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ISF: "Picture Quality" and Evaluating The Goals Of Professional Calibration


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#1 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 23 2003 - 08:34 AM

Hi folks. We sort of hashed some of this stuff out in another forum, but I'd like to put these questions and observations to the many knowledgeable and interested folks here:

I find myself fascinated by the notions of "picture quality," especially as it relates to subjective Vs objective evaluations. By subjective I mean "does it fool our eyes into believing?" Vs Objective "How does the display measure in relation to adopted standards? And are those adopted standards (e.g. NTSC) putting a hammerlock on what is considered "good" picture quality?

"Good" picture quality is often associated with NTSC standards and how closely a display can track those standards. But I also believe good picture quality can be "released" from those constraints, and evaluated on general notions of how natural and realistic the image looks - how convincing it is over-all and how easily it allows us to suspend our belief.

Most people think an ISF'd display automatically equates to a more realistic image. However, the calibration rendered by an ISF technician does not have the goal per se of “creating a real-looking picture.” It is instead goal number one for an ISF technician to bring the performance of your display in line with NTSC imaging standards. A smoother, more realistic image is often the happy by-product of a display calibrated to NTSC standards, especially compared to most artificial-looking factory settings. But the essential idea of such calibration is that a movie image should look the same on my display as it looks on your display, as it looked on the original broadcast monitors used for transferring the image.

Many HT enthusiasts are thrilled by an image that imitates projected film. I'm one of them. But I also have a foot in the other camp that is thrilled by an image that has amazing verisimilitude; where the image on a display looks amazingly close to how it looks in real life. I think most of us are when we encounter such a display.


I had my plasma professionally (ISF) calibrated several months ago. It now runs a nice D6500K etc. Given the received wisdom that "a display will only perform to it's picture quality potential when properly calibrated to professional standards..." It was interesting to find it wasn't the case (to my eyes). Previous to the ISF, I had calibrated the plasma based on it's strengths and weaknesses, to provide the most natural, believable, and realistic image I could attain. I actually used "reality" as my comparison point, observing how people and objects appear in real life (looking at real skin etc.) and calibrating for this look. It was amazingly successful: my plasma had a looking-through-a-window-at-real-events effect on good source material. Whereas, with the ISF calibration I traded that realism for flatter, over-all more subdued, romantic, film-like look. Yes, the ISF settings do mimic projected film more, and no doubt my display now looks more like the professional monitor on which the DVD material was mastered. But do the images look more convincing now? No. Less so. Do I see more detail in dark areas, color areas, or high-light areas with the ISF settings compared to my settings: No. Quite a few other people have had the same experience as I have. (And of the twelve people I've demoed my settings vs the ISF settings to, all agreed mine created the more realistic, convincing image).

Personal observations: Based on just about every ISF'd image I've seen, I still feel I'm seeing a Hagan-Daz version of reality - warm, creamy 'n smooth, and over-rich in color (a generalization). I've found dialing down the over-all color level, even on ISF'd settings, decreases the sense of "people and objects as neon signs," - that over-lush glow to everything - to a flatter, more texturally real image. (To analogize: A mat picture vs a glossy photo). Also, I find at least in the case of my plasma, carefully dialing the contrast and brightness beyond ISF settings (but still way below torch mode)also increase the realism of the image. I don't get any obvious loss of detail in high-lights - only a more realistically dynamic image. Etc.

During the calibration I sometimes had the sense the plasma was being made to jump through hoops made for another show animal (CRT), and that it's performance was evaluated solely on how well it mimicked that animal's abilities, rather than how well it displayed it's own. As a "broadcast monitor" my plasma might ultimately fail, due to it being unable to eek the last crumbs of detail in the bottom of the gray scale. BUT, as a "virtual reality machine" it excels. To lift a quote from a Director Of Photography who also notes the compelling images from plasmas: "CRTs are naturally going to score better in tests designed around the performance envelope of the CRT." But "I think we're finally seeing that ISF test performance numbers aren't capable of articulating all of the qualitative properties we're using when we perceive a picture."

So, there are two issues here:

1. How NTSC standards and professional calibration relate to the latest technologies. For consistency sake, the current standards make some logical sense..if strict accuracy to the original transfer is the goal. But when we calibrate every display type we encounter to look more "the same," more like standard broadcast monitors, what might we be loosing? Do we ignore some of the specific strengths of new technologies when we calibrate them around an envelope designed for CRT?

2. How NTSC standards themselves seem to be held as the only measure of how images should look. I assert that more elbow room should be made in the "hall of respectability" for varying notions of picture quality. For many, adherence to NTSC standards may be the end of the story in evaluating a display's worth. But to others adherence to NTSC standards is not, in of itself, good enough to guarantee the most convincing image possible.

3. I'm aware that, as in any trade or endeavor, in the ISF and broadcast technology world there is debate about these subjects. I'd enjoy hearing from the pros just what type of debates are ongoing these days.

Whew. Sorry for the long post. I look forward to being educated or corrected wherever I've gone wrong. And this isn't by any means meant to impugn the idea of ISF calibration, nor the great job many calibrators do in making so many people happier with their display. (I also realize that a full ISF calibration is likely to reap more rewards on CRT-based technology, given there is more to tweak there vs fixed pixel devices). I just want to peak out of the ISF / NTSC box to see what's there :-)

Cheers,

#2 of 31 RobertR

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Posted May 23 2003 - 01:37 PM

Quote:
Yes, the ISF settings do mimic projected film more


It seems to me that if you're truly interested in home theater, that this is precisely what you should be striving for--the replication of the film going experience. Otherwise, you're saying "I'm not interested in seeing what the filmmaker intended me to see. I'm interested in seeing my concept of reality".

Of course, it's wrong to assume that filmmakers are necessarily striving for reality. There is nothing "real" about the green tint of the Matrix, or the visual FX of Saving Private Ryan. This is where I think you're mistaken.

I'm very happy with my ISF calibration precisely because it brings me closer to film, which is what it's all about.

#3 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 24 2003 - 09:33 AM

RobertR,

Thanks for the reply (jeeze, where is everybody? Aren't there pros all over this board who might offer comments?).

Your point is well taken, and I would certainly never argue against anyone's preference to replicate the look of projected film.

However... Posted Image

As one who is on both sides of the fence - the film making side (have in the past done lighting, shooting, editing, directing, and now I'm in post sound..) and the audience side, I feel somewhat in touch with "the film-maker's intent," and it's a slippery slope...

First, let's get this out of the way: I am FOR the concept of calibration standards. The goal of accurate reproduction of the original film makes sense (at least in theory). HUGE thumbs up for the ISF guys ! ! !

BUT...let's really look at this, and follow experience and logic: how vital IS perfect replication of the original answer print look, projected in a perfect theater, for carrying the film-maker's intent? If perfect, measurably accurate perfection - a perfectly calibrated display - is the only RIGHT way for the film to be experienced, I submit that ghettoizes and dismisses most peoples experience of most films. It's like an audiophile saying: "You don't really hear the full artist's intent unless your system has perfectly flat frequency response, otherwise you are altering the signal contained on the CD." But, of course given the variability of most people's playback equipment that would mean 99.999 percent of the world's population haven't properly received the artist's intent. Yet we can't deny that people thrill to music and follow the artist's intent on all types of "inaccurate" playback systems. So in practice perfectly accurate reproduction is not that big a deal.

Every type of display technology RPTV, Plasma, Tube Sets, DLP, Projectors, looks different. Which produces the "right" look for a movie? Only front projectors? Might as well throw away all the other technologies then.

If my display's image is slightly lighter, or slightly less saturated than the original transfer, really, how much am I missing of the film-maker's intent? The vast majority of people have never experienced what the original answer print looked like on a perfectly calibrated projection system. Over the years we've all watched films on video, on laser disc, on old black and white TVs, in huge cinemas, in tiny cinemas, on 16mm in film school and libraries, and most often on projection systems that are slightly out of spec (those theater owners really like to get their money's worth out of those projector bulbs...really pushing the life-span past spec, altering the color temperature along the way). Where we sit changes the size, angle and experience of the image too: are we to sit near the front, the middle, the back, the side? In a theater full of people? In an empty theater in the afternoon? They all change the experience of the film, and People have all sorts of preferences for HOW they experience a film.

Take a look at an ISF calibrated CRT tube direct view set. I submit that the viewing experience is still so GROSSLY different on that little CRT vs projected film in a large theater with many people, that smaller matters of slightly different tint or brightness are swamped. Can you really say "I'm getting an experience accurate to the projected film experience?"

And for film-makers intent: Most film-makers are making films with the intent that they be viewed on a large screen, and a good sized cinema, filled with an interested audience. They are not thinking about John and Sarah, watching "home theater" alone on their couch at home. So, right there is a certain mis-alignment of filmmaker's intent to the home theater experience. Most film makers are less concerned that you know the actor was wearing just-that-exact-shade of yellow jacket, than they are that you simply enjoyed the film and got caught up into the drama (so they are allowed to make another film). Many film-makers, like musicians, really do not have up-to-spec, amazing home theater systems either. They get other film maker's intent through the imperfections.

Finally, if you are to really pin down exactly what I might be missing in watching the film on my settings, I'd love to know what it is. Firstly, I'm receiving the same plot and drama you are. And if you want to get picky you could ask me: "You know the woman in X film with the deep tan, wearing the red dress, off-white scarf, orange earrings, carrying the yellow purse..." I'd say "Yes." It's not like my display presents the image in shades of purple or something. All the dramatic color cues are perfectly intact. And yes, the artificial, tinted look of the Matrix, Saving Private Ryan and other cinematically stylized films are perfectly intact on my picture settings as well. Remember too that even in an ISF calibration there is an element of art. Your ISF'd image may not *perfectly* match another in contrast, color saturation etc.


I'd say that if a more natural-looking, realistic looking image drags the viewer into the drama better, that's fine.

The funny thing is I notice most Home Theater enthusiasts actually denigrate the theater experience (almost every thread about going to the movies is negative in these forums). Whereas projected film in a real movie theater - surrounded by my fellow man - is experience number one with me. Even a SOTA Front Projector system does not reproduce that experience accurately. If, through a bit of picture fiddling, I can produce in my smaller plasma screen the alternate satisfaction of seeing films come "alive" before my eyes, then I reserve the right to do so without feeling like I'm "cheating."

What do other people think?

Thanks.

#4 of 31 Derek Iverson

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Posted May 24 2003 - 01:26 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the reply (jeeze, where is everybody? Aren't there pros all over this board who might offer comments?).
Rich, I think this thread isn't getting much attention, because of the fact that your posts are extremely long. Just give it some time.
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#5 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 24 2003 - 01:34 PM

Derek,

True dat...

Thanks,

#6 of 31 John Royster

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Posted May 24 2003 - 01:36 PM

hmmm, big post so I'll throw in my .02.

I relate video to audio. Being into audio for so long I'll try to relate it to what I want in video.

I strive for accuracy and realism. Does the violing sound like a violin? Piano sounds like a piano? Same goes for video for me. I want to see what the director saw and enjoy the creative process or an incredible panoramic shot or scene that is even surreal. Some thing that goes beyond moving pictures and makes me smile.

So yes...in audio you can pepper the sound to your liking of course just like you can in video. What ever makes the viewer/listener happy is what counts. After all beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Standardized beauty or not.

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#7 of 31 Rob Tomlin

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Posted May 24 2003 - 02:21 PM

I agree with RobertR's response.

Although you might think you "like" your settings better than what the ISF tech calibrated your TV to, the ISF settings should bring you closer to seeing what the Director intended (theoretically meaning what you would see in the theater).

I was really surprised at how much better my RPTV looked after it was ISF calibrated!

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#8 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 24 2003 - 03:00 PM

John and Rob,

I agree with you both.

Rob, I certainly agree: calibrated image = greater accuracy to source material (at least as it was transferred). That is was calibration is great for.

But "greater accuracy to the source material" or "making the image look like projected film" does not mean the same as "better image." I watched Attack Of The Clones on a $300,000 front projection system. It was excellent. I went home and watched more parts on my plasma, and it lagged in some areas, and excelled in others. A DVD on my plasma will never look as much like projected film as on a Front Projector. But there are few (if any) reflected image technologies (front or rear projectors) that will produce as energetic, vibrant, dense and solid-looking images as on an emissive technology like the plasma. Hence, the robots on the plasma looked more "solid" and real on the plasma, and the images and colors were more vibrant and alive. Both projector and plasma seemed to serve the film experience beautifully in their own, different way.

Let's say you see a display in a store, or at someone's house, playing whatever film. The display looks INCREDIBLE. It is the most natural, life-like, rich, dimensional image you've ever seen. It's jaw dropping and you cannot help but be sucked into whatever is playing on screen.

You don't know how the display is calibrated. You weren't standing there with the guys doing the DVD trasnfer. At that point it doesn't matter. You've just evaluated the image soly on how it looks, and it you say "that's the best damned image quality I've ever seen."

That is what I'm talking about: calibration issues aside, we can talk about picture quality as separated from the issues of "accuracy to the source material." How often do we see the source material to compare? If the Director Of Photography appeared beside you and said: "Actually, I meant that shadow right there to be a little darker.." does that negate your experience? Does the image suddenly look un-impressive? No, it's still the most realistic, involving image you've ever seen.

I'm saying there is the tendancy in the AV world to evaluate the picture strictly on how well it jumps through the NTSC hoops, rather than taking the images and evaluating the experience on it's own terms.

An accurate picture is great.
A great image, in of itself, can also be great.

(And I'd re-iterate that the image I watch, while slightly different than my ISF settings, is hardly a drastic departure - certainly I cannot imagine I'm missing any of the intent of the film).

#9 of 31 Jack_TN

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Posted May 25 2003 - 08:13 AM

Maybe there needs to be another standard, like a "Steaming Rat" method of calibration?

Do I have everybody here scratching their head over that one?!? Posted Image

Jack

#10 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 25 2003 - 01:41 PM

Tee-hee. I'm too embarrassed to bring that one up here...

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#11 of 31 MarcS

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Posted May 27 2003 - 06:04 AM

Hmmmm, as you say Rich, I seem to recognize this from a thread on another forum, where I asked some questions about your love of plasma...

I thought about it more, and also wondered if it isn't something inherent in the method of creating the image, emissive vs projected?

I also still wonder if it isn't a visual "trick" our brain is foisting upon us.

If we could agree upon a picture "standard" that is "incorrect", with too much contrast and brightness, and a hi color temp, and then set up an a/b comparison with a display set just a "bit" above ISF calibration standards, then compare to an ISF set--which would look "better"? We could show it to the average person, and to the videophile.

Would our brain still make us think the jazzed up set looked the best, the most engaging, the most exiting--even though we knew it wasn't calibrated properly? But then, maybe that's exactly your point--calibration doesn't necessarily give us the most realistic picture? Then is there a point to calibration?

Seems to me some of the most important aspects of calibration is improving focus and geometry--getting a sharper picture. (I have had a Gregg Loewen calibration) The color temp change didn't really seem that much warmer to me (even though on paper I had about 12-14k color temp)... I do think it extended the color palette, I see more subtlety.

Like sound, where louder seems better, does the brighter picture seem better?

There are some parallel discussions in the DIY speaker forums--is measured flat frequency response really the proper design goal? Do we really know what was heard in the mixing room? Does the technician have partial hearing loss from all the loud music over the years? What monitors were used? In the end I guess we decide if the listening experience is pleasureful, and whether it evokes memories of live performances.

I seem to recall an interesting study, or maybe it was an anecdotal story. It was found that professional musicians, in this case I believe it was symphony members, were very happy to listen to what audiophiles would classify as crappy systems. Because the musicians "knew" what the music should sound like, based on their personal performances, they could recreate that experience in their head while listening to poor sound reproduction... Can we do that visually?

To confound this discussion more, what about variances in visual perception? It is well documented that certain ethnic groups perceive colors differently. Hell, I can see differences between my own two eyes (I guess that's why it's valuable to have a standard color temp like D6500 that's objectively measurable).

Well, many questions, but no answers...

#12 of 31 Michael TLV

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Posted May 27 2003 - 10:15 AM

Greetings

How long is a piece of string?

How do you define real looking compared to the next person?

Is TV supposed to emmulate reality?

2+2=4 ... or do you prefer 2+2=9 because that feels better? Posted Image

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#13 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 27 2003 - 02:06 PM

"Is TV supposed to emmulate reality?"

Good question. I suppose, to conjecture, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Film based material will probably always make appearances on TV. But I submit most of the excitement centered around High Definition TV concerns how realistic the image is, how it can "put you there," or be "like looking through a window" at real scenes. So, yeah, I guess the new standard is closer to something like "reality."

"How do you define real looking compared to the next person?"

I think that subjectivity is a big part of what I've been talking about. My point is that so many AV people have accepted a single standard as being "right" that they have a hard time appreciating that something else can look as good or better to other people. You may have given another example of this in your reply (and forgive me if I've taken the wrong inference), where you state:

"2+2=4 ... or do you prefer 2+2=9 because that feels better?"

Which of course mirrors the the standard response I keep reading, visa vi calibration standards. If someone prefers a type of image that does not fit exactly into the accepted measurement standard, he gets a pat on the head: "There, there, what you like is WRONG, but there's no accounting for taste, so go ahead and enjoy your wrong, poorer-quality image." (Whispering to other AV enthusiast: "This poor guy just doesn't know what a good image really looks like.")

I'm pointing out that an image that is not exactly "accurate" to the D6500K etc., can be superb in all the ways we rate image quality. In fact, if the source material itself could use some tweaking, the "inaccurate" settings can produce an even better-looking picture than the NTSC accurate settings. Now, which is the "better" image?

Also, it's an interesting debate about the function of home theater, and the realism vs film theater look. I love film, but it still seems to me that most of the parameters on which we judge image quality relate more directly to what we perceive as realistic, vs filmic, i.e. natural skin tone, correctly colored grass, believable contrast, depth etc. Also, many SOTA systems are often described as being superior in that they approach a greater realism for watching HD or films. I noted Jonathan Valin's report on the best system he's ever seen (Teranex processor, Reference Imaging CRT projector, if I remember). His enthusiasm came from the fact that the increase in imaging quality rendered previous "film-like" images into statuary-like realism, making Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver look less like a piece of projected film, more like the real actor standing there.

I think most people will choose the image that looks more realistic to them. Most of the time, on most displays, I'm sure a full ISF calibration - especially one that improves focus and geometry - leads to a more natural, more realistic image, which IS WHY the customer is so happy with the calibration. It's the perceived increase in picture quality - in realism of colors and detail - that satisfies the customer, more than any intellectual idea that the image is now "accurate" to the original transfer. In a scenario were an ISF calibration made the customer feel the image LOST realism, I'm saying the comfort that the new image was "accurate" is likely not much comfort.

In my case, my plasma may have been made more accurate to NTSC standards on my ISF settings, but in pretty much every way I can think of it lost some realism. Which has made me think about this stuff, to question why. I've given my remote to twelve people now, comprising AV enthusiasts, photographer friends, fellow film industry guys, and regular unobsessed civilians. I ask them to switch between the ISF settings (on one input) and my settings on another input, without any word or coaching from me. Every single one has chosen my settings as producing the more realistic image. Some people also appreciated the filmic quality of the ISF settings too, as I do. But there was agreement on what looked most realistic. So, perhaps you can see some of my motivation to ask these kind of questions.

Thanks,

#14 of 31 James Edward

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Posted May 27 2003 - 03:01 PM

I look forward to being educated or corrected wherever I've gone wrong.


Really? Whenever I see this phrase(usually in the speakers/subwoofers section), it is written by someone with a particular axe to grind. Nothing anyone posts will cause you to relent, so why the Zen-like ending of wanting to be educated?

Funny thing is, I could agree with your original post if it was stated as opinion, and left as such.
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#15 of 31 John Royster

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Posted May 27 2003 - 03:20 PM

Standards are there for a reason. It keeps everything common to some kind of baseline. That way it is portable. Just like a meter is a meter and 2+2=4.

#16 of 31 Rich H

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Posted May 27 2003 - 07:19 PM

James Edward,

"Nothing anyone posts will cause you to relent, so why the Zen-like ending of wanting to be educated?"

Why, because I'm taking the time to answer each person's reply as best I can? If I have incorrectly summarized or have misrepresented the goals of ISF calibration, I want to be corrected. If there is some obvious hole in my reasoning, I'm happy to hear about it.
If there is something I'm missing, or that I should be made aware of on this subject, please tell me. Is there something about the physiology or psychology of visual perception that could be pertinent to the discussion? I'd love to hear it. There are lots of pros on this board. I was curious what kind of thoughts they had on this matter.
Do their clients always cotton to the look of an ISF'd display? And what kind of debates are seen within ISF circles regarding picture quality and techniques to achieve it. Come on, the subject is rich with questions.

Yet, so far the only answer I've really seen to my posts are people pointing out: An ISF calibrated display will be more accurate to the source material. Which, as I explained in each post, I already know, and it's not the point. I wondered has anyone else experienced their own calibration as being preferable to the "standard" type? Or preferred the look of a non-CRT display, even though the CRTs do NTSC standards better? Do any critical viewers ever prefer the look of a color temperature other than D6500K? If so why? If not, why not?

I'm just amazed more people don't seem interested in the subject. I'm not on a crusade, but the subject has been fascinating too me, so I figured AV enthusiasts might like to toss it around a bit here.

"Funny thing is, I could agree with your original post if it was stated as opinion, and left as such. "

I'm not sure I follow: Where in my post did I state these were anything other than my views, opinions and questions?
I have simply tried to support each idea I've put forth, to see what you guys think. My apologies if that came across as too declarative; really I was trying to express ideas that amounted to big questions, not statements.

John Royster:

Standards are there for a reason. It keeps everything common to some kind of baseline. That way it is portable. Just like a meter is a meter and 2+2=4.

Believe me, I'm very supportive of that idea, being a skeptical, scientifically minded chap myself. But while standards can be handy tools, they don't necessarily tell the whole story on a subject (the subject here being picture quality in general). And it can often be valuable to take a good hard look at accepted standards once in a while, don't you agree?

#17 of 31 MarcS

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Posted May 28 2003 - 01:28 AM

I don't know if he'd want me to use his name here, so I'll just say there's a guy who owns his own AV store, and is owner and pres of Hartley Speakers, and just accepted into the AES (if that means something significant nowadays). He knows Joe Kane et al... And, he doesn't believe in ISF calibrations. He himself is certified to calibrate Barco products, but finds that customers don't like the end results of calibration, and will change the settings back to their own liking--so what's the point of calibration in the first place? (his philosophy, not mine) Well, he does sell Pioneer Elite, which is pretty decent out of the box...

A very specific question: why is there a "standard" light output specification? Why are display devices calibrated to about 20+/- or so foot-Lamberts output? Is this just to save the crt's and give longer life? On devices where burn-in isn't an issue with high contrast levels, do people always turn it up? (let's assume they aren't trying to watch in bright sunlight).

So I come around again to the question of whether a brighter image appears to be more realistic... Rich, you upped your contrast and brightness and were more happy.

Surely someone in the industry has the resources to set up a controlled comparison (not that it necessarily would have any $ value to them) where multiple "identical" devices were calibrated to D6500, but with varying levels of contrast and brightness--RPTV, LCD, Plasma, etc... Then--have a bunch of ISF gurus rate the "realness"...(and maybe some common folk too). Not which one looks more like film, but which one is most pleasureful to watch. Gasp, could we get Home Theater Mag or similar publication to do something like that? "ISF--Right or Wrong?" Controversy, finger pointing, chaos, the end of the world.........

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#18 of 31 Michael TLV

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Posted May 28 2003 - 02:48 AM

Greetings

Just a reminder that there is much more to calibration than just getting the grayscale right. What about the over boosted reds? What if the focus is royally off? Do people actually prefer this?

Light output figures are merely a guideline ... for crt based technology.

If the display device can handle it as well as your eyes, turn up the light output. If it does not crush whites ... then up the contrast.

Just remember that if the bright images hurt your eyes, then your light output is likely too high.

I don't really try to convince anyone about the 6500K standard. If the standard were 9500K, I'd be setting your TV's to that. Setting it to the standard is only important for those that want to see what the director/film makers wanted them to see. It is no less correct than people preferring that their images fill the screen ... rather than have to deal with black bars.

If you like the Matrix to have a purple tint rather than the intended green tint, that is your choice. Enjoy it that way. Just do not advocate that that is the intent of the original presentation. (Just like film makers might differ with you if you claimed to have seen their vision of the film in p/s rather than w/s.)

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#19 of 31 Bryce Miner

Bryce Miner

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Posted May 28 2003 - 03:10 AM

Could you share with us what values you are changing and how much? I'd like to see what you are doing to the image.

You may still be in tolerance level of the "standard"

What test material are you using? I think HDNet would provied the best imaging being 1080i (you would do 720p) video based, and no filters. How does Michelle (Hdnet girl)look comparing your settings to the calibrators?

You seem to have the same frame of mind as Tv Manufactures that "their" ntsc settings are just fine.

If you like it that's great. Document your procedure and travel around calibrating your "standard" for other people. It still is a subjective subject.

#20 of 31 Rich H

Rich H

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Posted May 28 2003 - 03:28 AM

Thanks Michael, that makes sense to me.

It's interesting how people of various levels of experience interpret things. I was demoing the latest Hitachi 57" RPTV, said to produce one of the best pictures in it's size category. It was in a dedicated set-up, nicely calibrated, with the lights out. I was exceedingly impressed with the clarity, detail and smoothness of the image. Yet a couple customers (guys I know, actually) sat down to look at the image. They thought it was "pretty good," but one guy pointed over to a Panasonic widescreen tube direct view playing a cable channel and said. "See, I like direct views better, even that one looks more clear and sharp than this Hitachi."

In fact, the direct view had a decidedly lower-res, blurrier cable signal. The Hitachi had much finer detail and sharpness. But the direct view was richer and more vivid, which I assume the guy interpreted as "sharpness and clarity."

My level of experience with consumer video is strictly enthusiast, consumer-level and despite my rantings I bow to the knowledge of pros like yourself. I think that, because I've been involved in photography and film-making my entire life, I'm programmed to take charge of an image to make it meet my vision or expectations, hence the fiddling with the image even after ISF calibration. I think we all pretty much agree on what a film-like image looks like (within the fact a film like image actually varies). But I find the "What makes for a realistic image?" and "Can people agree on what constitutes a realistic image?" questions very interesting and I certainly don't have the answers.

Thanks again.




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