I hadn't posted any initial thoughts, but since you ask, I guess I will.
Let me first explain a couple things. I'm not an audiophile or a videophile. I've been watching HD for over 5 years. I also tend not to watch the same thing over. i.e. Once I've seen a movie, I don't really watch it again. Knowing that, I don't know if what I watch is the way it should be, I just know that it is what it is.
So what made me decide to get a calibration is that there are times, where I felt things could be better, but I didn't really know what. Also, since I don't watch things over, I figured I should get the best out of my TV the first time I watch something.
I had been using D-Nice's settings, but I think I might have goofed around with them as well. But that just goes to show you that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to the video.
I had my set calibrated by umr from the forums here. He was aboslutely professional, friendly, and helpful. He came to my house on a Friday night at 7:00 PM and didn't leave till 12:30 AM. Talk about service... he answered all my stupid questions and if anything, I think I'm just a little bit smarter about video.
Anyways, on to the TV. Right away, umr was able to look at my set and point out some minor issues with color. For instance he felt the set was pushing greens. He felt the gray scale could be improved, but all in all, he said it wasn't too bad. Once again, I started out with some of D-Nice's settings, but honestly, looking back now, I think I might have been mucking around with things.
As mentioned before, umr does not use the C3 calibration function of the Pio's, because he doesn't like the locked down settings that can only be modified by the ISF technician, also there have been a number of instances where C3 has messed up people's sets and required them to be returned to the manufacturer. During my research, I did have this confirmed by other isf calibrators, including the person who does the calibration for Lucas Arts.
UMR used software and a sensor to measure the current state of my set and that software confirmed his intial thoughts about the greens. After a few hours of tweaking, he was able to get things in line according to the measurements. If you've seen his posts, he's able to present a before and after that shows how the colors were and how they should line up. All much more technical then I understand, other then: You were here, you should be here, you are now here, which is closer to where you should be then where you were.
So from a measurement perspective, my unit was off and he put it closer to on, but that wasn't the end of the video calibration. After that point, he point in some DVDs that he was quite familiar with and played various scenes over and over and over, while adjusting minor settings in the color. As he put it, the measurements put you really really close, but until you watch things that you know should be the way they are, then you can really see.
He tested, HD-DVD from my xbox360, blueray from the PS3, and DVDs from the PS3 and xbox3. After all of this is when we started looking into the HTPC and Xbox360 doing media extender functionality. During the testing of the xbox360, is when we decided that the vga left much to be desired, because of the limited tweakable items compared to component and hdmi. We watched one of his DVD's that he knew like the back of his hand on both vga and component and you could clearly see the difference, even after trying to tweak the limited VGA options. Just to verify, we tested the xbox360 while streaming an HD file of Lost via vga and via component. When watching on VGA, one of the dark scenes where the lady was sitting on the beach and the sun was set, I thought it looked okay. When we switched it to component, it appeared as a whole different scene. Details that didn't show up on the vga just appeared. That's what convinced me that VGA wasn't the right choice.
All in all, it was a great experience and the video is better. There have been numerous debates on if calibration is worth it and my stance is still the same. If you don't care about getting the most out of your display and are happy with what you see now, then it's probably not right for you. If you want to make sure you get the best out of it, then I think it's worth considering.
The analogy I used to explain to a friend who asked me afterwards, goes something like this. I own a light blue dress shirt and I know it's light blue and every time I put it on, it's light blue. Every one who looks at the shirt sees it as light blue. If one day I put it in the wash and it turned light green, I would know it wasn't right, but if you saw my shirt as light green for the first time, you would think, wow that's a nice light green shirt. If I told you it's supposed to be light blue, you would say... oh not so nice anymore.
I was watching my tv and the colors were off, but because I'm not a videophile I couldn't say that scene should have looked better. That tied in with the fact that I don't watch things over makes it even harder. Now that I know things are set right and I got a chance to see what details I was missing and how some colors were off, I can feel comfortable to know that what I see is what I'm supposed to see vs what I see is what I THINK I'm supposed to see.
That and finding out that the VGA isn't a good options was very beneficial for me. Too bad I spent money on the xbox 360 vga cable!
Let me know if you have any questions!
Originally Posted by Kr8z1
Hey Russ, have you posted your initial thoughts on your calibration yet? I for one would be interested in hearing what improvements/corrections it made. If you did post, let me know where - I may have missed it.