Consumer cynicism is a fact of life in our culture because so many of us have been short changed and ripped off by cheap goods sold at high prices and marketing promises never kept. The TVSPro optical comparator was a unique, pricise, versatile and elegantly designed tool. It could deliver a SMPTE spec D65 (not merely 6500K) high and low level optical reference, as well as D54 high and low, in a compact, hand held, light weight device. It also would display red, green and blue primaries but only in a rapid cycle.
LEDs have very good spectral power distribution. The TVSPro used a multi-color LED array with electronic mixing control to achieve reference white points. The case was composed of telescoping aluminum extrusions that resulted in a very durable, professional, lab-grade instrument. Any suggestion that it was over priced only reveals a lack of understanding on many levels.
The ISF and JKP have asked me to develop a 10-step, D65, gray scale, optical comparator at a more approachable price. I've been working on this concept for years already. Thus far I've produced one prototype that was way too large, fragile and heavy to be practical, but performed well technically. It's very challenging to develop a new instrument on a miniscule budget, especially when parts suppliers keep changing their products and methods. Any hobbyist can cob together a rough optical comparator with non-reference parts to achieve "ball park" results. A professional device with truly reference performance is another story.
I can help anyone put together a temporary solution that is more accurate than the PVM96, at near its price. Samples of the PVM96 I've seen measured with various instruments have revealed it to not provide a true D65 reference. It's close but not quite close enough. However, my solution would require some DIY fabrication effort. Send me an e-mail if you're interested, no PMs please.
Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"