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Break In and Calibration - Page 2

post #31 of 123

Question, as the owner of a new, albeit low end plasma (Sammy 51" "4500), and having at least a passing interest in color calibration, would you think that a a DIY calibration using a calibration DVD would be beneficial?  I've never thought about calibrating any of my displays before, like the OP, usually just put in a known, reliable source (such as a favorite video game) and adjusted the display to my liking.  I'm interested in calibration though.  Would I be wasting my time and money on the DVD?  In other words, would the

results even be remotely close to using pro cal equipment?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #32 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh128 View Post

Question, as the owner of a new, albeit low end plasma (Sammy 51" "4500), and having at least a passing interest in color calibration, would you think that a a DIY calibration using a calibration DVD would be beneficial?  I've never thought about calibrating any of my displays before, like the OP, usually just put in a known, reliable source (such as a favorite video game) and adjusted the display to my liking.  I'm interested in calibration though.  Would I be wasting my time and money on the DVD?  In other words, would the
results even be remotely close to using pro cal equipment?

Thanks in advance!
Using a setup disc like Spears & Munsil, Disney WoW, DVE or the free AVS HD 709 disc without a measuring device and calibration software isn't really considered calibrating, but it is certainly better than nothing. However you're very limited in what you can do with a disc; all you can really do is set the Brightness (black level), Contrast (white level), Sharpness and get the Color/Tint controls a bit closer. You can't, however, calibrate grayscale, gamma or color gamut, which is the meat and potatoes of a calibration. Depending on how accurate the TV is out of the box, you could get a pretty decent picture with a calibration disc alone, or you might not. A proper calibration will ensure that you get the most out of your TV (or the most accurate picture possible).
post #33 of 123
30+ posts and no one has suggested looking here?:
http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10457
I've had a blast over the years between ColorHCFR (for video) and REW (for audio), and it's made this a most interesting hobby.
In which you may have no interest, but the option is there (as is much help elsewhere on this forum).
Michael
post #34 of 123

Two proven science facts about plasma:

 

A) As plasma TV ages, the color temperature and brightness will change, normally decrease.

 

B) The first 100~200 hours is when the TV is most susceptible to image retention.

 

So from there, you can think about how the break in, slides or calibration works.

 

As people mentioned above, breaking in TV with slides is simply an carefree alternative to watching it with full screen content without static logos if you are not watching it. It doesn't improve PQ, nor guarantee the same calibration result even if you run them straight and apply the same setting because not every panel is created the same, not everybody calibrates the TV under the exact same controlled conditions.

 

For example, when CNET does their TV benchmark, they usually only break in TV for 24 ~ 48 hours before the calibration. Then you will see their parameter setting is different from other people's calibrated setting. Also based on fact A), even on the same TV set, calibration at 200 hours may be different to calibration at 2000 hours usage.

 

Conclusion? Running slides and copy other people's setting doesn't guarantee accuracy.

 

However, those settings do provide a general reference as usually you can see what parameters are changed in which direction. But changing the numbers -2 or +2 won't actually make any different to naked eyes, especially on a -100 to +100 scale.

 

At last, it goes back to the more meta question, what is the best PQ and enjoyable PQ?

 

Objectively, you can indeed get most accurate color or grey scale in measurement by profession meters and equipments. That accuracy is objective and scientific.

 

However, subjectively. people have different perception of PQ and viewing preference. Some people prioritize deep dark color more while some other people enjoy vibrate colors. It's possible that an objectively accurate set may not be the kind of setting you like. It's just the same as the forever objective vs. subjective debate among audiophiles. A nicely measured speaker maybe not appease to your ears because it's not as "fun" or "musical" as a speaker measured less accurate.

 

So what's the takes?

 

Break in for plasma TV is more about preventing IR in the first 100 hours rather than achieving the best PQ. You can do that with any full screen content and slides is one of them.

 

Calibration provides a general direction and good reference for TV performance but it won't "improve" or change your perceptible viewing experience.

post #35 of 123
Calibration does improve my perceptive viewing experience that's my personal experience
post #36 of 123
One thing i never really see mentioned is how the type of content a particular TV owner typically watches plays a big role in deciding if the TV should be calibrated or not, or if a DIY calibration would be sufficient enough compared to a proper ISF calibration from a pro calibrator.

For instance, if the display will be used primarily for watching Blu-Ray movies, i would absolutely recommend that it be calibrated so the image quality is as the directors intended.

HOWEVER, people like myself who primarily watch news and sports and prime-time network programming over cable and/or antenna and don't watch many movies (i don't even own a Blu-Ray Player) wouldn't really benefit much from an ISF Calibration, or even a DIY calibration using discs and/or tools since there is so much variation in picture quality and color fidelity among the various sources and broadcasters. Some channels are overly red, some are overly green, some have more saturated colors, etc.

I've set up over a dozen Plasmas for friends/family/neighbors/customers over the years as well as four of my own and all i do is sit with them for a while and adjust the picture by eye using the type of content they'll be watching (be in antenna, cable, satellite DVD, whatever) and let them tell me if the settings i'm inputting looks good to them or not. I'll usually follow up a few weeks later after the panel settles in and readjust everything (and it always ends up looking even better then).

What i usually do is connect an OTA antenna (i bring a few indoor antennas if they don't have their own) then i simply tune to my favorite local news broadcast on the best looking OTA 1080p channel (which here in L.A. is KTLA on channel 5.1) and adjust the picture so the familiar anchormen's and anchorwomen's hair, clothing, and especially their facial skin tones look correct and as accurate as i can get them just using my eyes. But even after i get that dialed in (by eye), as soon as i change to the other channels such as CBS or FOX or NBC or ABC etc, those other channels don't look quite as accurate as what is displayed on KTLA. CBS is crisp but the colors are more saturated and a little red, ABC is softer with less saturated colors and leans toward green, FOX looks soft and a little blown out, but when i go back to KTLA it looks perfect again. Surprisingly, some of these people think all the channels look as good as one another and don't think that ABC's anchorman's skin looks gray or CBS's weatherman looks orange when i'm clearly seeing it. Other people need it pointed out to them then they clearly see the differences, and may have me tweak their favorite channel instead and let the other channels fall where they may.
post #37 of 123
I have to disagree Randy, a pro calibration makes a big differenc on cable programming also. Perfect grayscale and gamma make a big difference in my experience. I have found the picture to be much more consistent across channels. Yes there is the occasional bad channel or program but I watch 95% cable and have found it to be quite beneficial. Also a calibration with even basic whitebalance and gamma adjustment can make a big difference in pq. Bottom line it gives me piece of mind to know that anything I do see is related to the source and not my set.
post #38 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon View Post

I have to disagree Randy, a pro calibration makes a big differenc on cable programming also. Perfect grayscale and gamma make a big difference in my experience. I have found the picture to be much more consistent across channels. Yes there is the occasional bad channel or program but I watch 95% cable and have found it to be quite beneficial. Also a calibration with even basic whitebalance and gamma adjustment can make a big difference in pq. Bottom line it gives me piece of mind to know that anything I do see is related to the source and not my set.

I agree. For me, skin tones on cable stations I watch look so much better after pro cal, but so do other aspects (neutrality of whites and blacks, etc.)
post #39 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuda1169 View Post

Interesting. Many on this forum would agree that watching TV on your panel is just as good as running colored slides during the first couple hundred hours. I personally ran my panel 2 weeks straight out of the box by watching TV and using color slides when not watching TV. I did this 1) to put the panel through its paces while I was within Amazon’s return window and 2) I was having my panel professionally calibrated. For me, calibration was worth it. I was using D-Nice’s settings until the calibrator arrived. My panel’s RGB balance was out of whack and calibration corrected this. Now my panel displays color accurately, which is important to me.

I will always recommend some level of calibration whether DIY or professional.
+1
post #40 of 123
Personally I think those who down play calibration are ones who have never seen what a calibrated display of what they own looks like in their viewing environment - regardless of what you are using the display to watch. Five years ago thanks to this forum I took a big leap for me and hired DNice to calibrate my display, still remember the look on my wife's face when i told her who this guy was that visited our house on a Saturday afternoon. I already felt like I had spent enough on the 5020 I purchased a few months ago. When he finished I knew it was money well spent (putting it very simply). Five years later I buy a new VT60 and consider myself much the wiser when it comes to settings and dialing in a decent picture. I spend a lot of time with my calibration disks working on the settings and sample a lot of different settings including CNET. Finally after a week or so I get to a point where I think the picture looks pretty darn good. After a few months DNice is able to pay me a visit again and I go through the do I really want to spend more money on another calibration. Fortunately I decide to spend the money and all I can say is look at the calibration reports - before and after. The picture I thought looked good was less than stellar (I would say embarrassing) and vastly improved across the board once he was finished.

I really think that someone who hasn't invested the time and money in learning how properly calibrate on their own or spent the money having a top calibrator (and there are a number of them) work on their display can't accurately comment on the value of calibration. How can any of us provide an opinion on something we haven't done, experienced, owned, etc? Reference equals accurate - as in a proper grey scale and color. Why would you not want what you are watching on your display to mirror what you would see if watching something in person? I always smile when someone is watching a football game at the house remarks that the picture makes them feel like they are there. That's what a good calibration is all about.
post #41 of 123
^^ very true.

Does anyone have experience with the free calibration Elite Plus reward members get from BB? I am entitled to one but don't want to get my hopes up. My plan was to use the BB one initially and then a real ISF calibration after 1000-2000 hours of viewing.
post #42 of 123
Very well said smurray
post #43 of 123
The hardest thing to self calibrate is the greyscale. I've had a prior set professionally calibrated, so I know what true grey is supposed to look like. Doing it by eye is extremely difficult and painstaking, but it can be done fairly well if you know what to look for. Not as well as with measuring equipment via professional calibration, but still pretty good.
post #44 of 123
Let's.not go there adjusting your set by eye is not calibration it's a swag nothing more
post #45 of 123
Well, in my experience a calibration can be night & day difference. Now, I realize the new TV's like my new VT60 are very close to calibrated specs out of the box depending on which mode you choose. However, my previous TV a crt based rear projection was a different story. I had "calibrated" it using an Avia disc and made a few tweaks to the user menu color decoder to try and fix some red push and I thought I'd done pretty good and viewed it like that for about 6 years. Then I decided I wanted to get it professionally calibrated (and I'm not talking by the Best Buy guys, but a pro calibrator). I had cleaned the lenses myself for the first time a couple months before so 95% of the difference I saw was definitely due to the calibration and not just cleaning dirty lenses. I will say straight up no placebo effect in any way, it was like a brand new totally different TV by the time all the focusing, convergence, gray scale, brightness, contrast, etc. was tweaked. No longer did I have "red" grays and dirty whites. I plan to get the new VT60 calibrated as well in a few months because I know it makes a difference and also because I've been watching a calibrated set for the last few years I'm used to that kind of picture. The built in modes like THX Cinema on the VT60 might get me close (according to a couple review sites) and hold me over until the calibration happens, but it won't be "perfect".
post #46 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanjumper View Post

^^ very true.

Does anyone have experience with the free calibration Elite Plus reward members get from BB? I am entitled to one but don't want to get my hopes up. My plan was to use the BB one initially and then a real ISF calibration after 1000-2000 hours of viewing.

The reviews in general are not good but it might hold you over until you can get a real pro out to do your set.
post #47 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Oakley View Post

This post is probably not going to sit well with a lot of people on here. I know that going in and I want to say upfront it is definitely not meant personally to anyone. I know these issues can get pretty heated sometimes, so I just want to present my thoughts in a balanced way and tell what I've done to try and address them.

First, as a baseline, my 55VT60, 2 months old is the first plasma I've owned and I love it for all the same reasons people love their plasmas. Second, I've never had a calibration done so I am categorically not speaking from personal experience. Further I've never run slides or used anyone else's settings and never will. I am however open to calibration.

With all that said, here goes:

1. Break In: Running slides, DVDs and so forth for so many hours with certain settings made on a plasma seems like a bit of smoke and mirrors to me. I am absolutely NOT debating the need for the plasma phosphors to settle in or settle down or mellow out or age or drink a few beers or any one of a million other terms, but my contention is that phosphor "calming" (like traffic calming) can happen just as well by simply watching TV. Which is why we buy these things after all. Why not just watch TV?

2. Calibration: This is another emotionally charged topic on here, which I have learned recently. The bottom line seems to be: Do you want your TV to be "accurate" and reflect how its content was produced (you know, how the producers and directors supposedly want you to view their product) or do you want to tweak it yourself until you like what you see. To me, this means that whether or not to calibrate is a personal and SUBJECTIVE call on your part. Therefore, to try and make something SUBJECTIVE OBJECTIVE just seems a bit fishy to me. I mean, look at the people who are proponents of it: the people who make money and the people who have spent money on it.

Finally, and I could be totally wrong about this, I have yet to see:
a. Someone say they have two identical TVs, one they've broken in with slides, settings, etc and one they haven't and report results.
b. Someone say they have two identical TVs, one they've calibrated and one they haven't and report results.
What I have seen is people do the above with one TV (usually one they haven't watched for very long) and say the results are "stunning" or "awesome." Which of course prompts me to think, "Compared to what???"

I promised at the outset I'd state what I've done to try and address my thoughts. I've had some things posted in Sound and Vision magazine and I've written them to see if their Video guy (Tom Norton) will prepare something on these subjects. If they do, I'll post a link here...

Again, there is absolutely disrespect or anything personal implied by the above.
I welcome all responses.

Scott


FOLLOW UP

Thank you all for your input. I learned a lot (including what an OP is). I hope other readers did too.

Here are my conclusions based on your input and all the reading I've done:

BREAK-IN
* Break-in is necessary simply because of the technical construction of a plasma TV; when new, phosphors which are excited by electrical currents can settle in a way that will result in future picture abnormalities if, during the first 200 hours or so, they are left to display one way continuously, i.e., energized continuously at one level. Now I am sure that I'll get a TON of disparaging input on that statement but that's my understanding, and its good enough for me.
* To alleviate the above, its necessary to display varying images on the TV to give the phosphors a chance to energize across their full spectrum in a continuous way. Watching TV will do this as long as static content (logos, news banners, etc) are avoided. Slides will do this just as well and seem to be a convenience factor, i.e.: you don't need to be physically present. The break-in hours will therefore pass more quickly, letting you get on to why you bought the TV in the first place.

CALIBRATION
* Once the initial break-in period has passed, and once about 500 hours have accumulated on your set (see the main thread for how to determine hours on various models), a calibration may be performed.
* The reason for waiting an additional amount of time beyond the break-in period is to reduce the likelihood of "shifting" after the calibration. I do not know the technical reason for this but we can surmise that it probably has something to do with phosphor aging. You don't want to spend $250 - $450 on a pro-level calibration, only to have the adjustments change slightly. I think they do anyway but its more subtle (maybe even un-detectable) if about 500 hours of use is completed.
* Now for the thorniest sub-topic under Calibration-whether to do it or not. You will learn that the decision is all about whether you want accuracy (adherence to pre-established standards) and tip-top performance or if you want your TV to look precisely the way YOU want it to look and you don't give a **** about the standards, further that you don't believe that adherence to standards and tip-top performance will lead to a better picture. To me, that is the nub of the decision. And no one can make that decision for you.

CONCLUSIONS
* I believe in both of the concepts above and think both actions are necessary.
* I have decided to go ahead with a calibration at about the 500 hour (or more) mark. I believe (FOR ME), that his is somewhat of a leap of faith. But I also feel the calibration will be done properly and will result in optimum performance of my 55VT60. I of course will post back here with my reactions.

Again, thank you all for your input. Your input made for a very productive thread.
Scott
post #48 of 123
I don't think 500 hours is necessary before getting a calibration, for this years Panasonic models 300 hours is the minimum but other than that good summary
post #49 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanjumper View Post

^^ very true.

Does anyone have experience with the free calibration Elite Plus reward members get from BB? I am entitled to one but don't want to get my hopes up. My plan was to use the BB one initially and then a real ISF calibration after 1000-2000 hours of viewing.
I had thought they got rid of the free calibrations with the new BB rewards program. Can you please link to anything that says Elite Plus members can get a free calibration.


Funniest thing about this thread is the conclusion is what everyone here already knew from the start except the OP. J/K lol

Anyway, it will be good if noobs looked through this thread but this topic will be brought up another 500x and some people will still swear that the only way to break-in a panel is to run slides for 100 hours in their basement before taking the TV out of the box.

The one thing that no one can really argue is a professional calibration will definitley improve your picture. There is no two sides to that story.
Edited by eric3316 - 12/8/13 at 7:44am
post #50 of 123
Quote:
FOLLOW UP

Thank you all for your input. I learned a lot (including what an OP is). I hope other readers did too.

Here are my conclusions based on your input and all the reading I've done:

BREAK-IN
* Break-in is necessary simply because of the technical construction of a plasma TV; when new, phosphors which are excited by electrical currents can settle in a way that will result in future picture abnormalities if, during the first 200 hours or so, they are left to display one way continuously, i.e., energized continuously at one level. Now I am sure that I'll get a TON of disparaging input on that statement but that's my understanding, and its good enough for me.
* To alleviate the above, its necessary to display varying images on the TV to give the phosphors a chance to energize across their full spectrum in a continuous way. Watching TV will do this as long as static content (logos, news banners, etc) are avoided. Slides will do this just as well and seem to be a convenience factor, i.e.: you don't need to be physically present. The break-in hours will therefore pass more quickly, letting you get on to why you bought the TV in the first place.

CALIBRATION
* Once the initial break-in period has passed, and once about 500 hours have accumulated on your set (see the main thread for how to determine hours on various models), a calibration may be performed.
* The reason for waiting an additional amount of time beyond the break-in period is to reduce the likelihood of "shifting" after the calibration. I do not know the technical reason for this but we can surmise that it probably has something to do with phosphor aging. You don't want to spend $250 - $450 on a pro-level calibration, only to have the adjustments change slightly. I think they do anyway but its more subtle (maybe even un-detectable) if about 500 hours of use is completed.
* Now for the thorniest sub-topic under Calibration-whether to do it or not. You will learn that the decision is all about whether you want accuracy (adherence to pre-established standards) and tip-top performance or if you want your TV to look precisely the way YOU want it to look and you don't give a **** about the standards, further that you don't believe that adherence to standards and tip-top performance will lead to a better picture. To me, that is the nub of the decision. And no one can make that decision for you.

CONCLUSIONS
* I believe in both of the concepts above and think both actions are necessary.
* I have decided to go ahead with a calibration at about the 500 hour (or more) mark. I believe (FOR ME), that his is somewhat of a leap of faith. But I also feel the calibration will be done properly and will result in optimum performance of my 55VT60. I of course will post back here with my reactions.

Again, thank you all for your input. Your input made for a very productive thread.
Scott

This is a great thread, and that is an accurate summary.
post #51 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

I had thought they got rid of the free calibrations with the new BB rewards program. Can you please link to anything that says Elite Plus members can get a free calibration.

They did indeed but as the BB sales guy (two actually) had told me it was still free with my Elite Plus status I made sure it was part of my TV purchase. They scheduled it FOC when I picked up the TV and I have a paper receipt to show for it.
post #52 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

This is a great thread, and that is an accurate summary.

Agreed. Like the OP I know also feel better about spending the $ for calibration simply because I understand WHY I will be spending it (the Pro calibration some time next year, following the FOC BB one I'll get in a month).
post #53 of 123
Here is one thing I always battle about calibrations and I am sure soooo many other people here do as well. I am sure a lot of us do not have unlimited amount of funds to spend on a TV so we try to figure out how much we can afford or not afford but are willing to spend. lol

Now, we want to get the largest and best TV we can get for our money. Here is the thing though. If you minus out $500 or whatever a good calibration costs it now brings you into an entirely lower level TV with the money you would have left. I know I personally would rather spend the money on a better TV without a calibration then a cheaper TV with one. Sure, some people might say well a calibrated lower level TV would probably look better then a more expensive non-calibrated one and while that might be true, I personally would still go for the better TV.

Somewhere down the road you can always choose to calibrate the TV but if you went with a cheaper TV up front, it is not as easy to turn that TV into another model.

In the VT60 thread I was talking about the internal speakers and someone made a comment they can't believe someone would own a VT60 without a home sound system. So my response was I could have went with a 60VT60 and purchased a sound system or got the 65VT60 without one. I obviously went with the 65" and no sound system.

It is very hard to choose a smaller or lower level model in order to put a calibration into your budget. What are people paying for a decent calibration today anyway?
post #54 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

Here is one thing I always battle about calibrations and I am sure soooo many other people here do as well. I am sure a lot of us do not have unlimited amount of funds to spend on a TV so we try to figure out how much we can afford or not afford but are willing to spend. lol

Now, we want to get the largest and best TV we can get for our money. Here is the thing though. If you minus out $500 or whatever a good calibration costs it now brings you into an entirely lower level TV with the money you would have left. I know I personally would rather spend the money on a better TV without a calibration then a cheaper TV with one. Sure, some people might say well a calibrated lower level TV would probably look better then a more expensive non-calibrated one and while that might be true, I personally would still go for the better TV.

Somewhere down the road you can always choose to calibrate the TV but if you went with a cheaper TV up front, it is not as easy to turn that TV into another model.

In the VT60 thread I was talking about the internal speakers and someone made a comment they can't believe someone would own a VT60 without a home sound system. So my response was I could have went with a 60VT60 and purchased a sound system or got the 65VT60 without one. I obviously went with the 65" and no sound system.

It is very hard to choose a smaller or lower level model in order to put a calibration into your budget. What are people paying for a decent calibration today anyway?

Its funny how you answer your own question (battle) regarding calibration vs a lower end TV smile.gif. I'm getting numbers from $250 (BestBuy crap) to about $500 for pro cals.
post #55 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Oakley View Post

Its funny how you answer your own question (battle) regarding calibration vs a lower end TV smile.gif. I'm getting numbers from $250 (BestBuy crap) to about $500 for pro cals.

You are on the high end for a pro calibration unless you are the only one they are calibrating and travel is involved. The key is to catch one when they are doing a tour which many of the top calibrators do, reach out to them via email and find out if/when they have plans to visit your area. I believe Chad B did a Florida tour a few months ago. DNice was in California earlier this year. The other way to reduce cost is to try to put together a group in your area.
post #56 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Oakley View Post

Its funny how you answer your own question (battle) regarding calibration vs a lower end TV smile.gif. I'm getting numbers from $250 (BestBuy crap) to about $500 for pro cals.

You are on the high end for a pro calibration unless you are the only one they are calibrating and travel is involved. The key is to catch one when they are doing a tour which many of the top calibrators do, reach out to them via email and find out if/when they have plans to visit your area. I believe Chad B did a Florida tour a few months ago. DNice was in California earlier this year. The other way to reduce cost is to try to put together a group in your area.

Does anyone have tangible proof that what Best Buy does is "crap" since based on what I know, an ISF calibration is not subject to artistic interpretation. Anyone who has the right tools and went through the certification process should be able to do a competent job. Is there proof that Best Buy does not do a competent job?
Edited by imagic - 12/9/13 at 7:44am
post #57 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Does anyone have tangible proof that what Best Buy does is "crap" since based on what I know, an ISF calibration is not subject to artistic interpretation. Anyone who has the right tools and went through the certification process should be able to do a competent job—and Geek Squad uses ISF certified calibrators. Is there any proof that Best Buy does not do a competent job?

Mark - To become an ISF calibrator you take a weekend class, that means most important part of being a good calibrator is experience and homework. Then there is the equipment and software - we know BB is not giving their calibrators both light and color meters. I would also be surprised if they every calibrate their testing equipment. They also aren't using a Klein like most of the top guys - DNice being one and Silly Sally being another (representing the very advanced DIYer). Then there are the actual calibration reports that have been posted. Not to speak for David (DavidHir), during his BB experiment the calibrator did not even work on the grayscale. If you look at the posted reports there are some very poor results - not in all cases - but in most. It is also very common for BB to limit there calibrators to an hour, even a pro like DNice can't calibrate a display properly in that time and I speak from experience having watched him work on two for me. They also only use their software and do no adjustments based on model traits, meter readings etc. They also only calibrate one mode, most pros do two plus 3D. Quick response to your question and I believe your statement about ISF not being artistic is wrong. I think any calibrator worth the money is an artist and interpretation based on a models traits, which is learned by calibrating many, is very important. Every display each year seems to have its challenges when trying to dial it in. Steve
post #58 of 123
post #59 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Does anyone have tangible proof that what Best Buy does is "crap" since based on what I know, an ISF calibration is not subject to artistic interpretation. Anyone who has the right tools and went through the certification process should be able to do a competent job—and Geek Squad uses ISF certified calibrators. Is there any proof that Best Buy does not do a competent job?

Mark - To become an ISF calibrator you take a weekend class, that means most important part of being a good calibrator is experience and homework. Then there is the equipment and software - we know BB is not giving their calibrators both light and color meters. I would also be surprised if they every calibrate their testing equipment. They also aren't using a Klein like most of the top guys - DNice being one and Silly Sally being another (representing the very advanced DIYer). Then there are the actual calibration reports that have been posted. Not to speak for David (DavidHir), during his BB experiment the calibrator did not even work on the grayscale. If you look at the posted reports there are some very poor results - not in all cases - but in most. It is also very common for BB to limit there calibrators to an hour, even a pro like DNice can't calibrate a display properly in that time and I speak from experience having watched him work on two for me. They also only use their software and do no adjustments based on model traits, meter readings etc. They also only calibrate one mode, most pros do two plus 3D. Quick response to your question and I believe your statement about ISF not being artistic is wrong. I think any calibrator worth the money is an artist and interpretation based on a models traits, which is learned by calibrating many, is very important. Every display each year seems to have its challenges when trying to dial it in. Steve

I understand that the pro calibrators (somnetimes) have better gear, and that their service is "boutique," whereas GS calibrations are a big-box discount store product. However, BB's own terms allow for two hours to calibrate a TV—more specifically, 20 minutes set-up, 80 minutes to calibrate, and 20 muinutes to break down. BB's own terms state that two inputs receive calibration, not one.

Quote:
"If you decide to call in the Geek Squad Home Theater Calibration team to calibrate your HDTV, you can expect the techs to establish maximum contrast between black and white, so images
look their best and retain maximum detail. The ISF-certified Elite Service Specialist will also use color analyzer equipment to objectively tune color saturation and temperature as precisely as possible,
letting you see video exactly the same way that the person creating it did. A calibration session includes two inputs on the set, so if you have a DVD player and cable box, for example, the HDTV’s inputs will be calibrated specifically for the video output from those two devices." source: Best Buy


I can understand that the pro calibrators run into botched BB/GS calibrations, because it's quite obvious that some of those calibrations are hack jobs. Needless to say, the pros can't afford to be associated with bad work, so you won't see hack jobs coming from any of them. However it would make no sense to re-calibrate a TV that GS did a good job on, so those same pros are not seeing all the TVs that did get properly calibrated—they only see the botched ones.

I intend to research this a bit more and then go to Best Buy with my findings and get a straight answer as to what someone should expect when they pay BB/GS for the service. After all, if BB/GS is cheating and repeatedly botching ISF certifications, then in theory that gives ISF calibration a bad name, and renders the notion of certification meaningless. As for the notion that only an "artist" can dial-in a proper, accurate ISF calibration? I don't buy that for one second—it is a technician's task. I now understand how there is an artistic element to achieving the best picture.

This is in no way a criticism of pro calibrators, I am simply wondering if the sheer volume of BB/GS calibrations is the reason people think that the botched ones are the rule, not the exception.
Edited by imagic - 12/9/13 at 11:17am
post #60 of 123
Mark - I have always respected your opinion but you are way off base with using the word shenanigans to describe calibration beyond the "magic" software - maybe a revisit of wording is required by both of us. Every calibrator worth their salt goes beyond what the software tells them. Anyone who does calibrations or is a DIYer will tell you there is a learning curve, a weekend ISF class and software with a meter(s) isn't going to make you a great calibrator. Your posts do come off in my opinion as attacks on pro calibrators and those of us who recognize their value over what BB offers. I can't recall one post on AVS forums that I frequent where someone has gotten a BB calibration and actually "paid" for it. Free via membership yes. Great volume? Not based on what I see here locally (based on conversations with BB management) or from members taking advantage of their service who frequent this forum. I would bet Chad probably calibrates more displays by himself then all the BBs in Alabama. You can quote their website all you want, but do a search of AVS and see what the actual experience is. I have nothing against BB, I have defended them on this forum, am an Elite Plus member and bought my VT60 from them in May. As for their calibration services and GS services in general - rip off. If you have money to throw away, be my guest.

I urge you to reach out to Chad B, Kevin Miller, DNice and discuss your feelings of shenanigans with them. If you have ever spent time with one of them for the 3 hours or more that they will spend working on your display you would easily understand where i am coming from. Maybe artistic is the wrong word, but my calibrated displays are to me things of beauty - that's not a knock against my lovely wife. There is no Wal-Mart approach to calibrating - sorry just my two cents smile.gif
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