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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What I am trying to say in my subject is not intended to re-think the standards for an ISF calibrators nor am I looking to insult anyone. This is strictly my personal experience and those seeking an ISF calibrator may want to consider before deciding to use a particular ISF member. I have used 4 ISF calibrators in the past couple of years. Two of which did not come from a electrical or repair back ground and two which did. The two that did not, one of them is a writer for a well known video publication and the other is supposedly a well respected ISF calibrator. The two in MY past which I will NOT mention any names. were less than stellar. For example.

Approximately 3 weeks ago this individual came to my house which I spent the money to put him up in a hotel for 2 days, that's right 2 days. The projector NEC PG10 already had been calibrated by Chuck Williams(on tour and couldn't come) but because I had moved it I decided to have it re-calibrated. This Guy came over and calibrated the set and when he came over the next day to make changes he wiped out the complete memory. Now since he was not familiar with how to re-enstate the information even though I had the manuals. He then went on the phone to someone in California that costed me almost $70.00! in long distance calls. I ended up with the projector not working at all at teh end and him telling me that the projector was broken!. I finally had to ask him to leave my house at 11:30 PM. Not to mention that I had to take off from work, (more loss of money). When he tried setting up my grey scale on the first day it ended up with a brown tint and yes he had all the right tools.The other ISF calibrator when he was over when I had an NEC GP5000 earlier on, he way afraid to touch the unit because he was not use to working on (then) an older unit. As of this moment forward my criteria in what I personally look for in an ISF calibrator is if they have a repair or electronical background. These are my parameters, Why well, the other two guys which I will happily mention which are Chuck Williams and Kevin Dulieu fit this bill. When I had called Chuck to come back to work on my projector (As mentioned I've used him in the past) he was to busy doing one ISF tour after the other and for those in the know, you realize he was away for a few months. We tried several times to connect but it didn't happen so he recommended Kevin Dulieu. Kevin was amazing to say the least. He came in set up my projector like no other (except for Chuck) I find them equal in performance. What I did like was the grey scale that Kevin did on my projector not only did he perform the ISF greyscale but because he come from a technical background he went into my projector and worked on it with an oscilloscope which completely removed the brown tint and the grey scale between what he did mechanically and electronically was dead on. There was no drama he flew in and flew out the same day. The moral to my story is without a well grounded foundation being an ISF calibrator alone may be and I'm saying may be like having bacon without the eggs.

Special thanks to Kevin Dulieu for a truly awesome job. and a special shout out to Chuck Williams for his recommendation.


Johnboy
 

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I also spoke with many ISFers to calibrate my 6PG over the past couple weeks.i know some of them are highly recommended from people on this board,and I'm sure would have done a great job.but in the end iv decided to wait for Chuck to calibrate my PJ.


iv been building for a year.....a couple more months wont kill me.
 

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I guess I'm lucky. I've only had my NEC XG110 setup once and it was by Chuck Williams. Even my girlfriend noticed the difference in the picture quality. There's no doubt that when I retube my CRT in a couple of years that I will have Chuck back to do another setup/calibration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GScott, Mercury,


That's a wise choice you both are making. I was very fortunate that Chuck also but his stamp of approval on Kevin. The guy is a wealth of information like Chuck. Chuck has such a great name and rightfully so. to have him recommend someone else to replace him because he was to busy meant to me that Kevin had to meet his standard. I know Chuck pretty well hes done my projector and others that i've recommend so I felt comfortable with his recommendation. So basically if its good enough for Chuck then its good enough for me. Not to take away from Chuck but I would not hesitate to also recommend Kevin. he's completely thorough and very nice guy as well.


JohnBoy
 

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John,

glad to hear that you've got your projector back up and running. The un named calibrator is really a nice guy with good intent, he just seems to make these kind of mistakes from time to time. :rolleyes:


I agree that there should be a level of technical understanding as a requirement, but there are truly some guys who can really calibrate CERTAIN projectors without the technical (electronic) know how. The biggest problem that I hear about is when someone shows up as an EXPERT to perform a calibration, and they are not that familiar with the particular brand/model projector. And in most cases the customer does not know what they have actually paid for. So, would that projector be properly calibrated?


You've giving me an opportunity to correct the problem with your NEC, but as I explained to you "I'm not a NEC expert" (and I own one), so you were better off with Kevin. I don't think it's fair that there are "calibrators" who are not really familiar with the product, yet they claim to be "experts", I still see this as ripping off the customer. Or that indivudual should wear a T-shirt indicating that they're in training, and not charge the expert rate for a novice performance.


Chuck Williams is a whole difference level of calibrator. He is first an electronic technician with many years of experience, plus ISF certified. He is an expert in this field in many aspects. This level of indivdual should be in demand, but not confused with the general "calibrator". On the other hand there are "calibrators" floating around who do not know what a transistor looks like :eek:. I've known Chuck for almost 20 years. It would always be better to wait on a very qualified person like Chuck, because there could be other technical issues with the projector, a novice could either calibrate on top of a problem, or pretend it does'nt exist.


There are also upgrades and tech mods that could be performed on the projector before the calibration. Would the calibrator know about them or be able to perform them is also a question.


$$$ attracts "calibrators" - just like **** attracts flies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Mike,


I know you know the hell I went through and I agree he is a nice guy but a customer does not pay for nice guyness. Your comments are very well put. That's why from here forward a person like Chuck or should I say Chuck Williams and Kevin Dulieu and are the only people I will consider. Without the proper foundation you can't build a strong house. I need to know when some walks into my house that they will have full command of any situation that may be thrown at them and more importantly that they have enough "mechanical knowledge" to avoid or create a situation.


JohnBoy
 

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Guys!


Perhaps the smart thing would be to pre-qualify an ISFer by asking how many of your model of projector has he worked with. If you get a low number in reply you may want to continue shopping...... I have been selling and servicing projectors since 1975, all the way back to the Advent era; when confronted by an NEC several years ago, I was essentially baffled; the controls were not intuitive, and the manuals were badly translated, give me a Marquee please!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tim,


I agree with you "pre-qualifying is the way to go. But since this guy was highly recommended by someone who has the identical setup as me and this guy had worked on the other NEC How could I have known other wise. But Tim you come from a repair background as well right so I'm sure you understand. Bottom line before an ISF'r hangs his shingle he should have a repair background IMHO. You can't specialize in being a heart surgeon without first being a regular surgeon, Anyway I'm just exhaling after such a roller coaster ride. At least my projector was never broken as I suspected, even though I was told otherwise by this particular ISF'r. Anyway I forgot to also thank MP (Mike Parker) if your listening thank you also very much. Mike walked me through the projector with my scaler and assured me the projector was not damaged at all. It was just that the memory was wiped out.


JohnBoy :rolleyes:
 

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Can anyone tell me how to get in touch with Kevin Dulieu? I've had Chuck in once before and was incredibly pleased (NEC 9PG), and I just bought his fan mod. I'd just like to have Kevin's info for the old address book. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi David,


Kevin's Dulieu number is (401) 235 - 1128.

FYI I also have Chuck's fan mod and I'm extremely pleased with it. I believe if you do a search he is listed under KevD in this forum but I'm not sure.


JohnBoy
 

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David,


You can also reach Kevin at (401) 225-3500. Just tell him I gave you the number. He's a EE with many years of experience calibrating projectors. You'll be pleased with his work.


johnboy,


Kevin told me he did your work and you were happy. I didn't realize you were exstatic. ;) You aren't the first to throw that "other" guy out of your house. He's pretty eccentric and I haven't been all that impressed when I've seen his results. Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Bill,


I'm not surprised about the other guy even though his intentions are good.

Yes I am extremely happy with what Kevin did and anyone here is welcomed to see my setup in action if ever in the NY, area. Chuck and Kevin are tops for me. I can't say enough. If I seem over the top its probably because I went through a tough time with the "other Guy". My friend who frequents this forum who happens to have the same setup as I is going through his hell right now because the same guy blew his board! He's having a tough time getting his parts! You want more, here it is. The best is when I asked him to leave and told him to be careful going up the stairs because I have the type of staircase that has glass on the sides. He got so jammed up in his head that he swung the door open so hard that he broke my granite custom made heat cover and also broke a custom made mask that was made to my likeness from an uncle sculpturer of mine that gave it to us as a wedding gift 22 years ago. How's that one for you! All in 48 hours. So yes I am happy on many levels. First that the projector is not broken and never was, second, Kevin has calibrated the hell out of it and its as good as it gets for this projector which has a stunning picture and third I was able to deal with a normal person. Per your statement you obviously know who I dealt with so you know. But the end of all this is that I'll be at the movies come this weekend at home :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jeff,


Chuck's e-mail is [email protected]

If he's not available don't hesitate to use Kevin


JohnBoy
 

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First, all ISF certified calibrators are not equal. To become certified you have only to take the 2 day course. That's it. You pay your money, attend, and you are certified. Buy a color meter and a couple of DVD setup disks and you have the requisite calibration equipment. Do you need more?. A High Def signal generator is needed to calibrate a H Def capable display.


Now all you need is patience. Set contrast, black level, color and tint, turn detail down, and use the meter to set gray scale at points near the end. Plot points across the field. see what you get. Try two other points. Get the closest and straightest line to 6500K. If you take the course, have the equipment, it is relatively easy. You do need a dark room.


Now setting up a projector is not an ISF calibration. Only the bit about contrast, black level, gray scale etc is the same.


Projector set up is a whole different ball game.


ISF doesn't train you for this although for a fee they offer an 11/2 hr course on FPJ set up. Learned a few things from it. Fact is, put a few good FPJ set up people in the same room and they will learn from each other. Put 2 in the same room and they will learn from each other. Lots of tricks to learn.


Do you have to be a board tech. Hell no. You have to know the machine you are setting up. You have to know the processor you are using. And you have to know how to set up the machine you are setting up.


Each brand of machine is quite different and different set up rules apply. Some basic things apply to each.


The nice guy referred to above is a great gray scale calibrator. He thinks Joe Kane is the messiah. However he is not a front projector set up person.


He can set the gray scale on my front and rear projector anytime. But keep him away from convergence and keep him away from FPJ set up.


So if you are looking for a set up guy, the gray scale part is only a small part of it. Anyone with the equipment can do it. Few can extract optimum performance through the set up of your FPJ. Seek a set up guy who knows your projector well. There are guys who know electrohome, others know Sony, still others know NEC. Because one can do one, do not assume he can optimally do the others. Ask before you hire.
 

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Mark,


I have to slightly disagree. Buying a signal generator, a colorimeter and taking a two day course prepares NO ONE to really do the job correctly. The reason Kevin stands out is because he is an EE who understands circuitry AND he knows how to calibrate a projector. He uses an oscilliscope to make sure the projector is operating within its optimum range. I'm not sure a lot of these "other guys" even know what an oscilliscope is. By assuring that the projector is operating within the voltage tolerances called for in the service manual he knows that he'll have a) a stable setup that will hold convergence and b) a solid baseline upon which to perform a calibration.


The Internet forums are now full of so-called "calibrationists" (some of which haven't even taken the time to do the basic ISF course before declaring themselves "calibrationists") that are flying around the country doing tours. It's almost become a "have colorimeter, will travel" scenario. As you stated, they may know Toshiba, or Pioneer or Mits but unless they have advanced knowledge and can UNDERSTAND what the service manual is telling them to do and how to perform the necessary tasks required for an optimal setup they may be doing most of their customers a disservice. Regards.
 

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Wow!

Bill really wrapped this thread up. Very, Very well said!!!!!


So, putting on a shirt with a large _S_ on it does not make you a superman! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bill,


You hit the nail on head!!!!


JohnBoy
 

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I set up my NEC XG myself.

Of course I had extensive help from both Chuck and Kevin via e-mails and telephone (I bought the PJ from Kevin and Chuck is a friend :) ) This projector is the best unit that I have ever owned and I am thrilled with it. I agree that these guys are aces!!
 

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There is no disagreement. An ISF calibration is not a FPJ setup. It does not require a scope BECAUSE what a calibration is and what equipment is required is established by the ISF (Joel Silver).


Yes people can take the course and buy the equipment and then fail to execute a calibration properly for a variety of reasons. However setting user adjustments properly (color, tint, contrast, brightness, sharpness) is simple and adjusting gray scale through G2 and drive adjustments via a remote control is easy. Almost anyone here on the forum could do it Follow the procedure and it is dooable correctly. Unfortunately to set up a project (rather than just calibrate its gray scale) is much much more difficult. Little equipment is needed, however, to do a set up.


A set up guy needs to be a technician if the projector is broken. Most used projectors will need some repair. Hell. Buy it from Tim or Curt and after shipping it may need to be repaired. Coils can break loose or a card can become unseated. However, a repair is not part of a setup.


Jim Doolittle of New England fame is one of the best setup persons for a FPJ. However, he does no repairs amd the projector must be hung before he starts.


I guess its all a question of semantics. Most ISF certified guys cannot repair, hang, setup, and calibrate a FPJ. Many will be able to calibrate it. Many won't.


Remember also. Take 2 expert calibrators. Let one setup the machine. Send the next one in. He will find something in his/here opinion the other did wrong or didn't do.


Because someone says it looks great and I love the guy doesn't mean setup nirvana has been obtained.
 
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