Originally Posted by 67bernie
Yesterday I had Mike Chen do the ISF calibration on my month old Pioneer 150FD. He mentioned he has calibrated about 2500 tvs in the last few years, from Los Angeles to Maine, and from Vancouver to Quebec. He is very, very, VERY good. He calibrated the "Pure Mode" on the 150 to the true colour standards, so I can zip back and forth to the "standard mode" whenever I want to and compare. I am fully confident the Pure Mode on my 150FD now represents the very best and truest colours and colour balance the Kuro is capable of, and that is saying a lot...
Comments? If I brought over 100 different friends to watch the Indianapolis vrs. New England NFL game this afternoon, I'm confident fully 95% or more would not choose the properly ISF calibrated mode, but would choose the "Standard" mode to watch the game in. While the ISF calibrated mode is clearly much more accurate in terms of colours, balance between dark and light, etc., to a "rookie viewer" it won't look as good. Specifically the reds and blues are less vibrant, the whites are not as bright and the greens more muted. It would be to a "rookie viewer" as if a slight yellow film was put over the screen, causing the colours to be more muted, less vibrant. The closest analogy would be going into a big box tv store when you know nothing about tvs, and looking at a plasma vrs. a LCD tv. The LCD will win at first in most cases as it looks more vibrant and alive to most novice viewers.
An intermediate viewer with some research behind them (I count myself among this group) would probably still prefer the "standard mode" vrs. the calibrated mode, but it would probably be 70-30. An experienced viewer with a lot of background in plasmas would probably pick the ISF calibrated mode 95% of the time over the "standard mode". An analogy might be wine tasting. A great bottle of wine often might be rejected by a rookie taster in favor of a lot less expensive wine, but the "wine expert" would very rarely choose an inexpensive bottle over an expensive bottle in terms of taste preference.
MONEY is the reason all manufacturers, including Pioneer, do not calibrate their tvs out of the box to fully accurate colours. The human eye actually prefers in most cases not the true colours, but rather "enhanced" colours. So to get very white whites, they crank up the blue on the sets in "standard mode" or out of the box. This causes human flesh to look sickly in colour, so they crank up the red to compensate. Bottom line? Say you had one Kuro set up and ISF calibrated in a perfect room in a big box store, in a row with 19 identical Kuros on "Standard Mode" with the too heavy blues to make the whites pop and the enhanced reds to compensate for sick skin colours. The VAST majority of folks walking into the room would say "Awesome picture quality on all those Kuros, but whats wrong with that one?", meaning the ISF calibrated tv. Quite simply any manufacurers that would dare to set their tvs to fully true colour ISF standards would not sell nearly as many tvs. Since they want to sell tvs first and formost, the sets are all set to what the marketing department has decided will sell the most tvs to the most people. And that my friends is NOT ISF calibration.
While this is old news to many I'm sure, to me it was illuminating. I'm personally glad I got my Kuro ISF calibrated, but its a taste that I need to "grow into" and I think most folks will feel the same way unless they are pretty advanced in terms of true colour on tvs. So in a nutshell, unless you are pretty advanced in my opinion on colour, etc. an ISF calibration will NOT make you go "wow, incredible, way, way better than before!!" If you are like me, you will say "that's interesting, I think I will have to grow into it". If you are a "rookie viewer" you will almost certainly prefer a non-ISF version of your Kuro. In my humble opinion ISF calibration is an acquired taste, much like wine.
Lastly the human eye gets used to different colours almost instantly. When I look at the large spruce tree in my backyard, it looks the "right colour" and "normal" to my eye at high noon on a sunny day, on a cloudy day, and in low light conditions of sunset and sunrise with more "reds" in the sunlight. So my advice is adjust the tv to what looks best to you, but if you are a curious sort like me, get the tv ISF calibrated on one mode for a reference and see if you can "grow into liking the ISF calibrated picture best". Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but I'm very glad I have the option with the Kuro sets...