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Picture setup/calibration for Sony Trinitron WEGA...


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 Ralphie_B

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Posted January 17 2006 - 01:59 AM

Hello all,

I have a 32" Sony Trinitron WEGA (direct view CRT, model KV32FS100). It's been a great TV! However, like most 'normal users,' I've never really done any picture setup or calibration on it. From the standard picture menu, I can adjust the following:
"Picture" (i.e. Contrast)
"Brightness"
"Color"
"Hue"
"Sharpness"
"Color Temp" (options: cool / neutral / warm)
"VM" (Velocity Modulation, options: high, low, off)

Does anyone have suggested settings for these? Can I get pretty good results just tweaking these options, or should I let a professional calibrate it?

It just so happens that this TV is in the shop right now, due to failure of the front composite input jack ("free" repair due to Best Buy service plan -- who would've thought that would actually come in handy). I have a feeling that I could probably talk the guys at the shop into performing a calibration while they have the TV, if it's a worthwhile endeavor.

If I were to have the shop calibrate it, are there any suggestions I should make, or should I let them use their judgment?

Thanks!

#2 of 11 willyTass

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Posted January 17 2006 - 02:09 AM

Try your gut instincts- go to the standard picture mode and tone the colour down to a level that you like.

To extend the life of your electron gun tone down the contrast a bit.

Or you could grab a calibration disk like AVIA and go from there.

For best results you may, repeat MAY, need to get into the service mode which I don't recommend as it can cause you a few grey hairs.

For more info go to www.agoraquest.com or
avsforum.com

#3 of 11 Ronn.W

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Posted January 17 2006 - 02:09 AM

If the shop does it, keep your mouth shut. Posted Image Or do you routinely tell your mechanic how to fix your car, your doctor what to prescribe you, or your mailman the best route he should walk? Posted Image They're trained, you're not, think of it that way. They aren't using 'judgement' if they're doing it properly, they're using test patterns to get the set to show the proper colors.

Instead of having them do it, you should think about doing it yourself. All it takes is a few minutes and a callibration disc. Using Avia, Video Essentials, or even Sound & Vision is quick and easy, and is going to be less than having the shop do it.

#4 of 11 Ralphie_B

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Posted January 17 2006 - 03:10 AM

Ronn - I figured keeping quiet the way to go, but I wasn't sure if the process is entirely objective, or if there's room for personal preference. For example, when I've gotten guitars set up, the techs often ask for my preferences, what/how I play, etc to help them determine some setup details. From your response, it sounds like setting up a TV is fundamentally different from that, and should be based upon rigid standards (e.g. test patterns). So if I have the shop do it, I will defer to the pros. Posted Image

Willy - thanks for the link, I'll have to check that site out in more detail! If I don't have the shop calibrate the TV, I'll try out the baic 'gut instinct' approach. I've read a little bit on here about the service mode, enough to know that I'm probably not ready to mess around with it. That's actually the big reason I'm considering a shop calibration -- they would be qualified to set the level of overscan, and all that other intimidating stuff.

#5 of 11 ChrisWiggles

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Posted January 17 2006 - 05:18 AM

I don't think Best Buy calibrates TVs, or will actually do much in the way of real calibration akin to an ISF guy.

I would recomment you purchase a proper test disc such as Avia or DVE and align the display using those patterns.

Further, you should turn OFF the VSM, and you should choose neutral or warm color temperature. Warm is supposed to be closest to D65, but I find that it's actually TOO warm often, and the correct setting is somewhere between neutral and warm. I've ended up at neutral before on regular sony's otherwise warm is too reddish, and if you don't fix the color decoding problems red can really get overblown.

Quote:
They're trained, you're not, think of it that way.

Most shops really don't know how to calibrate a TV at all. Repair and calibration may seem similar, but they really are not. You'll find that most repair techs may be excellent at fixing a broken display, but don't really know how to align the display properly. Of course, you also have to align the display in the system to the sources you have it connected to, which can't be done at a secondary location like the repair shop. The rare repair tech who also really knows how to calibrate displays is a very valuable asset, but I doubt you're going to find one like that here, especially at a BB.

Quote:
I wasn't sure if the process is entirely objective, or if there's room for personal preference.

Well, yes and no. Fundamentally yes, there are unambiguous standards, but actually aligning a display thoroughly to the standards can be a little bit more "artistic" because displays are not perfect, they have many various weaknesses, depending on the display type and design, which makes following the standards somewhat complex. Sometimes you must inevitably make compromises between different image attributes. This is not to say that this should be done using video and personal preference to calibrate!

#6 of 11 Mike Gillgannon

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Posted January 17 2006 - 06:27 AM

I was reading a calibration thread at another site for Sony XBR LCD sets and was struck by one guy's experience in particular. He paid a tech $400 for a calibration that turned out to be way, way, way different than the one he did himself using AVIA. I tried the tech's settings and didn't care much for them. So I followed my own instincts and hewed to more "normal" settings. Moral of the story? Not sure, but $400 will buy a lot of beer.

#7 of 11 Ralphie_B

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Posted January 17 2006 - 07:53 AM

Thanks for the very helpful comments, guys.

I should clarify one thing -- though the TV was purchased at the local Best Buy, they won't be doing the repairs. They contract that out to a local "mom 'n pop" store, which has a good reputation. That said, since a calibration is outside the warranty work being done, it would probably be an out-of pocket expense.

I think what I will do is try some 'gut feeling' adjustments at home for now. Later this year, when I do some upgrading, I'll look at getting the Avia disc.

Also -- my understanding from the (limited) research I've done is that my KV32FS100 has a 'reset' function... does that mean if I were to brave the service menu and messed something up, I could restore the factory settings? I understand this is commonly not the case on other TVs, but perhaps my Sony is an exception? Thanks!

#8 of 11 ChrisWiggles

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Posted January 17 2006 - 12:05 PM

Quote:
Later this year, when I do some upgrading, I'll look at getting the Avia disc.

You will not be able to get close by eye very easily at all, I strongly suggest you get Avia or DVE now, everyone who has a TV that they watch things on should do a basic alignment, no excuses.

#9 of 11 willyTass

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Posted January 18 2006 - 01:23 AM

For those brave enough to fiddle with the service mode, you should ALWAYS document on paper any changes you have made.

Ralphie if you make a mistake in service mode pop a bottle of grecian 2000 my friend because pressing the reset button will restore factory settings for colour, contrast , brightness levels NOT any changes you made to gamma, convergence sharpness etc. You will be up shit creek without a paddle.

I agree with previous posts regarding ISF calibration. They've made all the mistakes allready and can save you lots of headaches.

Service mode changes can be rather extensive and can yield impressive improvements in picture quality. It is not as scary as u may think provided you read the threads carefully and are armed with paper and pen.

For those who have the money to spare I'd go ISF.

At least you guys have ISF calibrators in America

#10 of 11 Ralphie_B

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Posted January 18 2006 - 02:15 AM

Maybe I won't wait on the Avia disc after all -- heck, I'm sure it's much cheaper than paying for calibration (and I can use it on all my TVs).

Also, after some more research, I think I've got a better handle on the service mode. I will definitely be writing down all the current settings before changing any -- it sounds like as long as I stick to buttons 3 & 4 on the remote and don't touch anything else, no settings should be changed (on a Sony Wega, anyway).

I don't want to re-tread a topic too much if it's been covered elsewhere, but...
On these TVs, I believe that settings are 'saved' as you make them, but remain in limbo until you write to NV memory (using the Mute & Enter buttons) or discard by unplugging the TV - i.e. if you do niether, the changes will remain in effect indefinitely, but reversibly. Is that correct?

Thanks again for all the advice.

#11 of 11 willyTass

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Posted January 18 2006 - 05:36 AM

All changes made only get registered if u enter them

Pulling the plug on the tv is a way to get out of service mode if u have made a mistake

Whilst changes are "permanent" they can be altered later as many times as u want

The definitive site for all this is www.avsforum.com

and the thread is called "the sony service codes..."





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