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Best Buy Calibration in a few minutes...Will update when it's calibrated.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So my Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U is about 2 months old and Best Buy is coming today to calibrate. Cost $199 and 1.5 hours on paper work. Emailed to confirm appointment and just called to turn on TV to get real "toasty" and warm. Should be here anytime. I will give my thoughts when it's done. Not expecting very much after research and opinions on this Forum. I just hope it's not a complete waste of time and money.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

So my Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U is about 2 months old and Best Buy is coming today to calibrate. Cost $199 and 1.5 hours on paper work. Emailed to confirm appointment and just called to turn on TV to get real "toasty" and warm. Should be here anytime. I will give my thoughts when it's done. Not expecting very much after research and opinions on this Forum. I just hope it's not a complete waste of time and money.

Ask for a calibration report and post it here. If you don't like the calibration you can get your money back. Ask questions. If he doesn't calibrate the Color Management System, ask him why.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

So my Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U is about 2 months old and Best Buy is coming today to calibrate. Cost $199 and 1.5 hours on paper work. Emailed to confirm appointment and just called to turn on TV to get real "toasty" and warm. Should be here anytime. I will give my thoughts when it's done. Not expecting very much after research and opinions on this Forum. I just hope it's not a complete waste of time and money.

I'd write down whatever settings you have just in case you don't like what he does and can revert back. Let us know what kind of equipment he uses (ask for current calibration certs) and by all means, as Buzzard767 said, ask about CMS.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

So my Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U is about 2 months old and Best Buy is coming today to calibrate. Cost $199 and 1.5 hours on paper work. Emailed to confirm appointment and just called to turn on TV to get real "toasty" and warm. Should be here anytime. I will give my thoughts when it's done. Not expecting very much after research and opinions on this Forum. I just hope it's not a complete waste of time and money.

I am sorry I did not see this sooner. All of my clients that have gone the BB route have been extremely disappointed. To make matters worse if you complain you will likely not get satisfaction at all. I have redone a number of BB messes and they always refuse to give the client's money back. Please report back. I understand they have a mandate to get in and out of the house in less than an hour, which means they can't possibly do the job properly.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monitorman View Post

I am sorry I did not see this sooner. All of my clients that have gone the BB route have been extremely disappointed. To make matters worse if you complain you will likely not get satisfaction at all. I have redone a number of BB messes and they always refuse to give the client's money back. Please report back. I understand they have a mandate to get in and out of the house in less than an hour, which means they can't possibly do the job properly.

What happened to the OP?

Kevin, I personally know of two people who did get a refund and they certainly deserved it. Also, I believe the BB guideline is 90 minutes including equipment setup and takedown.

I had an interesting experience two weeks ago. I had gone to BB to purchase an accessory and couldn't help but hear the TV section manager explaining the benefits of calibration to a pair of customers. The guy didn't have a clue what he was talking about and I just stood there, fascinated. When the customers left the manager asked me if I had any questions - bad move on his part. Their demo was a Samsung E8000 LCD and it was obviously too blue. I asked the manager for a remote and he explained to me that all calibration on Samsungs was accomplished in the "factory menus" so I wouldn't be able to see anything in the menu available to me but handed me a remote anyway after making me promise I wouldn't change anything.

1. B, W, C, T, and Sharp, all factory
2. Most dynamics were turned off
3. The CMS had been calibrated

however:
4. Neither the 2p nor the 10p GS had been touched.

I pointed all this out but he continued to insist that the calibration was in the SM. His customer demo was to switch back and forth between the Dynamic and Movie modes while showing the differences in the picture justifying why the $250 (marked down from $300) was such a bargain. I thanked him for his time.

Sigh.
post #6 of 15
I was at BB yesterday checking out their VT50 and Sharp ELite. I asked the clerk if they had been calibrated. He said the Elite was but the VT50 was not because the new Panasonic panels are not required to be calibrated until they have 10,000 (yes that is ten thousand) hours on them. I informed him that was incorrect and he replied back that it was indeed correct. I asked him if he realized how long 10,000 hours is, He said he did that it was about 5 years of viewing. Well I told him one more time that he was wrong and I walked away. BTW the VT50 did not look very good in this particular store. It was supposedly in THX bright mode but looked washed out a bit with no depth and realism at all.
post #7 of 15
Perhaps it was intentional, to steer the customer to the higher priced Sharp Elite?
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnymac51 View Post

I was at BB yesterday checking out their VT50 and Sharp ELite. I asked the clerk if they had been calibrated. He said the Elite was but the VT50 was not because the new Panasonic panels are not required to be calibrated until they have 10,000 (yes that is ten thousand) hours on them. I informed him that was incorrect and he replied back that it was indeed correct. I asked him if he realized how long 10,000 hours is, He said he did that it was about 5 years of viewing. Well I told him one more time that he was wrong and I walked away. BTW the VT50 did not look very good in this particular store. It was supposedly in THX bright mode but looked washed out a bit with no depth and realism at all.

That is pathetic! In fact, the VT50s need a lot less breakin time than last year's VT30s. At about 100 hours they are good to go. BB is a joke!
post #9 of 15
Any updates amazonracer? Did they show up, did they perform a 10 point or 2 point gs adjustment, did they do ANY CMS work at all? Just curious about what they are passing off as a $200 calibration. Also, as Otto and buzzard requested, could you post your calibration report and the equipment he used. Thanks, Doug G.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by moviegk61 View Post

Any updates amazonracer? Did they show up, did they perform a 10 point or 2 point gs adjustment, did they do ANY CMS work at all? Just curious about what they are passing off as a $200 calibration. Also, as Otto and buzzard requested, could you post your calibration report and the equipment he used. Thanks, Doug G.
He seems to have disappeared, I was also looking forward to his report.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sorry it took so long but have been thinking about this and trying to evaluate the best I can. First off, the appointment was set 2 months ago and on Friday I got a email confirming the appointment for Saturday. On Saturday, the calibrater called and he said he would be there in a few minutes and make sure the set is on and "nice and warm". The cost of the calibration was $199 and the invoice said the time would be 1.5 hours. FYI, I have the Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U. He was right on time and seemed very clean, nice but in a nerdy way. He was fine. I decided to put a little pressure on him and I said do a good job because I was going to report back to all of you. He didn't respond to that really. He did say right after that he has been doing this for 10 years, ISF and THX certified and does this sort of thing for actual movie theaters. My wife and I were kinda chatting him up or at least trying too and then I realized, wait we need him to work and then kept quiet.

He didn't seem to have a lot of equipment but he had that yo yo thingee (technical term) that he put in the middle of the screen, a color spectro meter? I think he said and of course his computer. He then started to work. I think the total time of actual calibration was maybe 50 minutes+-. He printed out 3 graphs and showed me what the pre-calibration was at and what it should be at according to him and everything was in line after the calibration. He did ask me a few questions like do you know what "OPC" is, etc. He explained that the calibration is based on what the movie maker wants to see on the screen. I knew going in from what I have been reading that I may not like the calibration as the picture will look dull or less bright. I am coming from a 65 inch CRT that I believe is more like plasma than a LCD. We have been living with the pre calbration LCD "bright" picture and to be honest we really liked it. Some programs can range widely though and not sure if it's just the nature of most LCD's, my middle of the road LCD, etc. But all things considered, we liked the picture pre calibration.

My first impression after he left and watching TV was that the picture was dull. What a shocker. It has been a week now and just a couple of days ago I would go into the settings and change the OPC and you can see the brightness rise a bit but I couldn't really tell if I liked that either. My wife did make the comment that if were not using or changing the calibration, what was the point. I fought off the urge to change the OPC and yesterday I realized the picture was more stable in general or consistent. I think I am now on board with what Best Buy has done but frankly I have nothing to compare it with in regards to someone else's calibration. In my area of Socal, the cost of calibration that I found outside of Best Buy was a low of $400 and a high of $500. If money was no object, It would be real interesting to see a comparison but I would rather put the difference towards a new Outlaw or HSU subwoofer.

In conclusion, I am certain the experts will say that 50 minutes of calibration is worthless or at least not supportive of a $199 fee just because I could do this for free or spend 30 bucks for a calibration disk. But he did use devices that I don't have and according to him, the calibration is right on. I will try to get someone to help me download the 3 graphs at some point. I hope this helps or gives some additional information for people contemplating this service. In my opinion, I think it's more about the quality of the TV than anything else. If someone really wants to know for sure, they can come out and calibrate my set again and I can comment about the difference. Hehehe. I will even feed them pizza.
post #12 of 15
^^^ thanks for the report back. It was interesting and informative. The graphs will be nice to review when you get to posting them.
post #13 of 15
i think some people find it hilarious that people are finding it odd when other people are seeing calibration as an oddity.
what we normally hear is 'you dont know any better because you havent experienced any better'
but
nowadays people experience something better and they question the improvements because they dont know what a good grade is.
(those things like A or A+ that we used to get in school.)

its not entirely our fault?
i realize we cant jst take a picture from a camera, or a video from a camcorder, and put it on the screen to test how accurate the new calibration is with the skin tones and wall paint because the camera's optical sensor isnt accurate enough.
and
i realize we cant possibly know what each of those colors are supposed to look like because we've never-ever been there to see for ourselves.

however,
there can be some other ways to do it if you are savvy enough.
rocks arent always the easiest thing because sometimes they've got the same shape but a different shade of color.
same thing with tree leaves, they can have the same shape (or even be the same tree) but different shade of color.
why not think about things like a vehicle.
how many police cars do you need to see before you can see one on television and realize how good or bad the color is?
gotta see those cop cars in the morning, at noon, afternoon, and before sunset to get all of the sun's UV rays on the paintjob.. but it can be done.

i jst did my television and was using old vehicles to get a grip.
dare i say sometimes you can use sidewalks or bricks.
(i know.. throw things because that is the easiest way to be a few shades off and not know it)
car paint.. its really the easiest way.
maybe an actor or actress that you've seen in a magazine, but who knows if the magazine is close to perfect color.. maybe its always too bright or too creme.

things like bricks and tree leafs and asphalt or pavement and the sunlight itself.. these things should give you a sense of 'realism' when they are closer or further away from the truth (good or bad = better or worse).


i think it is highly intriguing when people cant get their colors straight, but if they hear a better pair of speakers, they know right away there was an improvement (or was audio quality really always that bad?)

i spent a lot of time outside as a child, and i think that puts me at an advantage because i know what to expect of sunlight.
if there is some sunlight that is different because the air is in a different area on the map.. i told you what to do.
you gotta find things you have seen in real life before.
those televisions arent setup like master-grade CRT televisions back in the 1980's
LCD's went from the rubbage trash to overly bright with flourescent colors like from a UV blacklight and hippie posters.

sad really.
people want to think there will be transparency (because inevitably there should be) but the truth is.. there are millions of people that think stock colors are 'almost' transparent to the real thing.
they always say the same thing 'oh its only a few shades off and it isnt worth messing with the color controls'
when the truth is.. adjusting those colors makes a strong difference.
when there is too much black is when people get frustrated.
nowadays people should be frustrated with too much brightness, because its all over the place.
i've seen sets in the store that hurt my eyes because they were too bright.

usually the paint job on a vehicle on television doesnt have a dull paint job.. but think twice about the paint being an aftermarket paint job.
it should only take a day or two to go through vehicles and recognize what is what.

sadly..
we are kinda forced to use cartoon emblems that are scattered everywhere to get an 'average' of what the color is.
how many times do you see the 'facebook' symbol until you learn what the real shade of blue is?
for some people, that could add up quicker than they realize.. like counting 400 or 500 times and still not know.

maybe you can turn on a cooking channel and find some cooked beef that makes sense as to how much more realistic the colors are.
or
maybe the oil they use in the pan can help.

if the color of the meat is really that different, it would probably also taste that much different.

oh.. and what about vehicle tires?
those are probably the same most of the time.

i know lots of televisions are starting to show 3D depth before getting calibrated, but that doesnt mean the depth cant increase after a calibration.

there are things that are more common than people think.
another example is wood.
plywood or pine or whatever kind of wood should be the same when its new no matter what area of the world you are in.
its a whole lot easier and more trustworthy than looking at countertops or walls.
maybe a metal sink could help.

i know CRT's was easy because it was usually too much red or too much blue or too much white.
trying to find too much purple (magenta?) is a lot harder.
post #14 of 15
It all goes back to image fidelity: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1021933 .
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

Sorry it took so long but have been thinking about this and trying to evaluate the best I can. First off, the appointment was set 2 months ago and on Friday I got a email confirming the appointment for Saturday. On Saturday, the calibrater called and he said he would be there in a few minutes and make sure the set is on and "nice and warm". The cost of the calibration was $199 and the invoice said the time would be 1.5 hours. FYI, I have the Sharp 3D 60 inch 835U. He was right on time and seemed very clean, nice but in a nerdy way. He was fine. I decided to put a little pressure on him and I said do a good job because I was going to report back to all of you. He didn't respond to that really. He did say right after that he has been doing this for 10 years, ISF and THX certified and does this sort of thing for actual movie theaters. My wife and I were kinda chatting him up or at least trying too and then I realized, wait we need him to work and then kept quiet.
He didn't seem to have a lot of equipment but he had that yo yo thingee (technical term) that he put in the middle of the screen, a color spectro meter? I think he said and of course his computer. He then started to work. I think the total time of actual calibration was maybe 50 minutes+-. He printed out 3 graphs and showed me what the pre-calibration was at and what it should be at according to him and everything was in line after the calibration. He did ask me a few questions like do you know what "OPC" is, etc. He explained that the calibration is based on what the movie maker wants to see on the screen. I knew going in from what I have been reading that I may not like the calibration as the picture will look dull or less bright. I am coming from a 65 inch CRT that I believe is more like plasma than a LCD. We have been living with the pre calbration LCD "bright" picture and to be honest we really liked it. Some programs can range widely though and not sure if it's just the nature of most LCD's, my middle of the road LCD, etc. But all things considered, we liked the picture pre calibration.
My first impression after he left and watching TV was that the picture was dull. What a shocker. It has been a week now and just a couple of days ago I would go into the settings and change the OPC and you can see the brightness rise a bit but I couldn't really tell if I liked that either. My wife did make the comment that if were not using or changing the calibration, what was the point. I fought off the urge to change the OPC and yesterday I realized the picture was more stable in general or consistent. I think I am now on board with what Best Buy has done but frankly I have nothing to compare it with in regards to someone else's calibration. In my area of Socal, the cost of calibration that I found outside of Best Buy was a low of $400 and a high of $500. If money was no object, It would be real interesting to see a comparison but I would rather put the difference towards a new Outlaw or HSU subwoofer.
In conclusion, I am certain the experts will say that 50 minutes of calibration is worthless or at least not supportive of a $199 fee just because I could do this for free or spend 30 bucks for a calibration disk. But he did use devices that I don't have and according to him, the calibration is right on. I will try to get someone to help me download the 3 graphs at some point. I hope this helps or gives some additional information for people contemplating this service. In my opinion, I think it's more about the quality of the TV than anything else. If someone really wants to know for sure, they can come out and calibrate my set again and I can comment about the difference. Hehehe. I will even feed them pizza.

Hi Amazonracer,

It sounds like he may have made some kind of improvement, but I could not do a full blown calibration on that panel in 50 minutes. I am guessing by your description that he has the old Sencore C6 puck meter with their software, which is a Tri-Stimulous meter and can not read LCD accurately. However, he could not have done a separate 3D calibration with a Puck meter as it requires a point and shoot device so that you can fire the meter through the glasses.

Definitely do not turn on the OPC. That is an auto light sensing circuit that will change your black and white level depending on how much light is in the room. Hope this helps.
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