Originally Posted by Javaman12
While I certainly respect the time and effort that Archon put into his settings, they are not for everyone, in every situation. Posters have respectfully said that they needed to tweak this or that and as you said " I am not saying his calibration is perfect for ALL 7100's". As far as it being "any more visually appealing", I've got to think that a competent technician, who is ISF certified and using the proper equipment, will be worth the $300.
What do you think the ISF tech is going to do differently than what I am doing? The pluses of a ISF tech is they may have better equipment and they are working the calibration to your particular TV. Neither of these hurt, but anyone (including myself and yourself) can go and get a ISF certification. It can increase your understanding of the subject matter, but it sure as heck does not guarantee you are going to get a better calibration than me, Wildgator25, or anyone else with equipment. It sure does not guarantee they will automatically be great calibrators AND familiar with your particular TV. The last is extremely important and fundamental to getting the best of your particular TV.
It is like learning a language, learning how to cook, build a computer, or anything else. There are many ways to learn something and not limited by taking classes. I am the type I have to get my hands dirty or I will not be good at anything I learn. I could take classes, excel at the classes and pass with ease, but then I try to do what I learn and I suck at it the first couple of times.
So okay, you spend $300+ and a tech shows up at your door. Cool, he/she has nice equipment and get starts going to town on setting your TV. Here are possible issues you will encounter when he is done:
-He or she may have a preference which is far different than yours. You may find the picture rather dark or too bright. The may find the colors look muted to you now because though accurate, they may lack pop.
-You may find if they are not extremely familiar with your TV, they may skip things if they cannot figure it out (or consider things "good enough").
-You can take 10 calibrators, put them on the very same TV, and each one will set the TV differently.
In other words, there are many variables to them and you are paying $300 or more for results you may or may not like. My friend spent $400 on a calibration of his Plasma TV, the guy supposedly had a Jetti Spectrophotometer and claimed to be real familiar with his particular TV. Him, his wife, myself, and other friends who have seen his TV are not impressed at all with the tech's settings. They look dark and muted and he actually was running his with his own settings. Effectively, he wasted $400 and the tech did a bang up job.
So ISF Tech advantages:
-Possibly can do a better job if they have better equipment and knowledge of your TV.
-Are working on your particular TV, so can be
more accurate for your particular TV.
-Some are very good and if you get lucky, you can get a person who can get your TV about 95%+ as good as it will get.
ISF Tech Disadvantages:
-One and done
-Risk involved (wasted $300+)
-A stranger in your home seeing all of your goodies (may be a concern for some)
-Inconsistent ISF tech quality...you might get a newbie who passed the courses and has equipment, but has never calibrated many TV sets and not many varieties of TVs.
-May set your TV too dark, too bright, or not anything how you would like it
Using my (or anyone else's settings) advantages:
-Does not cost you a dime. (Don't like it? Tweak it or use something else) 0 risk
-Tech support is completely free
-No one in your home and takes a few minutes to put settings in your TV.
-Can calibrate over again and improve the settings further
-Completely familiar with your panel and TV
Disadvantages of the average Joe's settings:
-May not be accurate 100%
-Maybe not as good of equipment so unable to tweak quite as far
But it is like audio equipment, construction equipment. So okay, you are new to wood cutting and you buy the best table saw in the world and it cuts within .0005 mm tolerance. Does this make you an automatic professional wood cutter? Or better than a person who has cut wood for 10 years on even cheap saws? Nope.
I completely disagree that my settings are "not for everybody". I have never heard anyone say they are worse than the factory settings. I do not have a $7000 colorimeter, but my i1DP3 was calibrated to one so should not be far behind one. I am willing to bet even the best calibrators in the world with the best equipment are simply not going to do much better than me on my own TV. So if they get 5-10% better results than me....you are not going to see it with your eyes. The software will let you know it's closer to perfect, but your eyes are very limited. If I was at your home, I may be able to dial in your settings a little further, but the difference would be so subtle your eyes might miss it unless you compare the old settings to new settings.
This is not at all a plug at ISF calibrators, some are amazing and I am sure their knowledge would be great to acquire. This is also not tooting my own horn, my settings are not perfect.
But...define perfect? There can be a lot of diminishing returns without knowing certain things about this. I hope this helps!