modes that will get you close to a calibrated image.
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post #21 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan54 View Post

I don't know if you are joking or serious, so I will say that I thought the results of calibration were not what I wanted. Technically (according to the equipment readings), the colors may be truer, etc., but in my eyes, the picture is far inferior to the uncalibrated set. Two different exhibits, two different stores, side by side comparison. I had all I could do not to laugh in the face of the people telling me the calibrated picture was better and that I would agree when I had it in my home (where there is no comparison).

Someday, I may come across a comparative exhibit that will change my mind, however, I'm not expecting that to happen.

And there is nothing wrong with that .. some prefer a certain look over technical accuracy .. it's your TV, do what you think is best ..

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post #22 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 08:20 AM
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And there is nothing wrong with that .. some prefer a certain look over technical accuracy .. it's your TV, do what you think is best ..

Yep, my eyes like vibrance and pop. I had a Panny Plasma GT50 and they are said to have the best natural picture quality, especially in THX mode. But to me it looks dull. Try watching hockey with the 'gray' ice.

I instantly went into custom and pumped up contrast and color.

So dumped the plasma and went back to LED/LCD

To each their own I guess.
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post #23 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

If someone has never experienced a calibrated set in their own home it's not surprising that they wouldn't like it. A store is a poor comparison because so maybe variables are out of the consumer's control. If your set can store multiple calibrations then one can always go back to what they prefer after the calibrator has left (but then you've paid for something you don't like). The reasoning is simple, most people are used to non-calibrated sets that have just been tweaked to their liking as opposed to one that has been set to rec.709 standards taking into account the viewing environment. It takes awhile for your eyes and brain to get used to it. Source material can also affect how a calibrated set looks so even after calibration, some material may not look good. Calibration is a slippery slope and one must be careful before they calibrate their set, either DIY or by a professional (not BB), that they understand the definite benefits and pitfalls.

See what I mean, folks?
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post #24 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 08:32 AM
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See what I mean, folks?

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post #25 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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I have to agree. . . I would not have BB calibrated any TV of mine for any amount. At best they would likely spend 1 hour and only do one input ( usually a DVD or Blu-ray player source). I have seen displays in some BB that show two of the same TVs, one calibrated and one not. The one that "IS" calibrated looks indeed as though they MAY have used a meter on it of some sort but who knows. One recent owner of a plasma TV had BB calibrate his TV and he said it was too dim for his room and tweaked things a bit higher after the tech left to suit his taste. He did write down and record his settings before readjusting them. A good idea in any case.

As far as calibration in general. TO me there are a lot of "ifs" to deal with. If you get it done even by someone claiming to be a professional you should get verification of his NIST certified equipment and "if" the tech has not ever worked on your brand/model of TV it may give mixed results, and you may need to "get used to " picture settings" that are not what you expect. Generally, a calibrated LCD picture will be much dimmer than what you see in the store. But a good calibrator would give you a "day" setting and a "night " setting" taking into consideration your room size, distance from the screen, and ambient lighting. But wait.. there's more.

Other alternatives are buy and learn to use a pair or so of hobbyist grade colorimeter and spectro meters. This may give you good results, and then again maybe not. Be prepared to spend hours and weeks and months of your time and possibly becoming addicted to making many calibration runs while you learn and always wondering if you got it right. There is as much discussion on this aspect of calibration as there are members here on AVS.

Or. .. . buy one or more discs to do your own Media Assisted Settings such as Disney WOW, Spears & Munsil, or even the free AVS HD709 disc here on AVS. Many will argue this is not a "calibration", but the truth is that calibration is not necessary to get an excellent picture on most TVs today as many are so much better out of the box than even a few years ago. As long as you turn down things like the LCD panel back light and use the Media Assist Discs to make basic settings. In all the LCD TVs (at least 7 in two years) I bought for myself, family and friends, I do not recall any that stated you must get the TV calibrated for good picture quality. I would at least recommend your spend $30 and learn how to use your picture controls yourself and then see if you wish to spend anymore. If you're at least willing to do that, you may be pleasantly surprised.

That said, depending on how exacting your standards are, you may choose a calibration. Others here on AVS will certainly tell you how it is imperative for picture "accuracy", showing what a director intended, so called image fidelity, and on and on. Often what is ignored though is that there is so much variation in program material from cable, satellite, streaming video, DVD and Blu-ray that is becomes a bit moot as to any real benefit for a consumer grade TV. My opinion and experience has been, bottom line, unless you have a dedicated home theater and/or projection system, you shouldn't need a calibration on a consumer grade TV.

As someone who is very wise once said, "Don't let those with self proclaimed expert opinion and self defined facts "nervous" you into thinking you need something. . . that you don't"

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post #26 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JtoThaMtoThaP View Post

I just bought a Samsung UN55ES6500 from BB and they are claiming to get the best picture and most life out of the TV I should consider having them calibrate the system for $250.00...I feel like this is crazy but I want some expert opinions on the subject.

Has anybody used this services and is it worth it?

Is there a calibration online available for this TV yet? ( I've looked and couldn't find anything )

Just a side note: I am not 100% sold on this TV yet It has it's moments of wow but sometimes I am less then impressed. I still have time to return it if I need too and was wondering on any suggestions for 55" TV's for around the same price that would be better if any at all.

I have two points to make:

1. Before deciding to get the TV professionally calibrated by Best Buy or anyone else, ask yourself what you like and don't like about your current set. If you're not happy with things like screen uniformity, contrast ratio, black levels, viewing angles, and so on, then a calibration won't solve those issues. If you want more accurate colors (grayscale and gamut), more detail in shadows and highlights (brightness and contrast), and a more three dimensional image (gamma), a professional calibration might be right for you.

2. If you do choose to get your set professionally calibrated, choose a respected calibrator from the calibration sub-forum that has lots of positive reviews and experience working on sets like yours. Don't do it through BB or by a local calibrator that you don't know much about otherwise you might get a very poor calibration and end up wasting $250 or more. The touring calibrators on this forum are some of the best in the industry and will charge anywhere from $300-$400 but will do it right and take as much time as needed (typically at least 3-4 hours if not more).
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post #27 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 10:56 AM
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A professional calibrator makes adjustments to controls to which you do not have access (theoretically, at least) via the service menu. Ordinary mortals can only adjust the user controls available to everyone.

Equipment
Software
Training
Access
Talent
Time

I believe these are the things that the pros have mentioned over the years on the Forum.

I still would not want the comparative picture quality that I have seen placed on exhibit.
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post #28 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 11:24 AM
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If you don't like a true-to-life picture (some don't), then skip a calibration. Even if the calibrator does a good job, you may not like the results. On the other hand, I truly don't understand why you wouldn't want your television to produce an accurate depiction of what's on screen. Even switching between THX mode and vivid/game mode on my TV hurts my eyes - the pumped up contrast, blue whites, over saturation and crushed detail that people are used to seeing in a retail setting do NOT look good.

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post #29 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 11:32 AM
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There are many fine, honest, hard working folks both here on AVS and outside that do professional work and take great pride in what they do ..

What they do should not be somehow discounted as money wasted .. nor should what Best Buy provides be dismissed as to be avoided at all costs ..

As I've said before, if accuracy is not important to you, then adjust to what you like .. nothing wrong with that .. that is exactly why TV's come from the factory adjusted like they are ..

If fine tuning and calibration were not valued by some, then the ability to do calibration would not be incorportated into the set ..

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post #30 of 93 Old 05-30-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

If you don't like a true-to-life picture (some don't), then skip a calibration. Even if the calibrator does a good job, you may not like the results. On the other hand, I truly don't understand why you wouldn't want your television to produce an accurate depiction of what's on screen. Even switching between THX mode and vivid/game mode on my TV hurts my eyes - the pumped up contrast, blue whites, over saturation and crushed detail that people are used to seeing in a retail setting do NOT look good.

In my personal opinion calibration might make the difference when watching let's say a blue ray source which is not what most people watch every day. Most people watch cable/satellite for daily viewing and signal there all over the board. Not only all the channels calibrated differentially but even within the same channel source changes all the time. Why go through all the effort of calibration, providing the most accurate signal and adjust a TV to accurately display it, if actual cable/sat box will never provide a calibrated output?
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