I started this thread on the 'LCD Flat Panel Displays' forum originally, and it received a fair amount of traffic, so I'll post here as well, being that the intent involves all flat-panel displays, PDPs & LCDs.
I know it would be merely a starting point for most (and would never supplant a professional calibration for the end user's specific viewing environment and etc.) but regardless, any help I can offer to the AVS world would be better than none. I'm considering (of course hinging on acceptance from various retailers and etc.) going to various local showrooms and calibrating their displays to the best of my ability. Granted I'd be using an entry level colorimeter (xRite i1 Display Pro OEM) and my personal knowledge which is far from that of the industries best. However I feel as though this could possibly give some consumers a leg up in the decision process (as the displays wouldn't be set to 'Vivid' or in torch mode) and they would make the displays at least 'somewhat' accurate for their current given environment and help them decide which display might be best for their environment. Now obviously I'm aware that the traditional showroom environment doesn't always mimic that of the end user's home environment, but if they can at least see a 'somewhat' accurate display I feel as though this would help (to an extent.) Thoughts? Opinions? Please let me know! Thanks!
DISCLAIMER: This is in no way shape or form intended to replace or supplant a professional calibration. Merely intended for showroom evaluation and a "starting point" for home environments. For optimal results, please consider a professional calibration suited for your viewing environment, and performed by a professional of your choosing.
I think it would likely end up being a waste of your time TBH. There is a reason tv's are set to torch mode in the store environment. When customers shop they look for the brightest most colorful tv, rarely do they look for the most accurate. If you ended up doing calibration services for that stores customers, it would be wise to have a few tvs calibrated just so associates can demo the differences to willing customers, but in general when people shop they don't shop for accuracy so the store would probably leave the tv in Vivid/Dynamic and only switch over to demo calibration benefits. Trust me, i've worked retail selling tvs for 7 years now and know what customers look for when they shop.
I'll admit i'm guilty of this habit as well in looking at the brightest tv. It's only natural as our eyes are naturally attracted to brightness and color. When I bought my VT50 the store had it in THX mode and even though I knew it was the best tv on the shelf, THX mode looked like crap in the store and I couldn't help but catch my eye peaking at the other sets in vivid/dynamic. Had I not known better like the average consumer, I would've skipped right over that tv.
For the record, I use THX mode in home and love it, by far the best looking setting in home aside from a real calibration.