So today I finally had my 64" set calibrated by one of the top calibrators in the country, Mr. Jeff Meier (UMR on these forums.) Was an absolute privilege to get him scheduled during his Florida tour, and very cool to be the first F8500 he's laid his hands on! In short - his words - "It is a very impressive set."
He calibrated both my 2D and 3D Movie modes and I am absolutely blown away by the PQ. The accuracy, the clarity, the depth, the film-like presentation, all off the charts excellent! Extremely happy with the results. I won't share all of my settings here, because truthfully white balance settings in particular (and being the main portion of any calibration) do not translate exactly between sets so it would be a misleading representation of the extraordinary talent Jeff possesses (plus I didn't ask if he would be ok with it.) However, I'm more than happy to share some of his observations and comments during he calibration.
- Just to get it out of the way, he was hoping this would be a "kuro-killer" (he himself owns one but it's been out so long he'd love there to be a better plasma introduced just for a change!) but at the end of the calibration deemed it not to be, mainly because of slightly better color accuracy he's observed on the Kuro. However, he says its the best plasma he's seen otherwise, and extremely close overall, even saying that if he hadn't worked with so many Kuros over the years and known its subtleties so well it would be difficult to tell the difference, it's that close. He did think that motion, however, particularly in 24 frames with Cinema Smooth (which he had not been impressed with on previous Samsungs) was superb on the F8500 and slightly better than the Kuro, so there was a point on the board for us. :-) But again, don't despair, the differences were all subtle, not significant. He was still very impressed with the F8500.
- In his expert opinion this is the best 3D of any TV, plasma or otherwise - period. He says Samsung plasma always does it better but this is the best of the best. Clear, zero crosstalk, bright, and just... Correctly executed.
- He expects it will be better than the ZT60.
- In terms of black levels he measured .002 with Optimizer in Dark Room and .005 in bright room. At first he calibrated with Dark Room, but during post measurement adjustments identified that Dark Room clips at near black, limiting white to come through in the low end and effecting flesh tones and overall color hues. This was clearly noticeable by all three of us in attendance. Bright room ended up being the better option to give a much more accurate picture still with awesome blacks (the difference in black level in bright room was measurable but in practical viewing not noticeable given the accurate greyscale calibration. The change in hues in dark room was definitely noticed though.)
There was a ton of other stuff too but these are a few things that come to mind as i write this at 2am. :-P Any questions let me know! I'll be here... Probably watching a movie and drooling at the best PQ I've ever owned. Thanks Jeff, and thanks Samsung!!
On a side note, I also had him calibrate my audio (Integra 50.1 amp with LSi series Polks all around and Monster & KLH subs) and I can't believe how incredible things sound, he knows his stuff! My system has never sounded better!
Here are my post-calibration video results (after measured adjustments. There was still some manual tweaking performed after this.) By the way, my post-calibrated contrast ratio was over 10000:1. And again, he set "bright room" for my black optimizer.
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