We all have teeth. They're white, protected by enamel, and arranged in two little rows. Pretty much the same in everyone, right? Well, almost. A lucky few might be born with perfect teeth, but most teeth are at least a little crooked. Luckily, you can find a professional who, for a modest fee, will measure your teeth and outfit you with a bespoke set of braces that will bring them into perfect alignment.
But would you ever wear braces that were fitted for someone else's teeth? Probably not.
Displays are born with pixels. Like teeth they're white, protected by glass or plastic, and arranged in neat little rows. And like teeth they rarely come from the factory perfect and need adjustment, sometimes a lot. You can also find professionals who, for a modest fee, will measure and fix your pixels.
Everyone's teeth are crooked in a unique way, and every display's settings are off in a unique way. So, it seems like copying someone else's calibration settings makes as about as much sense as wearing someone else' braces. Or does it? Here's my experience calibrating my PT-AE8000U for the first time.Factory Defaults
Here are the RGB levels for my PT-AE8000U in REC709 mode with all settings at factory default:
Too much green, too little blue on the low end, and way too little red across the board. The bottom half of the chart should be displaying a pink line graphing the total error at each IRE, but you can't see the line because the error is too high at all points. So the factory defaults are literally "off-the-charts" bad. Color temp ranges between 7000K and 7500K.ProjectorReviews.com Settings
When I first set up my projector, I naively copied the settings from the ProjectorReviews.com review of the PT-AE8000U. Here are the RGB levels for those settings:
Well, it looks like these settings are actually an improvement at every IRE level. There's still a lot of error, but they are substantially better than the factory defaults.My First Calibration
Here are the RGB levels I achieved on my first try using an i1Display Pro colorimeter. I only made adjustments to RGB and overall brightness and contrast controls, and have not tried using the CMS yet.
Not too shabby. A further improvement from the ProjectorReviews.com settings at all IRE except maybe 10. And pretty close to perfect between IRE 30 and IRE 80. I'd appreciate input or tips from more experienced members.Conclusions
Obviously, copying someone else's calibration settings is not going to get you great results. But will they be better than the factory defaults? It depends. If the defaults are really bad, and the errors all follow the same general pattern, then I think it's a reasonable assumption that someone else's calibration settings could make improvements in gross errors. In the case of the PT-AE8000U, if too little red is a general problem, that would explain why ProjectorReview.com's settings helped. To the extent that 8000's are consistently low in red, any calibrated settings that increase red are going to help.
On the other hand, the amount of additional red you need is going to vary between units, so you're not going to get really good results unless you calibrate your own unit. Plus, the overall brightness and contrast settings I ended up with were quite different from the ones I first copied.
I'd highly recommend investing in a colorimeter. I used it not only on my projector, but on an LCD TV and 3 computer monitors. They all look fantastic now, and my triple desktop monitor setup finally has consistent color across all 3.