It's hard to sift through the Owners thread to pull out the meaningful info specific to calibration - so let's try to capture them in a single thread. This thread is targeted to USER calibration, but experiences with ISF calibration that produced even better results via service menu adjustments would also add value here.
I'll share my calibration experience, with some questions for the forum. By discussing user adjustment controls in the context of standardized source material with recommended instructions for calibrating levels, we should be able to get good value out of comparing our experiences here.
Calibrating the TH58PZ700U - installed 12/31/08, calibrated 1/15/08
I used the Digital Video Essentials DVD and performed all of the recommended USER adjustments using the test material provided on the disc. I used the 4:3 aspect ratio of the display for all adjustments, but periodically compared to FULL aspect ratio as I went along to see the difference. My room was set to a very low ambient light level and I was performing the adjustments while seated approximately 10 feet from the display. My source player for the DVD is a PS3 40 GB model, very latest serial number. Hookup to the display is via a 12-ft HDMI cable.
TV menu options are configured as follows:
Display mode: Standard
Color Temp: Normal
Color Mgmt: Off
Video NR Off
3D Y/C Filter Off
Block NR Off
Mosquito NR Off
Black Level Light
3:2 pulldown Off
HD size Size 2
PS3 menu video options are configured as follows:
Cinema conversion: Auto
DVD upscaler: Normal
RGB Full Range: Full
Brightness and Picture Level
I adjusted the brightness and picture level first. I adjusted brightness level starting with the picture level set to +15. I raised the brightness until the darkest (below-black) pluge was clearly visible on the grayscale test pattern. Then I backed down the brightness until the black was only barely distinguishable from the background level of the picture. I then adjusted the picture level until the top white box of the test pattern was very bright, however without any indication of blooming, color shift or loss of edge definition. I rechecked brightness level as described, adjusting downward slightly to compensate for the changed value of picture level. I found that going back to FULL from 4:3 aspect ratio darkened the overall level very slightly, so I raised the brightness just one more notch, which was an acceptable compromise.
My resulting values are:
Color and Tint Level
I adjusted the color level first, using the blue filter provided with the DVD. I followed the instructions of the DVD to adjust the colors of the color bar pattern until they looked uniformly blue to me. I then performed the tint adjustment, using all three of the color filters. I followed the instructions of the DVD, and rechecked the color setting to make sure it still looked accurate. I found that this adjustment was one place where I need to make a slight compromise, it did not seem possible to have all color filters achieve uniform color level at the same time, though they were very close.
I settled on the following values:
* see question 1) below
Overall, the results to my eyes using the calibration process are significantly improved over the eyeball values I set when the TV was first installed. I found myself raising the overall brightness level slightly, which pulled out some of the crushed blacks, and the changes to the color and tint settings improved skin tone and made the color more uniform overall. Grass is a rich natural green and the sky test material on the DVE DVD is very realistic - blue but not too blue for blue sky, and a very natural bright gray for the overcast or washed out sky images. I was nervous about raising the brightness levels so high, but will just have to be careful to make sure I avoid burn-in images when using the display. Shadows now retain detail and there is a very naturally realistic contrast between super bright and very dark picture content.
1) Is it my imagination, or does the Sharpness control make absolutely no difference on this DVD using an HDMI hookup? The DVD seems to imply that it shouldn't, but I'm just curious if this is really so?
2) Though the completed calibration results in staggering picture quality with no artifacts or anomalies using the reference video material at the end of the DVD, I did notice a slight ghosting of text and images on the static screens during the DVD's instructions. Anybody else notice this? Is this normal?