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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The foundational and primary goal of display calibration is image fidelity (faithfulness to the original program). Video is a mass communication medium. The objective of any communication medium is to convey an original message as accurately and completely as possible. Any alteration of the message becomes a distortion of the original intent. Example: the parlor game where a circle of people pass a whispered message, delivered to the first person in the circle, then whispered to the next, on around the circle, and finally the last person announces what he thinks the message was. Invariably, each person alters the message slightly until the final recipient announces a garbled version that typically bears little resemblance to the original.


The video industry is governed and guided by standards, engineering guidelines, and recommended practices, defined by organizations such as: the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), etc. These standards and practices are intended to encourage and preserve: signal, equipment, and program accuracy, integrity, unity, consistency, and repeatability, all along the chain from program production, through post-production, to exhibition/broadcast/tape/DVD/etc., and finally to the audience (consumer). If at any step along this path, industry standards are deviated from, the program can become diSt0rtEddd.


Video displays used by program professionals are designed, manufactured and calibrated to tightly adhere to industry standards. They include in their design certain features that allow technicians to adjust them periodically (sometimes each day), using reference test signals, to insure picture accuracy. Such professional video monitors cost up to tens of thousands of dollars for relatively small sized screens. They must perform reliably for years, sometimes operating around the clock.


Consumer displays typically are designed, manufactured and adjusted at the factory to appeal to focus groups and the uninformed masses. Few consumers have ever seen a reference picture displayed on a calibrated broadcast or post-production monitor. Therefore, consumers are left to guess what their TV picture is supposed to look like.


Consumer TVs and projectors cost far less than professional displays. Manufacturers often cut corners to reduce costs in order to compete with one another in the marketplace. They also adjust their products at the factory to attract attention to their TVs on a show floor alongside samples of their competitors' wares. This could be compared to straining one's voice in a shouting match. Such over-accentuated pictures may dazzle the casual shopper but are not representative of correct pictures for regular viewing in the home. Video industry standards and practices are regularly deviated from and ignored by manufacturers. Fortunately, most consumer displays include adjustment features that allow someone who knows what they're doing to make the picture behave closer to proper standards.


Display calibration is simply making adjustments to the video device in order to achieve a more accurate picture. The artists who produce video programs want their intended audience to see what they saw on their calibrated professional monitors. Uncalibrated consumer displays cannot convey faithfully what the program originator intended. A distorted picture is the result. Artistic integrity is lost. Distortion reduces the value of any program and prevents the owner of the equipment from fully enjoying the capabilities of the display device they have purchased. The picture may be "watchable" and even enjoyable to an individual viewer- up to a point. Most consumers are never aware just how much better their programs can look if they were able to experience the picture the originator of the program envisioned.


Some consumers may actually prefer a distorted picture. For more discriminating viewers, there are resources available that help bring correct imaging into their home. Professional results can be obtained from consumer display devices with the right understanding, skills and tools. Reference test signals and simple tutorial programs have become available on DVD for many years to help the consumer make some picture adjustments. These programs are limited, however. The most complete resource for optimizing consumer displays is available in the form of professional calibration services. Such services can be performed by consumers, but only after much study, investment in technical instruments, suitable aptitude, and perseverance. Hiring a trained professional is much less daunting to the average display owner.


In any case, the display owner must keep in mind that the goal of calibration is not to achieve any individual's preconceived notion of what a "good" image should look like. The originator of a given video program is the one responsible for determining how the image is supposed to appear. The goal of calibration is to make the display behave as much like a professional monitor as possible. Ideally, the display should serve as a neutral and accurate communicator of the video signals delivered for the viewer. Only then can artistic integrity, display accuracy, and image fidelity be completely enjoyed. In the end, it's really all about correctly communicating the art.


Best regards and beautiful pictures,

G. Alan Brown, President

CinemaQuest, Inc.

A Lion AV Consultants Affiliate


"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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This should, without question, be a sticky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
....as if that will ever stop the daily "calibration is a marketing fraud" posts

My post was intended to educate and clarify common misunderstanding in both the consumer and professional ranks of the home theater community about the nature of display calibration. Hopefully, rational videophiles and technicians will benefit from having the information to link to. Frankly, I've grown weary of explaining this topic over and over again in various threads on the forum, so at least I will benefit from use of the link.


"Fraud?" I don't expect such cynicism to ever stop. It has been my observation that there is a flaw in human nature that shows up in some folks periodically. That flaw is revealed when facts are ignored when they conflict with preconceived, misbegotten opinions, or threaten a self-serving agenda. Our culture has spawned many attitudes of resentment toward a product or service that costs more than certain individuals can afford or find worthy of the expense. Rather than accepting that they simply have different priorities, or admiring the quality or benefits of said product or service, and working constructively toward acquiring the means to procure it, some types of personalities default to immature resentment and unwarranted criticism. Crybabies are difficult to ignore, but they sometimes persist until they get some attention. Every public forum must tolerate such behavior, up to a point. The reasonable and rational majority will respond to logic and authoritative facts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by krasmuzik /forum/post/13711332


....as if that will ever stop the daily "calibration is a marketing fraud" posts

At least we can copy/paste a link instead of re-hashing it 10 billion times.
 

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I would like to have you calibrators list some of the operating parameters checked/adjusted during a calibration. Listed in easy to understand terms if possible.

For example:

-check adjust average brightness for XX foot candles, or lumens

-Color tracking at some number of brightness levels

-Grey scale tracking at some number of brightness levels

-D6500, what that will deliver to their eyes.

-What equipment will be used, and why.


What I am suggesting if you can spell out what you are going to do, then the curious can understand what you are offering to do. Not just come in their house and adjust the normal user controls to some un-specified format. Its the sales pitch. Convincing any interested propsective buyer of your services, that your services are more than a KaBookie dance.


Perhaps in this thread, you can compile a great sales tool for yourselves, and a URL to point others towards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It would be contrary to the rules of the forum to turn this thread into a sales tool for specific calibration services. It's my position that the details you suggest should be discussed with the individual calibrator(s) you are considering. There is more general detail about the kinds of items included in a typical calibration service over at: www.isfforum.com . I know some calibrators provide a list of service features and steps on their company web sites.


Much depends upon the capabilities and features of the specific TV or projector, whether certain service components could even be performed. Each calibrator includes certain work as part of their "basic service," and other work as optional upgrades. Time is a factor. There's no one formula that works for every display device or every calibrator.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by me75006 /forum/post/13713235


I would like to have you calibrators list some of the operating parameters checked/adjusted during a calibration. Listed in easy to understand terms if possible.

For example:

-check adjust average brightness for XX foot candles, or lumens

-Color tracking at some number of brightness levels

-Grey scale tracking at some number of brightness levels

-D6500, what that will deliver to their eyes.

-What equipment will be used, and why.


What I am suggesting if you can spell out what you are going to do, then the curious can understand what you are offering to do. Not just come in their house and adjust the normal user controls to some un-specified format. Its the sales pitch. Convincing any interested propsective buyer of your services, that your services are more than a KaBookie dance.


Perhaps in this thread, you can compile a great sales tool for yourselves, and a URL to point others towards.

The world is buyer beware.


If you are going to drop change on calibration, you should be the one who knows what questions to ask and who you trust.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by me75006 /forum/post/13713235


I would like to have you calibrators list some of the operating parameters checked/adjusted during a calibration. Listed in easy to understand terms if possible.

For example:

-check adjust average brightness for XX foot candles, or lumens

-Color tracking at some number of brightness levels

-Grey scale tracking at some number of brightness levels

-D6500, what that will deliver to their eyes.

-What equipment will be used, and why.


What I am suggesting if you can spell out what you are going to do, then the curious can understand what you are offering to do. Not just come in their house and adjust the normal user controls to some un-specified format. Its the sales pitch. Convincing any interested propsective buyer of your services, that your services are more than a KaBookie dance.


Perhaps in this thread, you can compile a great sales tool for yourselves, and a URL to point others towards.

This has been done many times in many discussions here and elsewhere. Many of the more prominent calibrators have exactly what you request on their web sites. I discuss exactly what I do with every client so that they have a clear idea of what they are getting before we ever agree to do service for them. Most others do the same. If you run into someone who does not then avoid them. Ask questions of the potential calibrators in your area. I am sure you will both find the answers you seek and see that those answers differentiate the pros from the pretenders.


PS: It may be picking nits, but there is not a standard called D6500. It makes me a little crazy to see calibration specialists use the term. There is 6500K, which is a color temperature, but is an ambiguous target. The specification in all of the standards is D65, which has colorimetry defined by a specific coordinate. This is the target white that we actually shoot for.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by krasmuzik /forum/post/13711332


....as if that will ever stop the daily "calibration is a marketing fraud" posts


...and cynicism demonstrates a lack of vision and leadership.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB /forum/post/13698499



Some consumers may actually prefer a distorted picture. For more discriminating viewers, there are resources available that help bring correct imaging into their home. Professional results can be obtained from consumer display devices with the right understanding, skills and tools. Reference test signals and simple tutorial programs have become available on DVD for many years to help the consumer make some picture adjustments.


The goal of calibration is to make the display behave as much like a professional monitor as possible. Ideally, the display should serve as a neutral and accurate communicator of the video signals delivered for the viewer. Only then can artistic integrity, display accuracy, and image fidelity be completely enjoyed. In the end, it's really all about correctly communicating the art.


Best regards and beautiful pictures,

G. Alan Brown, President

CinemaQuest, Inc.


"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"


And ironically, the consumer is not to blame. As the media and our government spin events to get us to believe lies, so have the manufacturers of TVs by factory presetting them with these overly bright, overlysaturated garish looking pictures.


Perception IS reality - to the uninformed. Televisions are supposed to look like that! Anything else looks dull or like the set is malfunctioning. The human mind adapts to this mockery. As long as people can see and hear Brian Williams deliver the news every evening, they don't care that his hair is almost black and his face looks like the sunset over Key West! The set came that way, so how could something be wrong with it?


GeorgeAB you nailed it with your intial post, but trying to undo the above will continue to be a far greater challenge than calibrating any actual TV display.


As I may have said before, overcoming doubt & indifference should be a mandatory part of ISF training!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-6500 /forum/post/13714832


And ironically, the consumer is not to blame. As the media and our government spin events to get us to believe lies, so have the manufacturers of TVs by factory presetting them with these overly bright, overlysaturated garish looking pictures.


Perception IS reality - to the uninformed. Televisions are supposed to look like that! Anything else looks dull or like the set is malfunctioning. The human mind adapts to this mockery. As long as people can see and hear Brian Williams deliver the news every evening, they don't care that his hair is almost black and his face looks like the sunset over Key West! The set came that way, so how could something be wrong with it?


GeorgeAB you nailed it with your intial post, but trying to undo the above will continue to be a far greater challenge than calibrating any actual TV display.


As I may have said before, overcoming doubt & indifference should be a mandatory part of ISF training!

Why is anyone to be blamed? Consumers who buy what is pushed at them without looking beyond the surface get what they bargained for. The manufacturers are just doing what they know works with poorly informed consumers. Those that do their homework and look for more can get it. I don't see it as trying to undo the market. We simply educate and serve those who are interested in more. There is a distribution of degrees of demand for accurate imaging just like there is a distribution of intelligence. Remember, by definition, half of the population is of below average intelligence. Probably the same holds true for naivete' among consumers. That leaves quite a few people who might be interested in more than what the vendors give them out of the box.
 

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Quote:
"Fraud?" I don't expect such cynicism to ever stop. It has been my observation that there is a flaw in human nature that shows up in some folks periodically. That flaw is revealed when facts are ignored when they conflict with preconceived, misbegotten, opinions, or threaten a self-serving agenda. Our culture has spawned many attitudes of resentment toward a product or service that costs more than certain individuals can afford or find worthy of the expense. Rather than accepting that they simply have different priorities, or admiring the quality or benefits of said product or service, and working constructively toward acquiring the means to procure it, some types of personalities default to immature resentment and unwarranted criticism. Crybabies are difficult to ignore, but they sometimes persist until they get some attention. Every public forum must tolerate such behavior, up to a point. The reasonable and rational majority will respond to logic and authoritative facts.

I agree totally !!!!

I get reactions like that when people see i charge 14.99 for a lamb souvlaki dinner, cry babies.


Athanasios
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by me75006 /forum/post/13713235


I would like to have you calibrators list some of the operating parameters checked/adjusted during a calibration. Listed in easy to understand terms if possible.

For example:

-check adjust average brightness for XX foot candles, or lumens

-Color tracking at some number of brightness levels

-Grey scale tracking at some number of brightness levels

-D6500, what that will deliver to their eyes.

-What equipment will be used, and why.


What I am suggesting if you can spell out what you are going to do, then the curious can understand what you are offering to do. Not just come in their house and adjust the normal user controls to some un-specified format. Its the sales pitch. Convincing any interested propsective buyer of your services, that your services are more than a KaBookie dance.


Perhaps in this thread, you can compile a great sales tool for yourselves, and a URL to point others towards.


A great calibrator Crag Rounds who specializes in Mitsubishi sets and also has done my Marquee 8000 explains very well on his web site what he actually does and why.

http://www.cir-engineering.com/services_01.php


lots of great info there.


Athanasios
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti /forum/post/13714080


The world is buyer beware.


If you are going to drop change on calibration, you should be the one who knows what questions to ask and who you trust.

Oh I did, I used Avical & was completely satisfied. I would have loved to have seen a "sticky" on what an ISF calibration was all about, without having to research a large collection of threads, many of which were, (and still are), over my head. Trying to sort through the offerings found at the different sites was overwhelming at the start, but I sensed there was a valuble service out there.

I understand the large variety of display devices out there, and that there are variances in calibration routines pending device type & model. From my consumers point of view, to be able to read "bulleted" points describing calibration services, is educational & helps me see what I am buying. As was stated, these things have been posted "ad nauseum", but I think a sticky would cut down the "I don't belive it" or "is it worthwhile" posts.

Of course, this is just my 2cents worth.

Regards.
 

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GeorgeAB, thank you for all your contributions to the betterment of general understanding, you are providing a wonderful database to expand insight in the field of video displays; highly appreciated!
 

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a member has been asked to leave the thread
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamui /forum/post/13715805


GeorgeAB, thank you for all your contributions to the betterment of general understanding, you are providing a wonderful database to expand insight in the field of video displays; highly appreciated!

^^^
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-6500 /forum/post/13714832


... overcoming doubt & indifference should be a mandatory part of ISF training!

Greetings


This area is touched on in ISF training, although perhaps not stressed as much as it should be. There is a lot of material to cover in two days and many attending the class still have the "deer in headlights" look to them.


The THX Video training does put far more emphasis on educating the consumer/client. Understanding the question is more important than simply presenting an answer that people do not understand. Without understanding, a correct answer has no more value than any of the other incorrect answers out there. In all likelihood, it can be perceived to be worse than some wrong answers.


Understanding is key, and thus education is key. The educated client also is then in a far better position to explain to their friends why they got such services in the first place. This is akin to teaching people how to fish rather than just giving them fish to eat.


Regards
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV /forum/post/13717499


Greetings


This area is touched on in ISF training, although perhaps not stressed as much as it should be. There is a lot of material to cover in two days and many attending the class still have the "deer in headlights" look to them.


The THX Video training does put far more emphasis on educating the consumer/client. Understanding the question is more important than simply presenting an answer that people do not understand. Without understanding, a correct answer has no more value than any of the other incorrect answers out there. In all likelihood, it can be perceived to be worse than some wrong answers.


Understanding is key, and thus education is key. The educated client also is then in a far better position to explain to their friends why they got such services in the first place. This is akin to teaching people how to fish rather than just giving them fish to eat.


Regards

Then what part of:


"To render a more accurate picture"

"To ensure conformity to technical standards"

or

"To ensure that your TV neither adds nor takes away anything from the intended appearance of the presented material"


Does Joe/Jane consumer(or some of my friends) not get?


I also think there's an element of fear at play here.
 
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