The certainly not complete user guide to get to know and calibrate your TV
So you want to calibrate your TV/monitor/beamer, ey? *uncomfortable silence*
Are you sure that you are up to this task?
Ok, if you say so...
Its actually easier than most will want to make you believe - as with all things it takes some practice to get better, but not that much at all, really. The only condition is, that you have to be thorough.
Lets start with something simple, you most certainly have come in contact with.
> What are TV Presets?
Presets (Standard, Cinema, Gaming, ...) are predefined groupings of settings in most cases visible to the user via the settings page, but sometimes even producing slightly different picture behavior which may be unchangeable (greyed out settings, or changed presets that are beyond the users control) for the user.
Presets are used for quick select purposes.
When calibrating a TV you usually restrain yourself, or at least start with the „cinema“ or „user“ preset. Cinema most of the time is the closest to the desired rec 709 standard („color“ Standard that all 16:9 HD material (including Blurays) is mastered (and then encoded) in), also in Cinema mode normally all available settings are user controllable. The user preset (if available) is basically a „everything that can be changed on your set is available, play with it“ preset and also usable.
Sub presets like Cinema 1, Cinema 2, ... are also used for quick select purposes.
> What is calibrating?
Setting the TV at hand as close as possible to the decided upon standard for (in most cases) HD content (rec 709, also called ITU 709).
> What calibrating is not -
Color correcting the original material. If f.e. something is shot/encoded with a sepia tone to it - calibrating wont get rid of it.
If you want to play „artist“, stick to switching the color temperature settings.
> Can calibration fix my TVs color reproduction problems?
Only to a certain extend. As in „a bit“. The saying that setting brightness and contrast just right“ is 80% of calibration in many cases isnt that far off. To a great deal it is dependent on the „quality of the panel“ itself, whereas by quality the manufacturer means „measured color accuracy and contrast (mostly black level)“.
Calibration on a device (as in „I bought a Colorimeter, or a Spectro“) level is 90% „setting white balance“ and the measly rest „setting the 100% saturation points of each primary/secondary color - if the device supports it“ (with color and hue mostly already being set accurately at the factory level) - point being, if after setting whitebalance „not everything falls into place“ your options are limited. [If you are not either limiting yourself to using a HTPC with a certain renderer which heavily limits your media player choice, or invest several hundred bucks in hardware boxes - for 3D LUT generation, which at that point basically is color correcting the input signal based on the persistent flaws of your display (*think* on the base of several hundred automated measurements „profiling“ each region of the color spectrum)]
Setting whitebalance right can even accentuate color reproduction problems (as in „i can live with everything having a slight green tint, but since I calibrated my set the sky looks purple“ (exaggeration)).
> What is calibrating - part 2
First its sticking with the warm color temperature profile (warm 2 in most cases). Because - believe it or not - its the encoding standard. Thats the production standard. *Heck* warm2 (D65) is the white balance standard for close to EVERY (still used) color space defined by men. On earth. Up till now. [edit: That is western (Europe, US, ...) ones. Please see randal_r posting below.]
Then its getting the warm color space >exactly< right. Warm is just a user friendly way of saying „close to the D65 standard of white“. As in „a black to white curve (through all the greys there are) with the white point at D65“.
Calibrating is also adjusting colors, but more on that later.
> Whats D65?
D65 is a certain color of white (red, green, blue proportions) that is defined as 100% white. Why? Simple. Because its the „agreed upon“ color of white, a white sheet of paper has in the midday sun in certain regions in europe. Sounds logical, right?
But wait it is. When calibrating white balance on scene, camera men historically used white sheets of paper to do it - which more often than not, were „illuminated by the sun“ and voila, after some guys agreed on what the EXACT color that was (probably by a highly scientific method of drawing straws and rolling some dice) - it became the standard.
Also, this doesnt mean, that your TV set now won‘t be able to reproduce more overcast or more bluish whites - its just that to do so - it has to be instructed by the video signal itself. Color of white is important as in „everyone open your watercolors set and grab the brush“.
Point being - nowadays in production (close to) everything is calibrated to D65. The cameras, the screener monitors, the monitors in the production facilities, the encoding „file format“, blurays, ... EVERYTHING.
> What about those other color temperature profiles (neutral, vivid, ...)?
warm 2 (D65) has a white point that should lie at around 6500K(elvin), all others are increasingly colder (we actually call it „hotter“) as in „more bluish“. Think 7000k to 10000k+
Point is, we dont use them. As calibrating is all about „getting close to the standard“ and not about „color correcting this one scene, where the influence of the film material itself is clearly visible, and...“. Because you would be doing it with a broad brush the size of a barn door.
> Why are we talking so much about whitebalance (= greyscale curve (from black to white))?
Because its easy. And it seems to be worthwhile. In encoding nowadays, especially with HD file formats, most of the picture detail information is encoded in greys (as in „black and white“). Because its saves discspace. [Also there is a historical contingency component to it.] Those „black and white“ pictures are then „colored over“ (as in - not at all colored over, because we are „painting with light“ (=additive color space) - but mixing metaphors is just so fun). Not „colored in“. „Colored over.“
So you are saying that if this „grey“ „black and white“ base has a red, or blue, or green or candycottonribbonpurple „tint“ - it will be noticeable in the final (colorful) picture? Ah, but yes, sire, this is exactly what I‘m saying.
> Why are we talking so little about calibrating „colors“ (on top of it)
Because its hard. Still worthwhile though.
If a TV has a CMS (color management system) as in „the ability to also calibrate the three primary colors and three secondary colors at 100% saturation“ - you are doing exactly that. Calibrating six colors out of several million (depending on your color space). What fun. As they are the „end points“ it might have an impact on how all your other colors are displayed and the impact even might be positive - but hey, you are calibrating six colors.
> But how does this whole „color evaluation“ work then (I bought a meter to calibrate white balance and six colors?11!?)
Calibrating on an evaluation level is „looking at a subset of points in the color space - each hopefully representative for a certain „sector“ in the color space and then giving a probability based (percentages) assessment on color performance.
Even if you are creating a 3D LUT (beyond the scope of „normal“ calibration) and doing close to a thousand different color measurements, you are basically looking at a small sample (averaging, making decisions based on probability) compared to the actually available colors.
Be happy and rejoice, though - because with current technology colors are mixed „together“ trough basically the three primary colors - there at least is a tendency to a linear progression of color reproduction and color errors - except when there isnt - which we then call „cheap“ (for the manufacturer to buy - regardless of if he produces himself, there is a market, you see) displays.
-- BREAK TO REGULATE YOUR BREATHING, GRAB AN APPLE AND REFOCUS --
Back to practical stuff.
Picture Setting Options
Contrast - The „brightness“ of white (the entire color spectrum). In most cases.
There might not be „a“ right setting for contrast - as „more contrast is better“, but not if
- one of the color tripplets (RGB) gets overdriven, and therefore the white gets a color tint as „one of the primaries has run out of „color“. Look for at tint in the pattern you are setting it with, while adjusting the slider
- the picture becomes too bright for the roomlight you are dealing with („my eyyyyeeees!“). Some TVs (dependent on the technology) have the option to reduce backlight (or a similar equivalent) independent of Contrast in which case - turn down the backlight (adjusting contrast in addition might give you a more granular scale (backlight slider „jumps“ between larger steps)). Adjusting the backlight, in theory, shouldnt impact your TVs greyscale or color performance at all.
Brightness - The „brightness of black“ (the low end of the color spectrum).
Sharpness - Image detail reproduction/invention/blurage
Those three can be set by eye only using a calibration disk (you will use individual patterns to calibrate each of those - refer to your calibration disk provider for all „how to“ questions, after RTFM.).
How about using the free one this forum has sourced and is one of the best out there anyways?
Called AVS HD 709 ( https://www.avsforum.com/forum/139-di...libration.html ).
709 refers to rec 709 which means we are setting the HD color space with HD material, which the TV/Beamer has correctly identified as HD material and applied the right color decoding process to display it. If that chain works as expected THEORETICALLY that means, that this configuration would also be useful for SD (rec 601 among others) material IF the TV identifies and decodes that as such.
If you are using HCFR, you also might want to download the free GCD disk for the saturation sweeps and color checker patterns: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/139-di...tion-disk.html
Also one additional word concerning the „correct chain“. Before you even consider touching the settings you can calibrate by eye, make sure the TV understands the color levels the source device outputs. On most newer TVs its an „auto setting“ which „just works“ - except when it doesnt and you have to set it manually.
Problem is as follows. Colors are defined in RGB tripplets (f.e. 255,255,255) where each „primary color portion“ is described with a value from 0-255 (= 8bit), except when it isnt. Like in the (also HD) video standard, where the spectrum gets cut (bottom end and top end) to 16-235.
16-235 is the actual video standard (limited RGB), although on some Blurays you‘ll find colors above the 235 level (depending on the encoding)
0-255 is the standard used by computers (full RGB).
Point being that the limited standard reduces the potential number of colors (less disc space), BUT upon the decoding process it either gets „displayed correctly“ or it gets „expanded to get displayed correctly“ dependent on which internal processing the TV/Beamer/Monitor uses.
Its best explained by looking at the black point 0,0,0 vs 16,16,16 . Both represent the same color (black) but the TV has to know according to which signal standard he is being „fed“ with. To display the same color.
If it doesnt and your TV is „capable of displaying a correct picture, by todays even average standards for TVs“ you will either get a washed out picture, or heavy black crush depending on the two potential false options of what the TV expects and gets delivered (expects full, gets limited // expects limited, gets full).
So actually this is the first thing to check while „calibrating“ your set.
Its done by looking at the same pattern you use for calibrating brightness.
Also while calibrating it might be a good idea to „force“ a chain [only if the devices specifically state that they support BOTH options AND give you a user controllable way of setting it]. Meaning setting the TV to full, or limited (not auto) manually - while knowing which signal your source device outputs. When using a PC most graphics cards have the option to output in BOTH, so double check this side as well.
Most Bluray Players nowadays also have the option to output BOTH, so doublecheck here as well. Why do BR players have the option for both? So you can use them on older PC monitors for example, which would always expect 0-255 (full RGB).
So which one to use then? First - the one your display expects/supports. If it supports both - the one that produces the least amount of color conversions. (think 0<>16) for the material you are using most on this input chain. Blurays (Video in general) for the most part are encoded in 16-235 (limited) (or 16-255 at most), while the PC on which you are surfing the internet "for pictures“ will mostly want to output 0-255 (full).
As it is not unheard of that you might want to use a PC also to watch movies - there might be at least one „color conversion“ happening in the chain (most often done by the graphics driver without your knowledge) - so thats happening (and hopefully will do its math correctly), meaning that the actually crucial point is NOT which of them to use, but that both your source and your display device agree upon which one they are using.
Later while calibrating with a meter, its also important that you set your Calibration software to „produce“ the correct Levels (0-255 or 16-235) according to the input chain youve set (/or the TV is „detecting“), if you use it (the PC/calibration software) as a signal generator as well. (edit: This is only partly true - as there is one important exception. @Dominic Chan has explained it later on in this thread, please read up on it here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/139-di...l#post49938593 ) If you use a Bluray Calibration Disk or a HD video file as a signal generator (= to display the colours you are measuring), the player (hardware) will decide (and possibly expand) on which color space to output (source is encoded in limited (16-235) according to rec 709 spec).
Calibrating with a meter
> I vont to calibrate my whitebalance/CMS and look how my TV is performing, what should I buy?
If you don‘t want to break the bank, a i1 Display Pro (i1d3) or Colormunki Display (about the same HW, takes slower measurements) from X-Rite, according to popular opinion and the article over at Dry Creek Photo ( http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/C...nHardware.html ) - a independent site that did sample variation testing. [I was compelled to mention that the sample sizes in the article are way below the number of statistical significance, nevertheless it is the most compelling "effort" to do a comparative assessment out there. Take it with a grain of salt, maybe dont take it as gospel, but imho - read it anyhow.] Also both of these colorimeters have the advantage that they dont degrade at all (at least it would not be expected) and work with HCFR (open source calibration software) just via plug and play (no driver installs needed).
Also - you perhaps could get them calibrated more „accurately“ (always according to „presets“ > averages of panel technologies/panels/manufacturers), but when they are, they (colorimeters in general, you could buy more expensive ones as well, but mostly the i1d3) remain the standard for calibration in the field, because of their reading speed and software compatibility.
> Calibrated more accurately?
Problem with Colorimeters is, that they need correction tables according to the „spectrum of light“ they are working with. Meaning - is it a CCFL backlight (or simply „light“ when dealing with projectors), is it al LED backlight, is it a Plasma, is it a OLED, ...
Now according to Dry Geek Photo the medium deviation on the i1d3s they tested was 0,4 dE (on one display), according to resellers of the i1d3 that want to upsell you on THEIR SPECIAL calibration (mostly different device presets, but not only) its up to a delta error (dE) of 4 - but remember, even they dont care to know the exact display you are working with (panel, manufacturer) which is why you want to save up and buy this great 10.000 USD spectroradiometer which will give you more accurate measurements for up to six months until it has to be recalibrated, because its filters usually will degrade over time.
DeltaE. Its a number. *bushrollsthrough* Basically DeltaE (dE) is a formula that condenses several kinds of color errors (also color of black, greys, white) down to one number - which also includes „psycho visual“ correction for „how much a color error is humanly perceivable“.
Lower is better.
Below 3 is said to be „not humanly perceptible“. Which is BS.
Notice that in the example above dE 0,4 or 4 is a „mean deviation“, that is a number that you ought to „add“ to your own dE measurements. If you want to question your sanity.
> I vont to use a meter, which software should I use?
HCFR. ( https://www.avsforum.com/forum/139-di...-software.html ) The end. If your meter is supported. Because, see, those meter vendors sometimes like to get those juicy paybacks from the software vendors which sell their solutions for 1000s of dollars, or at least dream about that - or - if this should turn out not to be the case - HCFR cant implement them because of other reasons.
Why? Because its faster. Faster will encourage you to do more measurements, rather then getting each step spoonfed for the 100th time while in the end marveling over a comparison report, that always should show „better numbers“, even if a monkey was pressing the buttons - except those rare cases when „no improvement could be reached“, and you congratulate yourself and others for buying such a grand TV.
[Reader discretion advised, the strong recommendation towards HCFR is a strongly held subjective opinion of this guy, who has written these texts. There may be differing opinions out there.]
If you want to calibrate a 3D LUT for your devices you will not use HCFR as a software package > but you will probably read zoyds Tutorials on the matter:
> How to calibrate?
Other tutorials. Or just look at the posting below this one... ;)
Just as broad strokes.
- Position the meter. If it is not direct contact - wait until 00:00 midnight, turn off the lights and mask your windows with aluminum foil (remove roomlight). Its a standards thing. Measurement targets are calculated without roomlight influence.
- Set TV somewhat ideal for calibration (Presets, sometimes reset)
- Check if the limited RGB/full RGB chain is recognized correctly
- Do your contrast, brighness, sharpness calibration by eye - with testpatterns.
- Check Gamma (if its not anyway near the graph where you would expect it, or you can dial it in via a gamma slider - you will have a long day in front of you (10 pt greyscale calibration is your only hope))
- Calibrate Whitebalance (= Greyscale)
- Calibrate 100% saturated colors (also check Color / Hue sliders at this point)
- Calibrate Saturation Sweeps (check Color / Hue sliders at this point also)
- Do a Color Checker measurement (might want to check Color / Hue slider also, just sain‘)
If you are looking at this fun Color Triangle in your calibration software, the color slider moves ALL points closer to / farther from the center, while the Hue (=Tint) slider rotates ALL of them around the mid point (clockwise / counterclockwise). Also, what you see on the triangle doesnt include color luminance - so its just a guide, not a "picture proof". The proof is in the dE values (or in other numbers used to calculate it, which will show up in HCFR and ... GO BY dE, DONT OVERCOMPLICATE YOUR LIFE (unless you are ready to do so)).
A CMS only allows you to modify the 100% saturation points of both all primary and all secondary colors (red, green, blue, yello, cyan, magenta). After that you are hoping that your color readings fall into place.
Also in general almost all of the steps in return influence each other, so do at least two, maybe three measurement runs as you close in on the ideal configuration.
Also there are slightly different formulas to account for „perceptibility of color errors“ (those formulas that calculate the dEs). We mostly use dE2000 (redefined in the year 2000), sometimes also dEuv for looking at the whitebalance (greyscale).
> Gamma? What is Gamma?
The horror and cause of sleepless nights and endless anxiety. The cause why this whole industry is a scam and people should get fired.
There are two ways we perceive „depth“ as humans. Stereoscopically (left eye picture different from right eye picture, brain caluculates - *.error does not computeÜÜ* - the depth positioning of objects. And with the use of „shades“ of colors (farther away = darker). As we all hate stereoscopic 3D (*hate those glasses, hate even glass free*) we dont talk about it. (Ok, some people like it, ... ;) )
Gamma. Gamma is „depth perception“ caused by „color shading“ in pictures. (Actually this is wrong and the actual definition much more complex, but you know...). Psycho visual experiments showed - humans prefer gamma at - some scale, lets not talk about it - (power law) 2.2 . Great, manufacturers said and produced newer TVs/Beamers with Gamma at 2.2 - because they could.
ITU forgot to think about gamma at all when defining the rec 709 standard, so they are the ones that should get fired.
Ok, one step back. It was a problem where they had to have at least one person capable of „thinking hard“ (John Oliver segment). Which they hadn‘t at the time - so lets all pretend its excusable.
One more step back. Old CRT TVs and monitors had widely differing gamma all „about in the 2.4 range“. But with all kinds of widely differing curves from black>greys>white. Because this was the case with analog cameras as well, just in the inverse - both somewhat canceled each other out, or not, or who cares, lets party. ITU, ITU, IT...
But then all those newer TVs came with gamma set to the correct linear progression of 2.2.
And everyone was still partying. Actually until 2014. When someone noticed. The cinema standard had a defined gamma. All those years. Just sayin‘
So whats the problem here? The actual problem comes into place during post production (color correction) most of postproduction according to people who claim to know is still done/was done the entire time on production level CRTs which show a different gamma profile than those great new TVs/Beamers you can buy today.
Uh, and the scrambleing started...
Use a flat power law 2.4 some said, use a entirely different curve (close to 2.4) called bt1886, some said.
And suddenly all seemed to agree on bt1886 as a recommendation, except the TV manufacturers or the TV test sites who said *eff yo* and called it a day. Couldnt blame them.
*But, what does it mean, man?*
You can decide for yourself if you want adhere to power law 2.2, 2.4; or bt1886, or use a black compensation on the first two, or criticize bt1886 for a integrated black compensation that is jokingly exponential on displays which don‘t even need it - the result is -
That colour measurements (display performance) will be slightly different dependent on which of them you chose - BUT, gladly its just in the 0.*something* of dEs so *everything is cool man* except it isn‘t and the resulting pictures look noticeably different - with you guessing the creators intent (probably aiming for power law 2,4 or bt 1886 on Bluray movies).
Colors are mostly effected in the mid tone range.
FUN. Now, can please someone get fired?
> What about those other fun numbers that show up when I, ...
Mostly stick to deltaE numbers. It does the „importance weighing“ for you, and it is the standard at which we compare - so don‘t make it harder on you than you have to.
> Should I calibrate at 100% luminance or at 75% luminance, or at ... And what size patterns should I use - for measurements?
Answer to the first part is „it shouldnt matter“, except in those cases where it matters. Have fun. Do both! ;) We want 100% for our meters accuracy (newer ones should measure both just fine), but there are TVs where the color reproduction differs noticeably and it is to be expected that more of the real live image color spectrum will fall around the 75% mark.
Answer to the second part is „almost always“ 10% or 11% windows. On LCDs maybe full screen fields, but 10%, 11% windows are fine there too.. Problem is that some TVs will engage in undefeatable image processing especially when full screen patterns are shown. We dont want that.
> Which Tutorials should I read to learn to Calibrate?
Everything you find, really, ... First starting points would be http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10457
and the HCFR thread (maybe start from the back)
> How do we vary our backlight/contrast settings dependent on the room lighting?
First, we look at the brightness of 100% white to judge it.
There we are looking at the Color brightness number either measured in foot lambert (fL), or in candela in square meters (cd/m2).
Then we look at a table with data some folks somewhere, somehow have agreed on:
If you need a calculator thingy to convert from fL to cd/m2:
Also - we mostly use gamma 2.4 for dim environments. Thats mostly a black correction curve thing. If your TV is "good enough" you can also use it in daytime viewing. But its gamma, so go crazy and do what you want. There is no standard. Also the recommendation of the standards body came 10 years to late (*party!...*).
Just to muffle all those voices that want to make you believe that learning to calibrate is "oh so hard" and worth spending thousands of dollars on calibration training and certificates - I decided to also write a HCFR (free, also the best) calibration tutorial, because - why not.
Notice that even though you can reproduce a step by step guide - it isn't ideal, and you should read up on individual settings and color calibration terminology and also read guides and tutorials produced by others - to broaden you knowledge of what the H-E-doublehockeysticks you actually are doing. ;)
All the best,
Tutorial created with the i1d3/Colormunki colorimeter in mind.
1. Check your presets, start HCFR, check your meter settings.
Before even starting to calibrate with HCFR you ought to have put your TV in the desired preset, turned off most if not all picture enhancement options the TV provides, except those you don‘t have to turn off. But in general, or if you dont know what each of them does - you will turn off most if not all of them. Also you will already have set Contrast, Brightness and Sharpness, using the AVS HD 709 test patterns and your eyes (read the How Tos for those patterns to determine how to do that). Also you will have checked for overscan and eliminated any.
Also make sure that you DEACTIVATE any kind of ambient light sensor your TV might come with. It will change picture brightness during measurement runs and HEAVILY distort results.
- When you download the AVS HD 709 files, they come with a text file in which you‘ll find links to videos of all episodes of HD Nation on TV calibration. Watch them first. They are a good primer. -
Before starting HCFR, make sure that your colorimeter is connected. When using HCFR with the X-Rite i1 Display Pro (i1d3) or the X-Rite Colormunki Display (Colormunki), no drivers are required to be installed prior to your first start of HCFR. If you use other colorimeters or spectroradiometers drivers have to be installed and dependent on the install even put into the right folder prior to starting HCFR. Take a look at Curt Palmes Guide for a short reference on how you might come to manage to do this: http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10457
Also make sure that your Colorimeter is already positioned correctly on the TV. Or at least „somewhat correctly“, we will do the fine positioning later. The point is that some meters (like the i1d3) report different „states“ when they are closed or opened - so we do this to prevent a specific error message later („i1d3 is in ambient mode“).
When starting HCFR and creating a new project file, HCFR first asks you which pattern generator you will use. If you‘ve connected your PC to your TV via HDMI, select „view Images“, if you are using a calibration disk (AVS HD 709 ( https://www.avsforum.com/forum/139-di...libration.html ) and GCD Gamut Gallibration disk ( https://www.avsforum.com/forum/139-di...tion-disk.html ) recommended, both available for free on avsforum.com) on a Bluray player or HD Video Player choose DVD manual.
Using a PC and the built in pattern generator in HCFR will make your measurement run much faster, BUT you will (already) have to (have) tripplecheck(ed), that your PCs HDMI output doesnt introduce signal artifacts or variations that will distort your measurements.
You do this by comparing the measurement results of your PC and HCFRs pattern generator with measurement results you get from using the Calibration disks on different devices. Understand that you have to do this if you want to use HCFRs internal signal generator.
- Also at this stage we introduce the difference between signal chains in „full RGB“ and „limited RGB“ (Read the posting above for a more in depth description of full RGB vs. limited RGB). Make sure that you and the TV know, what signal chain you are using. -
Double check if you are using the limited or the full chain. Look at the PCs Graphics Card settings to see if the PC outputs PC levels (full RGB) or video levels (limited RGB). Do the same with your Player settings if you use a Bluray or HD Video player as the signal generator. If your Bluray or HD Video Player doesnt have such a setting you can assume that it outputs limited RGB. Assuming alone is not good though. :) THEN look into you TVs digital connection settings and look if the TV expects said input. The „Auto“ setting for this option (if available) in most cases will be fine, but if you can, you might even force the TV to interpret the signal specifically as full RGB or limited RGB, just to reduce the error potential.
At this point you doublecheck again with the AVS HD 709 Black levels pattern and make sure that your calibration of the black point looks right. If the full RGB or the limited RGB chain is set up incorrectly (TV expects full RGB, gets limited RGB // TV expects limited RGB, gets full RGB) you will either experience a visibly washed out image, or massive black crush (you will have to crank the brightness just to get a „(in!)correct“ calibration of the Black level patters at which point you will also see „that something is wrong“ on every color image) on the AVS HD 709 Black level patterns.
After you‘ve opened HCFR, created a new project and chose the pattern genrator you want to use - in the next step you are choosing your meter from a dropdown list. If your meter doesnt show up, something went wrong during the installation process - probably of the meters driver.
At the same screen you will also choose your correction file (if you use any). i1d3 users don‘t use separate correction files here, as the meter/HCFR has them (the basic ones) built in.
The next step (dependent on if HCFR has a specific implementation dialog for your meter) is a meter specific settings dialog. This is the place where you choose your correction „files“ (CCFL, White LED, RGB LED, plasma, OLED, projector ...) from a dropdown menu if you are a i1d3/Colormunki user. Those correction files alter the actual reported readings of your meter dependent on your „kind of display“. Read the previous posting for more detail.
In the same dialog you will also tell HCFR your i1d3s meter positioning (direct contact (display) or in beamer mode), which should remain at direct contact (display) in most cases (if the meter touches your TV screen.. ;) ). Also at this dialog you would get the „ambient mode“ error with the i1d3 if it wasn't already opened and positioned correctly on your TV, or near the TV (beamer calibration).
After that your HCFR project file opens and the first thing we do is to ignore it entirely. :)
2. Position the meter correctly, check HCFR presets
To fine position the meter in the center of your screen go to Advanced/Test Patterns/Display Patterns and use the Grid Analysis Pattern. It will display a white square in the center of you display you can use to correctly center your meter position. Later on you might even want to measure different points on the screen (reposition the meter), but to check the reproducability of readings at first it is always recommended to start with a very specific point, you will find again the next time - with the center point of the screen strongly recommended. ;)
Exit the Grid Analysis pattern with Esc.
The next step is to check our Generator and Parameter settings.
Measures/Generator/Configure will bring you to the HCFR Generator settings, which you will use only, if you‘ve told HCFR that you will use its internal pattern generator (PC connected to your screen via HDMI). If you dont, move to the next paragraph. On the video tab you will set/doublecheck two settings. The first is image area (size of the color window that pops up to be measured) which in most cases should be set to 10% (especially important for plasma TVs), the second is Gray Scale (GDI) where you can choose between 0-255 (= full RGB) and 16-235 (= limited RGB). This setting has to be set accordingly to the full/limited RGB chain you‘ve set earlier. You will set it to output the same way you‘ve set your video cards output signal in the driver settings.
Pattern intensity should for the most parts remain at 100%. It is this setting you would use to bring up different „luminance“ sweeps of color patterns (some TVs are better calibrated at 75% luminance - read the last posting for more detail). ATTENTION. When using anything other than 100% on this setting, HCFR will incorrectly report errors on saturation sweeps and color checker patterns. But greyscale and primary/secondary colors should be reported correctly. Leave it at 100% unless you know what you are doing.
Measures/Parameters will bring up a settings box where you could change how many levels you want to measure on certain sweeps. Leave it at the default (10/4/4/4) for the time being - but after you‘ve done a few calibration runs, try greyscale at 20 and saturation levels at 48 just to see how the graphs of your TV change.
Now we are looking at HCFRs main settings.
Open up Advanced/Preferences.
Then move over to the References tab.
As Color Space HDTV - REC 709 should already be selected which is good, because we are calibrating in almost all cases to the rec 709 Standard. Which is the standard also both the AVS HD 709 Calibration disk and the GCD calibration disk were created to.
You‘ll notice that in the same option dialogue you could also change the white point to something different than D65 (= white at a certain 6500 Kelvin, = a warm white). DONT do that. Unless you know exactly what you are doing. The rec 709 standard uses D65 as the white point anyhow, so why would you.
The next configuration option is Gamma Calculation - this is an important one.
This is where you will either choose „Display gamma (power law)“ and then modify the number in the „Reference Gamma“ box (to either 2.2 or 2.4), or keep using bt1886, which is the new default based on a ITU recommendation.
Notice that TVs (and projector) normally arent „used to“ being configured anywhere close to bt1886 - and you would have to use a 10point greyscale setting on your TV to change that. If your TV doesnt come with one - you are out of luck. Most TVs come factory calibrated to „about“ power law 2.2, some to power law 2.4 (Sonys in Cinema mode) and those are „more realistic goals“ to aim for at first.
To get a more detailed explaination on gamma, read the previous posting.
In the next setting you are choosing color checker patterns, which should be set to CCSG (Calman SG) with „use measured gamma“ ticked. UNLESS you arent using HCFRs integrated pattern generator and are using a calibration disk in which case set it to GCD with „use measured gamma“ checked.
The difference simply is „how many“ different color patterns you are measuring on your color checker run (which is used to asses the calibration in a last step). GCD will refer to the 24 steps color checker that is available on the GCD calibration disk. CCSG would check against 96 colors at which point - trust me - you wouldnt want to use a calibration disk where you have to switch the patterns manually.
Switch over to the Advanced Tab.
The only option we are interested here is Delta E (the Delta E calculation setting).
Leave it at recommended for the most part. If you don‘t want to overcomplicate your life, leave it at recommended, period. Recommended uses the CIE 76(uv) formula for greyscale (white balance) and the CIE 2000 formula for all color points. You might want to check your greyscale against CIE 2000 (absolute w/ gamma (as it is the most „taxing“)) at some point also. But maybe do it on a different measurement run. Leave it at recommended for the first one.
Press Ok to exit the Preferences.
On the main project Window you will notice a yellow „Play“ symbol (Adative integration). In the most current version of HCFR there is a little bug where it tends to be activated at all times. To fix this (deactivate it) activate it once (press ok), activate it again (press ok), and activate it a third time (press ok) - at which point it will be deactivated for sure... ;) Adative integration will take an average of readings during each measurement and is meant to be used with meters which don‘t do that by themselves. The i1d3/Colormunki already does it internally - so if you dont deactivate said HCFR option, all your measurements will take longer with no additional benefit.
3. The measurement run
Let get started. :)
If you are using HCFR as the pattern generator, measurements will be taken automatically, if you use a Calibration disk (DVD manual setting from before) you will be prompted to change your on screen pattern via the player you are using the calibration disk/calibration video files on - manually - before each measurement.
Adjusting Greyscale (= white balance)
We start with Greyscale. On the main project window the Grey scale tab should already be visible (selected from the Dropdown). We call this view (with the dropdown top left and all those tables for numbers to appear in) „measures view“.
In HCFR you are working with two kinds of views. The measures view, where you will see all kinds of numbers, and Graphs/Diagrams view which will get created out of those measured numbers. It is important to know how to get back to the measures view at any time, because its from there where we advance in our calibration run.
Notice that in the top row of symbols - even ABOVE our project window - one is selected. This is the measures view. The same symbol will bring you back to measures view at all times. Notice that to the right of this symbol there are other views/graphs as well, we will be using during calibration.
As Grey scale calibration in „measures view“ is already displayed - search for the Go button and press it.
You will do your first measurement run, measuring 10 step greyscale (if you are using a calibration disc, look for a video with that description)
After you‘ve finished you will be presented with a grid that has populated with numbers.
Lock for the „delta E“ row in „measures view“. This is the row you are almost solely interested in from now on. For greys, blacks, whites, colors (at 100% and different saturations), Color Checker colors - simply for everything.
Your goal at all times is to lower those delta E (dE) values to get as low as possible - and there are some Graphs/Diagrams that will help you with that.
But at first, after your first successful greyscale run, we look at two different aspects before continuing with calibration. The first is the Y value of 100 (just a bit above the delta E row) and make sure that it is in the range of 100-140 cd/m2 or 30-40 fL. If it is not, adjust your TVs backlight and or contrast (if you dont have a backlight (or equivalent) setting) until it measures in that range.
This is also how we set the TVs brightness to room light levels later on. For more details, look at the previous posting. For calibration it is important that the meter has „something to measure“ so we are making sure that we are in that brightness range (Above wouldnt be a problem, below might be (depending on your meter)).
The second aspect we look at is the Gamma curve. In the Top row with the symbols, switch from „Measures view“ to „Gamma Graph“ (hover your mouse over the icons to get their descriptions displayed). Look at the Gamma graph. If it is „in the ballpark“ of the gamma target (power law 2.2 or 2.4 or bt1886) you‘ve set you are golden. You should be able to fine adjust the vertical orientation of the line using the Gamma setting option on your TV (if the TV has such an option). Adjust the slider and redo the 10 point greyscale measurement run („Measures view“ ( Grey Scale)). Repeat until you are happy.
If your Gamma line is WIDELY off your set Gamma target (as in not only vertically misaligned, but all kinds of curvey and bendy (a little bit is ok), crossing all kinds of gamma levels (2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, ...) you will have to correct it by either using a different gamma preset (if you TV or projector provides any, most do NOT), or using the 10 pt white balance (=greyscale) configuration option on your TV (if your TV provides any, most do not). If you are of the impression that for you this step would be needed - I will not go into how its done in detail - read the latest few pages of the HCFR thread on this forums (look at the publishing date of this posting), you‘l find it described. In short, you will be raising and or lowering all colors in every one of the 10 pt white balance settings on your TV -uniformly (as in R, G and B, to the same degree) to reach the Y target calculated by HCFR. Timeconsuming stuff. So we skip it for the purpose of this tutorial.
After you‘ve checked the brighness of 100% white and your gamma curve (is it „about“ „on target“?) - you will actually start calibrating your greyscale.
- ATTENTION rec 709 whith a white point of D65 (all standards) is the configuration the color temperature warm (most often warm 2) aims at. So we are configuring the white balance for this color temperature. Not for warm1 not for neutral, not for vidid (We would have to set different white points and all of those are off standard (as in „not defined in the video file you are watching“)). -
Switch back to „Measures view/Greyscale“ and do another 10 step greyscale run, just because its so fun. :) And to associate in your mind that the „Measures view/Greyscale“ and the next graph we are looking at are closely connected. Look for the „RGB levels graph“ at the very top where all those icons are. In that view you will see each of the three color lines in your white balance in the top graph and your delta E (dE) performance of each point at the lower graph. As always you are aiming for „as low dE numbers as possible“.
- Normally you are aiming for dE lower than 3 („not visible to the human eye“ *hrm**BS**hrm*), with greyscale you are aiming at below dE 1,5 or even below dE of 1 if possible. Theoretically you would also with every color measurement, but its more reasonable to expect a TV to be able to reach a below dE of 1,5 performance in greyscale, than with colors (with colors you are mostly aiming at below dE of 3, if that even is possible.) If you are unable to reach it, dont worry, below dE of 3 is not visible to the human eye (*BS*), but greyscale will impact color performance, and if greyscale is „off“ your colors most likely will be off by even more. -
Use the top graph to determine, how you should shift your white balance settings on your TV to get all color lines closer to the center line (100%) and thereby lower dE (always the final goal).
A TV can have two different kinds of whitebalance controls. 2 pt white balance and 10 pt whitebalance. With 2pt white balance you are adjusting the color lines in the top graph at the 80% and at the 30% point specifically - with the rest of the points adjusting „arround that“ and hopefully „falling in place“; with 10pt you are adjusting the color lines at all 10 steps shown in the graph.
On a 2 pt white balance you will adjust each of the three Colors „Gain“ and „Bias/Offset“, where as „Gain“ refers to the 80% point on the line and „Bias/Offset“ refers to the 30% point on the line.
Both do influence each other. It is advisable to set Gain BEFORE Bias, because Gain influences the overall position of the line more aggressively. Also if a color line already is parallel to the 100% target line at all points, you will only use Gain to move it vertically, thereby hopefully not bending the line at any point. -
You could always do the whitebalance adjustments just by doing a 10 step greyscale run, then adjusting, then doing the entire run again - and for 2pt greyscale its actually not the worst approach, but you can also look at the 80% and the 30% points „continuously - while adjusting“ - and you most certainly would want to when performing a 10 step greyscale (calibrating 10 greyscale steps).
To look at continuos readings of one specific grey (in the example we look at 80% and 30% (= 2 pt greyscale), we switch back to the „Measures view/Grey scale“, click on the actual table cell that says 80 and then press the green „Play“ symbol in the very top row of the program next to the camera symbol. The meter then will begin to read continuously and the readings will get displayed in the „Measures view/Grey scale“ under „selected color“. To stop continuos reading, press the „Play“ button again (while active, it should have turned to an X).
- You might have to use alt+TAB and resize your windows to bring both the pattern and the HCFR window on screen at once - if you are using HCFR as the pattern generator -
Under „selected colors“ you will see the balance of the red green and blue color lines as bar graphs (think of the as the color lines from before at that specific point of grey (80% (= IRE 80))). Your goal is to lower/increase them to the an equal level of as close to the 100% target as possible.
Remember to use the „Gain“ controls for the 80% grey readings and the „Bias/Offset“ Controls for the 30% grey reading. Remember to adjust „Gain“ first. Then mark the 30 cell directly on the table, enable continuos reading and repeat (this tim adjusting the "Bias/Offset" sliders).
After you've done that, redo the 10 step greyscale calibration run (its the same Go button). To see your impact on the entire greyscale.
When the „RGB levels graph“ shows all color lines very close tho the 100% target line and the dE line graph shows very low dE readings, your job with greyscale is done.
Measuring/Adjusting primary and secondary colors
In the „Measures view“ use the dropdown menu top left to switch to „Primaries and Secondaries“. Hit Go and do a run (On the calibrations discs you are using the „color sweep“ pattern videos at 100% saturation and 100% luminance. This is different from the Color saturation pattern videos, so make sure you use the correct one). Good news, this times its only 6 individual measurements. ;)
Now - if you have no Color Mangement Setting (do adjust individual colors) on your TV all you do on that screen is to look at the delta E values and gradually adjust first the color slider, then the tint/hue slider to look at the impact you‘ll cause with those. Your guideline is the overall average dE value (average of all six colors). Your goal is to minimize it. Dont be surprised if you get the best results leaving both the color and tint/hue sliders on your TV at the default positions.
Also, it should be obvious that in order to see any changes you've made using those two sliders, you have to redo the the entire measurement run on those six colors.
If your TV offers a CMS (a setting where each of those colors can be calibrated independently), you will start taking readings in continuos mode again (like possibly before on grey scale), but this time while heaving each one of the six colors selected, while adjusting the same color in your TVs CMS settings.
- Notice that there are two kinds of CMS settings, one where each of the six colors can be adjusted by their R, G, and B levels, and one where it can be adjusted by their more „technically accurate“ color terms like color brightness and so on. The point here is simply, that HCFR has the ability to switch the displayed bar graphs under „selected color“ (where the values are changing during continuos reading) to accompany both kinds of CMS „slider systems“. You can toggle which set of bars is displayed under Advanced/Preferences/General/“Use HSV Level bars“ in the settings. -
Your goal as always is to get as low dE values for each color (or their average if your TV doesnt have a CMS option) as possible - except - that this time you have to cross reference the impact you are doing here (with both CMS settings (if available) and the Color and Hue/Tint sliders) not only with the color points at 100% saturation (which you are doing on the „Measures View/Primaries and Secondaries“ screen), but also with their lower saturation values - which we do in the next step, saturation, sweeps.
This time you can stay at the „Measures View/Primaries and Secondaries“, you will initialize the saturation measurements via „Measures/Saturations/Primary and Secondary Colors“ in the top most menu (even above the icons).
If you are using a calibration disk, at this point you are looking for the Color Saturation Sweep pattern. Be warned, this time around you will take 20 individual measurements.
- If you should make a mistake (while using a calibration disc and manually switching patterns) on one color, just continue with the measurements you can correct it later via the „Measures view/[COLOR] saturation scale“ Drop down menu (retake that colors measurements -
After all this the only thing you really are interested in is the „Saturation - shift graph“ accessible at the top, on the right of the „Masures view“ Icon.
This graph will show you the saturation targets (goal = 100% target on each saturation level) at the top - which is less interesting, whats more interesting this time, is the graph at the bottom, which will show you the delta E values for each of the saturation points you just measured. In one graph. At once.
As always your goal is to get as low dE values as possible.
This time around your only way to influence them - again - are the color and hue/tint sliders on your TV - and sometimes, on TVs with a CMS „taking“ higher dE values for the 100% saturation measurements of the six colors („Measures view/Primaries and Secondaries“) might lower other saturation measurements of that color. This last one is highly trial and error and you might want to start by writing down each color adjustment you made for each of the six colors in your CMS and then reseting the color individually, or even all at once - and retaking ALL color saturation sweeps.
- Theoretically it shouldn't happen (increasing 100% saturation dE > lowering other dEs in that colors saturation progression) and it shouldn't be necessary, but sometimes - the default configuration for the six colors at 100% saturation already aims at minimizing the dEs on the entire saturation progression and therefore could be „better“ than the more „spot on“ one you created in the CMS -
To know which way to adjust the color and hue/tint sliders (if at all), you should already have gotten a clue dependent on the experiments at the „Measures view/Primaries and Secondaries“ stage, but to get a more visual help, switch to the CIE Diagram graph (icon up top, to the right of the „Measures view“ icon).
The CIE graph shows a triangle consisting of all points you measured and their point targets according to the standard (rec 709). The primary and secondary colors you measured construct the ends of the triangle as well as the half points of each side - as far away from the center point as intendedly possible (because all those points are 100% saturated). In the center point of the triangle you should find all of your greyscale measurements - and leading from the center point to the 100% saturation points of each of the six primary/secondary colors your saturation sweep measurements (0%, 25%, 50%, and so on...).
Point being that with the color slider in your TVs settings you move ALL saturation points (all colors) away from/closer to the center and with the hue/tint slider you rotate ALL of them around the center point (clockwise/counterclockwise).
Also understand that this triangle isnt exactly showing you your TVs color performance, because it is missing one vital part and that is color luminance.
So again - to evaluate your changes, use the dE values (this time on the „Saturation - shift graph“ (the bottom one)), not the triangle. The triangle view can help to lower dE though. If at all possible.
The last step is to run a color checker over the final calibration. So switch to „Measures view“ once more and select Color Checker from the drop down menu. Hit go. And be prepared for either 24 or 96 individual measurements, dependent on which Color Checker you chose in the settings. On the calibration discs (GDC) you are looking for the 24 step color checker patterns.
And again, you guessed it - after that is finished, you are cross referencing against the color, hue/tint sliders, and possibly (if your TV has color management system - controls (CMS)) the CMS settings for the six color points at 100% saturation.
Always look at the dE values. Always aim for below dE of 3 or lower. If your TV/beamer isnt capable of colors as accurate, repeat to yourself that „consumer TV level of accuracy“ is „generally below dE of 10 when calibrated“ so anything below that isnt half bad (*BS*), dE of below 5 is considered „good“ (*BS*) and even dE of 15 might have been seen...
edit: January 2017 -
@Dominic Chan has provided an important correction to one of the "when to set the HCFR pattern generator to 16-235 or 0-255" cases - and several useful tips for doing calibrations with HCFR in general. Please make sure you read them in addition to this tutorial.
Feedback and corrections are welcome - and will be edited into the original topic, as this one sees desirable. :)
edit: Added an entire HCFR calibration tutorial. Because, why not. Free the knowledge.
Thank you for the time spent writing this thread.
Hopefully rookies will read it.
This tutorial this needs quite alot of reworking.
Points that need addressing;
Keep the subject matter on track.
Be careful not to waffle.
Spelling and gramma.
Facts, be sure about the subject matter. If you are not sure and can only retort half the information, research more until you have the subject understood, then use the source as references should the subject be contested.
Have you viewed Mr Chens video guides? Maybe you should if you haven't.
Sorry to be critical, a good effort.
I havent, and I wont spend the 100 dollars (its not much in comparison, I know) to do so.
I would like for this to be a community effort though (find the flaws I have in the text, point them out, maybe even suggest how to address them). If you find flaws - please provide at least a rough "sketch" of what you deem inaccurate. I will do my best to check its validity and correct any errors (there shouldn't be any obvious ones in the guide right now, from my understanding on the subject matter).
The attitude to "pander" to people who provide "paid services and goods" instead of "knowledge or guidance" is exactly what I came to dislike about the calibration community in the first place. If you ask the right people you will get some answers, but broadly speaking, no one is too unhappy, if certain aspects arent discussed at all.
About the "meandering" and straying off track - I tried to find a balance between educating the reader in those places where at least a base level of theoretical knowledge is required to build a broad understanding of what he/she is doing. Without going too deep, where it wouldnt be beneficial and keeping it in a language I would use to talk to a friend, to be accessible at the same time.
I therefore had to shoehorn in certain aspects at certain, not too opportune times. Some of this could be improved (like the full RGB/limited RGB sections which turned out a bit too self referential following a circular logic). I will look into it.
Where I've not explained concepts fully, or by using allegories that might only be "some what applicable" I've stated so in the text itself. Its not that I don't want to explain in more detail and be more accurate instead of using comparative language - its that explaining concepts in two half sentences for the purpose of this thread seemed more attractive to me than having to go into the technical detail each time. Dont take this only as a "weakness" of this guide, its somewhat intended. People should be encouraged to find out more on their own - but for the purpose of learning how to calibrate a device it might not be top priority.
At that point they might even pay up those 100 USD for the time limited access to Mr Chens videos alone - but it bothers me, that this community thinks that everyone should have to.
As far as grammar and speeeeelling is concerned - some of it is intentionally "silly" because the subject matter is so "dry" that I had to hide at least some jokes in there - some of it obviously is unintentional - mostly because I'm not a native english speaker, and I've composed those texts in two singular sittings to keep them focused toward an end point. I'm doing well at the certification levels for the english language at the higher mastery levels though.. ;) Certifications - let me tell you, those are FUN.. ;)
Just mumbling "this guide is not sufficient" is probably the worst thing you can do to me - and the premise of it, that calibrating a TV/beamer/monitor can be taught in two (somewhat lengthy) forum posts. It can.
Its criticism on an ivory tower level, where the accuser doesnt even bother to unveil specific problems that he/she might have found, but is criticizing the "formal education" of the accused.
Coincidentally - this is a rhetorics gambit as well. As old as Aristotle or the sophists.
There is actually a fair bit of free information available here: http://www.lightillusion.com/calibration_guides.html
Including a full (in-depth) guide on using the free LightSpace DPS for calibration: http://www.lightillusion.com/manual_...ots_guide.html
Here's some feedback
I have read and reflected on your postings. This can be a frustrating business and/or hobby. There is always something to learn or there is someone in the peanut gallery criticizing you (only to find out they haven't a clue of what they are talking about) but you strive to have patience. The frustration can set in to the point of anger and where one seeks to lash out.
Video calibration is like a diamond; having many facets to the whole. Some focus on LUTs ,while others on hardware and so on. Eventually, we all find our place. Some teach, some do and the fortunate ones do both.
In your postings, you stated that you would accept feedback, so I'll give you a personal overview; so here I go.
In the section, “What is calibrating - part 2” & “Whats D65?”,
you made these statements;
“*Heck* warm2 (D65) is the white balance standard for close to EVERY (still used) color space defined by men. On earth. Up till now.”
“Point being - nowadays in production (close to) everything is calibrated to D65. The cameras, the screener monitors, the monitors in the production facilities, the encoding „file format“, blurays, ... EVERYTHING.”
You might want to do some research on the video standards of the Orient, where 9300K is the standard.
In the section, “Why are we talking so much about whitebalance (= greyscale curve (from black to white))?” , you make this statement;
"In encoding nowadays, especially with HD file formats, most of the picture detail information is encoded in greys (as in „black and white“). Because its saves discspace."
More research is needed here. Television was originally black and white. In the 40's there were a number of standards competing for dominancy; some which required the abandonment of the present technologies in favour of the technologies that where being proposed . In the early 50's it was the United states government (FCC), that decided that the video standards would comply to address legacy issues, whereby presently used B&W televisions and the newer color technologies worked on the same system. Since then video standards have always been a B&W base with color masking for lack a of a simpler definition, it was the job of the manufacture to design and adjust their displays to the standards. It is self-evident that a B&W display has only electron gun and a color displays has three (Red, Green & Blue) but getting the color system to conform required the ability to mimic the B&W system. Check out Modern Marvel – Televisions; excellent history overview.
In your section, “Picture Setting Options”, you compare standards of a personal computer display versus a video display. Lets do a quick comparison. The white point of a computer display is 5400K verses the D65 for the 709 standard. As you already pointed out the computer's brightness/contrast range is measured 0-255 verses the BT-709 of 16-235. In many ways you are comparing “Apples to Oranges”. Computers were never really designed for watching movies. The fact that someone did find a way does not mean the standards are interchangeable. Many people use their computers as a form of a media player. The forums are inundated with request for help because they are having issues. I have personally watched this occur through the years even to the point when video was introduced to computers. I have been around before computers even had a BIOS. (Look up the “Altair 8800”).
There are very excellent reasons for the video signal to be 16-235. This is well known in the community but I would highly recommend that you research this for yourself, as there is much to be learnt on the journey than just what lies at the destination .
In the section, “Picture Setting Options”, you give the following suggestion to “force“ a chain.
I would not recommend that you change (force) the video equipment to operate in a manner in which is was not designed to do. Encouraging others to do so could put you in a position of liability. Are you going to pay for the damages to another's display because you instructed them to “force” a particular condition?
In the section, “Calibrating with a meter”, you refer to an article by Dry Creek Photo. I wish they would remove this from the net. It is a study that plagued with issues. Anyone with even the most elementary skills in experimentation would know to conduct sampling with an equal number of units, not 4 of one and 10 of another, then 17. This report show nothing more than a level of incompetence that is almost hard to describe. If I were Dry Creek Photo I would be embarrassed to even suggest presenting it to the public. I wish people would stop using this as if it had any validity.
In the section, “ DeltaWHAT?” I do agree with you. The standard, “Below 3 is said to be “not humanly perceptible“, is questionable. Not to be accused of “Just your personal opinion”, I recommend a PDF from Xrite (“Delta E_H_T”), which I believe is a truer standard regarding the DeltaE issue.
On the subject of which software, it is a personal choice. Each software package has their strengths and weaknesses. From my personal opinion, Chromapure has excellent documentation while I find it lacks in certain datafields that I personally desire. CalMAN has an excellent ability to allow me to configure the workflows to my taste but it is pathetically poor for documentation. If I were to purchase this software for my company to use I would be fired for even considering it, due to the documentation issue. (Without documentation, you only have half of the software package). Again, these are my personal opinions. The aforementioned two packages are commercial based packages. They will push the market's ability to pay; profit is the name of the game. There biggest fear is that they may have is that someone might come along and provide a better package while undercutting them out of the market.
In the freeware arena there is a number of packages available. By your postings, you favour HCFR. I too have tried it and would recommend it for those on a shoestring budget. I would like to pose one question to those who use such packages. “When have you sent any money to those who do the R&D for the software that you are using for free? How about putting your money where your mouth is and properly support the package”. It is easy to stand on mount high and criticize. It has been said “ For the finger you point at others there are three pointing back at you”.
I empathizes for your view of the community in a whole. The forum is designed for the interchange of ideas and information. Unfortunately, there are many out here who have an almost militant stance on various topics. I tend to ignore them and focus on individuals such as “Rayjr, Michael TLV, Chad B, GeorgeAB, TomHuffman and Doug Blackburn to mention a few.
Although your posting appear to have an undertone of anger, I would like to give a word of advice. Be patient with those who share their knowledge with you. They can only give from their perspective of the world that they have experienced and know and of the advice that they give you, research it to see if it is true and how useful it will be to you. Like the saying of the twelve fish in a fish bowl, “they all see the fish bowl differently”.
If you are serious about making changes, then pick a topic and convince others to see it from your perspective then move onto another.
As for Michael Chen's videos, have you ever considered that others find them to be well done? Did you buy a subscription? Don't put Micheal Chen's videos down. He is offering a product and service for a reasonable price. There are many who want everything for free but he has put a lot of time and effort into them and many have benefited from them.
Frustrating as this all seems, “Remember you can't push a rope”.
Thank you for your input - here is my immediate reaction to the points brought up.
Will add "western" to "all color standards" (as well as point to your posting).
Will add "and because of historical reasons" to the "greyscale section.
Will add "This is a subjective preference" to the HCFR recommendation.
edit: Will rewrite the "force" part of the tutorial.
I will not remove the link to the Dry Geeks Article - but I will add a line that it isnt statistically representative in a scientific sense - because regardless of individual sample size - the sample size was just too small anyways to look for that level of statistical proof.
For me the story that article tells is actually a different one. A significant number of "calibrators in the industry" (Los Angeles even), don't care at all to recalibrate their meters and underestimate the impact of filter degradation over time.
Also, investing large amounts of money with a "one time investment" mindset may turn out to be more harmfull than anything.
Also the Dry Geek Photo averaging effort points to three more "potential trends".
1. Trusting your calibration guy may be more problematic that you'd think.
2. Trusting in Brand names is futile when for a large part of the industries existence meter degradation was that much of a problem and significant changes might even be hidden in "Revision 2a" revamps of products, which aren't openly advertised.
3. Price is absolutely no indicator of quality, because of the (small) market size.
As for PC monitors adhering to a white point of 5400K. No. Afaik this conflict was already "resolved" a long time ago in the real world scenario, when Apple decided to also adhere to D65 (because reproducibility was seen as more important than potentials psycho visual concepts in that area). Nowadays when going for "digital first" production workflows you are using the sRGB standard (with white at D65) - and curse the iPads that work with 7000K whites as well as ignore all legacy problems older monitors might have. Adobe RGB (if seen as a potential alternative) also uses D65.
Mr Chens Videos may very well be worth the price of "admission" but as with many things in life I don't book courses from "Gurus" in the scene. Its more a principles thing really.
You can always make up a standard a pretend people will observe it, but I think the reality is that if you checked consume rmonitors throughout every Asian manufacturer, none of them would have whites that consistently read 9300 degrees K right out of the box. And they'd also be set at at least 60-70 foot-lamberts, which is (as my friend the Video Janitor would say) "retina-searing levels."
If it ain't 30fL and 6500°, along with a nominal 2.2-2.4 gamma, then it ain't kosher... at least, according to SMPTE and the EBU.
I want to wear a T-shirt that says:
It's not just a good idea... it's the law.
Anybody who goes against this standard does so at their own peril, because you're going to wind up seeing pictures that the filmmakers and showrunners never intended for you to see.
I'm pretty sure the white point for DCI P3 (digital cinema) isn't D65, and that's a pretty important one.
XYZ is the colour space of digital cinema projection, with a white point of 0.3333, 0.3333.
The fact that you only mention two standards is interesting. I have included a link of the standards of the world.
Many times North Americans think that they are the center of the universe.
[I'd be pretty sure the EBU and recent SMPTE standards are spec'd in cd/m^2 ]
"I will not remove the link to the Dry Geeks Article - but I will add a line that it isnt statistically representative in a scientific sense - because regardless of individual sample size - the sample size was just too small anyways to look for that level of statistical proof."
Theoretically, a small sample will reflect the greater whole but I do not want to congest this forum regarding statistical analysis and theories. In the past I had a debate with ConnecTEDDD which lasted far beyond what it was worth over the same report. In my former career, I was an SPC Coordinator, (SPC = Statistical Process Control), whereby I daily created and evaluated statistical data. I am able to notice bad data and the Dry Creek Photo Report is one of them. It is your prerogative to do as you feel what is best. Remember that you are dealing with a commercial base market. I personally feel that Dry Creek Photo might have ulterior motives for the report in question but that is my personal opinion.
Regarding equipment re-certification, again commercial based. We as the consumer need to be aware of "Marketing Hype". Money is the issue. Since video calibration is an industry that is yet to be government controlled, this is not a requirement. If it does become regulated, individuals such as yourself will be out in the cold. If you do want to continue in this field than you will be jumping through hoops to get in and to stay in. There will be no vocalizing of pet peeves and conducting calibrations as you feel they should be done. As for how the world is now, there are people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, re-certification issues are going to be subject to adjustment on the priority list.
I will agree with you that there is a trend to utilize the D65 white point within the computer sector. You tend to sight Apple as a bases for the change. In reality Apple MAC computers now hold only 28.5% of the market share. You have also noted that the iPad's are not adhering to the so called standard. This is typical of Apple. Their business model is to constantly change the hardware base while offering minimal support, forcing you to purchase new equipment. As an example, see if they will change the battery in a iPad. You will probable be told that they can't but they will offer you a $100.00 credit towards the purchase of a new one. Yet there are Ma & Pa shops that offer this service for $75.00, while you wait. What is wrong with this? Keep in mind that standards can change with a stroke of a pen. The standards you enjoy today can be gone tomorrow. Many of us have been around to see this happen before our eyes.
I might be wrong but I seem to detect anger within your postings. The world does not change fast enough for some people and people will do what they have to in order to survive. Give your head a shake son, "Your not in Kansas anymore".I know one thing, you will do what you want to do but expect a lot of frustration, as I tried to tell you before, "You can't push a rope".
Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
A Lion AV Consultants affiliate
"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
Also light output standards range from 80cd/m up to 150cd/m. Also there are many valid reasons for using D50 for print and photography.
Actually, 2.4 has kind of taken over here in LA. I'm a big Calman fan, BTW, and often recommend your approach to my clients here in LA.
This is one reason the movie studios started the Digital Cinema Initiative, because this was a private industry group with an imperative to come up with a standard in 2 or 3 years, which they did. If they had waited for SMPTE to come up with a standard, we might still be waiting for D-Cinema to get established.
Hi Marc - some Asia areas to indeed use D93, but I have to say I do not actually know if that is a 'standard' or just something they seem to prefer...
It is something I keep meaning to research fully, but have never got around to...
And the spec for brightness, as far as I know from all the specification documents I have read, is from 70 to 100 Nits for a Grade-1 monitor.
Grade-2 range is 70 to 200 Nits
Grade-3 70 to 250, or even 400 Nits in poor environments.
Thank you Harlekin for all your work on this. I am new to self calibration arena and find this info helpful and easy to follow, so keep it up the good work.
The fact that the Recommended Practice never really got finished and basically sat there from 1995 on tells you that there were ill feelings involved. My information came from somebody on the committee, and also two of the manufacturers that submitted products, plus an ASC member. No specifics, more like "oh, god, what a nightmare those meetings were" kind of comment.
It's fairly incredible that, here we are almost literally 20 years later, and there still has been no update on the recommended practices for HD and UHD display devices. I have no doubt that SMPTE is busily working on new standards, but the more they delay, the more new stuff comes out to make the old stuff obsolete. Ya gotta wonder why.
It's also very telling that the studios completely bypassed SMPTE for the theatrical DCI standards. Look at that and tell me that isn't unusual.
Human nature can tend to exaggerate differences between strong willed individuals on a committee, especially years after the event.
RP166 discusses basic fundamental principles relating to human perception of electronic displays that still apply today, as long as the reader understands the characteristics of the display technology of the day, NTSC CRT monitors. The only updates I've seen have been discussed in the 'SMPTE Journal.' One source was work the ITU published in their 'ITU-R BT.710-4 'Subjective Assessment Methods For Image Quality In High-Definition Television.' However, it should be kept in mind that that recommendation was for methods used to evaluate consumer display quality, rather than in a professional broadcast venue.
Wondering why there hasn't been an update would be strictly speculation. Perhaps other priorities have superseded the topic. SMPTE is a non-profit trade association with certain limited resources and its own set of priorities.
I also find it unexpected that SMPTE was not the body officially behind the DCI effort. Perhaps it was a time issue, since SMPTE working groups can take longer than some interested parties would like.
I haven't had a chance to read past initial post... however, I'd like to get started (on a budget).
Is this the tool to get: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
X-Rite EODIS3 i1Display Pro
I just want to thank the OP for putting this together. I recently added a projector to the house and used some settings from projector central to calibrate it and it looks so good I can't even watch my panasonic ST50 and Sony NX720 now without looking how off they are compared to that. The Sony just looks blue now and the Panny skin tones look green. I tried to look up calibration settings for those and they are so different depending on who did it, that it drove me here. With this write up I think there is enough here to get me started. I learned to use room eq wizard with a SPL meter and a BFD pro so I can learn this.
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