Is a top-notch calibration worth 28% of the cost of the display?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric T, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    I've been in touch with someone about getting a bottom-up calibration done on my Mits 55807 by someone who many regard as THE calibrationist for Mitsubishi RPTVs. The issue is that it would cost me $750 to calibrate a set for which I paid $2750. This seems a little steep for me. The alternative would be to not get any calibration done, as the calibrationist in my area has no experience with Mits sets.

    Is it worth that much?
     
  2. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Get Gregg Loewen [​IMG]
    I spent 38% of the TV's worth for calibration... it was a sony 24" flat for the bedroom and it was worth it
     
  3. Hanwook_K

    Hanwook_K Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm cheap. I would get video essentials or Avia and do the first level of calibration (the basic stuff). If any of the adjustments are hugely off and can't be corrected with the adjustments provided to you, then I would call the calibration man.

    Just my two cents...
     
  4. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Human nature calls on all of us to look for things better than what we have if not make the best of them. While Hanwook is has a point, if u truly want the best ur Mits could put out then shelling out a few more MUST be done.
    I have a Toshiba and have done the more basic stuff on it. I would really want a calibration done on it but the guy that I want seems to busy to pass thru our little town.
     
  5. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm with Hanwook on this one... get Avia or Video Essentials and calibrate it yourself. You will learn a great deal about a proper video display simply by using a disc like those to calibrate your set, and after learning that stuff you will be a better judge of your TV's performance. If the result looks good to you, then sit back and enjoy your TV, and spend that $750 on DVDs, beer, and popcorn.

    However, if you've calibrated it yourself but still think there's room for improvement, then by all means get it done by an ISF certified, Mitsu-knowledgeable guy. There are many things he can adjust that you or I cannot, and the difference before and after can be dramatic. If you decide to get it done, however, check around for pricing; $750 seems awful steep. I've heard more in the $400-500 range for most RPTVs.
     
  6. Ming Wang

    Ming Wang Agent

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    what can an ISF tech do and you can't do by yourself, beside color temperature? after usual things with Avia, I just followed instructions on www.panny.tv and did focus, 64-point convergence, and eyeballed grey scale on my panny 53WX42. the image is significantly better now. I wonder can ISF tech do a much better job?
     
  7. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    Thanks for your comments guys. I have already been through the Avia disc for basic settings, and even have made a couple of tweaks in the service menu. I use a red push attenuator to help correct the color balance. I have made some adjustments to the gamma correction on my DVD player to get good shadow detail. In short, I've become more of a critical viewer than most, and have already done almost everything that I can do myself to optimize the picture.

    What I'm thinking is that this may be a good investment. If I can get a noticable improvement, then that will keep me satisfied with my equipment for that much longer, and may actually save me money in the long run. We'll have to wait and see, my mind's not completely made up.

    Anyway, about what the calibrator does....it's a lot more than just convergence. He starts by opening up the set and thoroughly cleaning the lenses, screen and mirror. Then he refocuses the lenses and adjusts the alignment so that accurate convergence can be made over the whole screen. He electronically measures the grayscale over several points on the screen and corrects it over all portions of the screen, as well as over various intensities. Corrects the color balance and flashes the EEPROM to permanently remove the red push for all inputs. By the way, these adjustments are made for every input on the TV. He can re-calibrate all of the user video controls so that the center adjustment position is the calibrated position - if things get out of whack, just reset the controls, and you're back in business. Etc, etc, etc.. Basically getting in the TV and correcting everything from the ground up. A very thorough job.
     
  8. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    G. Alan Brown
    The first level of CALIBRATION is the grayscale. This cannot be done precisely without instruments. User-level picture adjustments are not calibration. Most of the services you describe are in the category of modifications. To get all that work done for that amount is very fair. If you have more time than money you can do the modifications and adjustments yourself. It will take many hours of study and a lot longer to perform than your calibrator will take. Then you will still wonder if you got it all right.

    Professional services are worth professional fees. I'm quite happy to pay a lot for my dentistry rather than do it myself. Same goes for my car repairs and my computer tune-ups. To each his own.

    No TV review is published these days without before-and-after grayscale calibration comparisons. Why is that? They do not modify them, however. Typically the most dramatic improvement to picture quality in RPTVs comes with the proven modifications in practice today, but it is all founded upon grayscale calibration first.

    If you want the most your TV investment will provide, save up for a first-class tweaking by a pro. No display will perform its best without proper calibration and setup. That includes correct viewing environment conditions.

    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.

    Insist on HDTV!
     
  9. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

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    Tony,

    Did it really make that much of a difference for you?. What I am trying to ask is if you were able to watch the TV with lower contrast and brightness settings AFTER the calibration. As well, did your whites (example: movie credits) lose all fringes of red (or green if that was the case)?.

    Just curious,

    Michael.
     
  10. Ming Wang

    Ming Wang Agent

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    Thanks, Eric.
    sounds quite a lot of work, although I believe I can do most myself, except using equipment to adjust grey scale and burn EPROM -- I already opened the box and adjusted focus, and did through geometry/convergence all over the screen... [​IMG] big difference... but I believe for most people probably hiring an ISF tech would be a lot easier to get great image out of their TV.
    and I do believe a $2000 TV + $400 calibration would give much better image than $2500 TV out of box.
     

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