Calibration: Should you pay someone or not. The final answer here?? - AVS Forum
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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YES.

That is the short answer. I've read most of the arguments on this forum about whether or not to pay a professional to calibrate your TV.

Is it worth the 350.00 I paid? YES
Does it make a measurable difference? YES, YES and YES
Are there scam artists out there that do this? YES

I've had my sammy 5053 (50" Plasma) for 4 months before I paid the money. I can honestly tell you there is a much improved difference and I am very glad I did it.

I was skeptical just like a bunch of you, but I figured if I paid 3k for a TV, Whats another 350.00 to make it perform as it should.

I used the ISF site to find someone in my area. Be very careful! I called a few and got varied prices from 350.00 to 800.00!! for the same work. I live on Long Island and was very lucky to get kevin Miller. Kevin is the 1st certified ISF consultant and is the best in the field. Luckily for me he lives in queens. If you live in the area, e-mail him at kevin@isftv.com. Tell him I sent you. He said he'd come back and calibrate my blue-ray for the referral.

Now, I can hear all you skeptics out there. I don't know Kevin. Never met him until today. He spent 1.5 hours on my TV and uses equipment that no DVD program can match.

That's all I'm gonna say. I know the skeptics will still reply with their arguments. I won't reply. The smart ones will just e-mail Kevin or look up someone in their area.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!

Jason Cohen
Proud owner of a "Calibrated" Samsung 5053.

p.s. The ISF website is www.isftv.com
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Old 12-15-2006, 03:18 PM
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What are your settings?
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Old 12-15-2006, 03:31 PM
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Merry Christmas to you too, Kevin!
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Old 12-15-2006, 03:41 PM
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i know maybe some people dont feel that its necessary to get their set isf'd. thats because they know what their doing with calibration. Chances are, if you get a night and day difference with isf calibration, you probably didnt know what you were doing when calibrating it yourself.
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Old 12-15-2006, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by whityfrd View Post

i know maybe some people dont feel that its necessary to get their set isf'd. thats because they know what their doing with calibration. Chances are, if you get a night and day difference with isf calibration, you probably didnt know what you were doing when calibrating it yourself.

There is not much you can do to calibrate a display yourself. Tweaking with DVD's like Avia and DVE help, but a proper calibration requires expensive equipment, software, and training.

I invested in all 3 as a hobby, not for business and have calibrated a few displays, besides my own, for friends/acquaintances. They were all impressed by the results.
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Old 12-15-2006, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by knickfan67 View Post

YES.

That is the short answer. I've read most of the arguments on this forum about whether or not to pay a professional to calibrate your TV.

Is it worth the 350.00 I paid? YES
Does it make a measurable difference? YES, YES and YES
Are there scam artists out there that do this? YES

I've had my sammy 5053 (50" Plasma) for 4 months before I paid the money. I can honestly tell you there is a much improved difference and I am very glad I did it.

I was skeptical just like a bunch of you, but I figured if I paid 3k for a TV, Whats another 350.00 to make it perform as it should.

I used the ISF site to find someone in my area. Be very careful! I called a few and got varied prices from 350.00 to 800.00!! for the same work. I live on Long Island and was very lucky to get kevin Miller. Kevin is the 1st certified ISF consultant and is the best in the field. Luckily for me he lives in queens. If you live in the area, e-mail him at kevin@isftv.com. Tell him I sent you. He said he'd come back and calibrate my blue-ray for the referral.

Now, I can hear all you skeptics out there. I don't know Kevin. Never met him until today. He spent 1.5 hours on my TV and uses equipment that no DVD program can match.

That's all I'm gonna say. I know the skeptics will still reply with their arguments. I won't reply. The smart ones will just e-mail Kevin or look up someone in their area.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!

Jason Cohen
Proud owner of a "Calibrated" Samsung 5053.

p.s. The ISF website is www.isftv.com

Kevin Miller calibrated my TV also. I recommend him. Well worth the money.
If anyone can afford to get this done they should.

Calibrating with discs can help but nothing beats the equipment the
professionals use.

Display: Pioneer PRO-151 60" Elite
Blu-ray player: OPPO BDP-93, Sony BDP-S1000ES
Processor: Onkyo PR-SC885
Amplifier: Emotiva IPS-1 150Wx7
Game Console: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4
Speakers: Mythos ST(Fronts), Mythos Ten(Center), Mythos One(Rears)
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:21 PM
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What exactly is the difference that you guys see?

Is it mostly on SD or HD or both?

Are you seeing what -- sharper picture? Better colors? Correct colors ?

Is the difference something that an AVERAGE person will notice right away -- or something that a super-sharp eyed AVS member is going to see if told to look at the screen halfway up, over to the right, see that black border there?

I might consider getting someone, once the holidays are past and my job situation cleared up.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

What are your settings?

Off topic Rant:

This is a completely inappropriate question. You're asking him to give you for free what he paid $350 for?

Why not tell him to go ahead and copy his whole DVD collection and send them your way?

I hope we never get to the point where ISF settings are posted by those who pay - it would put a lot of calibrators out of work and would be stealing, in my opinion.

I love HD...and I hated that Anti-Consumer format war.

Now that we can move on... Blu-ray > Digital Downloads!
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tdavis21484 View Post

I hope we never get to the point where ISF settings are posted by those who pay - it would put a lot of calibrators out of work and would be stealing, in my opinion.

Not to mention that one size does not fit all. Every TV is different (even among the same model).
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:40 AM
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I am amazed that we spend all that cash on a TV and have to have someone come out and make it look good. But I have to agree that when you spend all that money on a TV that a few hundred more is not much. But still it just dont seem right.

My Aquos LCD looks great to me and I do not plan on having anyone do anything to it. Maybe I just dont know any better or perhaps I am not that picky.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by TakeFlight View Post

Not to mention that one size does not fit all. Every TV is different (even among the same model).

Not to mention alot of the settings are modified in the Service Menu anyway.

I bleed blu.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:52 AM
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Giving someone the generic "settings" post calibration wouldn't help them anyway, tdavis. All the real procalibration magic takes place in the grayscale. And even that is very unit-specific ie; the grayscale settings on my 42" Sammy won't necessarily benefit someone else's 42" Sammy. Why? Because the source material is most likely different.

And even if the source material was EXACTLY the same - same year/month/make/model of DVD player, exact same make/model of cable box, exact same carrier of the signal with same HD channels, etc. - chances are VERY good that you won't get the exact same picture quality results. There are still to many variables between the 2 sets.

Those generic settings post-calibration are arbitrary numbers, too. They could be set to any figure that comes to mind - because they now relate to the new settings done in the grayscale. For example: post-cal my settings are all pegged at "50". They could just as easily have been set at "75" or "25" or even "42" fer chrissakes. It makes no difference now.

So ask away, good people. Eggpants, go ahead and put all your settings to "50", then stand back and marvel at what has been wrought. Not very nice, is it? Whaddya expect for free?

Doing this won't put your pre-cal sets any closer to the true beauty of a professionally calibrated unit. A unit that'll take your hdtv picture to the next level. The best level, where the killer blacks with definition in the shadows live, where the colour saturation is as God and nature intended - in short, a looking-out-the-window type of display.

When a pro-cal is completed, you'll be left with a set of charts and graphs showing pre and post calibration settings that will tell the tale. And you'll be stunned at just how out of whack your settings really were - straight from the factory. I swear, the settings these clowns let their sets leave the factory floor with borders on criminal. Just criminal.

And isn't that what this is all about? A crystal clear, lifelike pic? For 10% of the cost of your hdtv, you will experience a 110% improvement in your display. Of all the thousands of dollars spent converting a room in my house into a nice and cozy home theatre, that $300.00 spent on a pro-cal was the single best investment that I could have made.

Ottawa Ontario Canada
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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If only it was that easy.

The noticeable difference is in the colors and clarity. I'm not an expert so I won't describe it well. The colors are richer, there is more detail in the background especially during dark (black) scenes.

Yes, the manufacturer should do this. But, they don't and won't.

The biggest issue with this, and I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, is the BEATING you will get from your wife when you tell her you just spent 350 bucks on a 3k dollar TV. I'm still nursing my wounds.
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Frost147 View Post


When a pro-cal is completed, you'll be left with a set of charts and graphs showing pre and post calibration settings that will tell the tale. And you'll be stunned at just how out of whack your settings really were - straight from the factory. I swear, the settings these clowns let their sets leave the factory floor with borders on criminal. Just criminal.

And isn't that what this is all about? A crystal clear, lifelike pic? For 10% of the cost of your hdtv, you will experience a 110% improvement in your display. Of all the thousands of dollars spent converting a room in my house into a nice and cozy home theatre, that $300.00 spent on a pro-cal was the single best investment that I could have made.

Frost is right. He explains it much better than I could. Kevin left me with a 2-page document that outlines my pre/post settings. My TV was off a lot. He also gave me the detailed numbers from what they were before and after. Honestly, I will never look at the doucment ever again. I just know that it looked good before and it now it looks freakin' amazing.
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Frost147 View Post

Giving someone the generic "settings" post calibration wouldn't help them anyway, tdavis. All the real procalibration magic takes place in the grayscale. And even that is very unit-specific ie; the grayscale settings on my 42" Sammy won't necessarily benefit someone else's 42" Sammy. Why? Because the source material is most likely different.

I'm fully aware of what a professional calibration entails. Some displays keep grayscale adjustments in the user menu (like my NEC), so there's nothing hidden about a calibration.

Also, when people ask for settings for an ISF calibration, I always interpret it as "give me the grayscale too". Maybe others don't. It's easy to find out how to get into the service menu and copy down some numbers.

Quote:
And even if the source material was EXACTLY the same - same year/month/make/model of DVD player, exact same make/model of cable box, exact same carrier of the signal with same HD channels, etc. - chances are VERY good that you won't get the exact same picture quality results. There are still to many variables between the 2 sets.

I'll give you that, to a point, but most source devices are calibrated to standards from the factory - or at least higher-end sources are. Correct me if I'm wrong, ISF pros.

I love HD...and I hated that Anti-Consumer format war.

Now that we can move on... Blu-ray > Digital Downloads!
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tdavis21484 View Post

This is a completely inappropriate question. You're asking him to give you for free what he paid $350 for? hy not tell him to go ahead and copy his whole DVD collection and send them your way? I hope we never get to the point where ISF settings are posted by those who pay - it would put a lot of calibrators out of work and would be stealing, in my opinion.

No it wouldn't....every TV set is different and settings for one TV won't work as well on another.

We post menu settings all over the place and how many people copy them for their own sets? Most are just curious, a few use it to double-check that they're within 'the range.'
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Frost147 View Post

So ask away, good people. Eggpants, go ahead and put all your settings to "50", then stand back and marvel at what has been wrought. Not very nice, is it? Whaddya expect for free?

I like mine and don't believe they can be improved, but i am curious where others have their set. I find it funny that the OP is unwilling to share his
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:02 AM
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My panny has a serial port and apparently the display can be controlled with it. Couldn't a software program be written that connects via the serial port to make adjustments based on reference data and input sources?

I mean at least in theory? Or does such a thing already exist?

-Mark
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:07 AM
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Read and comprehend, eggpants. It DOESN'T MATTER what the OP's or my post-cal settings are now - they are irrelevant to your pre-cal set. As I said in my post - all my post-cal settings are now "50".

Feel free to use them as you like. I'm giving to you for free. And anything that is free is worth just about what you paid for it.

Ottawa Ontario Canada
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilipsPhanatic View Post

No it wouldn't....every TV set is different and settings for one TV won't work as well on another.

There is some truth to this, but for digital displays running the same hardware and firmware, differences should be minimal.

Quote:
We post menu settings all over the place and how many people copy them for their own sets? Most are just curious, a few use it to double-check that they're within 'the range.'

Right, but no one's livlihood depends on people's personal menu tweaks. Sharing settings that required an ISF calibrator's equipment, time, and expertise is like sharing an artist's work without payment or consent.

I love HD...and I hated that Anti-Consumer format war.

Now that we can move on... Blu-ray > Digital Downloads!
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Frost147 View Post

Read and comprehend, eggpants. It DOESN'T MATTER what the OP's or my post-cal settings are now - they are irrelevant to your pre-cal set. As I said in my post - all my post-cal settings are now "50".

Feel free to use them as you like. I'm giving to you for free. And anything that is free is worth just about what you paid for it.

I was referring to the OP, not you, so stay out of it. Your insipid rantings are of no interest to me.

This is a board to share information and it's not my intention to get anything for free. Knicksfan will probably have his own requests for information in the future from board members and I'm sure he will want other to share with him. In the meantime, stay out of it
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

I was referring to the OP, not you, so stay out of it. Your insipid rantings are of no interest to me.

This is a board to share information and it's not my intention to get anything for free. Knicksfan will probably have his own requests for information in the future from board members and I'm sure he will want other to share with him. In the meantime, stay out of it

Rants? I think he was very informative.
I think most ISF pros would say, go right ahead. Copy anything you want as it will not give you what 'I' can give you with my equipment.
Maybe you get lucky and get within 10% of optimal. So what.
As with many things in life, you can take a free shortcut but if you want it done right, get a pro.
I don't think they need to be worried about information sharing. That is what this board is for. If somebody pays the ISF fee, he now owns that information and can do as he pleases with it.
You can not control information like that.

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In the words of English philosopher Edmund Burke, ÂAll that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.Â
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Elemental1 View Post

Rants? I think he was very informative.
I think most ISF pros would say, go right ahead. Copy anything you want as it will not give you what 'I' can give you with my equipment.
Maybe you get lucky and get within 10% of optimal. So what.
As with many things in life, you can take a free shortcut but if you want it done right, get a pro.
I don't think they need to be worried about information sharing. That is what this board is for. If somebody pays the ISF fee, he now owns that information and can do as he pleases with it.
You can not control information like that.

You assume I'm trying to get something for free which isn't the case. I understand the benefits of a pro calibration and that some else' settings could look different on my set for any number of reasons. But considering that there are thousands of settings posts on this forum asking the guy to share his isn't a violation of protocol. He is under no obligation to share anything, but he may feel different if he ever has a question himself
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:00 PM
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Rants? I think he was very informative.
I think most ISF pros would say, go right ahead. Copy anything you want as it will not give you what 'I' can give you with my equipment.
Maybe you get lucky and get within 10% of optimal. So what.
As with many things in life, you can take a free shortcut but if you want it done right, get a pro.
I don't think they need to be worried about information sharing. That is what this board is for. If somebody pays the ISF fee, he now owns that information and can do as he pleases with it.
You can not control information like that.

I AGREE.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

You assume I'm trying to get something for free which isn't the case. I understand the benefits of a pro calibration and that some else' settings could look different on my set for any number of reasons. But considering that there are thousands of settings posts on this forum asking the guy to share his isn't a violation of protocol. He is under no obligation to share anything, but he may feel different if he ever has a question himself

When you ask for information and get it for free that is 'getting information for free'.
I don't have an issue with that at all.
Why pretend you don't want it for free?

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Old 12-16-2006, 12:10 PM
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I paid $1150 for my Panny 42 9Uk.... and can't see spending $350 for calibrations.

I would like to experiment with other settings from people with the same set up. It's just setting controls on a tv set, and this in no way would infringe on copyrights.

I'm sure a pro can do wonders and would be a good value for a poor PQ, but I would like to try and tweak some settings myself.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Elemental1 View Post

When you ask for information and get it for free that is 'getting information for free'.
I don't have an issue with that at all.
Why pretend you don't want it for free?

When I look at D-Nice's settings it's out of curiosity, not an attempt to steal his work. I like my current settings and there is probably nothing that would change them. If someone doesn't want to share then fine, but they should also refrain from asking anyone else for advice.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

When I look at D-Nice's settings it's out of curiosity, not an attempt to steal his work. I like my current settings and there is probably nothing that would change them. If someone doesn't want to share then fine, but they should also refrain from asking anyone else for advice.

The reason of 'curiosity' changes nothing.
Also, this 'get info' vs 'receive info' policy of yours is a little strange.

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Old 12-16-2006, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Elemental1 View Post

The reason of 'curiosity' changes nothing.
Also, this 'get info' vs 'receive info' policy of yours is a little strange.

I think you are confused. Get info and receive info is the same thing. The concept is those that ask for information should be willing to provide information.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:33 PM
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I think you are confused. Get info and receive info is the same thing. The concept is those that ask for information should be willing to provide information.

Yes, that is a typo and I, of course, meant give instead of get.
Nice sidestep of the topics though.

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