Spyder Colormeter

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Thorerik, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Thorerik

    Thorerik Auditioning

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    Help me out here.
    When adjusting your new HDTV it seems that you have a few options. (1) Use test DVD's (done that), (2) Use a Spyder Colormeter, (3) Go whole hog and have an ISF rep come out and adjust your set. I like to tweek my own stuff so I looked into buying a Spyder (less than $100) or get some Sencore equipment and spend thousands.

    So what's the right choice to make? When I wrote to the people that make the Sypder they told me that the most important adjustment was the color or "gamma" as they called it. With the Spyder it appears that you cannot set the color temp with absolute certainty. ISF says that adjusting the color temp to that of sunlight is the most important since even if you adjust the colors correctly they will look different in differing color temperatures. If you go with the IHSF it's a one time thing. As your TV ages so does the adjustments. It would get expensive to recalibrate all the time.

    Who's right? Why the big price difference in the equipment? Can't someone make a device cheaply that will accurately measure color temp? How far off can your TV's color temp be before it affects anything?

    At least for me what drives me is cost. I don't have unlimited funds and would like to get the biggest bang for the buck. I was also thinking that buying a Spyder and offering a service to my friends to adjust their HDTV's would be cool. So I'm asking if anyone has had experience or advice in this area.
    Erik
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hmmm... How would you use a Spyder to calibrate your HT display??

    Seems to me the Spyder is designed for computer use and performs its calibration via settings on the computer side, ie. video source, not the display side, if I understand correctly. This is not really ideal even for computer use, but for HT use, it just doesn't seem practical at all unless you run everything thru an HTPC (that stores the Spyder calibrated settings).

    _Man_
     
  3. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    I believe the EyeOne Display LT sensor (same sensor is sold in alot of other packages/brands as well) is considered more accorate than the spyder.

    The software that comes with such devices is geared towards auto-calibrating a PC monitor (by modifying the LUT), but the sensors can be used for calibrating HT displays as well with the proper software and display controls. Some software you can purchase, but there is one free option (HFCR) that you can use as well. The basic concept is much like configuring a an equalizer based on measurements taken with an SPL meter; You measure the brightness/color at different points, plot them, and adjust whatever controls you have until it gets closer to ideal.

    Here's a good tutorial that explains just about everything you need to know to get started: GREYSCALE & COLOUR CALIBRATION FOR DUMMIES

    Hope this helps,
    -- Dave
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hmmm... Interesting. Thanks much for the info, David. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  5. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    Spyder has different software/product versions. Spyder 3 Pro is designed for computer monitors. It involves installing the software on the PC and hooking the colorimeter to the monitor and adjustments are made to the PC settings. Spyder 3 TV comes with a DVD (of test images) for use in HT systems where the DVD is placed in your player runs through the various settings in a similar fashion as stand alone test DVDs. As it requires software to be loaded on a PC where the colorimeter is hooked to, it is much easier to use with a laptop.
     
  6. Dave>h

    Dave>h Second Unit

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    HI,

    I own an older spyder - have had it for a few years now.

    It does adjust for color temperature (in that it measure cool 1 vs warm 1 vs normal and tells you which is closest to NTSC standard).

    I have found that it does it pretty good basic job. I think it could be more indepth and the results would be better but for the basics, it works very well and I have been pleased with the end results.

    I have even calibrated a few friends TV's with it and the results have been mixed but positive overall. Sometimes you need to redo it when you see obvious problems (too much red for example).

    My only complaint is that the software doesn't work on Vista....

    Dave
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    Spyder 3 works with Vista. I also have French software that is free that is made to work with a colorimeter but have not used it (it's been installed for several mos.) I bought a very basic laptop last fall that just has VGA out and while I have VGA to component cables, the laptop output is probably not the same as the TV. I may try it for laughs at some point. I decided to get the laptop (a $300 E-Machines D-620 and my brother stuck in an additional memory chip so I have 2G) vs. drag one of my desktops around.
     

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