Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U
How much do they charge for a single input then?
I don't understand the discussion of "per input" at all... that's "old tapes" from the analog video days. In the age of digital video, digital inputs rarely require any special or unique calibration. As long as the disc player or satellite box have the right settings, there's no value in separate calibrations for different digital inputs. If there are analog video components (tape machines, laserdisc, etc.)... yes, custom calibration for those may be appropriate.
Today, the issues are primarily what controls the TV has and whether the owner wants 3D calibration or not. My base fee is for 2D grayscale calibration including checking and copying the calibration settings to different inputs (if needed) and copying the results to different resolutions if the TV or projector has different memories for each resolution. I then add $50 per hour for 2D CMS, 3D grayscale, and 3D CMS. The customer can have as many or as few of those options as they like. The "per hour" fee is fair to everybody as customers only pay for the time it takes. If the CMS cal only requires adjustments to 2 or 3 colors (rather than all 6), the customer isn't paying for more than they need. If the customer doesn't want 3D calibration they aren't paying for it. Nothing you do re. 2D calibration has anything to do with 3D calibration... 3D calibration is a completely separate calibration task, almost like calibrating a second TV.
What calibrators charge has much to do with their overhead, cost of living in their area, and whether they are traveling or calibrating locally. Someone in a higher cost of living area is likely to pay more for calibration than someone from a lower cost of living area. A calibrator who uses a $10,000+ meter is likely to charge a bit more than a calibrator who uses an $800 meter (at least to my way of thinking). If the customer isn't interested in paying a little more for a calibration using an expensive, well-maintained instrument, so be it. The customer can select from whatever options are available in their area. Nobody is twisting anybody's arm. There are a lot of enthusiasts who aren't willing to spend 100 or more hours learning calibration and calibration software plus spending $250+ on a meter that will have to be replaced in 3 or 4 years plus practicing and making mistakes many times before getting it right. For them, the value in pro calibration is having it done without the effort and expense on their part. Not everybody values their time the same way. If you value your time at $10 per hour, the 100 or more hours you put in to learning calibration and calibration software is "worth" $1000. If you value your time at $30 an hour (pretty minimal for a professional who earns $100 per hour or more), then you're looking at value of $3000 for the investment in time. If you put $0 per hour value on your time, it sure makes DIY look like a good deal.
I do not intend for this post to generate on-going discussion of fees or DIY vs. pro. This isn't the right thread for that. But there were some points in this thread that I thought needed some comment.