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Best Buy ISF Calibration?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted January 23 2013 - 01:52 AM

Hello, I just purchased a Panny from Best Buy and it apparently comes with a ISF calibration.  Now my past three TVs have been calibrated by Gregg, and he did a great job, but it does cost quite a bit of money.  Naturally, I wish to save money but not at the sacrifice of a badly calibrated set.  Therefore, I wish to ask the calibrater some questions to ensure they are using the same or similar equipment, use similar techniques, time spent, etc to ensure I am getting what I should get.  If the calibrater "fails" based on the questions, then I would forgo Best Buy calibration and arrange a calibration with Lion.  It is Best Buy, that is why I am a little dubious. The other question would be has anyone had ISF calibration done by Best Buy and what were the results?  Good?  Bad?  Your responses are most welcome.  Thanks.

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 23 2013 - 06:01 AM

I'm dubious but I would propose an alternative strategy: Go into it a little dumb. Make sure they are doing SOMETHING but be open to seeing what they provide without influencing outcome by letting them know you aren't an average yokel buyer. Evaluate the results objectively. Report back. I realize your time is not free, but this service is. Take one for the team and let us know how it goes! ;)

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#3 of 10 OFFLINE   TheGary


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Posted January 23 2013 - 06:36 AM

I remember reading a review of a calibration BB did. Guy said he didn't touch the RGB controls AT ALL. I might be a little wary..

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted January 23 2013 - 06:51 AM

I would prefer going into it, appearing to be dumb, for as it stands now, without getting the answers I seek, I will be going into it dumb.  I have read reviews, both good and bad, regarding Best Buy ISF.  So while I would like to take one for the team, I don't want to do it at the sacrifice of a good calibration.  Hopefully Gregg or Mike will chime in as to what I should expect from getting a Panny plasma calibrated correctly.

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted January 23 2013 - 08:51 AM

If someone is ISF certified, they would have some sort of ID or license, correct? Just ask. But then again, maybe they are just using a calibration disc like the rest of us.

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted January 23 2013 - 10:17 AM

Hi guys Best Buy has a train the trainer model of training. My color measurement tool at 24K costs more than the car they are driving. Ths signal generator (at 6K) that I use costs more than all of their gear. As back up I also carry a $9K measurement tool and a $2K signal generator. I am happy to work behind any blue shirt (and often do) however it doesnt change the cost I need to charge to make a living. (which means the client often has to pay twice to get 1 correct job). Regards Gregg

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#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted January 23 2013 - 01:08 PM

Greetings Even some of the best BB calibrators (That really care about what they do because they are enthusiasts first) have told us that people have about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a BB calibrator that actually is any good and cares about what he does. From the mouths of BB guys themselves. ISF certifies stores in this case so it is often hard to know who comes to your home to actually do the calibration. Maybe it is the guy that took the class and maybe it is a janitor. The ISF site won't be able to tell you anything here. Train the trainer .... what does that mean? It often means that you send one of your guys to take a class ... he comes back and suddenly he is the expert with 3 days of class under his belt and no real experience. Now he trains others ... and the scary cycle continues. BB calibrations are often described as the model for the "Hit and Run Calibration." Like it or not, corporate BB has dictated that their guys spend no more than 80 minutes in any one home. This includes set up and break down. So even if the calibrator wanted to spend more time, he could not. Read the linked article about what their calibrations are typically like. It's good enough for many ... in the same way that a Big Mac satisfies a hunger if you have no idea that other better foods exist. The best calibration you ever had ... also the only calibration you ever had and nothing to compare it to. If you don't know what you could be missing, you don't miss not getting it. It's free, give it a try. But every question you throw their way works against their 80 minute clock. What gear does a BB guy typically use for calibrations? A Chroma 5 probe or a C6 probe with the Calman software. Their generator is likely still the sencore 403 type unit, but they may have updated to QD generators. Consider that the guts of a Chroma 5 unit now find their way into probes that cost $150 ... it's a mixed bag on what the results would be. Through no fault of the calibrator, these devices might just be plain wrong on 30 to 40% of all the displays they are used on resulting in images that really are way redder than they should be. Keep an eye out for this. Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
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#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted January 24 2013 - 03:18 AM

Thank you very much for your responses.  I was afraid that BB would offer the minimalist approach.  That's too bad because I took the service into account with the price.  One thing that was consistent in all the reviews I read, both good and bad, was the calibrator was there for only 45 to 50 minutes.  Gregg would be there 3 to 4 hours.  More than likely I will call on Gregg's services again but I am curious so I will call BB with this new knowledge and see how they do. The TV comes this Saturday but apparently I have to spend the first two weeks breaking it in with color slides.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted January 24 2013 - 07:38 AM

Now we know why the service is "free".

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Tim Jin

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Posted January 29 2013 - 08:07 AM

Which model of Panny did you get that came with ISF Calibration?

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