ISF Calibration.. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-30-2007, 01:13 PM
Anyone have this done professionally and do you really get anything more than if you calibrate your set using a calibration DVD??

04-30-2007, 01:49 PM
Yes, you get more from an ISF calibration than from a DVD. The extent depends on the TV's current state, as well as its technology/engineering. Much of the value comes from grayscale calibration of an input or inputs, which ensures that the black and white substrate that underlies the color decoding conforms to the D65 white balance, thereby guarding against unwanted tint (usually blue or red). ISF can also set primary and secondary colors to professional standards, correcting red push and all manner of over- and undersaturation. If the colors lie outside the SMPTE specs, a disk won't be able to correct them. ISF can also improve black level and the transition from dark to light beyond what a test disk might be able to do solely on the basis of brightness and contrast controls, and generally access parameters hidden within the service menu.

Certain newer TVs and projectors offer parameters to the user that were once the exclusive province of service technicians, if anyone, but without proper measuring devices and the ability to read them, they can be bewildering and disruptive. You would do well to check for reviews of your particular display to see how far it strays from pro specs when subjected to a good DVD test disk, like Digital Video Essentials. Sometimes a TV is within tolerance in this respect, but usually not. I wrote a review of the Spyder TV Pro system--which consists of a good meter and software--that allows most anyone with a little knowledge to perform a fairly comprehensive calibration, even of grayscale (cut/gain) if the display permits. The review is located somewhere in Audio Review's Learning section (look at the top of the page on the far right). The cost is not much more than many basic ISF calibrations. It doesn't go as far, but it is certainly enough for certain displays and their owners.

05-11-2007, 07:28 AM
Another advantage of an ISF calibration is the TVs inputs can being calibrated independently. Using a DVD assumes the DVD player's output is calibrated and the signal presented to the TV's input is correct. It doesn't take into account any player user adjustments, effects of cabling, etc.. ISF calibration will ensure what you get on the screen is exactly what is presented to the input.
Once the inputs are calibrated use the DVD to calibrate the DVD player's input to the player. Input calibrations can also be adjusted within the service menu so the calibrated setting is the "one button" default for the input. You can also have calibrated settings for day and night viewing. Many TVs leave the plant set in "torch mode" with brightness, contrast and color set high so their prodct doesn't look less bright or colorful than the TV next to it. ISF calibration will bring the settings within specifications prolonging TV life.

05-11-2007, 06:51 PM
Yes,had it done,worth every dollar.


05-13-2007, 11:15 PM
YES you can get your set calibrated to get a lot better picture, and it wont matter as long as you are being sent garbage to watch.
HDTV has a built in advantage over ntsc, doesnt rely as much on broadcasters, its mainly a digital feed, but you will get a lot of junk.
The most basic thing you can do is turn your tv off of "torch mode", new sets arent affected as much as crts were but too bright a picture will wash out detail.
And theres a new thing, the "backlight" control, this can increase the apparent black
level in some lcds, Dlps and sxrds, and "microprojectors" sometimes have an iris
that does the same thing, I run mine at 60% sometimes.
If you are a tweaker or a tech you might like isf, some dont care.
Sets these days deliver a pretty fantastic picture out of the box, I'm not even getting as much "red push" as I used to.
I used to "do electronics" so I can usually get a set pretty close just eyeballing the thing,
to each his own I guess, sure these guys use instruments but some things wind up a judgment sometimes between what the calibration tech does and what you like.
Myself I have never noticed much difference in adjusting certain parameters, most people dont notice, thats why manufacturers dont bother, its not worth the money to them, and these are the guys who set every tv in the world to full brightness coming out of the factory,
both to sell sets and to wear them out faster