W. Jeff Meier (UMR) calibrated my system (70 XBR2, Radiance XD, Denon 3808CI, Comcast HD DVR, Denon DVD and Sony DVD) this past week and the results for the audio and video improvements are incredible.
I read many threads on AVS and had come to the point of actually searching for his comments and insights. He is one of the main reasons that I bought my 70 XBR2. Jeff knows this display inside out and has the skill to make it function to its full potential. His attention to detail in making sure that his test gear was calibrated before starting the actual calibration was impressive. He methodically measured the existing black level, gray scale, display gamma, color, clarity, contrast, etc. to establish the display's current baseline. He then began his adjustments, measuring as he progressed. When the measured display settings approached the target calibration settings he brought out his DVDs to highlight different aspects of video to fine tune and save the display settings. He then measured all parameters again to establish the final deltas for the display. Then he began to check and adjust each source input to the display, measuring and adjusting as he progressed. He completed the calibration by methodically measuring and adjusting the audio, with which he is just as talented with. Finally, he provided a written report that documented all changes and recommended settings for the display and each source component. After viewing and listening to his calibration results this past week I can say that the magic is back.
Jeff's education, background, on the job experience and professionalism all come together to give him the tools to achieve the incredible results visible on my system. I highly recommend him and will definitely use him again when I build my dedicated home theater in the basement.
A side note on calibrations in general. To achieve accurate results in calibrating a display a source must be provided that is calibrated to known values and the equipment measuring the display must be calibrated in order to measure the deltas that are to be adjusted on the display. I had previously used the AVIA and DVE disks along with different suggested display settings from this forum in an attempt to fine tune my system. I was not even close to the final settings that Jeff arrived at. Also, many of the changes that he made took place on the service menu. I have seen the access codes but could never bring myself to actually go into the service menu in fear of damaging the display. Jeff confirmed that this is possible and that he has worked jobs where he has come across damage to the actual hardware due to service menu settings being applied incorrectly. Given the above, if one wanted and money was no object, one could purchase a video signal generator, a radiometric colorimeter and a spectroradiometer in addition to the other odds and ends needed and probably achieve passable results after much trial and error. Or one could call Jeff who uses professional quality equipment and has the experience to use it for much less money.
Thank you to all who posted regarding Jeff or I would never have contacted him. I waited for over three months for his visit and it was worth every penny. Jeff can be reached at http://www.accucalhd.com/