Is Best Buy TV Calibration worth it? - AVS Forum
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I have the Samsung Plasma P59D550 3D HDTV.
Is Best Buy TV Calibration worth it?
I just acheived the Silver Status and get a free one if I want it?
I've heard good and bad about Best Buy TV Calibration.... so I'd like some input.

Here is what I'm suppose to get:

Our installation professionals will:
Calibrate your TV for top video performance and create settings for up to two (2) inputs
Review and recommend any remote control features or capabilities that might be helpful to you now or in the future Ensure that all wires and cables are neatly dressed, using wire ties as needed
Approximate time: 120 minutes. Time may vary based on product being calibrated


Here is my setup:






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Old 11-10-2012, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack54 View Post

I have the Samsung Plasma P59D550 3D HDTV.
Is Best Buy TV Calibration worth it?
I just acheived the Silver Status and get a free one if I want it?
I've heard good and bad about Best Buy TV Calibration.... so I'd like some input.
Here is what I'm suppose to get:
Our installation professionals will:
Calibrate your TV for top video performance and create settings for up to two (2) inputs
Review and recommend any remote control features or capabilities that might be helpful to you now or in the future Ensure that all wires and cables are neatly dressed, using wire ties as needed
Approximate time: 120 minutes. Time may vary based on product being calibrated

Here is my setup:




It's a crap shoot really you may get a competent calibration you may not, really depends on the experience of the calibrator. I wouldn't pay for a Best Buy calibration but free if free smile.gif

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack54 View Post

I have the Samsung Plasma P59D550 3D HDTV.
Is Best Buy TV Calibration worth it? ....I've heard good and bad about Best Buy TV Calibration.... so I'd like some input.

There are already multiple threads and posts here on AVS about Best Buy Calibration and the general consensus is to not let them mess with your TV. Their calibrators are not allowed to spend nearly the amount of time it takes to do a proper calibration like a pro would do. I don't know how you could have heard anything good about it.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I did do a search wink.gif
You forget I said it was FREE because I have the Silver Status.
So if it is FREE, would it be worth it?
Or are the service so bad I should leave it alone?
Hard to believe that a Best Buy service can be that bad....
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, since no one is responding... how about this.
If I don't like the settings they use in calibration, am I able to revert back to the settings I had? They were pretty good to my eyes.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack54 View Post

OK, since no one is responding... how about this.
If I don't like the settings they use in calibration, am I able to revert back to the settings I had? They were pretty good to my eyes.
I'm not familiar with your particular HDTV, but some sets require the calibrator to access certain settings through the service remote or through a laptop, I don't think you can easily change those back to default settings.

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Old 11-11-2012, 04:37 AM
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Your lucky day - one of the most respected members of this forum answered your question and it was free too.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by metallicaband View Post

I'm not familiar with your particular HDTV, but some sets require the calibrator to access certain settings through the service remote or through a laptop, I don't think you can easily change those back to default settings.
I was afraid of that? Now I'm not sure I want them to monkey with my set.
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Your lucky day - one of the most respected members of this forum answered your question and it was free too.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:16 AM
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As I recall the 5 series has limited controls. I believe that to have a 10 point grayscale and a color management system the Samsung needs to be a 6 series or higher. That leaves the calibrator with little more to adjust than brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, hue, and 2 point grayscale. If he's even halfway competent he should be in and out of your house in less than the 90 minutes that the corporation normally limits the calibration time to, and if he does it correctly you will have a very nice picture.

Use your new settings with 3D as well as 2D. If the calibrator offers to calibrate 3D I would turn him down and opt for another 2D input. The reason is that, if nothing has changed, they use the Sencore CP6000 (X-rite Chroma 5) colorimeter and really should be profiled to a spectro radiometer or spectro photometer to achieve enough accuracy. I believe they have switched from Sencore to Calman software so that should help them a little.

I have seen some very good BB calibrations and some bad ones. The attached calibration summary is from a couple months ago where I patched up a BB job. Their calibrator kept fighting a CMS that was not working properly and never thought to turn it off in favor of Auto or Native.

BB vs Buzz CalibrationSummaryDetailed_AVS.pdf 457k .pdf file

If the calibrator goes into the Service Menu for any reason, make sure that he copies down all the settings before he touches anything.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BB vs Buzz CalibrationSummaryDetailed_AVS.pdf (457.2 KB, 80 views)

Buzz
THX Certified Video Calibrator

 

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Old 11-11-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jack54 View Post

OK, since no one is responding... how about this.
If I don't like the settings they use in calibration, am I able to revert back to the settings I had? They were pretty good to my eyes.

It depends on if the Best Buy TV-Menu-Adjuster-Guy (i have a hard time referring to them as "calibrator") simply adjusts your TV via the regular user menu, or if he does it in the Service Menu (which is where the disasters start to occur). If he stays out of the SM then yeah you can just change regular menu settings that he changed.

But if he goes into the Service Menu, take Buzz's advice and have him document the original SM values so that if he ends up throwing things completely out of whack (which they're notorious for doing) then you can at least go back in the restore the TV to it's pre-calibration values. I would even go so far as to going into the SM yourself (before the BB appointment date) and write down all the SM values in their entirety, and take digital pictures of each screen as a backup before letting anyone change anything in the SM. People have failed to take these steps and ended up with a ruined TV when the "calibration" wasn't performed well and the owner was stuck with a TV that looks like crap. At that point, you'd have to hire a real ISF Calibrator to make the TV look good again.

And yeah i did know that you can get this service for FREE, but if you don't take precautions then that free service can end up costing you a lot of money to correct.

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Old 11-11-2012, 04:33 PM
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RandyWalters,

I have been reading several of your posts and I find that you seem to be searching out posts about BB and saying the nastiest things you can think of about them. Did somebody there run over your dog? There is a fair bit of criticism that is valid about the company but your level of hate seems to defy logic to the point where if I believe everything you post I would think that they are run by Satan and that each employee primarily wants to mug you and take everything you own! If ISF certifies a technician then they must believe that they are capable of delivering on their promise, otherwise they wouldn't do it! Please show some respect since I believe that it is not most people's intention to get out of bed everyday and hose as many people as they can. There are bound to be bad eggs, and bad news is much more interesting than good, but most people care about the quality of work that they perform, whether they are garbage collectors, teachers, doctors, or whatever. Your opinions in other matters are often ones which I agree with, and it is nice to see somebody post who is educated and intelligent. I just ask that you respect the fact that when you post as often as you do, the things that you say can be hurtful to a great many people who may otherwise enjoy your posts.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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So I can enter the Service Menu and reset it back if I need to?
I will have to read on how to do that. I have read where they say don't touch it too.
I'm pretty happy with my current settings which I've tinkered with using settings found on this site and eyeballing it.
So, I don't really need to do this, but was just curious as BB does hype it up and the brochure shows they are ISF certified.
I will go down and ask if I can get in writing: If I'm not happy with the service, that they restore the settings.

BTW,
I was at Best Buy yesterday picking up the 3D Avatar movie and went over the the TV section and picked up the brochure where they were displaying two TV's, one with excellent bright picture and the other non-calibrated one with a lousy dull picture and sales hype that goes with it.
Kind of miss-leading as all the HDTV's on displays for sale have great pictures.
So how come the lousy picture on the one. I bet they turned down the brightness, contrast, no HD station and everything else on that display. A little dishonest if you ask me.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chally4 View Post

RandyWalters,

I have been reading several of your posts and I find that you seem to be searching out posts about BB and saying the nastiest things you can think of about them. Did somebody there run over your dog? There is a fair bit of criticism that is valid about the company but your level of hate seems to defy logic to the point where if I believe everything you post I would think that they are run by Satin and that each employee primarily wants to mug you and take everything you own! If ISF certifies a technician then they must believe that they are capable of delivering on their promise, otherwise they wouldn't do it! Please show some respect since I believe that it is not most people's intention to get out of bed everyday and hose as many people as they can. There are bound to be bad eggs, and bad news is much more interesting than good, but most people care about the quality of work that they perform, whether they are garbage collectors, teachers, doctors, or whatever. Your opinions in other matters are often ones which I agree with, and it is nice to see somebody post who is educated and intelligent. I just ask that you respect the fact that when you post as often as you do, the things that you say can be hurtful to a great many people who may otherwise enjoy your posts.

Good grief, have you ever been to a Best Buy and talked to anyone there? Clueless and careless is my general experience. Is the Best Buy an ISF calibration? I don't see anything saying that...got something to show that? I just looked at their site and even the $249.95 version doesn't say that much. There have been several reports I've read where the guy made basic adjustments and called it a calibration...

By the way, is Satin some sort of suitably dressed gay musical version of the devil? Sorry, but "Satin" made me bust out laughing.

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Old 11-11-2012, 05:48 PM
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When I asked my BB about their calibration/calibrators, I was told none of the calibrators they use are BB employees, they hire a 3rd party to do all the work. In fact, anyone could hire the same calibrator(s) directly, without going through BB. If this info is true, and if the calibrator does a poor job, how would that be BB's fault? I'm not seeing how BB gets so much bad rep when finding a calibrator through BB, it's not like its some BB employee flying all over the country doing a poor job. If I bought car speakers and a car deck from BB, and had an independent 3rd party install and tune them, if they sounded like crap afterwards, I wouldn't say that BB did a poor job...

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Old 11-11-2012, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by edgeh2o View Post

When I asked my BB about their calibration/calibrators, I was told none of the calibrators they use are BB employees, they hire a 3rd party to do all the work. In fact, anyone could hire the same calibrator(s) directly, without going through BB. If this info is true, and if the calibrator does a poor job, how would that be BB's fault? I'm not seeing how BB gets so much bad rep when finding a calibrator through BB, it's not like its some BB employee flying all over the country doing a poor job. If I bought car speakers and a car deck from BB, and had an independent 3rd party install and tune them, if they sounded like crap afterwards, I wouldn't say that BB did a poor job...

I blame the guy I pay. I wonder if this (i.e. the hiring of 3rd party) varies by location.

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:47 PM
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Yes lovinthehd, Satin is a fiendish drag queen! I meant Satan of course, though the image you conjured up is quite amusing! You should be able to find the calibrator from your local BB on the ISF certified list, so yes they are ISF certified.

To respond to edgeh2o, all of the calibrations that BB sells are employed by the nerd herd, and are therefore Best Buy employees. That doesn't seem to lend them a lot of credibility, though as I stated, it is all ISF regulated.

Keep your eyes peeled for SATIN!

jack54, if you think that the televisions on the wall have a great picture I wouldn't get your television calibrated. I would bet that the "dull" picture television was calibrated and the one that you like was not. On a bright sales floor the brightness helps hold up against the ambient brightness of the room, and if you don't know what you're looking for the non-calibrated television will draw your eye. That is why it is difficult to gauge the benefits of calibration in a big box store.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:29 AM
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chally4, by nerd herd, you mean Geek Squad right? The BB sales associate I spoke with also specifically told me that none of their Geek Squad workers are the ones doing the calibrating. He said BB contacts a local, outside party to come do the calibration. Either he's telling the truth, he's BS'ing, or it varies store by store.

I do know that when it comes to BB, nothing is consistent. I've gone in the morning to BB and asked the sales rep if they would match Amazon and be denied, only to come back to the same store that night- ask the same question- and be told 'Absolutely'. I went into the BB here one time to get a price match adjustment, the guy denied me, so I came back the next day with my purchase to return it, and the rep wanted to know why I didn't just have them pricematch it. LOL

I find that the guys in the mobile phone departments know more about TVs and computers than the guys working in the TV and computer departments lol. They seem to be the only ones who are really into technology and keep up with the flow of information, while the guys in other departments just seem to be there because its a job.

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Good grief, have you ever been to a Best Buy and talked to anyone there? Clueless and careless is my general experience. Is the Best Buy an ISF calibration? I don't see anything saying that...got something to show that? I just looked at their site and even the $249.95 version doesn't say that much....
Well, the brochure I picked up said they were ISF Certified.
And the online one says it too:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Geek+Squad%26%23174%3B+-+TV+Calibration/3552345.p?id=1218412703422&skuId=3552345#tab=overview
Service Highlights An ISF-certified Geek Squad Installer will use precision equipment to calibrate your TV and provide the best possible picture in your home. You'll get the truest color, the sharpest image, a picture that is easier on your eyes and much more.

Unless I missed it, my question wasn't answered on this: Can I access the Service Menu and revert back to factory if I don't like the settings?
I'd like to try it since it's free and see how it compares to my setting which I'm pretty pleased with, then report back here on the Tacoma BB results?
Thoughts?
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack54 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Good grief, have you ever been to a Best Buy and talked to anyone there? Clueless and careless is my general experience. Is the Best Buy an ISF calibration? I don't see anything saying that...got something to show that? I just looked at their site and even the $249.95 version doesn't say that much....
Well, the brochure I picked up said they were ISF Certified.
And the online one says it too:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Geek+Squad%26%23174%3B+-+TV+Calibration/3552345.p?id=1218412703422&skuId=3552345#tab=overview
Service Highlights An ISF-certified Geek Squad Installer will use precision equipment to calibrate your TV and provide the best possible picture in your home. You'll get the truest color, the sharpest image, a picture that is easier on your eyes and much more.

Unless I missed it, my question wasn't answered on this: Can I access the Service Menu and revert back to factory if I don't like the settings?
I'd like to try it since it's free and see how it compares to my setting which I'm pretty pleased with, then report back here on the Tacoma BB results?
Thoughts?

Silly me, I looked at the specifications tab which had no specifications....nor did I scroll down far enough on the overview tab. So what level of test equipment do they use? Is it regularly calibrated? How experienced are their calibrators?

ps I'd look through this thread for service menu info http://www.avsforum.com/t/1323243/official-samsung-2011-pnxxd550-thread

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack54 View Post

Well, the brochure I picked up said they were ISF Certified.
And the online one says it too:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Geek+Squad%26%23174%3B+-+TV+Calibration/3552345.p?id=1218412703422&skuId=3552345#tab=overview
Service Highlights An ISF-certified Geek Squad Installer will use precision equipment to calibrate your TV and provide the best possible picture in your home. You'll get the truest color, the sharpest image, a picture that is easier on your eyes and much more.
Unless I missed it, my question wasn't answered on this: Can I access the Service Menu and revert back to factory if I don't like the settings?
I'd like to try it since it's free and see how it compares to my setting which I'm pretty pleased with, then report back here on the Tacoma BB results?
Thoughts?

You can only revert the service menu settings if you write down their original values usually. I have played with the service menu in many TVs before, and I always write down every value before changing anything in there.
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