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Discussion Starter #1
FOlks...maybe Im just a plain moron, but I am scared to death of buying a rear projection CRT because I simply do not want to try and hunt down a reputable and reliable ISF calibration person to fine tune my TV.


Let me ask you folks somethin here......why do rear projection CRTs need to be professionally calibrated?.........how come i didnt need to calibrate my 32' CRT....or my Rear Projection LCD Hitachi V500 50' tv??


what's the deal with ISF calibration....and why couldnt I just do it myself???



Oh and finally, how much does a service like this cost???...approximately?....and why so expensive??
 

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You don't need it, until you get one. Then you'll always need it ;) You are not a moron.


Expect 350 to 500 or more, according to how proud your ISF is of himself.


The money is not about time - you're buying knowledge & renting his 20-40k box of instruments.


Good Luck


E
 

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!?...what!!? .....who's gonna pay $500 to tweak a $1200 TV?? I dont understand it



Also, what is it they actually do that justifies this $500??....do they hook up monitoring equiptment to your TV?....Is it something that I could just do?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
!?...what!!? .....who's gonna pay $500 to tweak a $1200 TV?? I dont understand it



Also, what is it they actually do that justifies this $500??....do they hook up monitoring equiptment to your TV?....Is it something that I could just do?
It's very time consuming when done right, hence the price tag.
 

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I paid my calibrator $450 to completely calibrate my lcdrp and partially calibrate my crtrp. He also intalled a ND filter in my lcdrp. He actually hooks up expensive equipment that sends signals that other equipment analyzes and then he makes the proper adjustments in a service menu not normally accesible to the average consumer. I don't agree that once you get it you need it. I have a another hd crt that could use some calibrating but it looks just fine. My lcdrp and crt rp both look worlds better and it is very comforting knowing that I am closer to seeing certain programming as the director intended his audience to view it. It is definitely something you wouldn't be able to do on your own. Alot of it is a learned trade so you usually want to go with an experienced calibrator. It also wasn't just an wham, bam thank you ma'am job either. It took about 8 hours just to do one set. Calibrating is usually needed because all sets come from the manufacturer set to be viewed in a electronics under harsh lighting conditions. Calibrating sets the tv to proper settings for home viewing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
!?...what!!? .....who's gonna pay $500 to tweak a $1200 TV?? I dont understand it



Also, what is it they actually do that justifies this $500??....do they hook up monitoring equiptment to your TV?....Is it something that I could just do?
Time, equipment and skill are the reasons for the cost. It is not generally something people could do without practice, training, tools and aptitude. The reason many people do this is to obtain a huge improvement in picture quality. Audio calibration/setup is also available for similar improvements. Here are some comments from my customers

http://www.accucal.org/testimonials.htm
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
!?...what!!? .....who's gonna pay $500 to tweak a $1200 TV?? I dont understand it


Invite 2 plumbers to crawl around under your house for an afternoon. You'll get a similar feeling.


I had sticker shock my first time (before and after the work was done) but I still use my guy every year from now on.


Perhaps a 2500 TV would make it feel better. I don't know what to tell ya. If he ever hires you for something - share the love ;)


E
 

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I lowered my fees about a year ago ($300CDN for a CRT RP) because I think it makes sense for the fee to be a reasonable percentage of the average purchase price of a new TV. And really, I'd like to see as many people as possible with calibrated displays. The more displays you calibrate, the more people they tell, and it all comes back to you anyway. I might be crazy, but I'd rather calibrate 10 displays at $300, rather than 6 at $500 because that means there are 4 more people out there enjoying a calibrated display!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok ok I kind of see what you all mean but I still dont understand that a TV comes with all these VIDEO Adjustment screens in the mENU, why cant I simply tweak the sharpness, brightness, color, contrast, picture, tint, ect....until I got the perfect picture?


What is an ISF tech doing more that I couldnt simply do with trial and error tweaking?


Im not being resistant here, Im just trying to understand the investment
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
ok ok I kind of see what you all mean but I still dont understand that a TV comes with all these VIDEO Adjustment screens in the mENU, why cant I simply tweak the sharpness, brightness, color, contrast, picture, tint, ect....until I got the perfect picture?


What is an ISF tech doing more that I couldnt simply do with trial and error tweaking?


Im not being resistant here, Im just trying to understand the investment
You really do need special equipment and know how to get your set tweaked right. You can get certain things close (brightness/black level, yes... less so contrast/white level, IMO) with a test disc, but everything else really does require more than just your eye. If you are ISF-ing a CRT RP, then with things like focus, convergence, geometry... you won't even have any idea how to adjust without knowledge of your TV's service menu (which is usually hidden anyway.)


Even the most tech savvy television owner (not to mention the non-tech savvy) does not have access to the information (from ISF) and certainly not the know how. So... you may not understand all the tweaks being done (although they do like to explain things when they do them), but your eye will be very pleased when they are done!


Trial and error will not get you close. ISF calibration really is worth it. The difference is huge and the cost is fair for what you get. (I think especially if you are going with a CRT RP or microdisplay RP.)


But honestly... no need to be frightened. If you can afford the cost, do it. If you cannot... start a "swear jar" and save to do it later!


-Terry
 

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I always wondered, if you have a power hit, would that restore the calibrated settings to default configuration? I would certainly hope not, considering the time/money invested.
 

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The calibrations are stored in EEPROM or flash memory - they will survive power loss.


I've had my two most recent sets calibrated, and it was definitely worth it. ESPECIALLY for my first one, a CRT RPTV. Wow, what a difference.


For a $1200 set, maybe you would be happy with using AVIA or Digital Video Essentials. But the ISF calibrators not only have special equipment (for reading color temperature, etc.), but they also know how to use the service menu for adjustments not made available to the user. I considered it money well spent.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
ok ok I kind of see what you all mean but I still dont understand that a TV comes with all these VIDEO Adjustment screens in the mENU, why cant I simply tweak the sharpness, brightness, color, contrast, picture, tint, ect....until I got the perfect picture?


What is an ISF tech doing more that I couldnt simply do with trial and error tweaking?


Im not being resistant here, Im just trying to understand the investment
Your television has a hidden service menu. To give you an example, my Sony has a secret menu that will pop up if you type in a certain sequence on the remote, and I imagine it works similarly for other TVs. Believe me, you don't want to screw around in the service menu unless you know what you're doing. There are all kinds of ways to mess up your TV if you're not careful.


An ISF technician usually adjusts settings that deal with picture geometry, gray-scale, and color. He has many expensive instruments so that your TV will display an accurate picture when he is done. You cannot achieve the same result without the test equipment and the knowledge.


Whether you can appreciate the improved picture depends upon you, but there is no question that the typical ISF technician is offering a service that is reasonably priced for the time/expertise involved.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
ok ok I kind of see what you all mean but I still dont understand that a TV comes with all these VIDEO Adjustment screens in the mENU, why cant I simply tweak the sharpness, brightness, color, contrast, picture, tint, ect....until I got the perfect picture?


What is an ISF tech doing more that I couldnt simply do with trial and error tweaking?


Im not being resistant here, Im just trying to understand the investment
Couple of thoughts:


1) A much less expensive option is to buy and use a calibration DVD such as AVIA or Sound & Vision Mag. You will not get the same result as ISF, but you will hugely improve picture vs "out of box" to a very satisfactory level. Plus you can run it again whenever you want for free.


2) At $500 per year for ISF, it won't take long before you have spent thousands on your $1200 TV. You could take a look at some of the latest digital RPJ sets such as JVC 1080p LCOS. The 6500K settings on these "out of the box" is already very close. If you ever do get a calibration, you are much less likely to need to do it a second time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I dont understand something else here...when you say per year......PER YEAR???



why would I want to calibrate the TV a second time after I've already done it once???


thank you and pardon my ignorance


And just out of curiousity are any of you here actually ISF technicians?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
I dont understand something else here...when you say per year......PER YEAR???



why would I want to calibrate the TV a second time after I've already done it once???


thank you and pardon my ignorance


And just out of curiousity are any of you here actually ISF technicians?
Dude your not ignorant.......You're CHEAP!!!!! :D
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFudge
I dont understand something else here...when you say per year......PER YEAR???



why would I want to calibrate the TV a second time after I've already done it once???


thank you and pardon my ignorance


And just out of curiousity are any of you here actually ISF technicians?
I'm not an ISF technician. And I expect others will be able to answer this question better than I, but I'll take a shot.


TV settings may drift over time. This was especially true of CRT RPTVs which would drift out of convergence and had to be routinely re-converged.


Also, some other technologies tend to wear unevenly. But I can't imagine why the average consumer would need to recalibrate a non-CRT every year. Periodically, maybe, but not every year. And given what I know about the technology, I would expect that LCD, LCOS, and DLP would probably hold their calibration for a long time, As long as the first calibration is done once the bulb reaches a consistent state.


I'm not sure how bulb changes effect the calibration, though. As long as the new bulb has the same characteristics as the old one (after the first few hours), then I don't think you'd need to re-calibrate, but I'm not an expert on that.
 
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