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Old 08-14-2015, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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12 Tips to Tune Up Your TV



If you care about picture quality, you can greatly improve the performance of just about any display by following these 12 simple steps.

As most AVS Forum members know, watching a TV as it comes out of the box is not ideal—it's typically too bright and too blue for the best image quality at home. A professional calibration will ensure that it looks the very best it can, but that can cost several hundred dollars. This is unreasonable for many buyers, especially if the TV was relatively inexpensive—say, less than $2000.

Does that mean you must live with a bright, blue flame thrower? Not at all—there are several things you can do to greatly improve the picture quality without spending more than a few bucks. Here are 12 tips to help you tune up your TV, which will typically get you 70-80 percent of the way to the best possible picture quality that TV can produce; if you want that last 20-30 percent, you can always hire a pro calibrator—and those of us who are picky about picture quality do so gladly if we can.

To perform these tasks, you'll need to open the TV's menu system and find the cited controls, which often go by different names in different manufacturers' products. I can't include all the possible names here; I've tried to use the most common names, but you might have to do a bit of sleuthing to determine what the manufacturer of your TV calls these controls.

1. Select the most accurate picture mode. In most TVs, this is the Movie or Cinema mode; in some, it might be the Standard mode, and a few even have a Calibrated mode. After selecting this mode, you might think the image looks dim and dull, but give yourself some time to get used to it; the picture will look much more natural and realistic than the out-of-box mode.

2. Select the warmest color temperature. In most TVs, the color-temperature settings are often labeled Cool, Normal, and Warm or High, Medium, and Low. The Warm or Low setting is usually the closest to reproducing what the content creators intended. In the Movie or Cinema picture mode, the color temperature often defaults to Warm or Low.

3. Turn off all "'enhancement" functions, such as dynamic contrast, edge enhancement, and noise filters. These usually do more harm than good to image quality.

4. Turn off overscan, which slightly upscales and crops the image. This is a holdover from the CRT days and is no longer necessary; in a digital display, it softens the image. In the TV's menu, this parameter is often called something like Picture Size or Aspect Ratio, with selections that include various zoom settings; select the setting that displays each pixel exactly as it is in the video signal.

5. Turn off frame interpolation, which sharpens motion detail by synthesizing artificial frames between the actual frames in the video signal. But it also creates the soap-opera effect, making movies look like they were shot with a video camera. This parameter goes by many different names; here are some of the more common ones:

LG: TruMotion
Panasonic: Motion Picture Setting
Samsung: Auto Motion Plus
Sharp: Motion Enhancement
Sony: Motionflow
Vizio: Smooth Motion

6. Turn on backlight scanning or black-frame insertion to sharpen motion detail without frame interpolation. Some models do not offer separate frame-interpolation and backlight-scanning controls, but combine them into one control; in this case, turn it off to avoid the soap-opera effect. This parameter goes by many different names; here are some of the more common ones:

LG: TruMotion Clear Plus
Panasonic: N/A (combined with frame interpolation)
Samsung: LED Motion Plus, LED Clear Motion
Sharp: AquoMotion
Sony: Motionflow Impulse
Vizio: Clear Action

7. Adjust the backlight (LCD) or cell-light (plasma, OLED) control according to the amount of ambient light in the room; the image should not be too bright to watch comfortably over extended periods. Backlight scanning and black-frame insertion can dim the picture considerably, so the backlight should be increased if you use this feature.

8. Use a setup disc to adjust the TV's five basic picture controls (brightness, contrast, color, tint, sharpness). For newbies, the Disney World of Wonder (WOW) Blu-ray is excellent; for more experienced users, I recommend Spears & Munsil's HD Benchmark or Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics. Each of these discs costs around $30. Another option is the AVS 709 HD program available here to download for free. The THX Tune-Up app for iOS and Android devices is very convenient, and it's also free.

9. Follow the directions for whichever disc or app you choose to set the brightness (black level) first, then contrast (white level). Go back and check the brightness again; these controls can be somewhat interactive, so you might need to go back and forth a few times to get them both right.

10. In most cases, set the sharpness control at 0 or off; higher settings apply edge enhancement that does more harm than good to the image. I've seen at least one TV in which a setting of 0 softened the picture quite a bit, while a setting of 1 was fine.

11. Setting the color and tint controls requires you to look through a blue filter at the test pattern or, better yet, setting the TV to display only blue, not red or green. Unfortunately, the blue filters that come with various setup discs aren't always accurate for all types of TVs, leading to misadjusted controls.

12. With digital TVs, the tint control rarely needs adjustment, so leave it alone. If your TV has a "blue-only" mode, use that to set the color control; if not, use the blue filter that came with the setup disc or carefully adjust it while looking at content with natural skin tones; they should not look sunburned or sickly green.

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Old 08-14-2015, 10:51 PM
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First, before performing any video settings: turn the room's lights down...lowest dimming...or even with just a lava lamp for very dim light ambiance.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:10 PM
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My secret tip goes back to CRT days and something I still do today: turn the color all the way off and adjust for best black and white picture. Slowly raise color till color saturation of flesh looks natural.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:32 PM
 
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Great tips :

FWIW on at least 2 of the the DVD's Spears and Munsil is the more nerdy of the 2 but very capable once you get past the learning curve Disney Wow has a reputation of being decent and user frendly. I dont know about the other one you are on your own there

Another (free ) alternative is AVSHD 709 (bt 709) You can do a lot there like a black pluge pattern (to set your min black level ) and white contrast levels (to set white levels ) ,sharpness and color gradation ( color saturation ) and some other things .
with or without a colorimeter and software .

Some basic instruction is there and as you lesrn more you can accomplish more and its free
You can do a day night calibration alo snd store them usually once you get dialed in the onlyb differnce will be 5+ clicks for day on brightness,

You can also store some settings more to your prefernce outside of the movie cinema modes in something like game,general or standard modes avoid vivid and sports modes .

I have 4 calibrations on my Sony in here with an accurate bt709 calibration in Cinema and the others to my prefernces depending on the variables or just how I feel at the momemt .

Most movies are color graded close to BT709 so the accurate calibratiobn can be fine on the movies or othewise depending on your prefernces and the lighting /content variables . I would avoid cool color temps and only use neutral (outside of movie ./cinema ) and warm in Movie/Cinema ofc .
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orbitron View Post
My secret tip goes back to CRT days and something I still do today: turn the color all the way off and adjust for best black and white picture. Slowly raise color till color saturation of flesh looks natural.
Thats not a bad idea for a good starting point and just might get the color saturation right or very nearly so . I've also applied the 50% rule starting point there on LCD's

FWIW I was tought like you say when I did bench work on CRT sets ~ 40 yrs ago . We also used that crireia in diag and repairs on NTSC TV's i.e get a decnt black and white picture [first] then work on the chroma ( color. )
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:37 AM
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Very informative. When our theater was completed, and on the advice I read here, I purchased the Disney WOW calibration disk. With the Sony projector, even after reading that the calibration was pretty good out of the box, I still found that the WOW disk provided the basis for additional adjustments. And as a 'newbie' I am sometimes overwhelmed at the amount of electronic, superficial enhancements that vendors offer, some of which I can visually perceive very little benefit. In cases, the WOW disk indeed showed they were not worth the marketing effort

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Old 08-15-2015, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson
5. Turn off frame interpolation, which sharpens motion detail by synthesizing artificial frames between the actual frames in the video signal. But it also creates the soap-opera effect, making movies look like they were shot with a video camera.
Doug Blackburn, probably the most knowledgeable TV guy on AVS, actually is a fan of improving motion sharpness using Motion Interpolation dispite the SOE. So are others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson
6. Turn on backlight scanning or black-frame insertion to sharpen motion detail without frame interpolation. Some models do not offer separate frame-interpolation and backlight-scanning controls, but combine them into one control; in this case, turn it off to avoid the soap-opera effect.
BFI dims/degrades pq and has other side effects. No idea why folks are so excited about it.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:17 AM
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DO NOT do these calibrations on a just turned on set. Watch programming for a couple of hours, and then start.
Spears and Munsil Blu-Ray II the most accurate for the Contrast, Brightness and Sharpness.
Disney WOW, ONLY use the Basic setup - have found the Advanced setup having you set B & C too high. (Even Basic will have you 1 or 2 clicks off what the S&M would have you set them to. Comparing B & C from a S&M setup to an actual calibration - very close, if not right on the mark.)
Blue Filters useless, and a left over from bygone ages.
BUT, as Pro calibrators have found, after spending several hours calibrating a client's set, after they leave, client doesn't like the look and feel of the calibrated set, and resets it back to the way he likes it!

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Old 08-15-2015, 09:29 AM
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Overscan

What is overscan labeled as in the menu on a Samsung 64f8500?
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:46 AM
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Screen Fit or Just Scan for Samsung's usually.
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:55 PM
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What is overscan labeled as in the menu on a Samsung 64f8500?
So if my display is set to screen fit it will mess up the picture, correct?
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfixit58 View Post
So if my display is set to screen fit it will mess up the picture, correct?
Just the opposite. "Screen Fit" or "Just Scan" (or similar) would disable overscan. One could pause an HD image that fills the screen and has detail out to the edges, try "16:9", "Screen Fit", etc., and it is likely the setting that displays most of the image on the screen without introducing any letterbox/pillarbox bars has defeated overscan.

On my LG has an "Aspect Ratio" setting ("Ratio" on the remote control) with "16:9" having overscan, and "Just Scan" disables overscan. However, for 480 content the "Just Scan" is disabled, which for some SD subchannels is just as well because a couple of the diginet channels I watch have junk (typically where data is hid in the vertical blanking interval for analog TVs) on the top line that the overscan pushes beyond the edge of the screen.

On my Vizio, the default setting it came in was with overscan turned off if the "Wide" setting is set to "Normal", but one can be adjusted to overscan by digging into Picture settings, advanced, picture placement & size.

It would be nice if more TV manufacturers would recognize that overscan is an anachronism from the old CRT days and more manufacturers ship with factory settings that have overscan disabled.

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:47 PM
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I already own the THX Calibration Disc and the Disney WOW Disc but I went a head and bought the Spears & Munsil's HD Benchmark 2nd Edition Disc today just waiting for it to show up in the mail.

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Old 08-16-2015, 12:01 AM
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I found using the LED Motion Plus on my UA55D7000 (Australian model) dims the screen ever so slightly... I am going to trial having it on but have always read in various calibration reviews to leave it turned off.... confused




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Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post
Doug Blackburn, probably the most knowledgeable TV guy on AVS, actually is a fan of improving motion sharpness using Motion Interpolation dispite the SOE. So are others.

BFI dims/degrades pq and has other side effects. No idea why folks are so excited about it.

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Old 08-16-2015, 12:15 AM
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Do you suggest turn LED Motion Plus on? I have read various calibration reviews that suggest that it should be left off. I have a Samsung UA55D7000 (Australian Model). I'll trial it to see if it improves motion without the soap opera effect, though I have found that when switched on it dims the picture ever so slightly... which I didn't like I so turned it back off when I first bought the set 3 years ago, but will I will give it a another go and leave it on for a decent period of time to see if I get used to it...


Quote:
Originally Posted by




Scott Wilkinson;36511818


If you care about picture quality, you can greatly improve the performance of just about any display by following these 12 simple steps.

As most AVS Forum members know, watching a TV as it comes out of the box is not ideal—it's typically too bright and too blue for the best image quality at home. A professional calibration will ensure that it looks the very best it can, but that can cost several hundred dollars. This is unreasonable for many buyers, especially if the TV was relatively inexpensive—say, less than $2000.

Does that mean you must live with a bright, blue flame thrower? Not at all—there are several things you can do to greatly improve the picture quality without spending more than a few bucks. Here are 12 tips to help you tune up your TV, which will typically get you 70-80 percent of the way to the best possible picture quality that TV can produce; if you want that last 20-30 percent, you can always hire a pro calibrator—and those of us who are picky about picture quality do so gladly if we can.

To perform these tasks, you'll need to open the TV's menu system and find the cited controls, which often go by different names in different manufacturers' products. I can't include all the possible names here; I've tried to use the most common names, but you might have to do a bit of sleuthing to determine what the manufacturer of your TV calls these controls.

1. Select the most accurate picture mode. In most TVs, this is the Movie or Cinema mode; in some, it might be the Standard mode, and a few even have a Calibrated mode. After selecting this mode, you might think the image looks dim and dull, but give yourself some time to get used to it; the picture will look much more natural and realistic than the out-of-box mode.

2. Select the warmest color temperature. In most TVs, the color-temperature settings are often labeled Cool, Normal, and Warm or High, Medium, and Low. The Warm or Low setting is usually the closest to reproducing what the content creators intended. In the Movie or Cinema picture mode, the color temperature often defaults to Warm or Low.

3. Turn off all "'enhancement" functions, such as dynamic contrast, edge enhancement, and noise filters. These usually do more harm than good to image quality.

4. Turn off overscan, which slightly upscales and crops the image. This is a holdover from the CRT days and is no longer necessary; in a digital display, it softens the image. In the TV's menu, this parameter is often called something like Picture Size or Aspect Ratio, with selections that include various zoom settings; select the setting that displays each pixel exactly as it is in the video signal.

5. Turn off frame interpolation, which sharpens motion detail by synthesizing artificial frames between the actual frames in the video signal. But it also creates the soap-opera effect, making movies look like they were shot with a video camera. This parameter goes by many different names; here are some of the more common ones:

LG: TruMotion
Panasonic: Motion Picture Setting
Samsung: Auto Motion Plus
Sharp: Motion Enhancement
Sony: Motionflow
Vizio: Smooth Motion

6. Turn on backlight scanning or black-frame insertion to sharpen motion detail without frame interpolation. Some models do not offer separate frame-interpolation and backlight-scanning controls, but combine them into one control; in this case, turn it off to avoid the soap-opera effect. This parameter goes by many different names; here are some of the more common ones:

LG: TruMotion Clear Plus
Panasonic: N/A (combined with frame interpolation)
Samsung: LED Motion Plus, LED Clear Motion
Sharp: AquoMotion
Sony: Motionflow Impulse
Vizio: Clear Action

7. Adjust the backlight (LCD) or cell-light (plasma, OLED) control according to the amount of ambient light in the room; the image should not be too bright to watch comfortably over extended periods. Backlight scanning and black-frame insertion can dim the picture considerably, so the backlight should be increased if you use this feature.

8. Use a setup disc to adjust the TV's five basic picture controls (brightness, contrast, color, tint, sharpness). For newbies, the Disney World of Wonder (WOW) Blu-ray is excellent; for more experienced users, I recommend Spears & Munsil's HD Benchmark or Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics. Each of these discs costs around $30. Another option is the AVS 709 HD program available here to download for free. The THX Tune-Up app for iOS and Android devices is very convenient, and it's also free.

9. Follow the directions for whichever disc or app you choose to set the brightness (black level) first, then contrast (white level). Go back and check the brightness again; these controls can be somewhat interactive, so you might need to go back and forth a few times to get them both right.

10. In most cases, set the sharpness control at 0 or off; higher settings apply edge enhancement that does more harm than good to the image. I've seen at least one TV in which a setting of 0 softened the picture quite a bit, while a setting of 1 was fine.

11. Setting the color and tint controls requires you to look through a blue filter at the test pattern or, better yet, setting the TV to display only blue, not red or green. Unfortunately, the blue filters that come with various setup discs aren't always accurate for all types of TVs, leading to misadjusted controls.

12. With digital TVs, the tint control rarely needs adjustment, so leave it alone. If your TV has a "blue-only" mode, use that to set the color control; if not, use the blue filter that came with the setup disc or carefully adjust it while looking at content with natural skin tones; they should not look sunburned or sickly green.

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Old 08-16-2015, 05:52 AM
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To calibrate my video, I just hold up the same flannel shirt I wore when I was on the Jerry Springer show and play with the settings until it's close.

Oh, and I was NOT the father of any of those 15 kids....woot!
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Old 08-16-2015, 06:55 AM
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I just found a thread about my set on this forum and used the suggested settings there ;-).
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattyo1612 View Post
Do you suggest turn LED Motion Plus on? I have read various calibration reviews that suggest that it should be left off. I have a Samsung UA55D7000 (Australian Model). I'll trial it to see if it improves motion without the soap opera effect, though I have found that when switched on it dims the picture ever so slightly... which I didn't like I so turned it back off when I first bought the set 3 years ago, but will I will give it a another go and leave it on for a decent period of time to see if I get used to it...
In 2010 Neilo stated that LED Motion Plus is not effective at all. According him all it does is dims the screen. He is positive regarding Auto Motion Plus. It will do motion smoothing and there might be a Soap Opera Effect though . Neilo is a expert who works for hdtvtest.
https://www.avforums.com/threads/sam...-plus.1379970/

So i would check out LED Motion Plus, then turn it off. Experts often suggest that one should not use motion smoothing when watching movies because it will ruin the film look. On non movie content experts have less objections regarding motion smoothing.

LED Motion Plus does backlight strobing.
Auto Motion Plus is Motion Interpolation realated.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:56 PM
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Good tips.

I will disagree a little bit on your motion comments. I have found the backlight strobing/clear action to do nothing but dim the picture significantly.

I also have experience with both Samsung and Vizios interpolation settings. I found "clear" on Samsung, and 1-2 de-judder on Vizio (available on the latest firmware) to improve the overall picture quality and motion handling with minimal SOE. YMMV

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Old 08-17-2015, 12:34 AM
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A thread like this specifically for projectors would be nice too.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:36 AM
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A wonderful and very helpful article.Thank You for the tips and suggestions.
I am curious though about the use of ambient backlighting that aides in reducing eye fatigue.
The use of "proper" ambient light sources such as CinemaQuest, does have an effect on the perceived
video settings. How important is it to make use of these light sources in calibration?

RustyBones
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavinwow View Post
I also have experience with both Samsung and Vizios interpolation settings. I found "clear" on Samsung, and 1-2 de-judder on Vizio (available on the latest firmware) to improve the overall picture quality and motion handling with minimal SOE. YMMV
One does not want to see SOE or minimal SOE when watching a blu-ray movie.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:07 AM
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Re: #8 :

If you don't want to spring for a dedicated setup disc, all of the latest Pixar Blu-rays have a setup feature as one of the menu options. From my experience, they do a pretty good job of helping the average user get some good settings.

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Old 08-17-2015, 10:24 AM
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If one has time and inclination, results after calibrating with HCFR and i1 Display Pro probe ($150 after discount) are outstanding.

HCFR - Open source projector and display calibration software

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...splay_Pro.html

Last edited by bmcn; 08-17-2015 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:15 AM
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Disagree with #3 and #5 (same as I did when this list was posted a couple weeks back.)

Personally, the dynamic iris on my PJ works well to give more contrast, without being noticeable in use (although the dynamic contrast on one of my flat panels is annoyingly abrupt, and so stays off.) Same thing for frame interpolation, I prefer to use light FI settings to tame down the poor 24p judder. Although standard settings are too extreme and are annoyingly smooth in pans.

A better recommendation than "don't use" would be for a person to educate themselves about the features, then take a structured approach to identifying which features/settings they personally prefer to use. To flatly ignore features is too simplistic for anyone interested in maximizing their personal enjoyment of their equipment.

This list reads more like "12 Tips to Tune Up Your In Law's TV"
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bmcn View Post
If one has time and inclination, results after calibrating with HCFR and i1 Display Pro probe ($150 after discount) are outstanding.

HCFR - Open source projector and display calibration software

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...splay_Pro.html
I don't see anything about a discount, could you elaborate?. I can't justify $250 on my budget but I could do $150
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:32 AM
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I don't see anything about a discount, could you elaborate?. I can't justify $250 on my budget but I could do $150
HCFR works just fine with a colormuki.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...rch=yes&sts=pi
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:34 AM
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I don't see anything about a discount, could you elaborate?. I can't justify $250 on my budget but I could do $150
At $250, the price of a pro cal using better equipment isn't much more expensive. Bought it last year sometime between Thanksgiving and year end, $150 after sale price and rebate, not an unheard of price at that time.

Last edited by bmcn; 08-17-2015 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:50 AM
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At $250, the price of a pro cal using better equipment isn't much more expensive. Bought it last year sometime between Thanksgiving and year end, $150 after sale price and rebate, not an unheard of price at that time.
Pro calibration would be great and work for many people. Those who want a perfect home theater setup and then be done with it. But I'm a tweaker, I can't just let someone set it and then never touch it. Plus I'd like to do multiple displays and would replace those displays every couple years. That'll get expensive over time. So I consider self-calibration the only option until I hit the lottery and get a custom built million dollar theater room :P
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:53 AM
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HCFR works just fine with a colormuki.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...rch=yes&sts=pi
For projectors? I have not done significant research on this yet, just a quick glance, and it seemed like most of the cheaper options were for LCD/plasma
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