Panasonic GT50 - Is Professional Calibration Worth It? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-11-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm about to purchase a new 60" GT50 and have the option of spending $150 (supposedly it's normally $300) to have them include "professional" calibration. It's my first plasma and I'm new to the whole calibration thing. Is it worth spending $150 to have this done, or is it good enough to play with the settings myself and experiment with settings found online?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 27 Old 07-11-2012, 03:16 PM
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$150 for a professional calibration sounds cheap to me. This wouldn't be at BB by any chance would it? Worth it is only something that you can decide. For me, if I spent whatever you did (will) on a GT50 I'd seriously think about getting it calibrated, but not by BB. It should cost anywhere from $300 - $500 depending on who does it and should take a couple of hours to complete. See if you can take the set home first and watch it for a period of time (a week maybe) before taking them up on the calibration offer. You may find that the pq is just fine for you. It all depends on how discriminating your are and if you really want your set to adhere to rec.709 video standards, which for some, is very important.
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post #3 of 27 Old 07-11-2012, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that. It's not BB, but it's FutureShop (Canadian) which is owned by BB, so essentially it's BB, which is why I'm dubious about how professional the calibration would be.

Would you expect there to be a lot of difference between different TV sets of the same model? I know local cable can be highly variable, but in terms of watching Blu-Rays on it, I would have thought that the calibration settings would be pretty similar across sets of the same model, which is why I was thinking I could probably just get the settings off the web...
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post #4 of 27 Old 07-11-2012, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springwater View Post

I'm about to purchase a new 60" GT50 and have the option of spending $150 (supposedly it's normally $300) to have them include "professional" calibration. It's my first plasma and I'm new to the whole calibration thing. Is it worth spending $150 to have this done, or is it good enough to play with the settings myself and experiment with settings found online? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

A $150 calibration isn't a "professional" calibration, it's a glorified TV adjustment. A proper ISF calibration by an independent calibrator will cost about 3 times more, but he''ll spend at least four times longer than the BB/FS "TV adjuster" guy is allowed to spend on your TV and you'll get a much better result. It's generally recommended to NOT let BB/FS/Geek Squad calibrate your TV. I'd pay more and let a pro do it properly.

I've spent the past week aging the panel on my new GT50 and have seen the PQ improve quite a bit in that period. Now that the panel has pretty much settled in (120 hours so far) i've been experimenting with the settings and trying to learn them and sometimes i get the TV looking pretty good, then i screw it all up and have to start over. It's kinda fun biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-11-2012, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Randy, that's just what I needed to hear. I will pass on the BB/FS calibration and decide later if I need to go the pro route. Can't wait to get the GT50, hoping to have it on Tuesday! It's replacing my 250 pound 36" Sony XBR Trinitron CRT purchased about 12 years ago smile.gif
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post #6 of 27 Old 07-11-2012, 07:18 PM
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What Randy said was true. I'd play around with the settings first and see how they interact with each other. It's a great way to learn about your new set. You can always get a calibration disk and at the very least, set the basics (contrast, brightness, aspect, color, etc) and get it even better. You won't have a "calibrated" set but your pq should be better than default. Just write down first what your settings are so you don't end up like Randy (myself and others included) screwing things up. And to your question as to differences between the same model, yes, there can be a big difference so that's why using someone else's settings is not always a good idea in case that's what you were thinking. Component variances, viewing environment all play a part in calibration.
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post #7 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips! I think I'll take photos of the settings as I go along to keep track. My old set just had brightness, color, and contrast to work with, so I think I'm going to be in for a shock when the GT50 arrives smile.gif
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post #8 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springwater View Post

I'm about to purchase a new 60" GT50 and have the option of spending $150 (supposedly it's normally $300) to have them include "professional" calibration. It's my first plasma and I'm new to the whole calibration thing. Is it worth spending $150 to have this done, or is it good enough to play with the settings myself and experiment with settings found online?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

'Display Calibration: Root Fundamentals'
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1021933
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post #9 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springwater View Post

I'm about to purchase a new 60" GT50 and have the option of spending $150 (supposedly it's normally $300) to have them include "professional" calibration. It's my first plasma and I'm new to the whole calibration thing. Is it worth spending $150 to have this done, or is it good enough to play with the settings myself and experiment with settings found online?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Spend $25 and get yourself a Spears & Munsil calibration disc, or DVE BD disc, or even download the free one on this forum. You'll get just as good, if not better results than a Best Buy "calibration". Also, playing around with settings isn't calibration.

Calibration is by definition:
"...a comparison between measurements – one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device.

The device with the known or assigned correctness is called the standard. The second device is the unit under test, test instrument, or any of several other names for the device being calibrated."
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post #10 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, VERY helpful stuff, I will check out that thread and look into the calibration discs!
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post #11 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 06:43 PM
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The futureshop website actually lists it as an ISF calibration and they apparently provide before and after reports, so I can only assume that they actually do a calibration and they don't just tweak it using a calibration disc. I do question the quality of their calibrations and their equipment though. Since THX mode is pretty decent already, a low quality calibration will make a small difference, so I agree with just getting a calibration disc. Another one that I would recommend is the Disney World of Wonder disc; it's more instructional than the other two mentioned so it's better for beginners.
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rahzel View Post

The futureshop website actually lists it as an ISF calibration and they apparently provide before and after reports, so I can only assume that they actually do a calibration and they don't just tweak it using a calibration disc. I do question the quality of their calibrations and their equipment though. Since THX mode is pretty decent already, a low quality calibration will make a small difference, so I agree with just getting a calibration disc. Another one that I would recommend is the Disney World of Wonder disc; it's more instructional than the other two mentioned so it's better for beginners.

I just recently got the DVE disc and think it explains things for too long (but fortunately has shortcuts). How does WoW go beyond the instructional level of the DVE?
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post #13 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 07:04 PM
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I haven't used any of them, so I dunno to be honest. Just from what I've heard, Disney WoW is easier to use and is targeted more towards beginners compared to Spears & Munsil. Not sure exactly how DVE compares.
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post #14 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

I just recently got the DVE disc and think it explains things for too long (but fortunately has shortcuts). How does WoW go beyond the instructional level of the DVE?

I like the AVS HD709 disk. It's a little more in depth than WoW, especially if you dl the docs ,and there is a nice little video by the HDNation guys that explains the basics. And it's free wink.gif
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post #15 of 27 Old 07-12-2012, 07:40 PM
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I use AVSHD709 too with my i1d pro colorimeter.
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post #16 of 27 Old 07-13-2012, 03:43 AM
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I have the DVE and WOW

In my opinion WOW is easier to use and navigate. However it does not go as in depth and has no history lesson like DVE does. WOW also has much better gamma chart and explanation plus they reference starts and checkered pattern move so its easier to see them. DVE however has a 3 color paper filter while WOW only has a one. Not sure if this makes a difference somewhere, but there is my take.
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post #17 of 27 Old 07-13-2012, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by scoobdude View Post

I have the DVE and WOW
In my opinion WOW is easier to use and navigate. However it does not go as in depth and has no history lesson like DVE does. WOW also has much better gamma chart and explanation plus they reference starts and checkered pattern move so its easier to see them. DVE however has a 3 color paper filter while WOW only has a one. Not sure if this makes a difference somewhere, but there is my take.

I'm probably wading into dangerous waters here but I've always been under the impression that the paper filters were not that accurate because there is no way to guarantee their accuracy at that given wavelength consistently from batch to batch. Some tv's have built-in color filters (like my LG) that can be used instead. Of course there is no way to guarantee the accuracy of the built-in filters as well but they are internal to the display device.
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post #18 of 27 Old 07-17-2012, 07:52 AM
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I'm wondering if an ISF Calibration can improve sharpness and facial detail? My new 50GT50 is definitely softer than my 46G10 was, and it's not just because the screen is 4" larger. I've fiddled with the Pro Settings menu and i just can't get this TV to look as crisp as my G10 and it's starting to bug me. The softness is much more apparent on the 720p channels than it is on the 1080i channels.

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post #19 of 27 Old 07-18-2012, 12:18 PM
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I'm getting my GT50 calibrated for work reasons (as-good-as-I-can-get qc viewing of feature film titles and vfx before I deliver). If I didn't need a pro calibration for work I would ...

Get the Spears and Muncil disc and use it two or three times with a week's time in between, this gives your eyes/visual-memory a chance to "refresh". After that, if the picture looked good to me I wouldn't bother with a pro calibration.

I've used both the Disney WOW disc and the Spears And Muncil (an updated version coming late summer that I'd wait for!).
- I would agree that the Disney WOW is easier to use and is pretty good for color/contrast, but it's definitely weak on the geometrics side.
- The Spears and Muncil is more technical but I think they do a good job of walking you through it - the first time will take you longer than the Disney WOW disc, but the results cover/improve more visual ground.
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post #20 of 27 Old 07-18-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

I'm wondering if an ISF Calibration can improve sharpness and facial detail? My new 50GT50 is definitely softer than my 46G10 was, and it's not just because the screen is 4" larger. I've fiddled with the Pro Settings menu and i just can't get this TV to look as crisp as my G10 and it's starting to bug me. The softness is much more apparent on the 720p channels than it is on the 1080i channels.

Geometrics have a lot to do with detail/softness, but color/contrast also affects it more than might be obvious. Edges are tight, or abrupt, transitions between different colors and luminance levels. A good calibration smooths and clarifies all color/luminance transitions. The same tweaks that improve banding issues - i.e. large area color/luminance transitions - typically improve detail also (maybe think of it as "dirty" transitions vs "clean" transitions).

I'm guessing some HT calibrators only deal with color/contrast. Just ask up front if they also examine/tweak geometrics if you want to cover your bases. Both the calibrators I've seen (at work and at home) addressed both color/contrast and geometrics.

I'm also guessing any geometric adjustments would be in the service menus - just got my GT50 yesterday so I haven't had a chance to dig into it those yet. Not even sure if I will smile.gif
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post #21 of 27 Old 07-18-2012, 03:17 PM
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There has been a lot of discussion about 'softness' on the VT50 thread as well.
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post #22 of 27 Old 07-18-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Some tv's have built-in color filters (like my LG) that can be used instead. Of course there is no way to guarantee the accuracy of the built-in filters as well but they are internal to the display device.

The LG doesn't have a 'filter' per se, but allows you to turn off one color over the other two.
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post #23 of 27 Old 07-18-2012, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by weedeater View Post

The LG doesn't have a 'filter' per se, but allows you to turn off one color over the other two.

Under Expert mode, the LG has a red, blue, and green screen that is used for setting the primary colors. Maybe filter wasn't the exact technical term for that but the use is the same.
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post #24 of 27 Old 11-28-2012, 01:33 PM
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No need to spend hundreds for someone to come out.....and if you did, DO NOT get some guy from BB to do it......seriously. Just google it, there a few places that have setting for TV's. TweakTV.com, Cnet.com. Just google Model # picture settings, and model # calibration settings. If you see none for your TV, then it is not really worth someone posting it online, but they have it online for the GT50.....
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post #25 of 27 Old 11-28-2012, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pike1346 View Post

No need to spend hundreds for someone to come out.....and if you did, DO NOT get some guy from BB to do it......seriously. Just google it, there a few places that have setting for TV's. TweakTV.com, Cnet.com. Just google Model # picture settings, and model # calibration settings. If you see none for your TV, then it is not really worth someone posting it online, but they have it online for the GT50.....
It is sad that someone's first post in the forum would be dedicated to promoting misinformation and perpetuating a persistent myth. Swapping settings is rolling the dice at best, and has been documented to result in a worse picture than factory settings in some cases:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1055906
http://forums.hdtvtest.co.uk/index.php?topic=7202.0
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post #26 of 27 Old 11-28-2012, 02:45 PM
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I'm getting my GT any day now so ,I'll be keeping an eye out on this thread...
I was also under the impression(from many reviews) that the THX cinema mode helped out a lot and made pro calibrating unnecessary
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post #27 of 27 Old 11-28-2012, 03:06 PM
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I wouldn't say unnecessary, but it depends. THX mode is pretty good, but there's still room for improvement. Whether it's worth a pro calibration or not is up to you.
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