Originally Posted by JasonRabb
Are you in DC man? So am I!
Save your money and time. This is a fools game in my opinion. Consider the following:
The only test DVDs are for DVD. There are no 1080P DVDs out yet for blu ray or HD DVD. Calibrating using a DVD will only approximate your HD cable input. The signal generators they use are not equivalent to what you get from the cable company anyways since there is all sorts of compression going on.
My assumption is that anyone can adjust the set approximately to a good viewing scenario...at least one that you like. Read these forums and get some ideas.
What we cannot do on our own is calibrate the colour or the gamma perfectly...according to how the director intended the picture. But, big deal. I had my set calibrated and frankly, I liked my own settings a wee bit better. I knew how to get the picture reasonably correct. The increase in PQ after calibration was <5% in my opinion. Now, if you are technically simple and not capable of reading or using the remote, then you had better get some help.
The most important issue in my mind is contrast and maybe brightness. If you get those reasonable, then you are 90% there. That is a good reason to buy an elementary calibration disk that you can use to subjectively adjust contrast and brightness.
As to perfect colour temp...nice but minor. The 5 settings from Sony give you lots of choice and are reasonable but not perfect. Having said that, after you spend your money, you will generally wonder why.
I had previously owned a 60XB1. I moved up to an XBR2. I have always thought (and continue to think) that the PQ was better in the XBR1. It seemed sharper or rather, it had much less SSE. I was hoping that the calibrator could compensate and return the great picture that I have been missing. He could not.
So, calibration, in my opinion, is not necessary and the marginal improvement (maybe) is certainly not worth the money. Now I know that lots of think that people like UMR have worked miracles for you. I will not argue that he might have. However, I suggest that you could have done 80% of it for yourself.
Anyways, just my opinion. I will never recommend to anyone again to get their sets calibrated other than as I have suggested within this post.