Toshiba 42HP95 SpyderTV Calibration
This a report of my experience with calibrating my 42HP95 with the SpyderTV calibration tool.
The software that comes with the SpyderTV only helps you do the basic black level, contrast, color and tint calibration, along with telling you which color temperature preset is the closest to the standard of D65. That's all it instructs you to do, but it also can give you the x,y,Y information needed to do a complete gray-scale calibration, if you use a shortcut to it's built-in /support mode.
I found that the for the basic calibrations, the SpyderTV produces almost identical results as using a calibration disc. The biggest difference was that the SpyderTV suggests what I feel is an extremely high contrast setting of 75. I rejected that suggestion and set contrast at a more reasonable 45. This setting also gave a good gamma measurement, which is affected by the contrast setting.
I used is available for download in the calibration forum, and I also referenced URSA's Calibration Guide
in using the spreadsheet. I highly recommend reading it.
Each picture (see attachments below) gives the before and after measurements of the calibration.
The first picture is of the colorimeter measurements and the resulting color temperature and DeltaE calculations for each level of brightness. DeltaE is a measurement of the actual color error with reference to D65. A reading of 4 or lower is considered to be mostly imperceptible. You can see that before calibration the color temperature was above the 6500K standard. This was even with the color temperature set at warm in the menu. DeltaE was also way off. Gamma was slightly off.
After adjusting the cuts and drives in the service menu, I was able to get color temperature accurate to within 200K of the standard, and DeltaE to 4 and below. Gamma came up a little, but is still within a very reasonable range. This picture also shows the settings of the cuts and drives in the service menu, along with the brightness and contrast setting.
The next pictures are before and after shots of some of the graphs that this spreadsheet creates. Note that some of the after graphs have smaller scales to show more precision. The first is a graph of the gamma curve showing red, green, blue and luminance compared to the standard 2.2 gamma curve. This shows good tracking of the curve after calibration.
The next is a graph of the RGB levels. These should be balanced within 10% from 20 upwards. Before calibration the blue output was way too high, which accounts for the high color temperature. After calibration, all three are within 5%, which is very good.
After calibration the picture is much warmer, and takes a little time to get used to if you have never watched a properly calibrated display before. But I feel the picture is much more natural and film like. Fleshtones from DVD's are incredibly natural, although I still see some that appear wrong on broadcast and DirecTV feeds. This never happens on DVD, so I feel it must be inherent in the signal. I think this shows that this display can produce very realistic colors and color balance when properly calibrated.
I can't be entirely sure how accurate the SpyderTV is compared to more expensive colorimeter's, but it is reported to be pretty good when used properly. The entire calibration took about 2-3 hours. I have repeated it several times, and always come within 1 number in the settings.
I don't think I would buy the SpyderTV if I just wanted to do the basic adjustments. The calibration DVD's give almost identical results for a lot less money. But if you have the knowledge and want to do a complete gray-scale calibration on your own it is a great little tool.
Doing this type of calibration requires accessing the service menu. Please be careful if you do so, and write down all the data values before you change anything.