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"Steaming Rat," or "Rich's Method For Achieving A More Realistic Image... - Page 3  

post #61 of 226
Come on Rich,take up his challenge,your steaming rat disciples are holding their breaths.If you don't want to do this he's more than welcome to come to ma. and calibrate my already perfect steaming rat 433 calibration.
post #62 of 226
Thread Starter 
Mark, sounds great. I'll PM you.

First, I'd like to emphasize some things, in case I haven't been clear enough during this steaming rat business.

There's no way I think the human eye can calibrate an image as accurately as, say, ColorFacts with a spectroradiometer. And I'm positive that even with a nicely calibrated gray scale, my best attempts at eye-balling for color and correct hue will fall short (I know the color on my settings isn't perfect).

I have in fact put a ? beside the calibration done to my plasma, so I don't wish to judge all calibrations on just that one calibration. After my plasma was calibrated I sought out as many ISF calibrated displays as I could see, just to check them out. Most shared that really warm look, but some seemed more believabley hued than my ISF picture. However, so far I've yet to see a display that I didn't want to tweak a little further.

So, really the question isn't about accuracy - the ColorFacts method surely will be more accurate. It's more about: how would I personally rate the final image? Does it make me "believe" more than my own settings?
Would I feel it needs further tweaking to get the realism I enjoy out of the image? Or would ColorFacting it basically max out those qualities? I assumed before the ISF of my plasma that it would maximize the picture quality...but it didn't happen. I'd be very happy to give it another whirl with ColorFacts etc.

I'll get back to you today or tomorrow.
post #63 of 226
Rich,
yes, please take up his challenge. However, how is Mark Hunter going to judge the results? By looking at the histograms, graphs showing linearity of gray scale, set of numbers, etc., or, by asking people which image they prefer? Personally, I don't care about the numbers, I care about my personal viewing preferences, and Rich's method significantly improved PQ of my Avia and VE "calibrated" Panny.

Andrzej
post #64 of 226
Steaming Rat Shootout

now that could become a sticky post
post #65 of 226
Throw in a couple of Lisa's stinky old trout and we've got a real party! Steamy, stinky and sticky... <shudder> yipes!

-- Gary
post #66 of 226
I once got hit with hot steam. It was blasted thru a 24' long, freshly galvanized (900 degree molten Zinc) 2" pipe, one end fell into the cooling bath, as I turned to run the hell, it nailed me in the back! Damn that was not fun:eek:

Be very careful with steaming shootouts!!!!

ps. Rich, I need you to come to Dallas June 27, see Denon 2900 thread.

Bruce
post #67 of 226
Hi Andrzej,

I don't think I should judge at all, and I agree that what we see is what it is all about. While I would like to see some graphs if I can't be there in person, I think that the results should be judged "by eye".

I know a few people in Rich's neck of the woods who are videophiles who I am sure would be happy to serve on the "judging panel". Of course, Rich would necessarily be a member.

I would like to start from some default, and then do two calibrations: one a "Steaming Rat" and the other with instrumentation. The panel would talk out loud about what they see (or don't see), and compare and contrast the two pictures. Then they vote, and majority vote wins.

Just thoughts. It certainly needs to be fair to hold any kind of value.

I did want to re-emphasize (since my post was buried on the last page), that I think that this technique is great, and that FREE is a very good thing. The point is going to be just that instrumented calibration (which almost always costs some $$) is really hard to beat solely by eye...even by the best videophiles in the biz.
post #68 of 226
Please keep the forum informed of the when it will happen and the results. Thanks
post #69 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by mattg3
Please keep the forum informed of the when it will happen and the results. Thanks
Second this. I am very much interested in the results. Especially, that Rich's plasma was profesionally ISF'ed before and he (and most of us - if I remember correctly) did not prefer the ISF'ed images.

Andrzej
post #70 of 226
Also, this should be a blind test, in which no one on the panel knows which Plasma was calibrated by either method. Then vote!
post #71 of 226
Rich and Mark:

I've offered in the past to calibrate Rich's panel with my ColorFacts CF-6000. If I can help out here, let me know. At the very least, I would like to participate as a judge.:D
post #72 of 226
Thread Starter 
Yes Jim, I was wondering if perhaps Mark knew you and had you in mind to help out (as I suggested to him in my PM). That would be great.
post #73 of 226
I'm getting "Goose Bumps" already.

Dave
post #74 of 226
Cool!-

The Iron Chef Steaming Rat takes on ColorFacts,

I'm sure Chairman Kaga Takeshi would be proud to host this in Kitchen Stadium.:D

Can't wait!

http://www.ironchef.com/about_show.shtml



editted: see correct version below....
post #75 of 226
I think the judging panel should include a couple of image professionals alongside videophiles, especially a telecine colorist, and a cinematographer.

Three technically challenging scenes should be chosen as the material for comparison. They should be sourced from the same DVD player, using the same cables.

Nori
post #76 of 226
Quote:
"image professionals alongside videophiles, especially a telecine colorist, and a cinematographer"


Wow! You're getting *serious* about this.

Maybe we should move the venue from Toronto to Hollywood...

We might also need funding to get the participation of the high-end experts. Perhaps a grant, paid admission, or advertising...

:D
post #77 of 226
But, can I go, please, please, please. I'll bring whatever you want me to (beer, lobsters, cherrystones, you name it). I would just like to see this for myself.

I have tried the "Steaming Rat" and must say it was a rather nice dish for my viewing. I want to do the colorfacts, Mark check your PM.

Interestingly, I am very happy with my current PQ from the panny, however, always looking for better.:p
post #78 of 226
Oh Mark, don't despair...We have it all here in Toronto.

Serious? Why not?

Why go to Hollywood, We have top notch pros here.

You don't need funds, grants, etc. A couple of bottles of good wine will do.

Nori
post #79 of 226
most anxious to see the results of this shootout

on my P50, I have one memory set to ISF calibrated adjustments by Cliff Plavin

and another memory set to 'steaming rat' method

won't say for now which I prefer
post #80 of 226
I'm not precisely sure how this applies, but when watching Iron Chef, I always, always, always pull for the challenger and am very disappointed when one of the Iron Chefs wins the day in Kitchen Stadium... I cry, "Fix! Fix!"

Mark
post #81 of 226
markrubin said:
"on my P50, I have one memory set to ISF calibrated adjustments by Cliff Plavin

and another memory set to 'steaming rat' method

won't say for now which I prefer"

You tease! :)

larry
post #82 of 226
<<lisa smacks Mark with a three-week old trout for not sharing...>>

:D
post #83 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Rogo
I'm not precisely sure how this applies, but when watching Iron Chef, I always, always, always pull for the challenger and am very disappointed when one of the Iron Chefs wins the day in Kitchen Stadium... I cry, "Fix! Fix!"

Oh! my - You're right - me too!

Fixed:

Cool!-

The Iron Chef ColorFacts takes on The Steaming Rat

I'm sure Chairman Kaga Takeshi would be proud to host this in Kitchen Stadium.:D

Can't wait!
post #84 of 226
Just checked out the ColorFacts website. AVS' very own Robert Wood appears to be quoted on the front-end.

Man is that pricey though. Would be great to find like 5 people in the Bay Area to go in on one and pass it around.
post #85 of 226
Thread Starter 
Oh dear, what have I wrought?

I should be available sometime next week (or after) to do the ColorFacts / Rat comparison. I'm just going to work through some more details with Mark first.

Some random thoughts:

Here are some questions running through my noggin' about this:

I'll be curious what there is left that the ColorFacts method can show me about my display as far as shear performance goes (i.e. perceived picture quality...vs accuracy to NTSC standards or whatever). I can imagine "different" for sure. but "better" is real tough (and boy I'd love to eat those words). Although one area that I can imagine better is color: I can only go so far that way with my eye, and I'd hope the ColorFacts and associated calibration instruments can rid it of any residual artificial hue.

In my ISF settings I already have an even gray scale so it's hard for me to figure out what more can be done there, and if it would have much impact at all. For instance, I'm sure the gray scale in my own settings is less perfect, but I like the image better.

I don't know who will end up looking at this with me, but I'm very interested to get other critical-eyed opinions. I don't care which method works better; I'll take whatever gets the best image out of my plasma, and if ColorFacts squeezes even more performance out I'll be very happy. I can think of three results: 1. I like my settings better than the ColorFacted image. 2. I like the ColorFacted image better, as it is. 3. I like the ColorFacted image as a base, but with further "Rat" tweaking to my taste.
My hunch is probably # 3.

As far as others judging the images, I'd imagine that anyone who is a fan of the ISF'd look will, de facto, like it better. I'm not sure how they could see my settings as looking anything other than "wrong."

But that's much of the fun - getting different viewpoints, and comparing what we feel we're seeing when we screw around with the picture. How far off will my "real" be from someone else's "real?"

It sounds like geek heaven to me !**


**Disclaimer: Not that *I'm* a geek, or any of the strapping fellows involved in this exercise carry any geek within them.
post #86 of 226
Rich,
Could you please be so kind and take a few pictures of your favorite movie scenes after your Panny is calibrated with ColorFacts? That is, the same scene with your current settings vis a vis ColorFacts'ed. That would be cool and we would have a chance to judge the results (not the same as live show but nevertheless still valuable).

Andrzej
post #87 of 226
Rich,

I can imagine how your settings may take into consideration some limitations that Plasma displays have, and try to improve/offer a more pleasing perception of an image (even if not 100% accurate). That's why I didn't suggest staring at color-bars or verifying Grey scale settings, but to eventually look at challenging scenes to ascertain whether Steaming Rats offers an edge over NTSC/SMPTE standard calibration.

Also, there are other factors to be considered during your tests. Primarily, DVDs aren't accurate image source generators unless compared and calibrated against vectorscope and other devices. In fact, this is where AVIA and VE disks may fail to be absolutely accurate without the use of test pattern generator devices, and proper test instruments. Let us know what sources you will eventually use to calibrate your plasma.

I am also curious to know if Colorfacts can enhance Plasma viewing experience, or whether it just parks it where it may be accurate, but doesn't quite improve/resolve upon some plasma limitations such as low-brightness image detail and accuracy.

Nori
post #88 of 226
Nori:

Calibrating my 503CMX with ColorFacts made a significant difference. I'm in the camp of people who like ISF'ed displays, and have had an RPTV done in the past by a pro, so maybe it's a "self-fulfilling prophecy". As everyone knows, Pio plasmas aren't the best at producing realistic blacks and detail within blacks, but both improved after calibration.

I would recommend a calibration for anyone, whether it be with ColorFacts or something else.
post #89 of 226
Jim,

How would you describe the change on your plasma after colorfacts in terms of low brightness detail, contrast, and noise?

I think plasmas are truly wonderful, but, as we all know, have peculiarities in low brightness areas which are not flattering. When I calibrate my plasma according to the gospel of NTSC, it becomes too flat and/or noisy looking. So, I calibrate as per test patterns, then tweak it a bit here, then a bit there, in order to cover those shortcomings. BTW, I am not discussing Grey, color, tint settings, but what interests me is if Colorfacts can improve detail and contrast in low brightness areas...This is where I doubt it can offer any significant improvement.

I am sure future Plasmas will gradually improve, and then any proper calibration system will be superior to any home brewed version. But, for now, we have some inherent shortcomings, and my assumption is that not much can be done to improve them technically, but can be bettered in terms of overall perception when it comes to shadow detail and contrast. And this perceived improvement might give deserved credibility to the Steaming Rats method.

As Rich suggested with his #4 option, both may actually complement each other afterall.

Thanks,

Nori
post #90 of 226
Nori:

Contrast and low brightness detail are both better, but I think this has more to do with proper brightness and contrast adjustments than it does with ColorFacts. ColorFacts really focuses on getting the grey scale right at 6500K through the low to high IRE range so, to that extent, it also helps to improve detail across the spectrum.

My calibration skills are amateur at best. I'm attending a CEDIA seminar on June 21 by Jim Burns, who is an AVS member. He's doing an all day fixed pixel display calibration course, so I hope to hone my skills.:D
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