How much difference would I see from a PRO CALIBRATION?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Daniel Becker, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Second Unit

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    I just recently bought a 36" SONY HS510 HDTV. I would like some honest advice about calibrating it. How much would it cost? Is it worth my money? I have already made some adjustments and I feel the picture it very good as is but i'm interested to know just how much better it could actually get. Thanks for any info.




    Dan.B
     
  2. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Second Unit

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    Someone has to have a testimonial for me. [​IMG]



    dan.B
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Cost for a unit like yours is $225 at SRP.

    How much of a difference does it make is a wholly subjective question and totally dependent on the condition of the TV.

    May as well ask if people should get a Tune up for their car? How much of a difference did it make ..? Well that kinda depends doesn't it?

    Benefits that you see from a calibration also depend on your own value system ... subjective ... how long is a piece of string?

    What does good mean to you? And the next person? One person's good seems to be another's excellent ...

    If we try to quantify it and refrain from taking that step into the subjective ... then it depends a lot on where you start out. We know where you are supposed to end up. Just how accurate are your colours/grayscale? Can you tell without instrumentation or years of practice?

    Asking if it is worth it is like asking for directions to New York City. We know where that is ... now tell us where you are in proximity to New York? Are you in Jersey or ARizona or on the moon? Unfortunately, like most, you will not be able to tell us where you are so directions to NYC are really tough to give.

    Benefit is wholly dependent on where you start out since we know where you end up.

    Regards
     
  4. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, I wish you were closer to my neck of the woods. An ISF guy here wants $200 an hour, and a 3 hour minimum to calibrate my Barco CRT. I believe in the bennie's of an ISF certified gray-scale calibration. BTW, how long does it take, (on a table top mounted BD800?)
     
  5. Bill Bird

    Bill Bird Auditioning

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    Dan, I just had my set done by Michael, a Tosh 50", the difference was dramatic. The level of detail in dark scenes was poor and now WOW. I think I scared Mike with my jumping around as we watched Band of Brothers episode "Carentan" with a night scene in which I pointed out all the things I hadn't seen before. The over all effect in my case was, in a nutshell;better colour rendition, detail in dark scenes as noted,a more film-like look. I am happy[​IMG]

    On the other hand cable looks crappy, even crappier than before. Untill I get a HD box or sattelite HD I'll live with it. If it drives me to watch less TV so be it I have all those DVDs to watch all over again as if it's the first time.

    A pleasant expeience,Michael's a great guy, money well spent[​IMG] nuff said
     
  6. Rahul

    Rahul Auditioning

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    Is it possible to save some cash and do it yourself?

    I know they have expensive specialized equipment, but geometry, color levels (maybe with cards?), focus, convergence, tightness of scan lines, even some soldering to make better contacts on the boards (if you know the board and are careful not to do some damage), etc, that seems to be able to be done with a little work, a few instruments, some research, and some self-taught education. Of course some of that would be needless in the case of DLP,etc

    Self Calibration probably wouldn't be as good as ISF, but on the flip side if you have a CRT for ex, adjusting it is a frequent issue, and getting an ISF frequently (say every year or so) is not in my price range at least.

    Just curious if anyone has tried both methods and where was the differences between the ISF guy and the hands-on stuff.
     
  7. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Second Unit

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    Here is a question i've never seen clearly answered. Do most direct view sets see a lot less improvement when compared to a RPTV since most RPTVs come delivered with more problems?



    dan.b
     
  8. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Direct View Tube sets see less of an improvement per se ... but the cost is also reflected in that.

    Tubes are typically $225 for calibration work while RPTV's are $400 to $550 range.

    Generally Tube sets just get some minor geometry work and grayscale/colour decoding work. If no documentation is needed, the work tends to take about 15 to 20 minutes.

    RPTV's tend to need tune ups while Directview tubes need oil changes.

    Regards
     
  9. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Rahul, there is no special magic that makes what a calibrator does better. It is just like doing vehicle oil changes and tune ups by yourself or taking the car to a shop and letting the pros do it.

    It is very possible that you can do every bit as good a job as they can on the bulk of the work. You just need specialized equipment for some of it.

    It has never been about skill versus the unskilled. Calibration work is not rocket science. In the grand scheme of things, it is not that difficult to pick up.

    Whether one chooses to go the professional route is more dependent on the age old struggle of time versus money. What is the cost of the professional calibration versus the cost of your time to learn and perfect the same skills?

    If the cost of your time is very little to nothing ... then you can afford to spend the time practicing and researching to do it yourself.

    If you value your time more ... then a professional calibration is usually the route.

    It is no different than me deciding to take my car into a jiffy lube to get an oil change rather than doing it myself. It takes 15 minutes of my time and costs me $30 to $40. Sure I could have spent $12 on oil and parts and spent the next two hours under my car doing it myself and getting myself all grungy ... but for me, my time is worth more than this so I choose to let someone else do it for me.

    Regards
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Michael the Metaphorist! [​IMG] (Those posts are fun reading, buddy.)
     
  11. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I was asking myself the same question. Had a Toshiba 65HDX82 ISF'd and it did make a BIG difference in PQ. I just bought a Sony 40XBR800 and I'm not sure I will have it calibrated...

    With Avia, I can see that I have a geometry issue in the 2 upper corners.

    I have a question for the ISF calibrators. Is it tough to fix a geometry issue on a direct-view? There is no geometry grid, so I think you have to work with magnets? My ISF calibrator just told me he don't mess with this... So should I call the Sony tech, or will he make it worst?
     
  12. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Weakness of most flat tube designs is geometry. There is no warranty fix ... and generally the geometry meets factory tolerance.

    You may have to go through 5 to 10 units before finding one with better geometry ... and no one in their right mind will let you go through that many units.

    Generally ... you are stuck. Sorry to say.

    ISF people in general are not TV repair people. I won't touch this issue and most ISF people won't either.

    Regards
     
  13. Joe Valha

    Joe Valha Stunt Coordinator

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    Daniel,

    I had this done on my Mitsu WS-65711 and the results are simply amazing. Worth twice what I paid. But on a smaller, tube display....not sure. If you are perfectionist that can afford it, by all means. Nothing beats getting all you can out of what you've got.
     
  14. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Michael TLV,

    I appreciate how forthright you are regarding your craft, and your honest, helpful replies.

    Some ISF trained people (including the 3-day-course AV salesmen) give the impression they hold golden keys to knowledge that the average Joe cannot possible attain without their help. (Although I have seen no trace of that attitude at all from the ISF trained folk of this forum).
    Here, you guys share knowledge, rather than simply decree you have it. Thanks.

    Cheers [​IMG]
     
  15. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    How about calibrating an LCD projector? I have a Sharp XVH37UVA which (I believe) has gotten an alignment problem between the LCD panels. I think one of them is ever so slightly off, because I just can't get the clear image that I got before.

    Is it possible to calibrate an LCD projector, or are they pretty much locked in.
     
  16. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    LCD's are pretty much locked in.

    If a panel is out of alignment, this is a repair issue and no calibrator will touch it.

    Regards
     

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