Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to retain the services of Michael Chen, aka Michael_TLV. I was 1/2 way through his 30 calibration So-Cal tour. Michael arrived at 3 and finished calibrating about 7:30. We then waited for my girlfriend before going out to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. But enough with the pleasantries, here's what you want to know: The Preparation My set was AVIA calibrated for color, tint, brightness, contrast, sharpness and overscan. No other tinkering occurred because I recently had an A-Board swapped and didn't feel like recreating my old tweaks before Michael arrived. I made sure to watch the TV all morning before he arrived, viewing material that I was intimately familiar with, and noting the flaws. I know there are flaws because I often take the DVDs up to my PC, hooked up to a monitor that has a 6500K setting. I noted that in dark scenes, most browns (especially fleshtones) had a bit of dark green tinge to it. What Michael_TLV Did The first thing Michael did was disable the SVM via disconnecting the wires, and go into a special menu to greatly reduce the EE that the set has built in (this he had to do without me watching for fear that Panny may change the codes if it became public knowledge). Then he did the electronic and manual focus, which was a mess before he began. The center could be focused on all the colors but as you looked towards the corners the grids became a blurry mess. He found that the electronic and manual focus had a dependent relationship that he could tweak to obtain a fairly sharp focus both on the center and on the edges. Without looking at material, just seeing how he adjusted each color and gun using the grid display built into the set, I knew this would make a big difference in the result. What had previously been blurry lines that I tried to converge in the service menu were considerably tightened up. Next Michael did gray scale calibration. He explained that gray scale is not 2 dimensional, but rather 3 dimensional. And that 6500K is not a line on a graph, but a plane. There are many 6500K points, you can be at 6500K but be "too green" or too much of another color. As you know, there is a point that is the industry standard, marked as D6500K (there's an A6500K, B6500K) etc. So even though my readings weren't off the charts (I think everything was under 10,000K) they were waaaaayyyyy to green on his color analyzer. Off the charts type of green. He also explained that different contrast settings affect the linearity of the gray scale a set achieved, too high or low will yield more of a bell curve while a certain value may yield a flatter result across the low and high windows. Needless to say he tested different contrast values and obtained the most linear grayscale from my set. He also took readings across the screen and found the gray scale to be mostly uniform but a little higher on the left. Very minor lens striping yielded a uniform result across the screen. Finally he did color accuracy--because you can't have accurate color without accurate gray scale first. You know the drill, using a bevy of patterns he adjusted my service menu color, R-Y_A, B-Y_G, color and tint values so that they were centered on my user settings. Then he did brightness and contrast for both my interlaced and progressive signals. Since my TV handles progressive signals differently, he made changes on my RP91 for color and tint so that I could have accurate color on interlaced, and then switching to progressive would let the player compensate for the quirk in the way my TV handled progressive. He also showed me that I have to reduce brightness by -10 on progressive since that's another quirk of how my PT-47 handles progressive vs. interlaced signals. I'm sure I missed some things he did, but this is the gist of it. The Results / Test Viewing Okay, I'm stingy with money. I don't have a lot of it. But let's just say that after demoing scenes from Fifth Element SuperBit, Shawshank, Episode I, Godfather, Braveheart, Bring it On (a great test for color in the opening cheerleading scene), and a few other movies...I literally jumped out of my chair and started writing the check to him. That's the easiest $400 check I've ever written. The proof was in the pudding. What was different? Everything. If you've only AVIA's or VE'd your set, you've done a lot of good. But you're still nowhere near where a good ISF calibrator can get you. I know that now. The focus adjustments made everything on the image tighter. I truly felt that I was watching an HDTV, even with only DVD material! Color accuracy was spot on. No more greenish browns, especially in shadow detail. More shadow detail in general. Accurate fleshtones. Gray scale made a huge difference as well. No longer were there glaring whites that made you squint on a dark background. SVM/EE disabling made an enormous difference on hard, bright to dark edges. Opening credits on Oh Brother and Shawshank no longer crawled or shimmered, they were rock-solid stable. Some titles that had EE effects were now free of them (or greatly reduced), being a product of the TV rather than the source. Still others (TPM) showed EE which now proves to me the source is to blame and not my monitor. The Recommendation If you have an HD or HD ready RPTV, get it ISF'd by someone who is highly regarded. Michael, Bob McJimsey, Louis Carliner, you know the names. Search here, The Spot, AVS, and you'll see who's done good work. If you've spent $2000-$7000 on your set, what's another $400 to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of it? "Night and day" seems to trite and contrived a term to describe the difference I am seeing. Now I know when I buy my next TV, I'm going to try my best to fly Michael into town do that set as well. Sure, there are some that say "X" brand runs better out of the box than "Y" brand and thus doesn't need ISF calibration. But let me say that NOTHING at the local Best Buy or Ken Cranes, not a Mits, not a Tosh, not another Panny or Hitachi, runs close to what I am now seeing out of my BOTTOM OF THE LINE PT-47. Imagine how good those more expensive sets could look? You owe it to yourself to get this service done. I am now a believer in a good ISF calibration.