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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This hasn't been brought up in a while, so since it happened again, I thought I'd mention it.


All names deleted to protect the guilty..:)


I sold a fairly high end CRT projector recently, and the customer apparently decided to hire an ISF guy to calibrate it.


The ISF guy came to the home, and called another tech that knows me for assistance. The ISF guy then apparently proceeds to ask questions like 'How do I adjust astig?, What is flare', etc.


No offense to that particular calibrator, but hey people, a CRT projector is a really complex device. If you don't know what the basic adjustments are on the neck, please don't offer your services until you've worked on a number of CRT's on your own.


It doesn't matter the brand, but whether it's a Marquee, Barco, NEC or Sony, it's quite easy to mess up the critical alignments within the menus and necks of the tubes if you dive in blindly, even when asking the right questions.


End users, if you hear questions like this being asked, it's a good indication that the ISF guy has little or no CRT experience.


I believe that all of the people involved here are forum members, and I'm not trying to nail anyone to the cross, thus no names are being mentioned, what I am trying to avoid is the end call to me from the customer of:


'Curt, this projector looks like crap, there must be something wrong with it"


:)


Curt
 

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Is is wrong for an individual to consider himself and ISF guy when he does not have a good working knowledge of important adjustments for a good calibration such as astig and flare?


Maybe I'm wrong and don't have a complete understanding of what the ISF titlle stands for.


John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, that's exactly the issue.


Apparently for $750.00 USD or so you can take an ISF course and get a piece of paper that says you're now a calibrator. The two day course has little or no hands on experience, and I believe mainly is theory on how to get a good color calibration, but without hands on experience, about all you're qualified for is digitals. And even with the digitals, a whole lot of hours of hands on experience is required IMHO.


It's the same as an engineer that can get a degree from a university, but doesn't ever get to hold a soldering iron..:). OK, so not every engineer needs to know how to solder, but it helps..:)



Curt
 

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I'm very dissapointed to hear this.


Given the diversity of the video technology that has entered the home theater market in recent years it sounds like it's time for three levels of ISF certification


1. ISF- Dgital

2. ISF - CRT (this would include pj's and tube type displays)

3. ISF - Master (crt & digital)



The above suggestion could be completely wrong because I really don't know what an ISF calibrator is suppose to be capable of. I though I'd give it a shot anyway.


John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it really is a good idea, but I can't see it happening. You'd have to change the whole ISF course around.


Can't we start with some ACCURATE bulb life specs for digitals, that would prove to be a lot more interesting..:)


Curt
 

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Curt,

I get the same calls but mine are down right sad.


'I hired a ISF calibrator for the day, hes been here for 3 hrs and he thinks the remote is broke and the projector is now shutting down, can you walk him through it?'


If they ask for a passcode and dont have a service remote I wouldnt let him use a screwdriver to calibrate. Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a really good point. If they don't know the password, send them packing..:)


Curt
 

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Doug maybe you should let him use a screwdriver to calibrate....ZZZAAAPPP!!!!!!!!!


John
 

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with all the diploma mills out there you can get a degree to anything which entitles the applicant to nothing except filling some "professors" pockets with hard cold cash and they still don,t know the business end of a screw driver, its like my kid turned sixteen and wants to drive, the driving schools around here anyway want 500 to 800 bucks for classroom ed. which is supplemented with about 20 hrs actually driving, we stuck the money in our pockets (where it belongs) and got a driving manual and my kid drives everyday(practical experience) so who would be the better driver in the short term a kid sitting in classroom or a kid getting actual wheel time every day? same type of thing curt is saying...................
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So the next time I get into an accident in Penticton with some punk hitting me, I'll know who to blame..;)


Curt
 

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Hmmm... In my mind, ISF gives somebody the background knowledge to understand color, calibration, and signal display accuracy - the "mental tools" to understand display calibration - in general. The specific knowledge of how to calibrate specific devices is a whole other ball of wax. CRT's strike me as a specialty, much like a mechanic who works on all makes and models of car stuff, but might really know automatic transmissions...


As users (consumers) I think we need to take responsibility for hiring people who have the knowlege and experience to do the job right... but, the professionals need to be honest about what they have experience doing.


In your case, clearly that guy shouldn't have been doing what he was doing - especially not for pay - and he should have made his customer clearly aware that he had no experience with the customer's display device. It borders on unethical in my mind. I'm pretty sure if the guy I hired to tweak my CRT was on the phone with somebody asking questions, I would have showed him the door. On the other hand, I would have asked about his CRT experience before I ever hired him.


SC
 

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It takes way more than two day's to master a NEC. IT takes way more than two day's to understand what your looking at when your hooked up to a scope. It takes a way more than two day's to learn a colorimeter and use of it. IMHO that $750.00 course may qualify someone to adjust a direct view television for the shelf at BB. I would be willing to bet money that at least half of the "hard core" hobbiest's here could satisfactorily set up a projector with what they've learned from experiance and this forum. Rant off.


Chip
 

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I agree with Chip.


I have learned enough about my ECP on the forum to get it looking really good. My only problem is that I don't have any reference points because the only PJ I have ever seen in action is my own. The only way I can speculate that it's the best is because I finally got it to the point where I just couldn't squeeze anymore out of it after tweaking over and over again.


John
 

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Glad you brought this up Curt. This is real simple folks...The ISF certification is categorically useless without the following resume questions adequately answered:

1)How many CRT PJs have you personally installed, calibrated and aligned?

2)How many different projector makes are you intimitely familiar with, or better still are qualified factory service for?

3)How many Digital makes are you qualified for (see above)....?

4)Can you provide references to these facts?


Being introduced to a colorimeter and learning about a few hidden service menu codes and so forth do NOT qualify you to jack with someone's $20,000 precision video display instrument. Lesson learned....beware the imposter.

You will be far better off to completely disregard ISF certifications and look for someone who is very, very familiar with either this technology or the particular make you have (both is better). This will be money well spent.
 

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As a relatively young ISF'er- I came in at the tail-end of the CRT boom- I was fortunate enough to have John Gannon take me under his wing and show me what is REALLY involved to properly calibrate a CRT. I also had to spend countless hour on my own practicing over, and over, and over again.

I had to take CRT calibration seminars from Joe Kane and Joel Silver, and even then- I'd never put myself in the same category as Doug or Curt or Terry.


CRT calibration is all about experience, if you don't have it, you shouldn't be "learning" on someone else's "baby" period.


On the flip-side, as a calibrator- it's difficult to know all codes for all devices. I have to calibrate everything from a Toshiba LCD panel to a Pioneer plasma, to Sony's Qualia- that's alot of information to remember.


My biggest beef with the current state of the ISF is that there are hundreds of new calibrators churned-out every year, all told about the vast amounts of money that can be made doing this (I don't know what planet their from, but it sure 'aint a cash-cow). So every year we get throngs of "green" calibrators who are told to be willing to try anything, and that all calibrations are basically the same (yeah right)- these are the ones that I think we hear about. Let's face it, you don't hear stories like the one that Curt relayed about guys like Ken Whitcomb, or Jim Doolittle, or Jim Burns, or Kevin Miller...it's usually someone you've never heard of.


And then there's the hundreds that reply: " Oh, yeah, I'm (we're) ISF- we can do that for you too, that'll be $XXX.." There are so many out there that really do nothing with the certification to stay on top of the current displays, or current display technologies- as well as the ones that have been around for 50 years.


I agree with many of you concerning this, you should ask for references, or better yet, ask if you can see another one of X display that this person has already calibrated- at least then you can see what you're about to take on, plus you can see what to expect (or whether you need to call someone else.).


Just my .02 as one of those blasted ISF guys, jeez, youngsters these days!


:)


Dan
 

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OH BOY Dare I even go there lol I hope not.


This sounds so damn familiure and pretty much cause my last big theater to go haywire. I sure as hope hell it wasnt my job there were enough problems that arose after the install and I have all but forgotten about it until I read this post. I better go have a drink LOL
 

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Vic,

Ill be coming into Scottsdale soon, I finally ran down the last known NEC CRT engineer today that I worked with at NEC and yep hes there in Scottsdale.

I want to pick his brain on a couple of issues. I can let you know when. Doug
 

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I think in general an isf calibrator should be able to use a colorimeter to set up proper grey scale. This is the single most important adjustment that they can do for you. If they don't have references of work they have performed or if they don't have a high quality color analyzer, I wouldn't hire them!


Most of you out there are watching projectors with improper color balance, just wait until you see D65!


Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ben, that's true for sure, but......


Most people hire ISF guys to tweak the whole unit, convergence, astig, focus, you name it, and that's where a lot of them run into trouble.


"What do you mean there's three lenses?"..;)


Curt
 
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