What will get me more bang for the buck? Darblet vs. ISF Calibration - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-10-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I wanted to get the general consensus on what will get me more bang for the buck: adding a Darbee Darblet to my set up or paying to have the display professionally calibrated? When I say "more bang for the buck", I generally mean, which will give me the most noticeable improvement in picture quality? I can have either, but not both, for roughly the same amount - ISF calibration costs a bit more.

My setup:

65" Panasonic VT50
Oppo 103
NAD T757
DirecTV Genie
Xbox 360

All sources are currently passed through the NAD (untouched) into the Oppo and then on to the TV. The Darblet would be added to the chain right before the TV. I'm using very similar settings on the TV to what David Katzmaier posted as part of CNET's review of the VT50.

Thoughts?!? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-10-2014, 03:58 PM
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A Darblet is not a replacement for calibration, it is an enhancement you can add AFTER you calibrate your display. Get your display calibrated. Later, if you like you can get a Darblet.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-10-2014, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

A Darblet is not a replacement for calibration, it is an enhancement you can add AFTER you calibrate your display. Get your display calibrated. Later, if you like you can get a Darblet.

I totally agree - it isn't a replacement for calibration - wasn't trying to equate the two.

However, I have done my own "unprofessional" calibration, using the Katzmaier settings and calibration discs to tweak. In my opinion, colors look lifelike/accurate, I've got good shadow detail, etc, etc. All the hallmarks of excellent picture quality - yet, of course, I strive for more/better!

I'm unsure how much the "unprofessional" calibration will be improved upon by the ISF calibration (I've never had it done). Therefore, I'm unsure whether the money is better spent on the Darblet or the pro calibration. I am assuming each will incrementally improve my experience - the question is, under this scenario, which increment will be larger...
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-10-2014, 07:28 PM
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Get the calibration first or get a meter and DIY it more. Calibration is a bigger tweak, the Darbee is a slight tweak (IMO it's best used sparingly). If this stuff was food Calibration would be a master chief creating an awesome meal, the Darbee is like adding a dab of salt or hot sauce to said meal. You may have eye balled with with the discs well or you may not have. Until you have a meter or someone with a meter you will never know if you're seeing accurate colors. The meter won't adjust to wrong colors like our eyes and brains will.


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post #5 of 8 Old 01-10-2014, 08:02 PM
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Well the intelligent answer will always be an ISF-calibration, that is a given here on a science forum. But first, let me ask you, are you highly satisfied and entertained with your present picture? Are your flesh tones satisfactory? If the answer is yes, then why get a calibration for any other reason than perfection and satisfaction that your plasma is giving you the best picture quality it has to offer? That in itself surely justifies an ISF calibration for BEST picture quality, right?

That said, I'm using DNice's Custom setings and CNET's Cinema setings on my 50ST60 and I'm highly satisfied with my picture in both modes. I basically use the Custom Mode for sports & live events and the Cinema Mode for, well cinema & regular shows. I have forgo'd an ISF-caibration for my 9 month old Panny for the time being and just this week ordered the Darbee Darblet 5000 and a tightly regulated SMPS 5v 5A power supply (I'm still $100+ less than a calibration). Was it worth it? Dunno, still in snail mail but for me, it was the smart move I believe. I STILL want the calibration, hopefully this summer before the NFL season starts up again, but I'm presently highly satisfied with my picture quality and I wanted the Darbee's added 2D depth perception NOW. YMMV biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-21-2014, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Robin Bombard View Post

Well the intelligent answer will always be an ISF-calibration, that is a given here on a science forum. But first, let me ask you, are you highly satisfied and entertained with your present picture? Are your flesh tones satisfactory? If the answer is yes, then why get a calibration for any other reason than perfection and satisfaction that your plasma is giving you the best picture quality it has to offer? That in itself surely justifies an ISF calibration for BEST picture quality, right?

That said, I'm using DNice's Custom setings and CNET's Cinema setings on my 50ST60 and I'm highly satisfied with my picture in both modes. I basically use the Custom Mode for sports & live events and the Cinema Mode for, well cinema & regular shows. I have forgo'd an ISF-caibration for my 9 month old Panny for the time being and just this week ordered the Darbee Darblet 5000 and a tightly regulated SMPS 5v 5A power supply (I'm still $100+ less than a calibration). Was it worth it? Dunno, still in snail mail but for me, it was the smart move I believe. I STILL want the calibration, hopefully this summer before the NFL season starts up again, but I'm presently highly satisfied with my picture quality and I wanted the Darbee's added 2D depth perception NOW. YMMV biggrin.gif

This is exactly where I am at - can you comment on the Darblet once you've had a chance to mess with it?
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-21-2014, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theph0xx View Post

This is exactly where I am at - can you comment on the Darblet once you've had a chance to mess with it?

Well thanks to USPS, it took 12 days to ship the Drablet 400 miles but I did finally get it last Friday. Short answer, I love the Darbee Darblet. I initially found a happy home on HD 40% but a day later, my medical grade desktop SMPS (switch mode power supply) arrived to replace the cheap wallwart and the higher quality power supply allows me to boost up the processing to 60%. The Darblet knocks my uncalibrated picture outta the park. I can see where folks say there's a 3D quality to the 2D picture, subtle but noticeable. During the NFL Championship games last weekend, I actually cranked the percentage up to 70%.

OK, now the down side, the higher quality picture also highlighted the slight offness of my fleshtones, something I was totally ok with before. Now with the Darbee, this offness really stands out. So I'm currently negotiating an ISF-calibration for this Friday, even though I really wanted to wait. Individual faces now simply pop and cries Calibration (really only with fleshtones). So I would suggest you' really need to be satisfied with your fleshtones now because if you're not, adding the Darbee will only lightlight this with it's added inner definition that seems to make images pop right off the screen.

So while I'm glad I got the Darbee first and could be happy living with my present picture, I simply choose not to and want that calibration now rather than later. biggrin.gif

Make of this what you will. smile.gif
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-24-2014, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theph0xx View Post

This is exactly where I am at - can you comment on the Darblet once you've had a chance to mess with it?

Well I just had an ISF calibration and I need to say GET THE CALIBRATION FIRST! Yea it's a little more than the Darbee but there simply is no replacement to a professional calibration period. In fact I can now understand why folks who get the calibration & buy a Darbee turn around and sell them. A properly calibrated plasma really doesn't need a video enhancer for what I can see but I'll be keeping mine anyways, I can always turn if off if needed. But best bang for the buck for those who really want the most ~accurate~ possible picture will always be a proper ISF-calibration done by a professional. Notice I highlighted accurate as in the type of picture you would see in the movie theaters, not best possible picture as ~best~ is subjective and really depends on the individual's likes and dislikes.

Guess it boils down to whether you desiring an accurate picture quality or just simply adding Darbee detail to a picture with the settings you're that you're already satisfied with. Me, I'm with the rest of the folks here, get an accurate calibration first and you might not even want to mess with a Darbee. smile.gif
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