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I was looking at the SpectraCal bundle, but the C6 seems to be less than optimal according to some (calibrating Panasonic plasmas, desktop broadcast monitors, and some desktop monitors at a few locations).
The Calman Studio software seems to be a pretty good fit, but the C6 sounds like a straight colorimeter, but not as good as some others (like i1pro) but maybe I'm misunderstanding. I won't be doing it (someone else will, but I need to pick out the unit). I do have $2-3K to spend on this all together.

Spectracal bundle
http://calman.spectracal.com/promotions.html
 

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I don't know about the VirtualForge as pattern generator, but for the price of the promotion and your budget, you could also get an i1pro 2 from ebay (There's one for $815.00 rigth now) and profile the C6
 

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If you are looking at a C6 and Calman, you are are looking to pay a 1500USD premium for nothing what so ever.

The C6 is a misconfigured (will explain later) i1d3, Calman is actually worse than HCFR which is free (with free documentation available on how to use it).

Of course this forums reaction, having identified you as a total noob with money is to then even upsell you on a pattern generator (buy a 200 usd Laptop with Windows and a HDMI out if you dont already have one, then compare it to a measurement of your bluray player (AVS HD testfiles are free).

Why is the C6 "misscalibrated"? Because vendors try to sell you on a colorimeter correction which "fits" an entire display family. (Which for Oleds, WD displays and newer LED display is impossible, because the variation has increased this much)This is not possible. With a stock i1d3 you might still have a chance that someone in here will share a correction file that is closer to your specific display than what Calman did to it (display family). Which mostly only happens on plasma screens, because olmost no one in here cares about the entire rest of the market.

When "recalibrating" the i1d3 and calling it C6, all the company does is weighing the correction towards the screen they have calibrated it on. There is no benifit in that for anyone. In fact, because they remove the benefit of correction sharing for specific displays, the i1d3 has, before ifi misconfgured by Calman.

If you are looking to calibrate a plasma screen, there are correction files for the last Pioneer plasmas, and even the last great Samsung plasma (to be used with a i1d3) on these forums

So save yourself 1500 dollars, and go the i1d3 / HCFR route. Its better anyways.
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If you care to calibrate a LED or OLED display, dont. The calibration science as a whole is broken on all current screen technogies (it still works on plasma), so you can save even more money, by just not calibrating those. The results wouldnt be as expected anyhow.
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The i1d3 (very same hardware as the C6) is the go to colorimeter as of now. It has to be corrected fo the specific spectrum of the display it is measuring via a correction file (or a matrix correction) to create those correction files, youd need a spectroradiometer (the i1pro (and the i1 pro 2) are spectroradiometers (not very good ones). Those are so expensive that no one in the right mind should buy them right now, because again, calibration science has shown to have broken on all new display technologies. And you wont be measuring plasmas for long...

Also spectroradiometers should be recalibrated every two years which ads an upkeep cost of 200 usd. But then again, no one should buy them right now, because calibration science simply doesnt work anymore. Pitty.

Also, a nice wave of the hand to the ones in here whose first reaction was ro upsell this poor guy on a pattern generator.

@zoyd, if you are reading this, atthis point it might be valid to implement a reading scheme that expects a pattern change every 2 seconds and every 5 seconds (for colorimeters f.e.). Then create pattern files for those scenarios. The amazon fire tv stick right now is 22 USD and has 3GBs of user accessible memory on board. It outputs limited RGB only (nothing bad, noobs...
) Also it can connect to Samba shares. It would be a pleasure for me if I could help to eradicate the sellers of pattern generators once and for all.
 

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Here is another opinion.

Lets look at software first. HCFR, freeware. I have used it and I personally have found it to be a little cumbersome for me. SpectraCal Home Enthusiast is an excellent package (which comes with CalMAN RGB, for calibrating computer monitors) but SpectraCal's weak point is the lack of documentation. The plus side is that it allows for full workflow design so that you can set it up to your taste, as well as, support (no toll free), or go on SpectraCal's forum and find help, as well as, download or trade workflows designed by you or others. With SpectraCal you may want to check the limitation of the meter support with regards to the package you are thinking of getting. If you upgrade your equipment beyond the parameters of the software you will have to purchase another package in order to use the new equipment. ChromaPure is another good choice. Excellent documentation. There is support (no toll free). Upgrading option may cost around $100 for the licensing of any new meter you may happen to buy in the future. Again, check the parameters for the two software packages that are offered by ChromaPure. Both of the aforementioned commercial companies have excellent software and each have their strengths and weaknesses. There are other software packages out there but I would suggest you research them and become an informed consumer. I personally use SpectraCal's Home Enthusiast but do your own research and don't be swayed too much by what others might use; you will have to live with your decision.

When it comes to meters, you will find on this forum, as well as others that a combination of a colorimeter and a spectrometer are the optimum choice. I would highly recommend for the spectrometer that you consider the i1Pro2, considering the budget. The attributes for the i1Pro2 over the i1Pro are well documented and is worth every penny. ChromaPure offers a bundled package for the i1Pro2. SpectraCal has seemed to stop offering this meter in a bundled package for some reason. When they did, it was an excellent choice. If you purchased the meter by itself, SpectraCal has a very good price. Every thing comes in a carrying case for storage and protection. Personally, buying equipment of this nature off of Ebay can be questionable. You do not know how the previous owner took care of the equipment and the price difference is minimal when comparing new to used. One other thing, the i1Pro2 from SpectraCal is enhanced, I assume that this is applicable only when using their software.

When considering a colorimeter, I chose the i1D3. There are a couple of versions out there as stated on this forum. This meter will work with any software package. The C6 is designed to work with only the SpectraCal software. There is much discussion out there regarding calibration tables and supported display technologies used by the colorimeters. This is all fine if one is only using a colorimeter for calibration but I am in the understanding that if one does a four color correction matrix in pairing a colorimeter to a spectrometer that any additional enhancements are bypassed in favour of the new matrix being applied. The only way to assure that a colorimeter is as accurate as possible is to conduct the color correction matrix (again this is well documented fact).

Now to the pattern generator. I personally feel that a DVD player is not always the best. I would recommend a proper pattern generator. Once you have used one where the software and the generator work as one, the speed and ease of use is beyond words; you will never go back to a DVD. Shop around. The prices vary depending on the features. If you are considering Ebay, be warned that the software that you are considering may not support that generator. Also, make sure that the generator supports REC-709, many older units being sold support only REC-601. You need to consider the features being offered and the support being offered, as well as, documentation. I myself, chose the AccuPel 5000 Pro. Excellent price and excellent features and I have never regretted it.

In closing I would like to give some advice. Be careful when buying off of Ebay. You can never be sure if the equipment is obsolete or in poor condition. Some companies may prioritize a piece of equipment but it does not mean that it is not worth considering. Spectrometers do not need to be recalibrated every two years. If you buy new and treat it with respect and don't drop it, the accuracy should be there for years to come. As for correction files, it is like taking prescription medicine meant for another; it will only harm you. Never use a matrix file that has been compiled on another display. The matrix file is meant only for that one display and at that time and should not be applied to any other display. A four color correction matrix should be done every time on the display being calibrated. A multi-pass matrix takes less than a minute and assures accuracy. Every piece of calibration software allows for color correction matrix. If you are concerned about statements about the color science being broken, here is a LINK to the subject; read it all and decide for yourself.

All of my suggestions were based on the budget that you defined; do the research and good luck.
 

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Let me say this again - anyone that not goes with HCFR at this point in time - is seriously doing something wrong.

It allows for the fastest workflow, it has the best graphical presentation of results, it doesnt hide values like most of the others, It now calculates the chroma and luminance errors on the fly and shows them to you in the main work area. Its continuous mode is the best. Its single color calibration is the easiest. It even calculates bar graphs specifically for Samsung TV users (can be switched in the settings), it includes the pattern generator, ... Also the i1d3 works with HCFR without having to install any drivers. Just plug and play.

And there is free documentation on how to use it out there - whilst learning how to calibrate.

The only reason to use any paid software is if you want to fool yourself into having reached anything of value - because you found it more valuable going through steps instead of looking at graphs (which by the way are even zoomable on the fly (+/-& ctrl and +/-)). And of course, when drivers of the meters you use are proprietary ("Calman exclusive" f.e.).

The only difference UI wise is, that HCFR sorts its steps in a dropdown, and doesnt prevent you from "going out of line". And it lets you pull up all graphs at any stage instead of "bundling" them with steps. Apart from that there is no additional learning curve.


Also at this point, I would strongly advice against buying a i1pro2.

At the current stage, only plasma TVs are able to be calibrated anymore. On all other display technologies the calibration principle breaks, people do not agree on the colors they see, and even if you average out the differences, the targets used for calibration are wrong.

For calibrating a plasma, there are enough current and distinct correction files out there, that you can buy a i1d3 (or even a Color Munki (same hardware, reads slower, same plug and play in HCFR)), download the correction file needed - and save several hundred dollars.

For calibrating a LED TV, a Quantum Dot display, or an OLED - a i1pro2 (let me rephrase that, any spectroradiometer and/or any calibrator you'd hire) will not help. It will be able to "correct" for the individual spectrums (so it is better than a i1d3), but then the color matching formula breaks and you will very probably end up with a wrong calibration and no visual match.

Also the i1pro2 at this point gets old. 5nm spectral resolution becomes more problematic, as spectral peaks get narrower - which we know is the trend right now - because manufacturers want to slap an HDR (which will be the death of display calibration, just because of the "varying greyscale" concept, mark my words) label on their TVs.

So at this stage - 1st dont buy anything expensive AT ALL. And 2nd, wait either for calibration to die as field, or 3rd all the calibration practices to be changed radically. At which point there probably will be new meters out there.. ;) Also, think in years, not months.
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On the "when are the pattern generator sellers going to give up their grafting and finally leave us alone" path of things -

The 22 USD Kindle Fire TV Stick sadly shows a deviation of -2 green gain towards five of my other devices, so we probably have to wait for another 20USD device, that is also a great media player, that shows the same accuracy as what the pattern generator folks want to sell you for several hundred dollars. In the mean time, just measure the free AVSHD patterns on every system you own - as a control.

And use a laptop with HDMI out and HCFR with the integrated pattern generator to callibrate and get to know your TV. If some of your source devices in the end show a deviation in greyscale or color (when you are measuring the AVS patterns) - its easily "fixable" (usually only a few ticks) once you know how your display behaves in general. And there is no faster way to learn this than HCFR with the internal pattern generator.

(This is the logic behind it. Source devices in general will not deviate more than +/- 2 gain of R, G and B in greyscale. This deviation is not large enough to impact key color (as in not greyscale) readings in any unexpected, or even substantial way. So once you have calibrated a TV using HCFR and the integrated pattern generator, check the greyscale (and color, just to be sure) of all your source devices and adjust if necessary. It is faster this way arround - and you wont need to buy a piece of hardware with the name pattern generator on it.)

(edit: Also, this will become an increasingly more valuable approach over time - today I measured the Fire TV Stick, which has enough processing power to allow for snappy scanning through videos. I left the Greyscale calibration video on a networked device (SMB) and even with that, an entire manual greyscale run (through the (also free) GCD - Gamut Calibration Disk video file) took only twice as long as if I had taken it using HCFRs internal pattern generator (= fastest possible time). So expect "clicking through patterns" to become easier and easier, as the interfaces get snappier. Also, currently all devices can play either mp4s or mkvs (formats the free videos come in)), so measuring instead of trusting their standard compliancy makes sense.
 
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