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Best Buy charging $250.00 for calibration ( Samsung UN55ES6500 ) - Page 3

post #61 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

as long as you realize that it becomes quite subjective at that point... but if you're happy with the TV and don't want to spend more, I get it

This is not my first experience with ISF calibrators and HiDef tV...been there, done that!
post #62 of 93
Take what you will from this...

After speaking with two different BB/Mag calibrators I would be shocked to find even a few of them across the nation with anywhere near the skill set of some of the better Pro calibrators like Chad B, Kevin Miller, D-Nice, Michael Chen, regardless of how many displays they calibrate each day. Now obviously skills and experience will vary per individual but the last one that I spoke to said he had been calibrating for years but through the course of our conversation it was obvious he knew just barely enough and said their colorimeter was 'only' a couple years old (he said they did not use any sort of reference meter). Now if you find that level of service worthwhile when a reputable Pro with better gear is only about $100 more on average then it is certainly your choice to make.

Jason
post #63 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

Take what you will from this...

After speaking with two different BB/Mag calibrators I would be shocked to find even a few of them across the nation with anywhere near the skill set of some of the better Pro calibrators like Chad B, Kevin Miller, D-Nice, Michael Chen, regardless of how many displays they calibrate each day. Now obviously skills and experience will vary per individual but the last one that I spoke to said he had been calibrating for years but through the course of our conversation it was obvious he knew just barely enough and said their colorimeter was 'only' a couple years old (he said they did not use any sort of reference meter). Now if you find that level of service worthwhile when a reputable Pro with better gear is only about $100 more on average then it is certainly your choice to make.

Jason

+1 I wouldnt trust BB to tell me what kind of batteries to buy
post #64 of 93
Tv calibration is not like choosing a doctor because tv calibration isn't rocket science.
Secondly the comparison of best buy calibration to detailing a car doesn't make sense.
When the Lexus dealership gives your car a wipedown they are not calling it a detailing.

I think there are a lot of myths when it comes to calibration and it fuels the sucker market out there for it.

A lot of guys out there see it as a fine art like playing piano or cooking.
But it's not an art. There is a very finite number of settings that each tv has and the calibrators have an instrument to let them know when they arrive at optimal settings.
post #65 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexas View Post

Tv calibration is not like choosing a doctor because tv calibration isn't rocket science.
Secondly the comparison of best buy calibration to detailing a car doesn't make sense.
When the Lexus dealership gives your car a wipedown they are not calling it a detailing.

I think there are a lot of myths when it comes to calibration and it fuels the sucker market out there for it.

A lot of guys out there see it as a fine art like playing piano or cooking.
But it's not an art. There is a very finite number of settings that each tv has and the calibrators have an instrument to let them know when they arrive at optimal settings.

do you have personal experience with professional calibration services? have you had sets calibrated by BB or independent calibrators?
post #66 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post


do you have personal experience with professional calibration services? have you had sets calibrated by BB or independent calibrators?

Yeah and it's a story you might find interesting.
Years ago I worked at a commission based electronic shop where I met a few career sales people. One of them moved on to the local Runco dealership, another guy to another high end place.
We still all keep in touch.

When I bought my Sony 55" hx700 the local best buy threw in calibration for 99 bucks. Got it calibrated and thought it looked pretty good.
Called up my Runco buddy to let him know how much I liked it and he offered to swing by that night and fix her up properly.
Of course I took the offer.
I watched my buddy fumble through the menus and slowly work his way through. He was meticulous and thorough. Used his sensor kept looking at charts. Took him a few hours and at the end of the day it looked pretty much exactly the same.
He told me he saved 500 bucks.
I said thanks, pretended it was way better and offered him some beer.

That was when I realized how much of a scam 500 bucks for a calibration is.

I watched the geek squad guy calibrate my tv too. There was no fumbling and no surprises and nothing slowed him down.

I'm not saying geek squad is better. I'm just saying it's equal and cheaper.

And yeah I would say I have a good eye for a good picture on a tv. I sold TVs for years through university. From the Sony 40" XBR tube tv to the last true Pioneer Kuro.
post #67 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexas View Post

Yeah and it's a story you might find interesting.
Years ago I worked at a commission based electronic shop where I met a few career sales people. One of them moved on to the local Runco dealership, another guy to another high end place.
We still all keep in touch.

When I bought my Sony 55" hx700 the local best buy threw in calibration for 99 bucks. Got it calibrated and thought it looked pretty good.
Called up my Runco buddy to let him know how much I liked it and he offered to swing by that night and fix her up properly.
Of course I took the offer.
I watched my buddy fumble through the menus and slowly work his way through. He was meticulous and thorough. Used his sensor kept looking at charts. Took him a few hours and at the end of the day it looked pretty much exactly the same.
He told me he saved 500 bucks.
I said thanks, pretended it was way better and offered him some beer.

That was when I realized how much of a scam 500 bucks for a calibration is.

I watched the geek squad guy calibrate my tv too. There was no fumbling and no surprises and nothing slowed him down.

I'm not saying geek squad is better. I'm just saying it's equal and cheaper.

And yeah I would say I have a good eye for a good picture on a tv. I sold TVs for years through university. From the Sony 40" XBR tube tv to the last true Pioneer Kuro.

Calibration is both science and art. On straightforward TVs like your Sony HX700 the mixture may be weighted more toward science, but on difficult and problematic displays like Panasonic VT30/50s, Sharp Quattrons, and many projectors art plays a huge roll. I would also say skill and work ethic are part of the art.
Taking a purely scientific approach can sometimes lead to big problems. The reason is sometimes there are serious performance issues that fly under the radar of normal measurements. One example is the CMS adjustment on some Sharp Quattrons. If you try to adjust their CMS to get conventional measurements perfect, you'll end up with purple people. Why? Because there's things going on that normal measurements don't expose. However, a quick look at familiar reference material exposes it in a split second. A novice taking a 100% scientific approach would just leave it like that and say "Well, that's how it's SUPPOSED to look."
There have been several times I've gone after Geeks to fix the mess they left. I think even a colorblind cataract sufferer could've seen the difference.
post #68 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexas View Post

One of them moved on to the local Runco dealership, another guy to another high end place.

As an off-topic point, Best Buy/Magnolia AV now carries Runco plasmas and projectors
post #69 of 93
If a Best Buy technician is ISF certified, why wouldn't he be every bit as qualified as any other non Best Buy ISF calibrator???
post #70 of 93
ISF certification does not provide you much more than a fairly broad overview of what goes into a calibrated image.

It does not provide you with your own calibration software, equipment, knowledge of how to manipulate the highly varied controls found on the many different brands and models of displays that are out there, and most importantly, experience. The well-known and respected calibrators out there have many years and thousands of hours of experience under their belts. A relatively brief ISF course is not going to come close to that. It's a good starting point, but certainly isn't all you need to be a competent calibrator any more than passing health class in high school prepares you for performing advanced medical procedures.

Best Buy calibration is usually also very basic, and doesn't delve into the finer controls available that can be crucial to adjust on many displays.
post #71 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

ISF certification does not provide you much more than a fairly broad overview of what goes into a calibrated image.

It does not provide you with calibration software, equipment, knowledge of how to manipulate the highly varied controls found on the many different brands and models of displays that are out there, and most importantly, experience. The well-known calibrators out there have many years and thousands of hours of experience. A two-day long ISF course is not going to come close to that.

Best Buy calibration is usually also very basic, and doesn't delve into the finer controls available that can be crucial to adjust on many displays.

So what you're saying is that ISF certification means very little???
post #72 of 93
It's a good starting point for someone who wants to start seriously calibrating displays, either for themselves or professionally. It does not make you an expert.
post #73 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

It's a good starting point for someone who wants to start seriously calibrating displays, either for themselves or professionally. It does not make you an expert.

So, in a nutshell, ISF certification means very little. If that is the case, I don't see how the consumer would know if an ISF certified technician is any good or not.
post #74 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

Calibration is both science and art. On straightforward TVs like your Sony HX700 the mixture may be weighted more toward science, but on difficult and problematic displays like Panasonic VT30/50s, Sharp Quattrons, and many projectors art plays a huge roll. I would also say skill and work ethic are part of the art.
Taking a purely scientific approach can sometimes lead to big problems. The reason is sometimes there are serious performance issues that fly under the radar of normal measurements. One example is the CMS adjustment on some Sharp Quattrons. If you try to adjust their CMS to get conventional measurements perfect, you'll end up with purple people. Why? Because there's things going on that normal measurements don't expose. However, a quick look at familiar reference material exposes it in a split second. A novice taking a 100% scientific approach would just leave it like that and say "Well, that's how it's SUPPOSED to look."
There have been several times I've gone after Geeks to fix the mess they left. I think even a colorblind cataract sufferer could've seen the difference.

how does one master the art portion of calibration? is it something covered in the ISF/THX training or does it take a lot of experience with displays that don't calibrate like they should?
post #75 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post


Calibration is both science and art. On straightforward TVs like your Sony HX700 the mixture may be weighted more toward science, but on difficult and problematic displays like Panasonic VT30/50s, Sharp Quattrons, and many projectors art plays a huge roll. I would also say skill and work ethic are part of the art.
Taking a purely scientific approach can sometimes lead to big problems. The reason is sometimes there are serious performance issues that fly under the radar of normal measurements. One example is the CMS adjustment on some Sharp Quattrons. If you try to adjust their CMS to get conventional measurements perfect, you'll end up with purple people. Why? Because there's things going on that normal measurements don't expose. However, a quick look at familiar reference material exposes it in a split second. A novice taking a 100% scientific approach would just leave it like that and say "Well, that's how it's SUPPOSED to look."
There have been several times I've gone after Geeks to fix the mess they left. I think even a colorblind cataract sufferer could've seen the difference.

No disrespect Chad B, but no way no how is calibration an art in any shape or form.
Calibration is not creating anything. It's simply tuning a tv to look it's best in certain lights.

Making a guitar from scratch is an art. ReTuning it with a meter is not.

Also the TVs you mentioned have thx modes and s-curve adjustment. It's not like it's a whole different world to grasp.

Also with the sharp quatron I know that the yellow sub pixel threw things off for a bit and calibrators say it's unorthodox to calibrate but that still isn't an "art" to calibrate. You just need a different set of rules to follow.


If there was not truly an optimal setting for a tv in it's environment you could call it an art. But there is.
So it's analogous to pointing a satellite dish. You can point it properly and get 100% signal or you can point it so it works but you get less signal strength.
The installer that does it all the time can point it faster with 100% signal then a guy that doesn't.
post #76 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexas View Post

Yeah and it's a story you might find interesting.
Years ago I worked at a commission based electronic shop where I met a few career sales people. One of them moved on to the local Runco dealership, another guy to another high end place.
We still all keep in touch.

When I bought my Sony 55" hx700 the local best buy threw in calibration for 99 bucks. Got it calibrated and thought it looked pretty good.
Called up my Runco buddy to let him know how much I liked it and he offered to swing by that night and fix her up properly.
Of course I took the offer.
I watched my buddy fumble through the menus and slowly work his way through. He was meticulous and thorough. Used his sensor kept looking at charts. Took him a few hours and at the end of the day it looked pretty much exactly the same.
He told me he saved 500 bucks.
I said thanks, pretended it was way better and offered him some beer.

That was when I realized how much of a scam 500 bucks for a calibration is.

I watched the geek squad guy calibrate my tv too. There was no fumbling and no surprises and nothing slowed him down.

I'm not saying geek squad is better. I'm just saying it's equal and cheaper.

And yeah I would say I have a good eye for a good picture on a tv. I sold TVs for years through university. From the Sony 40" XBR tube tv to the last true Pioneer Kuro.

all this proves is that your buddy wasn't a better calibrator than the BB guy who originally worked on your set, nothing more... it's merely one data point and so you can't really draw general conclusions from it

there are different levels of independent calibrators: some are bad, some are okay, some are good, and some are great

however, (on average) independent calibrators are typically better (much better) than most BB guys, especially the best on this forum (which includes Chad B btw)
post #77 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post


all this proves is that your buddy wasn't a better calibrator than the BB guy who originally worked on your set, nothing more... it's merely one data point and so you can't really draw general conclusions from it

there are different levels of independent calibrators: some are bad, some are okay, some are good, and some are great

however, (on average) independent calibrators are typically better (much better) than most BB guys, especially the best on this forum (which includes Chad B BTW)

That's true, but at least it was a test that was conducted without bias, with calibration done on the same tv in the same place with a best buy calibrator and a more esteemed calibrator.
Which is more than can probably be said by anybody that had an independent calibrator over to work on their set.

My point is this:
I believe that calibration is easy. I believe anybody with tools, training and experience can yield equal results.

If calibration is truly a fine art it would be a very peculiar coincidence that the same result was achieved by two different people.
post #78 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexas View Post

That's true, but at least it was a test that was conducted without bias, with calibration done on the same tv in the same place with a best buy calibrator and a more esteemed calibrator.
Which is more than can probably be said by anybody that had an independent calibrator over to work on their set.

My point is this:
I believe that calibration is easy. I believe anybody with tools, training and experience can yield equal results.

If calibration is truly a fine art it would be a very peculiar coincidence that the same result was achieved by two different people.

you say the same result was achieved by two different calibrators... how close were the post-cal picture settings between the two calibrations? do you happen to have that info on hand?
post #79 of 93
No. I didn't take down any data. I never bothered.
At the time I was expecting to see a huge improvement. After the 2nd calibration I didn't see any improvement. That was the end of the story.
post #80 of 93
This discussion should really be taken over to the DispCal forum where it can become very "lively"
post #81 of 93
I would pay more for a pro to do it. Best Buy seems to only care about making sales. You may find a person every once in a while that is really into AV like a Mag rep but chances are the Geek Squad guy that does it could care less about this stuff. For most it's just another job on the list..
post #82 of 93
I imagine that ISF Certified means "certification of perfect attendance." If some people fail the course of instruction, the certification has some measure of merit. If not, one should only assume some degree of familiarity with the subject.

Remember, they give trophys to Little League losers, now.
post #83 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiPoacher View Post

I would pay more for a pro to do it. Best Buy seems to only care about making sales. You may find a person every once in a while that is really into AV like a Mag rep but chances are the Geek Squad guy that does it could care less about this stuff. For most it's just another job on the list..

I don't know if I agree with that statement. It's not exactly a field you take up if you don't care for it. A/V home theater and computer repair etc are pretty specific fields. It's not like going form a waiter to a bartender to UPS delivery guy.

I just think it's easy to bash Best Buy and Geek squad based more on the "everyone else is doing it" mob mentality.

If I were to jump into that field and become ISF Certifiied, Best Buy would be one of my first choices to look at. I'm sure they garner more business than the self employed .
post #84 of 93
"If I were to jump into that field and become ISF Certifiied, Best Buy would be one of my first choices to look at. I'm sure they garner more business than the self employed ."

Well, the few ISF guys I personally know are not sitting around, waiting for someone to call. They are also installers, they own shops where they can design and build media rooms in upscale homes, etc.

So, generally speaking, calibration is one of their services. One guy I know is an electronics engineer and does calibrations as a sideline.
post #85 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughh View Post

"If I were to jump into that field and become ISF Certifiied, Best Buy would be one of my first choices to look at. I'm sure they garner more business than the self employed ."

Well, the few ISF guys I personally know are not sitting around, waiting for someone to call. They are also installers, they own shops where they can design and build media rooms in upscale homes, etc.

So, generally speaking, calibration is one of their services. One guy I know is an electronics engineer and does calibrations as a sideline.

Oh no don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they are , just saying I can see where having the total package offered up front when someone purchases a TV can be more appealing to the 'regular joe". Most people I know of when asked if they have ever heard of an ISF calibration, would look at me like I had eight heads.
post #86 of 93
Except for you left out one very important aspect... rate of pay. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to get into A/V calibration (becoming ISF, Cedia, HAA, etc.) thinking 'hey, I'll just go work for BB'. A good calibrator with that skill set and certifications would have greater earning potential else where. As I understand it only upper management and corporate employees are paid salary and/or commissions, which means BB calibrators are likely hourly employees and being told of BB's pay scale I would call that a questionable move for a good certified calibrator. Now would it be a good way to get your feet wet, sure, get some solid experience before venturing out into the cruel weather, but I think it would not take too long for someone that is really good to move along. Then again it is possible in the current economy there are people out there afraid to 'move along' if they are comfortable with their current situation (but then again... it could also be a lack of confidence in their own skill set).

Maybe the best approach to using BB would be to simply ask to speak with the calibrator ahead of time and ask some questions, see if they are up to speed and what equipment will be used.

Jason
post #87 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by boswd View Post


I just think it's easy to bash Best Buy and Geek squad based more on the "everyone else is doing it" mob mentality.

It's not about that; many have had terrible experiences with BB calibrations if you follow the calibration sub-forum closely here at AVS. They then had the TV properly re-calibrated by one of the best calibrators on the forum and those independent calibrators have had to clean up the mess the BB guys left behind. So, when someone says avoid BB calibrations at all costs, they have a valid reason for that (and the independent calibrators know this too, since they're the ones who have to re-calibrate the TVs that the BB guys did).

Also, you can't do a proper calibration on most sets in 30 mins to an hour... 3 to 4 hours minimum is more like it. Another reason why the independent guys charge $300-400 or more.

There may be some rare exceptions, but those are just that: exceptions, not the rule.
post #88 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

all this proves is that your buddy wasn't a better calibrator than the BB guy who originally worked on your set, nothing more... it's merely one data point and so you can't really draw general conclusions from it

there are different levels of independent calibrators: some are bad, some are okay, some are good, and some are great

however, (on average) independent calibrators are typically better (much better) than most BB guys, especially the best on this forum (which includes Chad B btw)

sounds like a general conclusion to me ..
post #89 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by pds3 View Post


So what you're saying is that ISF certification means very little???

No different than certification for other things. There are plenty of people that are certified in different fields but have not much of a clue with what they are doing. We see it all the time at work.
post #90 of 93
As a Best Buy reward zone Premier Silver Member I can get a "free" Best Buy Calibration.

Honestly I like my current settings- based on CNET's and tweaked to my desire.

I know Warm2 is the standard, but prefer Warm1.

I also like my Contrast at 100 and Sharpness at 20.

I talked with Best Buy reps. and they stated they will not use the servicce menu on my Samsung ES7100 (Cool cool.gif).

Has anyone got the Best Buy calibration and liked it?
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