Originally Posted by ADX3018
About a week ago I purchased a Samsung PN60F8500. I have done very little to calibrate or configure picture settings. However, I would like to achieve the best picture possible without having to pay the high fee it would require for a professional calibration. For the past hour, I have read many posts in this forum, but to be honest, my head is spinning trying absorb and make sense of it all. With all due respect to all of the very informed contributors to this forum, I do not have the time, nor the patience to read what is currently 78 pages worth of information. A lot of the information seems to be a matter of opinion. Over the past few days, thinking that I would just "wing it" on my own with the aid of some of the calibration disks that are out there, I have acquired Disney WOW, DVE HD Basics, and am on the verge of downloading HDMV-2d from a avshd709 FTP site. But this is only because I figured I might want/need all of these tools in the tool shed... I have no earthly idea how I am going to go about making sense of it all. I certainly don't want to do something wrong and break/brick my beautiful new TV. One of the posts I read discussed enabling the service menu (along with the steps to do so) so as to get to the cal night/cal day modes, but it came with a warning. I don't mind doing this, provided I have proper guidance and it results in getting the best calibration possible.
Having laid that foundation, would it be possible for someone to lay out the steps I must take, from A-Z, in a concise single post entry? Is this too complex a task to expect it to be spelled out this way? Nevertheless, I would greatly appreciate it. Just to provide a few environmental and usage details, the TV is wall mounted (bottom edge approx. 35 inches of the ground on a full-motion mount), in a room that is relatively low lit most of the time. It would never be described as a well-lit or bright room, by any means.
Thanks to all!
you're definitely making it more difficult than you need to. first off, without a meter, you are really only going to be able to adjust brightness, contrast, color, tint, sharpness, and turn off the unnecessary processing. MAYBE, you can eyeball a 2pt white balance based on skin tones, but even that's going to be mostly a wild stab in the dark.
so... let's begin
first, it doesn't really matter what you get, the test patterns will all work, and achieve the same things. I've been using the AVS stuff since it was free, so I'm going to refer to those specifically.
the first thing I like to do is set black level(brightness control). for this, you need to display the black clipping test pattern found in the 'basic settings' folder (the wow disc, dve will have similar patterns). for the avs one, you're presented with flashing bars from 0-25.
'black' is supposed to be at 16, so what you want is to adjust brightness until ONLY 17 and up flash.
second is to set white level, using contrast. this is a bit vague now a days, as chances are your display will never 'clip' white even with contrast set to 100. but, it's good to check anyway. you want to load up the white clipping test pattern(or similar from dve, wow). it will be another test pattern with flashing bars, but this time on the white scale.
you want to make sure the bars flash up to at LEAST 235. it's not a bad idea to go up to 245 or higher. once you've confirmed that(again, chances are you can not turn contrast high enough to make 235 not flash) you are going to use contrast to set the peak brightness of your display. with the f8500, contrast at 90 is good for dark room(at about 35ftl), 95 is very common, and good for mixed viewing(about 40-42ftl), and if you want max brightness 100 will get you just over 50ftl.
next is to adjust color and tint. again found in the basic settings folder, find Flashing Color Bars.
go into the menu on your f8500 and look for RGB mode, and set it to blue only. you want to adjust tint so that the flashing boxes in the middle 'disappear', and adjust color so that the flashing boxes on the outside 'disappear'. adjusting tint will affect color and vice versa so you may need to repeat. if you are finding you need to make a big change here though, something's probably not right. you shouldn't really 'need' to adjust color and tint, it's more to verify that it's accurate, and maybe tweak it slightly.
last test pattern, will be the Sharpness and Overscan.
to cut to the chase, turn your sharpness all the way down. some ppl will go as high as about 10, based on preference, but really 0 should be the standard place to start. you want to set sharpness at a level where the patterns displayed on screen(specifically the lines) remain parallel. when you turn up sharpness too high, the lines that are very close together start making weird patterns instead of looking like several parallel lines. this can be confusing as I don't really know how to describe it well. turn the contrast up above 50 and you will for sure see what I'm talking about. I'd bet money you can't turn the sharpness higher than 5 without starting to see this. so if in doubt, just put it at 0, and definitely no higher than 10.
now as for the other options you're presented with.
picture mode: movie
cell light: 20(you can turn this down to combat brightness as well)
Dynamic Contrast: off
Black tone: off
Flesh tone: 0
Color Space: auto
color tone: warm2(you may want to do warm1, as warm2 is very 'green' and will need some fixing)
gamma: 0(about 2.3) or +1(about 2.2) I believe 2.2 is recommended for most viewing, 2.4 is good only for dark room viewing.
digital clean view: off
MPEG noise filter: off
film mode:auto2(just left this, not sure)
BO: dark room(or auto if you will do some bright room viewing too)
and that's really all you can do without a meter or hiring a pro. it won't be perfect, but it's a good start and I'm sure you'll enjoy the picture.
if you want to try using some other ppl's white balance or 10pt control settings you may, but it's really nothing more than trial and error, and you're never really going to know if it's right or not. I had a couple of other ppl's settings plugged into mine, and thought they looked really good. so it's definitely possible to be happy with it. but when I got my meter I was shocked at how far off they actually were.
I would recommend not doing much else for now. there's no need to go into the service menu or anything like that. the benefit of enabling cal-day and cal-night is not to get a 'better' calibration(and you wouldn't unless you got a meter or pro anyway), but so that you can save two calibrations for the same input. one to use at night, and one to use during the day/bright room. you could achieve basically the same thing by doing one as 'movie' and one as 'standard', but I believe the standard mode is less accurate.
anyway, moral of the story is that those things are hidden for a reason. and unless you're a pro, or going to do what a pro would with a meter, there's nothing you can really do in there anyway. so don't worry about it. start with the basics, enjoy the picture you're going to get, and if you ever feel the need for more, reconsider hiring a pro calibrator to take it a step further.