Originally Posted by smccracken
Thanks so much for all the great input. This has definitely helped me in my never ending saga for the best picture possible. Ever since I bought the xbr950 I never even dreamed that I would be tinkering with it this much, hell I didn't even know this forum existed (Now wife thinks that I'm certified crazy with my new found hobby/obsession, I guess it depends on how you look at it). Anyways, I purchased this TV from Best Buy which has now offered me a FREE home ISF calibration. From what I understood is that there was no further calibrations that could be done with this set beyond the user menus via the remote. Also, I always second guess the goons from Best Buy just cause. I also heard that you can "brick" your boob tube by messing with these kinds of expert calibrations if your not careful (not sure if this is correct). I'm contemplating if I should take advantage of the FREE service or if I should keep tinkering myself. Please let me know what your thoughts are and why.
Thanks to all and keep the great calibrations/settings coming.
I would post mine but I'm just not happy with them yet nor do I think I will ever be.
Can say this. First of all, congratulations on a great TV
Ok, so the XBR950 has no ISF Calibration mode, so the "Free home ISF Calibration" Best Buy is talking about is impossible. But I'm sure they'll come there and calibrate your tv best they could. That said, in these new XBR950's there is NO more secret menu to get into for calibration. There is a secret SERVICE menu to get into, but it does nothing for calibration. Yes, you are right, changing one thing in that secret service menu could completely cluster f*ck your TV beyond belief, so stay out of it and never access it, considering it will do nothing for you anyway, as pointed out by several professionals to me.
So ultimately you are right, the only calibration that can done on these tv's are the settings menus you already have seen and know and been to and that this thread is supplying tons of choices for. The 929's and before did have a secret menu you could get to that DID help calibration, but it was different than the "Service Menu", they had those as well too. BUT on the new Sony's, Sony did away with that CMS setting (color management system). Now its just the settings you see in the normal user menu picture settings and such.
Problem is, is I just learned from (IMO) the best professional calibrater in the industry that every single display is different, even of the same model, make, size, etc.. Meaning, when he calibrates a tv, lets say the XBR950, from 7 different jobs and all 7 people had a 65" XBR950, using the million dollar gear he has, he notices that every set needed a different setting to get the proper specs/colors/grayscale shooting out the display.
One TV is pushing way too much blue, another way too much green, another way too much red, etc.. This is why after I had mine calibrated, I stopped posting settings. It wont matter. Especially when I learnt and seen how detailed and exact this gear measures and reacts.
It is totally impossible to do it properly by eye, period. You need the gear. And it aint about getting your tv to look "better" or "worse" its about it presenting technically "correct" color and grayscale and brightness, and contrast, etc... so you are viewing the content as intended by the source AND so that "correct" content is now also translating properly no matter where you watch it (if ideally everyone else has their TV properly calibrated). You will find sometimes this is different than where a human would set it to.
That said, I seriously doubt Best Buy calibration will do anything for you any better than you could do for you. Simply cause they don't have the proper gear, or if they did, keep that gear properly maintained and calibrated itself.
IMO its worth hiring a local professional that has the secret real deal gear. Though for the XBR950 it is much more simple to do than a TV with ISF modes, it still benefits A LOT from a knowledgeable calibrator. And no, you can not translate ones calibrated settings to another tv unfortunately if you want it to look really right.