HTF's own Gregg Loewen professionaly calibrates my new Toshiba RPTV

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    About 2-3 months ago I purchased a brand new
    Toshiba 57HX81 television under the
    recommendation of Toshiba owners who said this
    was the best looking RPTV for the buck.
    No kidding! When I took this baby out of the
    box it looked incredible even before I made my
    own personal calibrations. Colors looked awesome,
    and I was just awestruck by a picture that rivaled
    what I had seen on more expensive sets I had been
    I wanted to break the television in a little
    more before I considered having it ISF calibrated.
    After two months of heavy use, I invited Gregg
    Loewen to come to my home.
    Gregg is on his way to becoming ISF certified.
    He is currently offering his services in New
    England, Eastern Canada and elsewhere by request.
    Equipped with a color analyzer and high definition
    signal generator, Gregg has been doing professional
    ISF calibrations for less cost than other
    professionals in his field.
    I picked Gregg up at the airport. He brought
    along some extra baggage that included his laptop
    computer, a printer, and all sorts of calibration
    My biggest mistake was not taking pictures, which
    I had originally planned to do, but forgot about
    once I got involved in watching Gregg work.
    Gregg began our calibration session by sitting
    down and talking to me about my particular set and
    how it differs from others. Gregg has a clear
    knowledge of many different brands of televisions,
    with expertise in Mitsubishi and Toshiba. He explained
    the red push on the Mitsubishi's and the way that
    set gets calibrated as opposed to the Toshiba.
    Gregg also gave me a thorough preview discussion
    on what he was planning to do with my television
    as well as the changes I should expect as a result
    of the calibrations.
    After warming up my television, Gregg did some
    pre-tuning to my set that included pre front panel
    adjustments, disconnecting of SVM, electronic and
    manual focus. Next thing I knew, He placed
    a suction cup sensor on my television which sent
    readings back to his laptop computer. I believe
    what he was doing was getting readings on overall
    color temperature that would ultimately be tune to
    an even 6500.
    When Gregg insisted that my outer glare screen be
    removed, I was a bit hesitant to let him do it.
    I wasn't as much as concerned about the safety of
    my television's inner screen as I was about the
    glossy look that I liked. Gregg explained that
    the outer screen was only adding artificial enhancements
    to my picture and that I should have it removed.
    Well, sure enough, the removal of the outer
    protective screen made a remarkable difference in
    picture quality resulting in a more natural look.
    With the screen removed, Gregg showed me my three
    picture guns which were loose. He explained that
    this was common, mostly caused by the shipping of
    the sets and the ignorance of manufacturers to
    properly tighten them. Gregg had a particularly
    inventive way of focusing each of the picture guns
    with the TV screen attached. I could immediately
    see a sharper image coming into view.
    For the next 5 hours, Gregg performed a multitude
    of adjustments including: Geometry and overscan
    adjustments, Grey Scale adjustments, Geometry and
    convergences -- and most interestingly -- lense
    stripping where he placed a bit of black electrical
    tape over my picture guns in order to bring the
    color temperature to proper range (which it most
    certainly did).

    My overall thoughts on television calibration

    For all the years I have owned a big screen
    television, I had always felt that I could get
    by with calibrating the set using Video Essentials.
    Keep in mind that I did my own pre-calibrations using
    While I certainly feel that the above methods
    of simple self-calibration results in a remarkable
    improvement to your video and audio -- there are
    further improvements that only a professional can do.
    Looking at the pre and post calibration graphs
    that Gregg printed out for me, I could see the
    huge improvements that were made to my television
    after 5 hours of analyzation and adjustments. The
    most immediate improvement was the sharpness of my
    picture as well as the improved warmth of the colors
    across the entire viewing area.
    I can only sum up the fruits of his efforts by
    saying my TV picture looks friggin' awesome! I
    popped in Gladiator and was just blown
    away with how sharp and detailed the picture looked.
    The blacks were even blacker than before, but yet,
    in the dark scenes of Saving Private Ryan I
    could see the emblems on the uniforms of the soldiers.
    My eye-candy treat came when I popped in Moulin
    Rouge. My jaw was just hanging while I watched
    vivid, precise colors flash across my screen.
    Anyone, like myself, who had believed that spending
    a few hundred dollars to have a television properly
    calibrated was senseless, should know that I just
    has by senses knocked out of me.
    There is absolutely no question that anyone who
    has invested good money in the purchase of a large
    screen television, has wasted their investment if
    they don't have their picture and audio properly
    calibrated. It's amazing to see that what your eyes
    tend to believe is the best picture you can get from
    self-calibration, can often be proven deceiving when
    you see how much BETTER that picture can be after
    a professional calibration.
    I fully expect a few more people who also had
    their sets calibrated this past week (Gregg did
    4 sets in 3 days) to chime in their praise, as
    I had the opportunity to hear their comments about
    the overall improvement to their televisions.
    It's good to see that people like Gregg Loewen
    are bringing some much needed competition to the
    market by doing professional calibrations at a more
    reasonable cost than what is normally charged.

    SHAWN SZILEZY Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 4, 1999
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    Hey Ron,

    Glad you like the results. Gregg did mine on Friday and I could not be happier. I also put in Gladiator and was in awe! I will do a little write up after some more viewing time.
  3. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 1999
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    WTG Gregg! Yoda, er, Michael TLV has taught you well. [​IMG]
    BTW, have you calibrated a front projection system yet? A friend of mine is looking at a refurbished Barco 808, and if/when he gets it (I'll help him set it up initially) at some point he'll probably want it given the ISF treatment.
  4. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

    Jul 13, 1999
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    If Greg was taught by Michael TLV, did he also do that special calibration, which I think was called Herman TLV or something? The deal where they go into the set and make changes that can't be undone? Damn, I wish I knew what I was talking about.
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Gregg did the Herman TLV Manuveur
  6. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

    Sep 14, 1998
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    Real Name:
    Steven Simon
    Around May of the year 2000, I took the plunge

    into the world of 16:9 Widescreen Anamorphic

    Television. I purchased a Mitsubishi 46805 RPTV.

    On first inspection, I was amazed at such detail

    that could be achieved with a Progressive Scan

    dvd player, and a 16:9 RPTV. I soon

    realized that a Progressive picture was the only

    way to go as far as viewing dvd. You completely

    loose all of those annoying motion artifacts that

    flew around on an interlaced picture. Beyond

    loosing artifacts, you will be treated to the

    most film like image one has ever seen. I

    calibrated my Mitsubishi with Video Essentials

    and basically went on my merry way.

    I read a little about these ISF calibrations

    on Home Theater Forum and other places. I

    soon realized that for the good money I spent

    on my RPTV, a relatively meager investment

    of $400 would be in order. To be completely

    honest with you, I was on the fence on calibrating

    my TV. I was a bit pessimistic about doing the

    calibration. If it wasn’t for a few of my friends on

    the HTF convincing me, I wouldn’t have never taken

    the next step. Thanks Jay.

    I had David Schultz from Audio Video Synergy,

    an ISF Certified tech over my house to do the

    calibration in December of 2000. He spent 4 hours

    doing various calibrations, most of which was spent

    on Grey Scale. He set the IRE range from top to bottom

    to a close 6500K. He did an electronic focus, and set

    the controls on my front panels. (Color, Sharpness, Tint Ect.)

    I came out of the calibration liking what I was seeing.

    In my mind, I thought my RPTV had been improved around 25

    Percent from where it was before. Colors look a tad more

    rich to me, and black details were more defined, and

    noticeable. Movies like Gladiator, were there were tons

    of grainy scenes, we more detailed, and vivid.

    I lived with my set for well over one year, never really

    thinking I needed any additional adjustment. I had a few

    convergence drift issues which I corrected through the 64

    Point Convergence user menu,and the slight red push

    problem of the Mitsubishi sets.

    Around 4 months ago, I entered the world of High

    Definition Television. Via DirecTV and an Over the

    Air Rooftop antenna. I now have 5 full channels of

    High Def. It soon became evident to me, that I needed

    this section of my Mitsu calibrated.

    Enter my fellow administrator Gregg Loewen. Gregg

    is on his way to soon being the top ISF Tech in the field.

    He will be certified as an ISF tech in appox. 5-6 weeks.

    Through many conversations we have had, and reading

    about his work, I decided to let Gregg have a crack at my

    RPTV for the purposes of recalibrating the dvd output,

    and for the first time, calibrating the High Def section of

    my RPTV.

    Gregg spent around a total of 6 hours on my RPTV.

    He performed a multitude of calibrations spanning

    from Electronic Focus, Mechanical Focus, cleaning

    the Optics of my guns, convergence of DVD and High

    Def Sections (In service Menu), Color Decoder

    adjustments, Lens Stripping, and Front Panel Adjustments

    (Setting them to an even 0 in the Service Menus). He

    also set the Grey Scale as close to 6500k on the DVD and

    HD as humanly possible. Geometry and overscan were

    also worked on, improving them greatly.

    Gregg Loewen goes way beyond the average calibration.

    He basically tweaks your TV to the max, and achieves

    the maximum quality out of your Rear Projection Television.

    I immediately noticed differences between my first techs

    work, and Gregg’s extensive calibration. First off,

    his convergence work was done in the service menu, where

    as the first tech never did that. This enabled him to do

    the convergence on green, something that really needed to be done.

    Black levels had an amazing amount of detail, something I had never

    seen after the first calibration. My picture is now super sharp,

    without having the need for Edge Enhancement.

    In summary, I would recommend Gregg to anyone thinking

    of greatly improving there Monitor. He will take your RPTV

    to the next level of quality, which is not possible with

    just buying a RPTV out of a box. One can spend anywhere

    from $2000 to $6500 dollars on an RPTV. For basically 10

    Percent of the value of your monitor, you can improve it’s

    performance by making it look 3 to 4 times better, post calibration.

    Gregg’s passion for doing the best possible job he can, just exudes

    out of him. After watching him in action for 6 hours, I can

    tell he is going to go far in this field. His expertise

    is unmatched, and his methodical approach to detail lends

    him well… Highly recommended….
  7. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

    Jul 23, 2001
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    I wonder if Gregg would ever consider venturing slightly outside of New England, to the Baltimore, MD area? I might know someone who may want his Mits WS65907 ISF calibrated in the future... [​IMG]
  8. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

    Jul 25, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Great review write ups Ron and Steven.
    Gregg is headed my way the first weekend in Feb. for a small meet I put together. He will be doing calibrations from LA to San Diego while down here.
    If anyone is interested in a calibration, please email myself or Gregg.
    I look forward to meeting him.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
  9. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

    Jun 8, 2000
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    For all of those living in the Portland/Seattle area, Gregg is coming our way if Febuary. Follow this link for more information about scheduling a visit: Gregg's Portland/Seattle tour.
  10. Les Samuel

    Les Samuel Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2000
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    I'm with you scott, Gregg if you are ever in the Maryland area please let us know
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Jun 30, 1997
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    Too bad you didn't wait till you had the Malata so he could calibrate the input for that too. I didn't realize till too late the same thing--that when you add a piece of new equipment, you have to troop the ISF guy back in and spend the $500 all over again.
  12. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

    Jul 13, 1999
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    Mark, why is that the case?

    It would sure put a damper on upgrading once you get the calibration. Maybe if you look at the expense of calibration that way it is the least expensive thing you could do for your setup since it improves performance and discourages further upgrades. "See, honey, paying for a calibration will give us a better picture and save us money in the long run!"
  13. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

    Jun 9, 1999
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    Man - this thread makes me wish it was February already!

    I can't wait to have Gregg calibrate my Sony 57HW40!

    Thanks for the reviews/info Ron & Steven!
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Oct 31, 1997
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    I could not agree with you more, Ron. A while back I posted my experience with Michael_TLV (Yoda [​IMG] ) calibrating my PT-47. It's funny, I didn't get too many responses here, but I found my thread linked to at several other forums that I don't frequent, but stumbled upon while doing research on my PT-47.
    There is only so much User Changes can do. At a certain point, you need a professional calibrationist.
    I look forward to seeing Gregg in action in So-Cal for Ron-P's meet.
  15. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Mar 16, 2000
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    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen

    Changing a DVD player will result in a minor shift in the grayscale on the TV.

    This is usually about it. The grayscale shifts from a couple 100 K to 500 K. Hardly a need to drop another $500.

    Typically, you can get the ISF man to come back and touch up the grayscale for something much less than even a standard basic calibration. Since it only takes less than 5 minutes to do.

  16. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Jun 30, 1997
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    Well, that's good news. When I was thinking of getting an RP91 everyone told me I'd have to recalibrate my set for the new player. Would that be true even if it's using a different input?
  17. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.

    Nov 9, 1999
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    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    mark, that depends on the TV.

  18. Ed Brunelle

    Ed Brunelle Extra

    Apr 27, 1999
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    I was lucky enough to catch Gregg on his way back from his adventures in the land of the Soprano's...

    He showed up Tuesday at about 9:30 am and proceeded to tackle my two month old Pioneer 720HD...

    Having had an ISF calibration done to another set I owned I thought I knew what I was in for - boy was I wrong.

    The previous folks (one for color & one for geometry) took maybe two to three hours combined and did a good job. Lets call this drive thru calibration...

    Gregg on the other hand did a fantastic job that lasted almost seven hours (largely due to my pestering him with questions and his polite comprehensive explanations). This was the true seven course meal of calibrations...

    Gregg had provided me with a list of everything he would do beforehand and he systematically went through the list. The only item skipped was the Lens Striping because my Color temp only varied 300 degrees from left to right.

    I would strongly second everything mentioned by Ron & Steven - a calibration has greatly improved my Pioneer set. This investment improves your picture and will add years to your "guns".

    I whole heartedly recommend Gregg to anyone considering a calibration.

    Please feel free to email me if I can provide any more information to the group.

    Thanks again Gregg!
  19. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.

    Nov 9, 1999
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    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    Just thought I'd do a quick plug:
    Ill be in Southern California, Jan 29-feb 6, and Seattle area Feb 6th through the 14th. I have 2 spots available for each area which is dependent on TV type. Please email me if you have any questions, or would like to have your set calibrated by myself.
    On a side note, Michael TLV will be in the GTA very soon, coming to my home town of Regina later this spring, and also to Vancouver early this spring. Email [email protected] if interested.
    [email protected]
  20. Rik Southcott

    Aug 1, 1999
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    Greg any chance of coming to the Uk and Calabrate my tv [​IMG]

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