Got my HC9000D (Advanced) up to nearly 100 hours, so Ray Coronado (AVS moniker: Rayjr) came over this morning to do the calibration. Ray's shop is SoCal HT, and he does THX Certified Professional Video Calibration.
I know that a lot of guys (and gals) like to dink around with this, and there are plenty of consumer grade tools that can be used, especially with projectors that have limited calibration assets, but the HC9000D is complex and highly adjustable. That combination of complexity and adjustability is a potential quagmire of mistakes. Copying someone else's posted settings is a fun experiment, but there are variances from unit to unit, room to room, screen to screen, bulb age to bulb age, etc. Plus, one never knows how the settings were arrived at and if one or more of the functions was working/not working, such as CMS.
Having confirmed that my unit was of the "Advanced" variety, I still didn't know if CMS would work or not, and even if it did, I had no clue what I'd do with it or with the complicated (as ander77 shows above) gamma/color temperature settings, especially without the necessary and expensive equipment needed to do it right. So, I contacted Ray.
Ray's THX process is similar but not identical to a typical ISF calibration. It's much more informative, collaborative, and detailed. Over the course of four hours, I learned more about the whys and wherefores of video standards; the legacy of analog video in digital; SMPTE standards; the three "dimensions" of color, hue, and brightness; and other things that I'd not spent a lot of time thinking about in the past. In the process, the picture got better and better, with me actually grasping why it was improving.
In the end, the picture was--to use an overused word--stunning. This baby can really put out an impressive image, and in the hands of a trained, talented calibrator with top notch equipment it is a revelation to re-view films I've seen dozens of times looking fresh and immersive as though I've never viewed them before.
It reminded me of the JBL Synthesis® calibration I got a few years back. I thought the system sounded great beforehand, but when the calibration was done, the transformation was almost unthinkable. It was just so much better, if I hadn't seen it I would have thought JBL had installed a new system. That ear-opening experience got me in the right frame of mind that when I got this potentially great projector, I knew exactly what to do: for an eye-opneing experience, get a real calibration.
Even better, I got a smoked acrylic THX Certified plaque and a small THX decal out of this deal.
Thanks, Ray, wherever you are. Edited by filecat13 - 11/24/12 at 8:45pm