XBR960: A truly AMAZING ISF experience

Discussion in 'Displays' started by EricRWem, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I’m truly speechless today after my ISF calibration experience yesterday at the expert hands of one Chad Billheimer.

    http://www.hdtvbychadb.com/

    That’s Chad’s home web page that details who he is and what kind of services he offers. I can’t implore anyone even remotely in, or near the Midwest, to check this site out AT ONCE!

    As best I understand it, Chad will go as far east as Virginia and has been known to go as far as Indiana and Michigan, but I’d certainly let him speak for himself on that matter. Ohio is his home state and his base of operation from which he reaches out.

    Let me describe for you all, without getting bogged down in technicalities, what kind of a jaw dropping experience that Chad’s work and dedication were for my ISF calibration.

    Chad and I have been exchanging emails occasionally for the last two months, after I had taken delivery of my Sony KD-34XBR960. I was feeling him out, asking him some questions, and laying down the eventual groundwork, as Chad quickly was at the top of my list for ISF calibrators available in my region.

    Finally, I went to his website and put it in concrete this past Monday, July 21. Two days later, he’s at my house by 12:30 pm, even though the appointment wasn’t until 1 p.m. [​IMG] The first words out of my mouth after greetings were: “Have you had lunch yet? If not, I’d be more than happy to make you some.” He expressed some interest in lunch but he wanted to see what the job was going to look like. Lunch never happened for Chad, despite my occasional entreaties. He simply refused to be interrupted or de-railed, even though he “allowed” me to provide him with a couple of Mountain Dews. [​IMG]

    The first thing Chad did for me is he saw that some adjustment of my TV’s magnets would need to be done to fix some of the geometry and convergences issued that I had. So, off came the back of the set and two hours’ worth of very meticulous adjustments took place. There was a thirty minute interruption when Chad and I had to bomb out to Radio Shack to get us a supply of very strong, double sided, foam adhesive tape for these magnets. To make a long story short on this count, Chad was arguably even pickier than I was about getting all of those lines perfectly fixed. When we were both satisfied and put the TV back together and returned it to its original position, there already was a shocking, night and day difference in terms of improvement with my geometry and convergence. Keep in mind; he hadn’t even begun on the actual ISF work yet!

    So, surely after this Chad would want something to eat or possibly a bathroom break, right? WRONG!

    He jumped right in to the ISF calibration. For the next three hours, until he “allowed” me to order us some pizzas, which he finally took a break for at 6:30 pm, after NONSTOP work…Chad was at my house until 10 pm.

    Let me explain to you the kind of work he did. If you go to the main ISF webpage: http://www.imagingscience.com/

    Or even just to Chad’s website: www.hdtvbychad.com , you’ll quickly get a feel of exactly what goes into an ISF calibration and what it is supposed to cost in very specific terms.

    Chad took my TV and ISF calibrated BOTH component inputs, the cable input, the OTA antenna input, and the HDMI input. He did ALL scan rates, ALL resolutions, ALL EVERYTHING. Up and down. ALL OF IT! Grayscale, chroma, gamma, colors, overscan, geometry, convergence, EVERYTHING you can possibly imagine, Chad simply refused to leave any stone unturned!

    I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen a person SO dedicated, SO one track minded and dedicated to perfection EVER! I think the man must have some bionic implants or something, because I saw limitless energy and concentration.

    You don’t need to be a math expert to figure out that Chad put nearly 9 hours of PAINSTAKING work into my TV, far more than was really the call of duty. I think the man MIGHT have gone to the bathroom ONE TIME during ALL of this! Superman!

    Now…here’s the real clincher: When all this was said and done, I was fully prepared to pay a hefty and fair sum, as dictated by ISF SRP’s and so forth. Chad damn near gave me a heart attack when he quoted me a truly absurdly and unfair to him low price. I wouldn’t do it.

    I wrote Chad out a check for a bit more than he quoted me for because he was truly being insanely generous with his price quote. He really was unfair to himself.

    This man makes a living doing this full time and I couldn’t have slept last night if I had only paid him what he had the nerve to quote me. I can see why and how he can do this full time: He’s that damned good! UN-BELIEVABLE!

    Chad! Don’t undersell yourself like that! EVER!!!

    I thought my XBR960 was doing pretty good in Pro, and Monitor, and my little tweak job with the regular menus and Avia. I was skeptical. I thought “Meh, I’ll see a nip and tuck and yeah, it’ll be nicer.”

    Folks, I now have a professional monitor in every sense of the word, completely flawless in EVERY possible respect. I wasn’t expecting such a huge difference and yet I sit here today, writing this, in pure jaw dropping SHOCK.

    I am now a complete convert and zealous believer in ISF calibrations. It’s a no-brainer for me to say: I will ALWAYS ISF calibrate ANY display I ever buy and own from this day forth, and it will be Chad Billheimer doing my work.

    I hope Chad gains the national prominence and business that he truly deserves for the level of dedication, sophistication, and perfectionism that would make most mortal men curl up and weep.

    It sounds corny, but I feel moved as I write this. I really am blown away at the level of quality, dedication, selflessness, and pure service to the ends of the Earth that Chad provided for me. “Beyond the call of duty” is an understatement for what Chad Billheimer is all about and the kind of man that he is.

    I wouldn’t have believed it had I not sat there the entire time and watched Chad work his magic and talked with him when I saw I might not distract him. [​IMG]

    It’s a testament also that, considering how long this was, the time really did fly by because I was so fascinated with what Chad was doing and he was always able to explain everything to me in very easy to understand terms. He also saved on my computer a detailed and easy to follow report on “before/after” calibration with beautiful graphics and charts. That’s a real eye opener! When my grayscale goes from about 10,000 to 6500K, you know something got done! I saw it all with my own eyes!

    Chad has made a customer and a friend for life in me. He’s as gracious and humble of a person as you can imagine from reading what I’ve described here. I certainly will be doing everything I possibly can to spread the word high and far about Chad.

    Thank you Chad. You’re a gem and truly one in a million and I truly wish you and your wife God’s fullest blessings. Thank you SO much.
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Always happy to hear that things worked out well. Make sure you understand that calibration is often component specific. The TV is matched to the DVD player ... change the player and things will surely change on you.

    Sit back and enjoy ...

    (I'll bet it took that long because you guys just chatted it up for much longer than you would admit. :wink:

    Regards
     
  3. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    All true.

    But Michael, I'm not kidding you...that's almost ALL work time from Chad!


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm on my hands and knees begging people: ISF is worth it. It's SO worth it. It's some of the best money you will spend to put your display over the top. DO IT!

    I have the files of my report with the graphs that I can try and share, but here's a little taster of what changed on my TV. Some of these graphs of the before and after will make your jaw drop and probably make you laugh. It's really unbelievable unless you actually SEE it like I did!

    Grayscale went from about 10,000 (?!?) to 6500K, all mods, all scans, all you name it.

    Color tracking and accuracy went from abominable and all over the place to staight and dead-on. This graph is a riot!

    You don't have to be an expert to see these graphis and my report and conclude very quickly: A DRASTIC overhaul was done on this TV and the factory defaults were nothing short of abominable outright.
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Don't get too caught up in the paperwork. It's what you see with your eyes on screen that counts.

    Regards
     
  5. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    You are so right. And believe me...my eyes can definitely see it! [​IMG]

    The paperwork just kind of reinforces it for ya, though. [​IMG]
     
  6. aaron campbell

    aaron campbell Second Unit

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    Eric, Nice to hear about your experience, as I'm thinking of getting my Samsung dlp calibrated by Chad. I ran across his name at the Spot and checked his web site out recently.

    Congrats
     
  7. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    DO IT! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Just so you know we have a great group here on HTF that do ISF calibration from the Lion AV group. I would give them a call too if you are considering an ISF calibration.

    Parker
     
  9. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Of course! [​IMG]
     
  10. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Six some odds months later:




    The "finishing touch" on any ISF calibration should be what happened for me yesterday: I took delivery of an Ideal-Lume Standard backlight.

    http://www.cinemaquestinc.com/

    The $50 standard is more than enough for just about everyone. I also bought a couple of spare bulbs at $10 each. Each bulb lasts about 10,000 hours so I think I'm good for a while.

    I'll let them explain their own products, but I'm here to tell you: No hype. No gimmicks. No BS. This was a night and day difference for me last night.

    As some of you may know, last night was the two hour return of Alias followed by Invasion. So that was three hours of good HDTV viewing that I was able to watch using the Idea Lume.

    Put it to you this way: Just like an ISF job, I will NEVER, EVER own a display or watch one again now without proper backlighting like this. For me, they are one in the same under the umbrella of a quality calibration and optimal viewing enjoyment.

    Three hours of TV viewing like that and I had zero eye strain, maxed relaxed eyes, and indeed I was noticing that I was appreciating more details in my picture quality. Barring the need for sleep, I literally could have watched TV all night with no problems whatsoever with this light.

    And I went into it somewhat skeptical, but like ISF calibrating, I'm now a true believer in backlighting as well. I'd recommend it to ANYONE with ANY kind of display, but especially if you've bought yourself a nice display and went through the trouble of ISF calibration. Finish it off right. [​IMG]

    Best regards to Chad, btw. I know he's very busy these days!
     
  11. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Wow, this is a great testimonal regarding back lights, and quite a coincidence as www.lionav.com is currrently having its very first PROMOTION EVER, where with every calibration booked ($275 and up) the person will receive a free Ideal Lume back light which has a value of $45 and we will even ship for free!

    After you contact your LionAV calibrator, simply complete the booking form at www.lionav.com and use the paypal interface to send the $50 travel fee. Please note that the travel fee may vary by calibrator so contact them first prior to booking. In the comment area of the booking form, just enter "free back light promotion".

    Regards

    Gregg Loewen
     

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