Basic Calibration Question

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DaveSp, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. DaveSp

    DaveSp Agent

    Aug 24, 2003
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    I just got a new Toshiba 51H83 - it's great. But I have a basic calibration question.

    Ok, so I went through the Video Essentials disk and calibrated with it. However, when watching different DVDs or changing the video source to cable, I generally have to change the settings of color, brightness, etc. The setting for one DVD is rarely right for another. So I'm having difficulty understanding what calibration really means/does - the Video Essentials settings don't look good for a majority of DVDs.

  2. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

    Apr 27, 2002
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    Perhaps you didn't calibrate properly.

    Video Essentials is supposed to give you the best settings for all of your DVDs.

    One thing that could be wrong, is that you're just not used to the way a calibrated display looks. I must admit, it takes about 2 weeks of getting used too. At first the picture will seem overly soft, and WAY too dark, but after those initial two weeks it looks unbelievable. You start to notice things you've never noticed before.

    You should NOT have to change the setting for different DVDs. I calibrated my TV and have watched over 200 DVDs and all look magnificent with the settings, except for the ones that look bad to begin with, and calibrated or not, they will always look bad.

    Also, I have never changed my settings while watching cable TV either. I use the same calibrated settings.
  3. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

    Sep 29, 2003
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    Real Name:
    I agree with Mitch. It probably looks "off" to you b/c you're not used to a properly calibrated set.

    The first time I calibrated my TV, I immediately thought the skin tones and such looked way better, but the picture was too dark.

    After shutting the blinds on the window (:b) and just getting used to it for a week or so, I started noticing much more detail in movies I'd seen 10x already.

    BTW, after you calibrate properly, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING! By adjusting "just this" "only a little bit", you've now screwed everything up. [​IMG] All your hard work *flush* down the tubes, buddy.

    Calibrate it again, and you no touch! *slaps your hand* [​IMG]

    Remember, proper calibration also assumes you have adjusted your room lighting to "proper viewing conditions" which IIRC is a dim, almost dark room.

    If your TV is out on the patio and you enjoy watching it outside, then you're going to have to set the brightness a little higher to compensate...but then it won't be properly calibrated any more. [​IMG]
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Aug 19, 2002
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    That would be contrast....
  5. Douglas Kinne

    Douglas Kinne Auditioning

    Jan 29, 2003
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    What you see with a display that provides a nearly linear grayscale (@ 6500k ntsc std.), is what the director of the film intended for you to see.

    That's a "perfect world" setting. The room is light controlled, the black and white levels are correctly set, the color decoders are working properly etc.etc.

    Now reality for the masses. All DVD's are not created equally. and as for broadcast TV? Wow, not even close.

    Just try and remember that the Matrix is supposed to be green. I can't tell you how many people have nearly lost it trying to make it "look" right.

    Point being, unless you have your display professionally calibrated with the proper test gear, it will be OK for you to use the user controls to some extent.

    Try to get the display to show no blooming. Picture (contrast or white levels) are generally way out of whack initially. Then use the pluge to set black levels (brightness controls). The two controls will interact on some displays more than others so check your work often. Once these two parameters are set, only change them if the room lighting demands it. Oh.. and follow the white rabbit.

    Good Viewing,

    Doug k
  6. DaleBesh

    DaleBesh Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 26, 2002
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    Very true. Use the calibration for setting up your display for the optimum conditions for watching movies. Less ambient lighting or a dark room with soft backlighting behind the set, etc. etc.

    Many TV displays have different modes (ie; sports, normal, vivid, movie, etc.)
    I calibrate in the movie mode for this is the optimum setting. Regular broadcast viewing looks lousy in the movie mode. For that I use the normal mode. HD may require something different, I do not have that capability (yet).
    So you have to adjust the settings for the broadcast mode which normally requires less color saturation, maybe less brightness, and the color temp is normally cooler or 'normal' where the cinema setting is warmer. Sharpness setting may vary some too, as a true film like display will appear 'smoother' and not necessarily sharper. Smoother is not blurred, but virtually no noise or edginess in the picture.
    By fully optimizing the movie setting, I found through experimentation the best settings for the other modes (I really only use one other mode) I can make subtle adjustments that deviate from the cinema profile but give a very pleasant picture for casual viewing. By using the now calibrated cinema mode as your baseline, you can set up other viewing modes with no fear of blooming, nor those other less than diserable conditions which are fatiguing to watch and possilbly shorten the life of your display.

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