I was finally able to get my 110FD properly calibrated: Thank you Michael TLV Chen! What a difference it has made. I had two attempts by a local calibrator, the first of which was clearly wrong and the second, which looked better, but somehow not quite right. As it turned out, the gamma was way off (as in too high in the upper range: a convex hump rather than a concave rise), the black level (brightness) was much to high on my DVD input...well that was enough to throw everything off.
Michael educated me throughout the entire process, but I declined to take the final exam on how well I'd learned the course content. A lot of fun and he enjoys dialogue.
The first attempt using Pure mode resulted in that same skewed gamma, so he shifted to Movie for my DVD component input. Ahh, much better. I don't know why the gamma problem occurred in Pure...perhaps just my particular set. As well he calibrated ISFDay for D65 and ISFNight for D55. Very interesting that the brightness was lowered considerably from the earlier calibration...ahh, that may be why I was losing shadow detail.
Next on to the HDMI satellite input. Michael put on a greyscale test pattern and immediately commented that it was just wrong. Calibration again really improved the picture. Oh and by the way, CS1 was used rather than CS2 for all calibrated modes. ISFDay and User mode were set up for me and I left ISFNight at the old calibration for a comparison.
Results? Overall, very good colour saturation and accuracy; skin tones right on; dark scenes and shadow details are excellent; shifting light transitions are very smooth; the picture just looks right. One of the most noticeable changes is what I like to call “revealing.” This is similar to an excellent audio system: it reveals all the subtle differences of instrumental timbres, recording venues, musicianship, recording frequency balance, etc. This means that no two recordings sound the same in their audio qualities: the more differences you can hear, the more revealing the system. And in the video realm? All the subtle (and not so subtle) changes in lighting tones are clearly evident as you move from scene to scene. Colour shifts such as changing sunlight conditions, changing locations, etc., are easily perceived. No apparent loss of information, as in no black or white crush and no more straining to see details in dark scenes...they are just there. Films are much more involving as you are drawn into the reality created by the film maker. Different shows clearly have different colour “moods”and if something doesn’t look right, I can now trust that it is a problem with the source or that the creators of the film messed up (e.g., chose a lighting which fails to support the dramatic intention of the scene) .
Thank you again Michael...you are an artist!
P.S. Those coloured plastic strips often used in calibrations do not have a consistent tint from batch to batch, e.g., I compared three blue ones and all were different!