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Question on ISF Calibration (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
May 15, 2001
I just bought a 50" Panasonic PX80u plasma at Best Buy. They were trying to push their ISF calibration services regularly $300 for $100. They told me that with this calibration it would reduce the energy consumption of the tv by 30-50%, thus saving me me money. He explained to me this was done by using improved software in the tv. Is this true. I thought the calibration was for adjusting the grey scale. Your input is appreciated.


Supporting Actor
May 5, 1999
Santa Clara, CA
Real Name
Martin O.
"He explained to me this was done by using improved software in the tv. Is this true"

It sounds bugus to me - trying to cash in on the whole "green" movement...I don't think they will be changing any of the "software" on the TV...

The set is probally will be setup way too "hot" out of the box - so the colors "pop" of the screen when shown in the showroom - a proper calibration will bring down the display to work proberlly - and it may save you some money by reduing the amount of energy the set will use since it no longer has to be so bright....

You need to be careful with this one. I just had my set re-calibrated by someone I trust to do a good job and I know is not only ISF certified, but he was also recommended to me. He told me that most of his work now is fixing other "calibrators" so called work - so not all calibrators are created equal.

A true calibration will be more then just adjusting the grey scale. They should be fixing any over scan your TV may have. They should also be fixing the convergence, as well as user defined settings. After he was finished, the picture was just outstanding...

I'm not sure who is doing Best Buy's ISF calibration services - so I would ask for some other references.

Here is the site for the guy I use - there is a link to his site.

Busch Home Theater: ISF Calibration: THX Setup: Robert Busch

From this link - I found this discription

"How to select an ISF technician

WARNING! Not all ISF video calibrators are created equal.

Within the video calibration lie a number of precise and complex adjustments. If these adjustments are done correctly, it will present a picture so stunning that you will ask your self "how could I have thought the picture looked so great before". No matter what brand or make of TV, it still needs calibration. To get the best results from a calibration, you don't just want anyone inside your TV set. To find out if a person is truly qualified you need to ask some very key questions. You should make sure the calibrator first has the multitude of expensive test equipment needed (see the list below of what equipment that a good calibrator should have.). Ask if he or she has the in-depth knowledge of how the complex set of adjustments that are unique to each TV (your TV) work. Ask how long they have been a calibrator and what level of electronics training have they been through. Ask for some referrals to past clients they have done work for, call the Imaging Science Foundation for an opinion of the person’s skills.

The calibrator should have a background in electronics or have certification as an electronic technician. They should have experience with calibrating many of the different brands of TV sets, and have attended multiple training classes on how to properly setup a direct view, rear projection, and front projection displays. The calibrator will now also need training on digital display technology such as, Plasma technology, DILA and DLP digital displays. Once you have identified the person to calibrate your new set the next question is how much will it cost? This will vary anywhere from $275 to $400 for direct view sets; $300 to $750 for rear projectors; and $500 to $1000 for front projectors. Whatever the price, a good ISF technician is worth every dollar spent. He or she will turn your investment into gold."

Gregg Loewen

Founder, Professional Video Alliance
Senior HTF Member
Nov 9, 1999
New England
Real Name
Gregg Loewen
hi guys

I kind of chuckle when I read a thread / question like this where a person is actually considering hiring a blue shirt to work on their display, when I have also read HUNDREDS of threads about how "dumb" the blue shirt guys are while trying to sell them monster cables, recharging the gas in a plasma display, etc etc.

It is true that when a plasma TV is calibrated, there will be a decrease in energy consumption (vs watching the display in torch mode).

There is no special software added to the display. - not sure what the guy is referring to.

Robert Busch, out of the Bay Area is known for doing excellent work.

Expect to pay $ 350-450 for a competent calibrator that has reference gear.

Calvin, where are you located? Feel free to send me an email. I can get you referred to somebody that knows what they are doing.


[email protected]

Michael TLV

THX Video Instructor/Calibrator
Senior HTF Member
Mar 16, 2000
Calgary, Alberta
Real Name
Michael Chen

Saving energy is not a Good Calibrator's concern. It's not about saving energy. You want to save energy? Shut the TV off and keep it off. :)

We just want to give you the whole picture ... where the contrast is optimal and where the brightness level is optimal. Where the overall energy consumption ends up ... well who knows. Sometimes it goes down ... and sometimes it goes up.


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