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Free Calibration/Installation on High Ticket Items?

325 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  malichai
When our home is finished, hopefully in August, the plan is to go Qualia for the theater room (thanks everyone for recommending Dennis Erskine), with a good speaker package, screen, receiver, video processor, dvd player, etc, then that 70" Sony SXRD for our great room, hooked up to our existing system. This is probably a 50+k ticket here. Is it unreasonable to hope for a free installation/ISF calibration from whomever we purchase all of this from? We're shooting to pick everything up from an ISF certified seller. Our local A/V shop doesn't have any ISF certified people (which is a bummer since they sell Denon, Sony, and PSB Speakers, the 3 main brands we'll be using, and they have extremely competitive prices). At what point should I start collecting bids from shops? I'm going to assume there won't be much variation in prices since the Qualia and SRXD will probably be the same price no matter who sells them.
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I doubt you would go a free calibration with the purchase. I am sure they will set it up for you and do some basic calibration like adjusting contrast and brightness and some other items, but I doubt they would do a full ISF calibration. Then again you never know
Thanks Daniel. There is a shop in Overland Park that does free ISF calibrations on all of their television/projector sales above 3k. Unfortunately, they don't sell Sony products.
Originally posted by malichai
I'm going to assume there won't be much variation in prices since the Qualia and SRXD will probably be the same price no matter who sells them.
Bad assumption

Ask for free ISF calibration. After all they WILL get their money out of you
Originally posted by malichai
This is probably a 50+k ticket here.

To say the least! You spec'ed $40k worth of display alone :) Add the rest at comparable quality levels and the '+' in your equation will loom large :)

Hrm. I'm not an audiophile whatsoever, and I listened to a ton of different speakers of many different price ranges, and ended up like PSB Images the best. I'd planned on outfitting the theater room with PSB Platinums. Hrm... I guess that with speakers+video alone I'm looking at...57ish w/o including the components. So, I guess that'd be 60k+. Thanks for the heads up there.
In my mind you have three processes... among others.

Hardware acquisition



I would obtain quotations on all three (via different vendors) which should ensure fair pricing and at that point the decision would rely more on their professionalism than price.
My calibrator said he worked with some dealers who frequently threw in free calibration on the really high-ticket displays.

Keep in mind that an ISF certified dealer doesn't equate to a high level of expertise in actual calibration experience. It only means that they participated in the ISF training session. You should ask for references and/or calibration experience with your unit. To answer your original question, I consider that high $ items should include this type of service. Furthermore, all ISF-trained dealers should offer a discounted fee for products purchased from them.
Thanks, ya'll have been helpful. My plan then is to get quotes from 3 different dealers and have each of them give me quotes on prices for equipment, prices for installation, prices for calibration, and a price if I was to use them for all 3 services. How's that sound?
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