(cross posted from the Display calibration sub-forum)
Robert Busch came down from Santa Rosa a couple of weeks ago to calibrate my new Pioneer Elite monitor, which was manufactured in November of 2008. We hadn't seen each other since he calibrated my Hitachi 42HDT55 six years ago, and I had no hesitation in calling him back after the great results on that now ancient set; it's currently in service upstairs in our guest bedroom.
I ran Evangelo's break-in DVD for 150 hours and put several additional weeks of normal operation on the panel to stabilize it before calling Robert. When he arrived, it showed just under 800 hours on the clock. I had also enabled the ISF modes with ControlCal, loaded Pure mode with D-Nice's settings for the KPR-500M, and tweaked the black, white, tint, & color levels in Pure using AVSHSD, S&M, and the blue only menu option. All viewing of our HR10-250, HR20s, and 051FD was in Pure mode through one HDMI input via an Octava 4x1 switch. I thought it looked pretty good for an amateur setup. I was right - it was pretty good, for an amateur. I had no clue how much better it would be when he was done.
Robert spent six hours dialing in Pure, ISF Day, and ISF Night modes - sorting out the color temperature, gray scale, white & black levels, etc., and porting those settings to all four HDMI inputs. He said my panel had more red push than he had seen on the other 101FDs he had calibrated, but that there was nothing else unusual about the settings. The resulting improvement to pq in Pure mode was quite noticeable - but we don't watch Pure mode at all any more, because ISF Day & ISF Night are so spectacular. Robert told me that the equations used to calculate the pixel values in ISF mode are different from the other modes, and that's the reason for the increased clarity and depth when ISF is enabled and calibrated. It's truly like lifting a curtain from in front of the picture. The differences now visible in the pq of various disks in my Blu-Ray collection are startling. Both my wife, who doesn't see very well, and our daughter, who is skeptical of everything, made unsolicited comments on how gorgeous the panel is after proper calibration. The peak output in Night mode came in at 46 FL and Day Mode at 52 FL.
By the end of the day, Robert hadn't yet set up Movie mode for B&W film or evaluated Pure Cinema modes; both of these tasks were part of the scope of work set when we agreed on the price. He said that he would come back and finish the job, without requesting any fee increase. Two days later, he spent another 2 1/2 hours setting Movie mode for 5400K and looking at de-interlacing cadences in S&M. There appears to be no edge adaptive interlacing in the 101FD; after looking at the cadence sequences in the source adaptive section, we chose Standard mode for the Pure Cinema setting, and I set my D* DVRs to 1080i output and the Pioneer BDP to Auto. These choices give good results with almost all the content I've watched and require minimal horsing around with the controls. I also asked Robert to drop the white level in ISF Night a bit, as it was too bright for night viewing, even with a fair amount of room lighting - way too much pupil activity going on. In Day mode, the massive amounts of sunlight in my den are no problem at all.
Now I have a display that is far superior to what I saw at Magnolia - a 111FD that set me back on my heels and convinced me I had to have a 9G Elite. And my wife says it was worth the price of the calibration just to have a display that I can't tweak with the remote.
Anyone who has one of these displays and doesn't spring for a pro cal is missing much of the performance engineered into it. Tell the wife that the TV won't be adjustable with the remote once it's calibrated - maybe that will seal the deal.