ISF Calib.

Lobstah said:
I will also be contacting Greg next month to get on his schedule...can't wait.

Gregg is also scheduled to perform and ISF calibration on my Hitachi 51SWX set in June during his Memphis area tour...I can't wait to see this "improvement" everyone is talking about. I will post a summary after it happens. So far, he's answered all of my questions and has been very professional.
hi guys

I was just doing some surfing and noticed this thread.

A few things about calibration:
1. using a blue filter will only adjust for the chroma blue in the image. This will not help with red or green push.
2. gray scale calibration requires a very good eye, even with instrumentation.
3. chroma calibration is seperate from gray scale calibration. Many times the 2 are interactive.
4. Ive done 1200 plus display devices now and I am still learning new things.


Pleasing vs. Accurate Color

I'm not a commercial artist but I've been selling color devices for many years now. I've also been an a/v enthusiast for even longer. Basically, the argument of whether to calibrate (ISF that is) or not is a personal one. If you're happy with what you've got, there's no need to spend the bucks on a calibration. However, this is not to say the colors you are getting are accurate. This is also not to say these, potentially inaccurate colors," you are getting aren't making you happy.

Basically, some people (like myself) care more for the accurate colors rather than what most people find pleasing to the eye. This doesn't make, "most people," wrong for not wanting accurate colors. I've sold a lot of color printers over the years to people who liked the color they are getting even though they aren't properly calibrating the color printer. Hey, if they like it, I'm fine with it!

As far as the Mits in the store. You really can't go on how a set looks in the store unless they are a fairly high-end store and, even then, you have to be skeptical unless you know for sure they set things up properly. All consumer sets (that I'm aware of) are set up with their contrast blasting and the brightness way too high. Quite a few of them still have a red push issue although, because of people like us complaining, many manufacturers have either fixed the red push or allow for an easier fix.

Why do the manufacturers set up their sets this way out of the factory? Well, walk into a Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. and see what sets people notice the most. The ones which look the brightest are the ones which get the most attention. People are drawn to it and because it's next to a set which isn't as bright they feel the brighter one must be better. Hitachi was REALLY bad about this a few years ago (don't know how they are now). In fact, they were so bad their tubes had a knack for going sooner than most sets. This was because they were driving them so hard they just pooped out sooner.

Anyway, you can certainly buy Avia and do some changes on your own. This may be more than enough for most people. But you cannot compare it to a good calibration in any way shape or form. Look at the tweaks these guys do. They go from buring a new EEPROM to putting cloth on the inside of your rear-projection set. Of course, they do everything in between. A good calibration is well worth it as long as you'll appreciate it.

The Rickster

Well, the manufacturers set their sets up differently in the factory and they also give different level controls to different sets. As an example, I have a Mitsubishi 55". The first one I got had problems they couldn't fix. Unfortunately, (for me) I got a brand-spanking new 55" Mits. I say unfortunate because they gave me the next year's model which didn't give me access to the color decoder I wanted (LOTS of red push!). In fact, having access to the color decoder was one of the reasons I'd bought the original set. Now, since then, there have been tweaks put out where I can now access the decoder. So I've been able to fix the red push problem.

So not only do you find different access/settings from different manufacturers, you find different access (sometimes) with the SAME manufacturer! If you're shopping for a set I suggest checking around online and seeing what, exactly, you can do with your set (if you're into tweaking it).

Now, keep in mind, accessing something like the color decoder is, typically, using the service mode. You can REALLY screw things up in your set if you don't know what you're doing. If you're fairly handy/technical, you can find many sites for tweaks. My favorite is HomeTheaterSPoT. I've been hanging around there since they started and they've got a lot of great info. You can get a lot of info from the general boards but, if you become a paid member, you have access to even more tweak info. The tweaks are pretty-well done with step-by-step directions. Just make sure you record your original settings and take any and all precautions mentioned in the tweaks.

Some of these tweaks are the kinds of things an ISF tech will do. However, as was mentioned, there are many things you probably can't do no matter how technical you are since they require test equipment you probably don't have. This is why there is a market for ISF techs. The extra tweaks (mentioned above) will get you closer to an ISF'd set but not exactly there.

Bascially, I'm a huge fan of ISF calibrations--but they're not for everyone. And, as always, it's your set, you've gotta be happy with it. If you like the way it looks, don't worry about spending the money.

Hope this helps.

The Rickster
Just got an ISF calibration done on the Pioneer PDP4340HD. Services performed matched those described by the Iceman, above. The cost for this was $250. When the technician first installed the TV in December, he recommended the calibration, but quoted 'around $500'. I figured $500 was way too much and decided against it.

The second quote was reasonable, so I had it done. The picture now is very accurate, but also important was to complete the grayscale adjustment to 6500 Kelvin. This helps to prolong the life of the plasma panel. Out of the box, mine was set at 7900 Kelvin.

For those still thinking about it, and wondering why it is expensive, the technician has to invest about $15,000 in equipment to be able to do it right. If you decide to have it done, watch what the technician does, because it is very interesting. For me, it was worth $250 to see improved picture quality, and to know that I may have prolonged the life of the panel.

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