Are the new high-end plasmas at the point where calibration by eye/disc is pointless? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I calibrated the brightness/contrast/color/sharpness on my Samsung D7000 using the Disney WOW disc. The settings that I acquired during the calibration were near identical to the default movie mode in my TV. For instance, I think I changed the brightness setting by like 2 points. It wasn't noticeable. I almost feel like I wasted my time.

I just picked up a new E7000, and I'm wondering if calibrating by eye using a disc is even worth it. Are we at the point where the movie mode on new TVs is so accurate that the average user can't improve it by eye alone?

I understand that a full ISF calibration could make a difference, but I refuse to spend the $400 for one reason: When you have a problem with your TV that requires a major replacement, that money goes out the window.

Example: Five years ago, I bought a Sony SXRD. Within the first year, the entire light engine needed to be replaced under warranty due to a known issue where certain sections of the screen displayed a green circle. I'm glad I didn't pay to ISF it when I got it. Then I bought my D7000 and within a year, it was a peeler. The panel was changed under warranty...again, I'm glad I didn't ISF it. The high end TVs these days seem to be like luxury cars...they look great, but they seem to require more major repair than a tried and true run of the mill item.

Now I'm on an E7000 because my D7000 broke due to accident. (Not the TV's fault.) I've got nothing bad to say about ISFing a TV or the people that do it. I'm sure the results are great, but my past TVs just haven't committed to me as much as I've tried to commit to them.

Outside of and ISF calibration, is there anything that I can do that would really matter, or are the new TVs coming out of the box set up to be as accurate as a non-pro could calibrate by eye? My main goal is to maximize black level, as that is the most obvious display quality that I notice.
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed3120 View Post

I calibrated the brightness/contrast/color/sharpness on my Samsung D7000 using the Disney WOW disc. ...................................................My main goal is to maximize black level, as that is the most obvious display quality that I notice.

If you're not willing or don't want to part with $400.00 for a pro calibration, your display will probably never look as good as it can. Period. That being said, if you're content with using a calibration disc to achieve results that please you, then SIT BACK AND ENJOY THE SHOW! Don't let it concern you anymore. Other than using a cal. disc, research bias lighting and room set-up for your plasma. Proper bias lighting should make for better black levels for your brain-eye connection. Hope this helps?
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ed3120 View Post

I calibrated the brightness/contrast/color/sharpness on my Samsung D7000 using the Disney WOW disc. The settings that I acquired during the calibration were near identical to the default movie mode in my TV. For instance, I think I changed the brightness setting by like 2 points. It wasn't noticeable. I almost feel like I wasted my time.

I just picked up a new E7000, and I'm wondering if calibrating by eye using a disc is even worth it. Are we at the point where the movie mode on new TVs is so accurate that the average user can't improve it by eye alone?

I understand that a full ISF calibration could make a difference, but I refuse to spend the $400 for one reason: When you have a problem with your TV that requires a major replacement, that money goes out the window.

Example: Five years ago, I bought a Sony SXRD. Within the first year, the entire light engine needed to be replaced under warranty due to a known issue where certain sections of the screen displayed a green circle. I'm glad I didn't pay to ISF it when I got it. Then I bought my D7000 and within a year, it was a peeler. The panel was changed under warranty...again, I'm glad I didn't ISF it. The high end TVs these days seem to be like luxury cars...they look great, but they seem to require more major repair than a tried and true run of the mill item.

Now I'm on an E7000 because my D7000 broke due to accident. (Not the TV's fault.) I've got nothing bad to say about ISFing a TV or the people that do it. I'm sure the results are great, but my past TVs just haven't committed to me as much as I've tried to commit to them.

Outside of and ISF calibration, is there anything that I can do that would really matter, or are the new TVs coming out of the box set up to be as accurate as a non-pro could calibrate by eye? My main goal is to maximize black level, as that is the most obvious display quality that I notice.

Samsungs are more accurate out the box than many but not very accurate. You should be able to set the basics correctly with the WOW disc. you could go the diy route with free HFCR cal software and an I1PRO for about $250. Your tv definitely has the cal controls to get a good diy calibration.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 01:48 PM
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I ended up making more adjustments than just a couple of clicks when I used the WoW disc on my 55" Panny UT50 I sent back for buzzing and IR and the Panny 55" ET5 LED set I got in place of it.

So I think they're still worthwhile. I'd never pay for a professional calibration though. I'm not (and have no interest in becoming) a videophile and I'm buying lower end models anyway, so just not worth the $400 or so since I really don't care about getting as close as possible to a reference picture. But I do care enough to use the discs and find they do lead to me adjusting contrast, brightness, color and tint/hue a few clicks from the cinema mode on every TV I've used them on and making the picture better. That's worth the $18 or so I paid for the disc, especially since I can use it on any future TV I buy.

But I'm also buying lower end models, and it seems some mid-tier and up models have more pre-set setting options like THX modes etc. And those likely are closer to what you get with a disc calibration, so maybe it isn't worth it for some TVs these days.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know. I haven't seen a lot of benefit in the black level area. The cell light slider also confuses me, as it isn't explained on the WOW disc. I guess it impacts contrast and not black level.

Is there anything else I should be playing with when adjusting for the black level pattern on this disc, or just the brightness slider?
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 02:46 PM
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I know out of the box my ST50 did not deviate from DNice's settings using the WoW disk + blue filter. Brightness/Contrast/Tint were almost exactly the same.

Of course without a meter i cant really mess with the whitepoint balances - i just use DNices values and a grey scale looks ok at least, no obvious tints in either direction.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 02:58 PM
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That's actually a good point.

The settings posted on here (DNICE, Path of Neo) are more than good enough for most people as the panels don't vary that much. I went with Path of Neo's for my UT50 when I had it and the WoW disc ones didn't deviate more than a click or two from them for me.

For my ET5 I didn't find any settings on here, and some from CNET looked bad to me so I just put the WoW disc in with the default Cinema mode and adjusted it, and that did vary several clicks.

Point being, yeah if one's not a videophile, settings posted online are going to be more than adequate for popular models that have settings posted by knowledgeable members. In those cases I'd say skip the disc.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post

That's actually a good point.

The settings posted on here (DNICE, Path of Neo) are more than good enough for most people as the panels don't vary that much. I went with Path of Neo's for my UT50 when I had it and the WoW disc ones didn't deviate more than a click or two from them for me.

For my ET5 I didn't find any settings on here, and some from CNET looked bad to me so I just put the WoW disc in with the default Cinema mode and adjusted it, and that did vary several clicks.

Point being, yeah if one's not a videophile, settings posted online are going to be more than adequate for popular models that have settings posted by knowledgeable members. In those cases I'd say skip the disc.

I would be cautious with that statement, at least for Samsung's D series plasmas (wouldn't be suprised if the same applies to the E). In the calibration thread, we have posted dozens of full calibrations and the variability in WB and CMS is substantial, i.e., there is no point in copying someone's complete calibration. Stock movie mode should be just fine in this department. Otherwise, I agree that settings like those found at cnet are a good place to start (the usual tweaks to bright/cont and disabling enhancements), I just wouldn't bother with the actual meter-calibrated values they post. OTOH, I believe there is a fair amount of evidence that Panasonic's plasmas are more uniform and copied calibrations can offer somce improvement over stock settings. Anyway, there's never any harm in trying a full calibration to see which you prefer.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by chunon View Post

Samsungs are more accurate out the box than many but not very accurate. You should be able to set the basics correctly with the WOW disc. you could go the diy route with free HFCR cal software and an I1PRO for about $250. Your tv definitely has the cal controls to get a good diy calibration.


Of course, you mean the i1 Display Pro (aka the i1 Display 3) Colorimeter not the i1 Pro spectometer.

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post #10 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 04:02 PM
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Of course, you mean the i1 Display Pro (aka the i1 Display 3) Colorimeter not the i1 Pro spectometer.

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post #11 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

I would be cautious with that statement, at least for Samsung's D series plasmas (wouldn't be suprised if the same applies to the E). In the calibration thread, we have posted dozens of full calibrations and the variability in WB and CMS is substantial, i.e., there is no point in copying someone's complete calibration. Stock movie mode should be just fine in this department. Otherwise, I agree that settings like those found at cnet are a good place to start (the usual tweaks to bright/cont and disabling enhancements), I just wouldn't bother with the actual meter-calibrated values they post. OTOH, I believe there is a fair amount of evidence that Panasonic's plasmas are more uniform and copied calibrations can offer somce improvement over stock settings. Anyway, there's never any harm in trying a full calibration to see which you prefer.

I would contend it varies on the Panny sets also, perhaps they are more consistent this year but WB usually varies whether it varies enough to be visible to the eye I don't know but it bugs me if I don't know my set is accurate.

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post #12 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

I would be cautious with that statement, at least for Samsung's D series plasmas (wouldn't be suprised if the same applies to the E). In the calibration thread, we have posted dozens of full calibrations and the variability in WB and CMS is substantial, i.e., there is no point in copying someone's complete calibration. Stock movie mode should be just fine in this department. Otherwise, I agree that settings like those found at cnet are a good place to start (the usual tweaks to bright/cont and disabling enhancements), I just wouldn't bother with the actual meter-calibrated values they post. OTOH, I believe there is a fair amount of evidence that Panasonic's plasmas are more uniform and copied calibrations can offer somce improvement over stock settings. Anyway, there's never any harm in trying a full calibration to see which you prefer.

Oh of course.

But we're just talking basic discs like WoW here. So my post was only in relation to settings for brightness, contrast, color, hue/tint and sharpness, what color temp to use, as well as what enhancements to turn off etc. Just the basic stuff that the average joe would be adjusting with a disc like WoW. No harm in just going with user settings for that stuff vs. buying a disc if there's good one's posted as I have found that I seldom change anything more than a click or two when I use the disc myself.

If one's more of a videophile and wants to get into white balance and others advanced menu/service menu options, then yeah one should be more cautious just using another's settings. Better to pay for calibration or buy one of the mentioned meter kits and learn to do it yourself. I'm not a videophile at all so I don't bother with any of those type of settings and just stick with the basics.
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