Benefits of ISF beyond what you see? Please advise - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I won't yet mention who pitched this to me, but here is what I was promised for a ISF Calibration on my VIZIO 50" Plasma VPS505 (VPS505XVT1A).

The service ($200 to $300) will:

1) Lowers the power consumption enough to lower your electrical bill (thus paying for itself in < 12 months). Seriously?

2) Extends the life of the display, and I am paraphrasing: "because it is easier on the components, the display runs cooler, and the power supply does not have to work as hard.

3) Display a much wider range of colors versus the out of the box settings. This was demonstrated to me by a set of plasmas sitting side by side where one had been configured with their service. I agreed that the "ISF calibrated" display was much better.

Ok...

I get that an ISF calibration will make it look better, but is all that true? If it is true, it sure sounds like you must get to the 'service menu' to change things well beyond what Vizio gives you in the menu options.

I have been reading in the forums for a while, but still don't get a few things about ISF calibration. There are so many varying opinions on the safety of ISF calibration. Specifically to my Vizio, is it that dangerous? Do you need hardware to calibrate this display? Where do you find the 'codes' to see the service menu. I had also hoped to find someone posting their configured settings.

If it is that important to have ISF calibration done, I seriously don't get why manufacturers don't have a 'recommended' setting in the menu that tries to give you the best picture possible while extending the life of your display.

One more, can anyone tell me what is really changed behind the scenes in the different modes (movie, standard, sports, etc)? Do those change settings that cannot be touched without access to the service menu?

Much thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 04:56 PM
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This looks dubious from the start. The electricity savings would be around $20 a month. Doesn't that seem rather high?
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post #3 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 05:28 PM
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I think many people who think they need ISF calibrated displays would actually be disappointed with the results. (good) ISF techs calibrate the TV to an industry standard, not to your personal preferences. And from my experience, the average joe would likely find a calibrated TV too dull and yellowish. Try a "close enough" ISF calibrated setting for your TV, and if you like that, but want it dead-on accurate, shell out the cash.
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post #4 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by discopaul View Post

This looks dubious from the start. The electricity savings would be around $20 a month. Doesn't that seem rather high?

Oh, I agree. I am hoping that someone in this forum has the expert level knowledge or the experience to call bs on that.
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post #5 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RogerGu View Post

Oh, I agree. I am hoping that someone in this forum has the expert level knowledge or the experience to call bs on that.

Yeah. It was the geek squad people claiming that, correct?

That is complete BS, as most displays don't cost that much per month to be able to get a $20 reduction per month.

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post #6 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 42041 View Post

I think many people who think they need ISF calibrated displays would actually be disappointed with the results. (good) ISF techs calibrate the TV to an industry standard, not to your personal preferences. And from my experience, the average joe would likely find a calibrated TV too dull and yellowish. Try a "close enough" ISF calibrated setting for your TV, and if you like that, but want it dead-on accurate, shell out the cash.

You may very well be correct. The meat of my post or it's intent is wanting to understand if there are real benefits outside of just how it changes what you see.
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post #7 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by coltsfreak18 View Post

Yeah. It was the geek squad people claiming that, correct?

That is complete BS, as most displays don't cost that much per month to be able to get a $20 reduction per month.

Nope, not Geek Squad. But you are very very warm
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post #8 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 06:50 PM
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A simple DVE disk can provide a great overall picture.

Imagine what the benefits are of a professional ISF calibrator with over $10,000 worth of equipment.....

Each plasma has it's own hidden service menu that if accessed and tweaked by an ISF PRO, it will certainly produce a picture that is truly remarkable.

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post #9 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 07:08 PM
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Heh, if I saved $20 a month on my TV's electric bill, the power company would have to pay me.

Sure, a calibration might afford less energy useage, but certainly nothing near that extent.
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post #10 of 99 Old 01-28-2009, 09:44 PM
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Power consumption varies. It could cost you more monthly, or it could save you money. I would say it most cases though it could save you money because the out the box (DYNAMIC or VIVID) settings have contrast and brightness maxed or close to maxed out.

This, in my overall understanding, kills the life of panels. Just like a light bulb won't be as bright years down the road. I see you saving maybe $1 a month depending on how much TV you watch. So calibration could pay for itself within the life of the TV.

In terms of lengthening the life of the panel, it makes sense it COULD lengthen it by a few years maybe, but that's assuming your using vivid or dynamic mode out of the box for the life of the television compared to calibrated settings.

The huge benefit I see is just having an accurate, quality picture. Nuff said.
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post #11 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 01:05 AM
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Would it be firedog ? they going out of buisness, anyways thats off topic,

a REAL profesisonal job will make the set look better and god does vizio need all the help it can get, quesiton is, is your vizio worth it ? lol i dont mean to pick on your tv set vizio but you should of started with a panasonic or a samsung,

I think and most will agree that a pansonic or a samsung alone will look better then a calibrated vizio,

neverind the fact about a off the box settings pioneer (maybe i should delete this part as you may say in regards to price)....

anyways too late now you bought the vizio just have it professional calibrated a true pro you will enjoy it when done right it looks right, you should not have warm whites or dull it should be proper white if done right.

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post #12 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 09:35 AM
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That ISF calibrator must install a complete rooftop solar panel to get enough energy savings to pay for the calibration in a year.

Reducing the display power will reduce the heat to the components and extend their life. There is no need to pay for a calibration to do this as the user can easily do this.
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post #13 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 11:41 AM
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There are certainly many benefits towards a professional calibration....while power consumption will be very minimal and energy savings to match that, the real purpose of the calibration is to bring out the true beauty of the picture that is buried deep inside these panels.

Many users are simply unaware that these displays carry many hidden settings on top of what the owner sees, that await to be tweaked to their maximum potential.

A true ISF pro will introduce high tech equipment that will certainly blow you away, especialy with the end result.

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post #14 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYAXIN View Post

Many users are simply unaware that these displays carry many hidden settings on top of what the owner sees, that await to be tweaked to their maximum potential. A true ISF pro will introduce high tech equipment that will certainly blow you away, especialy with the end result.

But we've heard lots of testimonials from folks who bought high-end plasmas and put regular settings on it that their picture 'blew them away' right from the get-go.....so I wonder...on a scale of 1-10, what was their PQ before an ISF calibration and what was it after?

It's one thing to go from a 6 to a 9....it's another to go from a 9.5 to a 9.7 or some ridiculously miniscule improvement that your eyes aren't even sure is real.

I've been meaning to get an ISF calibration for my Philips 9631 (and a forthcoming 2nd HDTV) but the PQ is good enough now that I really wonder how much better it will be with one.

Dunno, maybe I'll be surprised.....
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post #15 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 06:43 PM
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You can easily reduce power consumption by lowering the contrast/picture control. Since most calibrations end with a somewhat lower contrast/picture setting than the default, power consumption will be less.

Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a calibration be sure that the set has sufficient calibration controls. Most Panasonics, for example, have such limited controls that pro calibration benefits are pretty minimal IMO.
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post #16 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 07:51 PM
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My electric bill went up ever since my calibration. Oh, that's because I watch the plasma more often
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post #17 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 08:47 PM
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audio consultants here in IL calibrate your TV for free if you buy it through them, but ABT charges 600 for theirs. Im seriously considering just buying from Audio consultants and getting a free cailbration but risk buying from a non authroized pioneer dealer.

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post #18 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYAXIN View Post


A true ISF pro will introduce high tech equipment that will certainly blow you away, especialy with the end result.

Not everyone likes a calibrated set though. I bet most "common users" wouldn't be able to tell the difference or complain the picture is too dim.
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post #19 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYAXIN View Post


A true ISF pro will introduce high tech equipment that will certainly blow you away, especialy with the end result.

One of the top calibrators here admits that the majority of customers change the calibrated settings within 30 minutes after he leaves.

Calibration mania runs rampant on this forum and for many it ends up being a $500 lesson about researching before you purchase
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post #20 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

One of the top calibrators here admits that the majority of customers change the calibrated settings within 30 minutes after he leaves.

Calibration mania runs rampant on this forum and for many it ends up being a $500 lesson about researching before you purchase


really?

These mixed opinions make me go crazy!

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post #21 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lightforce18 View Post

really?

These mixed opinions make me go crazy!

Best to actually view a calibrated set and see if you like it. You may, but I bet that the average customer would hate what many perceive as a dark and soft look. This is why calibrators spend much of their time at your house educating you on what the director intended when he filmed the movie and what/why an ISF calibrated picture looks the way it does.

Supporters would say that the viewer has it all wrong and criticize them for being a "torch mode" lover. But you can't force people to love something which is why many customer change the settings and the minute you change one setting it's no longer calibrated.

Research before you spend the money
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post #22 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 09:57 PM
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It really depends on your taste. If you like your TV to show you grass like this, then you would hate a calibrated TV.

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post #23 of 99 Old 01-29-2009, 10:21 PM
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It really depends on your taste. If you like your TV to show you grass like this, then you would hate a calibrated TV.

http://www.scotts.com/smg/brand/scot...ranPage=scotts

The Grass looks green as heck. whats wrong with it?

I saw a calibrated 111fd next to a calibrated sony XBR8 and the elite smoked the XBR8 so bad. Thats why I figured the Elite calibrated was awsome. But they didnt have a non calibrated for me to compare.

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post #24 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 01:23 AM
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For most people simply putting it into Cinema mode and adjusting the brightness/contrast/colors is good enough calibration.
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post #25 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 08:39 AM
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As many have quoted, for many the 'eyeball target' or 'DVE' is good enough. For the ones that can afford or have invested in one and who are looking for the maximim out of their plasma display then the benefits are in their favor.

First off, one needs to define the definition of a 'true picture' and what it's suppose to look like. There is not just one right answer as many people have various tastes.

Is it that 'POP' that many talk about? Is it the brightest whites? Is it the darker blacks? Is it getting the best green or the best red or even blue? Is it the balance between them all? A combination of two out of the four? Or perhaps is it the energy savings and prolonged longevity of the set that you will benefit from? Others simply look to get the right balance between all of the above which is what an ISF tech is suppose to achieve.

Many expect miracles from an ISF calibration thinking the calibrator will walk out and leave their set with a picture that is better than or as good as life itself. That will never happen. The ISF tech has to work with what he/she has and will tweak it to it's maximum capability in every aspect.

Lighting plays a vital role, be it no lighting in a pitch black room, ambient lighting, daytime lighting and even bias lighting.

The displays capacity to produce rich colors and corrected greys plays a huge difference from set to set and will ultimately yield different results.

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post #26 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

One of the top calibrators here admits that the majority of customers change the calibrated settings within 30 minutes after he leaves.

How does he know that? Plant some tattletale firmware cookie?

I've gotta think that anyone paying out $500 for a calibration would damn well leave the settings alone until he thinks he's gotten at least $250 worth of use out of them.
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Calibration mania runs rampant on this forum and for many it ends up being a $500 lesson about researching before you purchase.

Maybe calibration made some sense in the early days of plasma production. But now that we're talking "tenth generation" plasma, dontcha think that the manufacturers are smart/competitive enough not to "bury" the beauty of the displays deep inside the service menu?
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post #27 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 09:10 AM
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How does he know that? Plant some tattletale firmware cookie?

I've gotta think that anyone paying out $500 for a calibration would damn well leave the settings alone until he thinks he's gotten at least $250 worth of use out of them.Maybe calibration made some sense in the early days of plasma production. But now that we're talking "tenth generation" plasma, dontcha think that the manufacturers are smart/competitive enough not to "bury" the beauty of the displays deep inside the service menu?

The majority of TV owners will never bother with the service menu hence why the eyeball effect will suffice, for the extreme AV enthusiast it is a toy that is awaiting the final tweak for the maximum performance. The service menu will always be there.

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post #28 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 09:31 AM
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Hello all,

We just published an article, which to a degree addresses what's being discussed in this thread.

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post #29 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post

How does he know that? Plant some tattletale firmware cookie?

I've gotta think that anyone paying out $500 for a calibration would damn well leave the settings alone until he thinks he's gotten at least $250 worth of use out of them.Maybe calibration made some sense in the early days of plasma production. But now that we're talking "tenth generation" plasma, dontcha think that the manufacturers are smart/competitive enough not to "bury" the beauty of the displays deep inside the service menu?

Manufacurers are in the business to sell TVs and they know that people are drawn to the brightest/most pumped up picuture on the "wall of TVs". This is also what many average buyers accept as a "good" picture. A TV calibrated to be accurate will look dull on the wall of TVs compared to the other TV with their pumped up settings.

Another problem with the manufacturer calibrating a set before selling is that the TV settings will drift quite a bit during the first few hundred hours of use. Even after that settings will continue to drift some as the TV is used. That is why most calibrators will recommend a periodic tune up if you wish to keep the TV accurate.

Back in 2004 I had my first pro calibration done on my TV by a well respected calibrator (Gregg Loewen). I was a bit nervous and didn't know if I would see/appreciate the difference a pro calibration would make. I mainly was trusting the feedback I received on this and other forums. Long story short, I was thrilled with the results and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Something else calibrators will tell you if you are not use to an accurate picture is to watch it for awhile before deciding to change the settings. For many, once they get use to an accurate picture there is no going back to anything else.

In the end it's a personal choice and each has to decide on their own whether or not it's worth the money.

Keep in mind that my comments refering to calibrating/calibrators assumes one is using someone who really knows what they are doing. Anyone can call themselves a calibrator, but that doesn't mean they really know what they are doing.

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post #30 of 99 Old 01-30-2009, 10:07 AM
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This quote from the article sums up the disconnect between the calibration community and the average customer:

"Right is right and wrong is wrong. Presenting material on a video system in anything but the most accurate manner in which it is capable of is a disservice to the time and monetary investment that its owners spent assembling it, particularly to those that have given considerable amounts of both."

For the Calibrator community it's D65K or the highway. You, the customer, will learn to like it and if you don't then you are wrong. There should be some room to compromise on customer preference but the arrogance of the calibrators won't allow that.

People don't want to watch tv in a cave, they want something that looks good to them. Given the economy and people's willingness to spend $500 on calibration and not be satisfied ought to be a message to the calibration community. But I suspect they will cling to the "right is right" mantra
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