$500 for Professional Calibration???

The Stone Man

The Stone Man

Thread Starter
Centennial, Colorado
Supporting Founder
Feb 15, 2004
872
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Centennial, Colorado
I'm wondering if professional calibration is really worth 500 bucks. Of course, the TV installer thought I should do it without thinking twice. But I held out, thinking I knew enough to adjust the picture to the way I like it, plus at the time, the Voom equipment swap was looming and I didn't wnat to pay $500 to calibrate and then change equipment.

So has anyone had this done? There are a number of diagnostic DVD's that you can buy that allow you to do it yourself, so it seems there are 3 general choices, and would be interested in opinions on each:

1. Professional Calibration
2. Purchase and use diagnostic aid
3. Use eyeballs and fiddle with controls
 
M

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
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I don't know if you ever saw this post over at AVS Stoneman, but it really is a good read. Go grab yourself a cup of Java and see what you think.

Steaming Rat Method To Calibration

I should have added that I used this approach with my plasma and the end result was exceptional. My PJ required a different approach with Colorfacts since DVI eliminated basic control over standard brightness and contrast and had to be done with RGB contrast/brightness adjustments.
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
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Apr 1, 2004
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100 is too much. 500 is absurd. 3 calibrations and you could buy another set..lmao
 
The Stone Man

The Stone Man

Thread Starter
Centennial, Colorado
Supporting Founder
Feb 15, 2004
872
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Centennial, Colorado
Excellent direction from Mr. Biggles. Choice #3 makes the most sense to me. The TV installer also wanted to charge me $500 to purchase and program a Universal remote. I used a line from "The Terminator" and told him to GET OUT and did it myself.
 
L

Lobstah

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
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I'm on the other side of this one. I've tweaked my set, and have a "decent" picture, but this summer I'll have an ISF calibration done. No...I don't believe you need to calibrate every year. I doubt I'll have another calibration done until I move to a new house.
I've talked to people that have had this done and even those that thought they had a good picture to begin with all agreed that their set "popped" with the ISF calibration. A calibration brings out detail and color balance that just can't be achieved without the tools and knowledge a good calibrator posesses. The calibration takes care of things that we don't have access to, such as proper grayscale calibration, both mechanical and electronic focus, to name a few. With the investment I have in my equipment, $400-$500 to get the extra quality that my set is capable of producing is a worthwhile investment.
Not that different from cars. I have two cars that I have no problem changing oil, belts, plugs, etc. I have two other cars that I wouldn't touch...and pay professionals to tune, because they require equipment and knowledge that I just don't have.

Just my $.02...

Lob
 
H

hd_SDI_1080i

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 9, 2004
45
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I rank professional calibration at a consumer level to palm reading and those people that take ghost readings in your home with a Polaroid camera :)

I’ve been working in the broadcast industry for almost 15 years, I’m a member of the society of motion picture technicians and engineers (SMPTE) and work with HD formats (varicam and HDCAM) on a daily basis. The monitors I use have true calibration settings that allow me to accurately set color and contrast and more importantly keep these setting constant for long periods of time. We have however sent some of our cameras out to the “masters” of color calibration, however professional cameras have sub-menus and settings that allow an engineer who specializes in color calibration to really tweak the settings and most importantly save these setting on some form of memory card because settings drift and shift over time.

Most consumer equipment does not have this ability and spending $500 dollars to have someone adjust chroma/contrast is outrageous in my opinion. I would say that the only exception to the rule would be some projection systems, which have major issues with convergence, beyond that following the setup procedure in ones installation guide will yield better than average color/contrast/detail for a home setup.
 
L

Lobstah

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
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It's more than just chroma/contrast. That can mostly be done with a decent Avia disk. When it comes to mech/electrical focus, lense stripping, etc., the knowledge and experience of a good ISF calibrator far surpasses what the average Joe has access to.

Lob
 
squicken

squicken

Member
Supporting Founder
Mar 24, 2004
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I am going to get a calibration done withing the next month. Scott G., the guy who heads satelliteguys recommends www.lionav.com

I have messed around with avia and just can't get my black levels right. I don't imagine everyone needs a calibration, and I would never had looked into getting one if there wasn't a problem that was bugging me. Getting a calibration just because it might look better was something I wasn't going to spend $275 (I have a CRT) to do. Just my $.02.

BTW Stoneman, I really liked that game you were in where I killedall those Nazis and escaped from that prison.
 
deeann

deeann

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Feb 21, 2004
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CA
What works for me is starting out with Avia to get into the safe range of settings (plasma display), then tweaking a bit from there (Rich's 'Steaming Rat').
 
L

Lobstah

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
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One to plasma's advantages (to make up for poor PQ :) is the fact that they're not an electro-mechanical device. No crts, no mirrors, no lenticular screen. They don't have the PQ a CRT will provide, but are much easier/more stable to deal with.

Lob
 
deeann

deeann

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2004
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Lobstah said:
One to plasma's advantages (to make up for poor PQ :)

That's highly debatable and I'm a fussy, fussy person who would not settle for this 'poor PQ' you mention. ;)

Sheesh, can't get a break anywhere from people (outside of the AVS plasma forum) dissing my display...
 
L

Lobstah

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
444
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It's a fun topic to debate :) ...and it's very much like the "Who makes the best car" debate, no? lol

Lob
 
H

hd_SDI_1080i

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 9, 2004
45
0
I'd keep Scott's number handy because with every power pump and over time your settings will indeed shift. True calibration requires re-setup daily to SMPTE bars at the very least.

Learning how to use a good calibration disk seems more like a plan.
 
deeann

deeann

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2004
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Lobstah said:
It's a fun topic to debate :) ...and it's very much like the "Who makes the best car" debate, no? lol

Lob

Yes, a lot of times it is :), but after almost two years of trying to help people who are interested in plasma find information and also let them know that a nice display properly set up doesn't 'suck' has made me kind of tired :( , so I'll just do this:


link to Rich Harkness's Panasonic TH-PWD4UY screenshot gallery

(Rich Harkness of the 'Steaming Rat' method linked above by Mr. Biggles).

We have the same display, almost the same player (his is a Panasonic RP-91, my main one is a Yamaha S-1200 based on the RP-91 core). Mine's set up with Avia to get the base settings then tweaked some from there. We have some other variances (he's running interlaced in, I recently switched to progressive) but this should give you a pretty good idea of what I see.
 
M

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
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I have no problem throwing support behind you deeann when it comes to plasmas and the great picture they provide.

As a matter of fact, my 37" plasma replaced my trusty Toshiba 40" RPTV (sold off) and I'll take the Panny plasma anyday. It may not have the black levels the old Toshiba had, but the Panny best's it in every other department.

No more screen glare, no limited viewing angles, no convergence adjustments, etc.
 
L

Lobstah

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
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Deann,
Great screen shots. They look almost as good as my Tosh :) :) :)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Yes, as I said, plasmas have some advantages. But I don't believe that PQ is one of them, nor is $$$/size. For me to get a 57" plasma would take a bucket 'o bucks...much more than my RPTV.

That being said, I'm sure I'll own one, someday. :)

Lob
 
deeann

deeann

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2004
297
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CA
Mr. Biggles said:
I have no problem throwing support behind you deeann when it comes to plasmas and the great picture they provide.

Thank you, Mr. Biggles for your support! :)
 
deeann

deeann

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2004
297
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CA
Lobstah said:
Deann,

Yes, as I said, plasmas have some advantages. But I don't believe that PQ is one of them, nor is $$$/size. For me to get a 57" plasma would take a bucket 'o bucks...much more than my RPTV.

That being said, I'm sure I'll own one, someday. :)

Lob

Lobstah, it's cool. Everybody has different needs/wants in their choice of display type ('one size fit's all' definitely does not apply here), and yes they are pretty pricey (I am far from wealthy and had to sell a lot of stuff on Ebay a couple of years back to get the money I needed), but I'm very happy with it and it's totally working for me.
 
D

discodol

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 7, 2004
36
0
Wilton Manors, FL
Calibration Yes!

I had my Mits WS65905 calibrated about 2 years ago and it made a noticable difference. Enough that I am going to have a calibration tune up tomorrow. After spending several thousand on the set I would rather spend the extra and know I have the best I can get. It is unfortunate however that the manufactures don't do this for you, but then again if they did I guess they would just add the cost to the set. One way or the other for perfection you are going to pay more. Could I have gotten by with no calibration? Yes, but like wine, you don't know what you are missing till you have a really good one.
 

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