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best buy offers hdtv calibration: how does it rate (details inside) - Page 5

post #121 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo View Post

It completely depends on who you get. Some of their calibrators are likely very good, within the limitations of the system and their equipment, which is adequate for a Panasonic to do basic gray scale.

Think of Best Buy like fast food. Don't expect too much and you will not be surprised.

Well I only paid $150 for the calibration (normally $300 US). What do you imagine my chances are that I'm just flushing the $150 down the toilet? Would I be better off spending the money elsewhere? (It's only paid for and not even scheduled so I can still cancel.) Any tips on finding a reputable calibrator?
post #122 of 454
Go to the ISF and ISF forum web sites, call the people listed in your area and have them tell you why they are the best choice.
post #123 of 454
Best Buy does service menu adjusts (assuming white balance controls aren't in the menu). I've seen 3 calibrators first hand from Best Buy. Experience wins out in this case. If you can find a good ISF from Best Buy, which is likely, go for the one with the most experience. The training is very well thought-out, but there is no replacement for hands-on, I.E. experience. I'm personally using my store as guinea pig and I'm calibrating the new LED Samsungs and the new LG's with ISFccc controls, to get the experience to do the job right. Calibrators have access to Best Buy websites that have info from other BB calibrators on how to access service menus and what does what. The tools are there, it just depends on the calibrator on how they use them.

Yes I am a Geek Squad calibrator as of a month ago but I won't go into a customers home until I'm 100% confident to do the job right. I'm currently also doing ride alongs with other BB calibrators to get as much info and experience as I can. This was my choice so maybe some people care more than others.
post #124 of 454
And calibration rarely has huge benefits in power consumption. Let's assume that it does. Contrast adjust (Plasmas) and Backlight adjustment (LCD) have the biggest impact on power consumption. So from a Vivid, Hi-bright, etc.. standpoint, yes more than likely you'll save a little money, assuming it isn't going in an extremely bright room in the home. Your talking $5 to $15 a year though. That's not going to fast food for one day. Not the monumental savings that some people believe. Maybe I'm crazy, but isn't the whole point of calibration is to have an accurate picture?
post #125 of 454
BB calibrators do not do CMS alignments on the sets that have it. Their equipment is limited and is useful primarily for gray scale, not measuring primaries and secondaries on all technologies.

As for power consumption, significant savings can be realized over OOB settings after calibration, but calibration is not needed to get these savings. Simply turn down contrast on PDPs and CRT units, and turn down backlight levels on LCDs.
post #126 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo View Post

BB calibrators do not do CMS alignments on the sets that have it. Their equipment is limited and is useful primarily for gray scale, not measuring primaries and secondaries on all technologies.

Maybe this is going beyond what I may be realizing, but primary colors maintaining accuracy and grayscale accuracy are two very similar, if not the same thing correct? Now in terms of adjusting secondary colors, what do you mean by adjustments? What would have to be done by BB that would constitute to you as secondary color adjustment/accuracy? Not trying to be a a-hole, just really wanna know what you expect them to do?
post #127 of 454
I would venture that most BB calibrators have "never" seen a properly calibrated system that could be considered a reference display. Many of the professional independent calibrators have the experience and the ability to work through difficulties that arise. The lesser experienced calibrators will depend on their equipment measurements and rarely can visually tell if there is a problem, let alone, knowing how to resolve it.

The BB calibration equipment can have difficulties measuring some of the current displays and no telling what the future brings with LED and Laser technology.

The professional calibrator generally won't do your calibration for $150, however he didnt get the balance of the calibration fee in the sale of equipment. When I sell a display locally, I include the calibration.

If BB is willing to give a $150 discount on the calibration, have them give the discount on the display (lower sales tax) and decide on the calibration later. Don't get pressured into a calibration without doing your homework.
post #128 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanplumber View Post

Maybe this is going beyond what I may be realizing, but primary colors maintaining accuracy and grayscale accuracy are two very similar, if not the same thing correct? Now in terms of adjusting secondary colors, what do you mean by adjustments? What would have to be done by BB that would constitute to you as secondary color adjustment/accuracy? Not trying to be a a-hole, just really wanna know what you expect them to do?

With a color management system you can manipulate the primaries and secondaries, up to the degree that the primaries can saturate. This is different than gray scale. Some sets will not allow you to do much more than gray scale, and their equipment and procedures can possibly be OK for that. They could also botch it badly, depending on the display and the system.

BB is like Jiffy Lube or McDonalds. For a quick oil change they may be fine. Then again, you many end up with an over or underfilled crankcase, a leak from careless installation of a filter or drain plug or washer, and you get the cheapest oil and filter than they can find. Some McDs have great service, others stink. Some of their menu items are OK, but you don't go in expecting a great meal or something that is not on the menu.
post #129 of 454
I hear what your saying, but if Best Buy as a whole to get the same results using the Sencore equipment and with a Colorpro V, why would automatically jump all over it and say its trash. I understand what most people's problem with it is though. Mass producing anything, whether it's calibration or a hamburger, generally will yield more profits but quality control will go down. I intend to give customers printouts of CIE chart plotting before and after and more info so they can understand I didn't just change the color and brightness and now to have a Pioneer Elite.

If the CMS controls for secondary colors (I actually saw these settings on some of the new LG's and the new LED Samsungs) but if it isn't in universally on alot of displays then I think it's a hard gripe to make against it. I'm not trying to sip up the Kool-aid and spread the word we are better, but I wouldn't knock something that most of guys are unfamiliar with (Geek Squad Calibrations) until you at least got more info on what we actually do.
post #130 of 454
As with anything in the life, you get what you pay for...

If an individual wants the most from their ENTIRE video system, they will hire an experienced, competent video calibration professional.
If they are uninformed, want the cheapest deal they can get or just don't really care about image fidelity, they will settle for less.
post #131 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanplumber View Post

I hear what your saying, but if Best Buy as a whole to get the same results using the Sencore equipment and with a Colorpro V, why would automatically jump all over it and say its trash. I understand what most people's problem with it is though. Mass producing anything, whether it's calibration or a hamburger, generally will yield more profits but quality control will go down. I intend to give customers printouts of CIE chart plotting before and after and more info so they can understand I didn't just change the color and brightness and now to have a Pioneer Elite.

If the CMS controls for secondary colors (I actually saw these settings on some of the new LG's and the new LED Samsungs) but if it isn't in universally on alot of displays then I think it's a hard gripe to make against it. I'm not trying to sip up the Kool-aid and spread the word we are better, but I wouldn't knock something that most of guys are unfamiliar with (Geek Squad Calibrations) until you at least got more info on what we actually do.


Unfamiliar with? Look at the number of calibrations that there have been complaints about just here on AVS. BB accounts for the vast majority of them in the short time that they have been offering the service. Hardly a pro anywhere has not gone behind BB to fix a mess. Why would one expect them to be any ore competent at something as complex as calibration, that is very different from system to system and model to model, when they cannot even get basic installations right. I think the Jiffy Lube/McDonalds comparison is perfect.

With respet to the Sencore products, virtually no pros who do their homework are buying it anymore and most are replacing it with higher resolution spectros. You can do some things perfectly well with it, and other adjustments and displays will be done poorly.
post #132 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanplumber View Post

I hear what your saying, but if Best Buy as a whole to get the same results using the Sencore equipment and with a Colorpro V, why would automatically jump all over it and say its trash. I understand what most people's problem with it is though. Mass producing anything, whether it's calibration or a hamburger, generally will yield more profits but quality control will go down. I intend to give customers printouts of CIE chart plotting before and after and more info so they can understand I didn't just change the color and brightness and now to have a Pioneer Elite.

If the CMS controls for secondary colors (I actually saw these settings on some of the new LG's and the new LED Samsungs) but if it isn't in universally on alot of displays then I think it's a hard gripe to make against it. I'm not trying to sip up the Kool-aid and spread the word we are better, but I wouldn't knock something that most of guys are unfamiliar with (Geek Squad Calibrations) until you at least got more info on what we actually do.

The BB equipment can get most grayscales done, but there are a few displays that cause problems. I had to move away from the "pods" to get more accurate results. As CMS gets more mainstream, the tri-stimulus based analyzers will fall even further behind. They just cannot measure primaries to the degree of accuracy any paying customer should have.
post #133 of 454
Well they moved to a ColorPro V here very recently so I think as a company, best buy wants to stay ahead of the curve or at least stay with it so they aren't left behind. I'll send some info to my higher ups so we keeping high quality standards. Any particular displays? and y?
post #134 of 454
To be honest, most of BB's customers aren't buying the top of the line displays, aren't buying any projectors, etc etc. Going to the nines with CMS isn't something I think someone would naturally expect from BB. Even if equipped and trained to deal with CMS, the opportunity to even calibrate a display with CMS is not the most common these days (though admittedly this is changing). The extra time is also significant. CMS is covered very briefly in BB's training, and to be honest I think that's fine. Unleashing briefly-trained techs on CMS systems can waste a lot of time and end up with chaos while calibrating if you don't have a really good grasp of what's going on and what you're doing.

I think it's also fair to point out that we here at AVS have something of a bias because many of the most knowledgeable and experienced calibrators frequent this forum, but keep in mind that the vast majority of ISF techs out there (not including Best Buy) are not up to this caliber, and frankly are at or below what Best Buy is doing. They are unlikely to have service-menu access unless they pursue information significantly on their own, are unlikely to be equipped any better than BBY guys are, and frankly may charge significantly more. A mom-and-pop integrator is probably on par with what BB gives you in terms of a basic ISF calibration.

And to be honest, bringing calibration to the masses is still a good thing. We love to advocate test discs for the novice who is short on cash, that won't match what a basic grayscale adjustment by a BB guy will do, yet we don't trash that.

Further, we all have to realize the back-end benefits of a massive company like BB pushing calibration services. When BB goes to their major manufacturers and tells them that their gamma sucks, or they have no access to greyscale controls, or their service menu is a nightmare, those manufacturers will act fast to listen. That benefits the dedicated calibrators too, who have long fought for decent menus and controls, and I think we'll continue to see greater and greater access to all the controls we need to really whip a TV into shape, and less and less spurious "features" that lead to an inaccurate image.

So in the bigger picture, I think you have to realize that the 900lb gorilla in the TV business is telling not only their customers, but their manufacturers that accuracy matters. That they can sell both more TVs and more calibration services on accurate televisions. That is a big big change, and in a larger sense benefits the pursuit of better images. In other words, no a BB calibration is unlikely to get the absolute best out of a display (on the other hand that's probably true of most ISF jobs with the exception of many of the folks around here who basically only do calibrations and are the pinnacle of it), but it pushes the entire range of images towards better, and IMO in not a small way.
post #135 of 454
I agree Chris. BB has increased the interest in calibrating displays and that awareness benefits the industry. Jiffy Lube increased awareness of the importance of oil changes, too. For many people that level of service is perfectly acceptable. The fact is, however, that it is easy to find much better service for the same price, from people with more knowledge and better equipment. All it takes is talking to the prospective service provider and it becomes clear that you can get better service for similar or less money in many markets.
post #136 of 454
Greetings

Somethings are easier for us to say, but ask the masses to look stuff up on a search engine and things get a little or a lot tougher. And then where do you go on that search engine ... who do you believe? ... and how much research time is that going to take a person?

There is a reason that a Jiffy Lube exists. It serves a purpose. I use it because it is fast and my time is worth more to me than the cost of the oil change. The emphasis is always on the cost of my time. Time to research ... time to do it yourself ... time to clean up the mess ... time to dispose of the oil ... and so forth.

regards
post #137 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanplumber View Post

Well they moved to a ColorPro V here very recently so I think as a company, best buy wants to stay ahead of the curve or at least stay with it so they aren't left behind. I'll send some info to my higher ups so we keeping high quality standards. Any particular displays? and y?

Moving to a ColorPro V is staying ahead of the curve?

At the very least they should have moved to a OTC-1000/Hubble if they wanted to come even close to the current generation of meters that have surpassed the OTC/Hubble. The ColorPro V has the same age technology of a 720p Native HDTV.
post #138 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekguy View Post

I am not a BB fan but here is what the say about their calibration--note the ISF certified claim.

We'll calibrate your HDTV for optimal video performance, using the latest tools and techniques to create the most true-to-life high-definition experience for you. In addition to stunning picture quality, you'll benefit from reduced eye strain, longer TV life and significant energy savings. We'll also check your home theater system for proper operation, and organize and dress the wiring for a clean, professional look.

Product Features
Our highly trained, ISF-Certified Elite Service Specialists will:
Calibrate your TV to ISF standards for top video performance and create dedicated settings for two differet inputs
(emphasis added).
Adjust the surround sound levels of the A/V receiver to ensure all the effect speakers are working optimally
Review and check the speaker system; verify that all speakers are properly positioned and working
Review and recommend any remote control features or capabilities that might be helpful to you now or in the future
Ensure that all wires and cables are neatly dressed, using wire ties as needed
Clean up work area and remove installation debris
Approximate time: 2 hrs.

NOT TRUE. My guy did not even know pioneer had ISFccc modes to activate. He couldn't even activate it and he used Standard as the benchmark for his calibrations.
post #139 of 454
Also, ISF does not set standards at all. It is an educational organization, simply promoting good video practices. It offers an introduction to what that means and motivates many people to achieve greater adherance to industry standards.

Best Buy has done the industry a service by promoting calibration services, but its name is simply misleading. There are far better values in services provided by more reputatble professionals performing the service.
post #140 of 454
Soon, your local High School might be providing your calibrator . . . Read more...
post #141 of 454
I stand by my fast food and Jiffy Lube comparisons...
post #142 of 454
I need some advice, I had a best buy tech calibrate my panasonic 58-800u, when he did it he calibrated normal-thx instead of warm-thx,well i asked him to come back and calibrate warm-thx and it looks great for movies, but he could not get normal back to factory settings and that is what my wife really likes watching during daytime. I want to know how to get the tv back to previous settings, and what should i ask best buy to do? Thanks for any help
post #143 of 454
Greetings

Normal ... Cool ... Warm. They are all merely placeholders for values.

Make the Normal mode more blue by adding more BDRV and B cut. It's that simple. Keep adding blue until you like it. Cool is always more blue than normal.

regards
post #144 of 454
It is hard for me to accept any calibration services from Best Buy when their employees freely admit that NONE of their display TVs are calibrated, even the "Magnolia" area units.

Has anyone conducted an independent review of a Best Buy calibration? It would be interesting to see how well or poor they did.

Dan
post #145 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoDan View Post

It is hard for me to accept any calibration services from Best Buy when their employees freely admit that NONE of their display TVs are calibrated, even the "Magnolia" area units.

Has anyone conducted an independent review of a Best Buy calibration? It would be interesting to see how well or poor they did.

Dan

This could be said for all calibrators. The only option one really has it to become familiar with calibration services, then interview your calibrator.
post #146 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoDan View Post

It is hard for me to accept any calibration services from Best Buy when their employees freely admit that NONE of their display TVs are calibrated, even the "Magnolia" area units.

Has anyone conducted an independent review of a Best Buy calibration? It would be interesting to see how well or poor they did.

Dan

I've seen a few TVs calibrated at Best Buy. They have a display demo where they place two identical Samsung LCD TVs side-by-side. One is calibrated and one is out of the box. The calibrated one looks much better to my eyes. However, I recently saw this demo at another Best Buy and the calibrator did a lousy job.
post #147 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spleen View Post

I've seen a few TVs calibrated at Best Buy. They have a display demo where they place two identical Samsung LCD TVs side-by-side. One is calibrated and one is out of the box. The calibrated one looks much better to my eyes. However, I recently saw this demo at another Best Buy and the calibrator did a lousy job.

The one that is not calibrated is in Dynamic mode. That's why it looks extreme compared to the one that theoretically calibrated. I'm betting it's not calibrated in simply in Pure mode.

I cannot express how unprofessional and horrible is the Best Buy calibration service.
post #148 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdrennan View Post

I need some advice, I had a best buy tech calibrate my panasonic 58-800u, when he did it he calibrated normal-thx instead of warm-thx,well i asked him to come back and calibrate warm-thx and it looks great for movies, but he could not get normal back to factory settings and that is what my wife really likes watching during daytime. I want to know how to get the tv back to previous settings, and what should i ask best buy to do? Thanks for any help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV View Post

Greetings

Normal ... Cool ... Warm. They are all merely placeholders for values.

Make the Normal mode more blue by adding more BDRV and B cut. It's that simple. Keep adding blue until you like it. Cool is always more blue than normal.

regards

so is what you are saying i cant have the factory defaults back in normal that best buy changed?
post #149 of 454
Greetings

Mainly because all the sets are different from the factory anyway. There is no factory default as you believe. Some TVs come with normal set at 10 ... some at 9 .. some at 11 some at 12 ... and the cool setting is out at 20 +/- 3 ... (relative numbers ... but I hope you get the idea.)

You can get it back in the ball park where it started out ... but you don't need them to do that ... you can do it yourself. Like bickering that you don't want this wrong answer ... but want another wrong answer ... (never really wanting the right answer)

regards
post #150 of 454
Believe me I am not trying to bicker and I am wanting the right answer,But after buying a 3000 dollar tv and another 299 to get if calibrated i am just a little frustrated(wife not happy) about this.And after spending this much I guess I am wanting more than getting it in the ballpark. I would have no idea where to start.
Thank you for your help
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