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  1. #1
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    Calibration worth $$$ ?

    Craig Miller will be in my area in the next couple of months. He specializes in the calibration of Mitsubishi RPTVs. Cost is $595.

    I've taken my TV as far as I can with DVE. I have not gone into the service menus at all and do not wish to. I have not opened the TV up at all to clean anything or add Duvy.

    Has anyone here has their TV professionally calibrated? Do you feel it was worth the money?

    Is Duvy worth the money?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    That would depend on how accurate the factory settings are, and the type of RPTV you're talking about. If the factory settings are way off, then a professional calibration's the only way to get the picture close to reference specs. Supposedly CRT-based RPTVs benefit the most from professional calibration. People on this board who have had professional calibrations done have all said it was well worth it. Considering how big an improvement a simple adjustment with a setup DVD made on my display, I would assume that a professional calibration can also make a significant difference since plenty of adjustments can only be accessed through the service menus.

    Unfortunately, the factory settings can vary quite a bit between different companies and even between different models made by the same company. You might want to take this question over to the AVS Forum. They got more display experts lurking over there and should be able to tell you about the out-of-the-box accuracy for specific models.

  3. #3
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    Woochifer Help Pretty Please

    I've had my Mitsubishi 48" HD ready widescreen TV for about a month (I get my HD broadcasts via Time Warner Cable), I'm pretty sure it's a CRT and as of now, I'm more than happy with it. The settings as far as I know were the factory settings which the place that sold it & installed it for me, checked out, and as I said I'm more than happy with the picture. Given that, are you saying that after a while the picture will deteriorate or settings change or what have you and you will therefore need someone to reset (calibrate) the TV. If you don't mind clarifying this for a total beginner, I'd appreciate it. Thanks


    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    That would depend on how accurate the factory settings are, and the type of RPTV you're talking about. If the factory settings are way off, then a professional calibration's the only way to get the picture close to reference specs. Supposedly CRT-based RPTVs benefit the most from professional calibration. People on this board who have had professional calibrations done have all said it was well worth it. Considering how big an improvement a simple adjustment with a setup DVD made on my display, I would assume that a professional calibration can also make a significant difference since plenty of adjustments can only be accessed through the service menus.

    Unfortunately, the factory settings can vary quite a bit between different companies and even between different models made by the same company. You might want to take this question over to the AVS Forum. They got more display experts lurking over there and should be able to tell you about the out-of-the-box accuracy for specific models.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    I've had my Mitsubishi 48" HD ready widescreen TV for about a month (I get my HD broadcasts via Time Warner Cable), I'm pretty sure it's a CRT and as of now, I'm more than happy with it. The settings as far as I know were the factory settings which the place that sold it & installed it for me, checked out, and as I said I'm more than happy with the picture. Given that, are you saying that after a while the picture will deteriorate or settings change or what have you and you will therefore need someone to reset (calibrate) the TV. If you don't mind clarifying this for a total beginner, I'd appreciate it. Thanks
    First thing's first, do you have a test DVD like the Sound & Vision Home Theater Setup disc, or Digital Video Essentials, or Avia? If not, buy that first and make the adjustments to your TV's settings. The improvement with just that will be very noticeable.

    The calibration has nothing to do with the settings changing -- it has to do with the fact that a TV's factory settings are almost always incorrect by default. The factory default settings typically bump up the brightness and the sharpness way too high. The test DVDs provide tutorials and color filters so that an average user can do the adjustments and improve their picture quality. When I used the test DVDs with my TV, the improvement was very obvious. These test DVDs also provide audio tests, which I strongly suggest that you do with a SPL meter.

    An ISF calibration like what BillB describes is more advanced because it requires more precise adjustments that require access to the service menus (which are off-limits to consumers). They typically cost at least $500, and their effectiveness depends on how the TV is set at the factory. The factory settings are almost never set to reference levels, although some companies deviate from these references more than others. The test DVD will get you closer to those reference levels, and the ISF calibration will get you closer still.

  5. #5
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    Technically you're probably right, but I subscribe to the old school, "if it's not broken, don't fix it." As I'm happy with my TV picture, I don't want to screw it up by trying to get it even better and failing! I'll keep what you said in mind, though, thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    First thing's first, do you have a test DVD like the Sound & Vision Home Theater Setup disc, or Digital Video Essentials, or Avia? If not, buy that first and make the adjustments to your TV's settings. The improvement with just that will be very noticeable.

    The calibration has nothing to do with the settings changing -- it has to do with the fact that a TV's factory settings are almost always incorrect by default. The factory default settings typically bump up the brightness and the sharpness way too high. The test DVDs provide tutorials and color filters so that an average user can do the adjustments and improve their picture quality. When I used the test DVDs with my TV, the improvement was very obvious. These test DVDs also provide audio tests, which I strongly suggest that you do with a SPL meter.

    An ISF calibration like what BillB describes is more advanced because it requires more precise adjustments that require access to the service menus (which are off-limits to consumers). They typically cost at least $500, and their effectiveness depends on how the TV is set at the factory. The factory settings are almost never set to reference levels, although some companies deviate from these references more than others. The test DVD will get you closer to those reference levels, and the ISF calibration will get you closer still.

  6. #6
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Technically you're probably right, but I subscribe to the old school, "if it's not broken, don't fix it." As I'm happy with my TV picture, I don't want to screw it up by trying to get it even better and failing! I'll keep what you said in mind, though, thanks.
    that puts you in the minority among hobbyists. I'm aware that the majority of the public builds their ht's without an SPL meter and a copy of Avia. Of course that's also the reason the majority of the public has inferior ht setups. Even the priciest gear set up incorrectly will fail to approach it's potential. Most, like you, are extremely satisfied with the way things are. If you're worrying about screwing something up the solution is very simple. Write down the original values of the settings before making changes suggested by the DVD tests. Failure will then be impossible as you can easily go back to where you were. Honestly I don't know why anyone would though. The tests are straightfoward and the improvements are noticeable.

    As far as the original post, ISF is an area I regrettably know very little. Keith from Canada, a past fixture on the forum was beyond satisfied with the results of his calibration. I believe he owned a Panasonic though so your results may vary. I like the idea of running this by the folks at AVS to see model specific recomendations.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  7. #7
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    ISF calibration is well worth the money. It will provide the best possible video from your display device. Part of the reason the technicians go into the service menus is to provide calibration so the consumer has a "one-touch" solution for their best picture. A customer doesn't want to have their TV calibrated, just to have Uncle Jack come in and start messing with the controls. Service Menu controls are set so the best picture is the default, yet still provide a full range of adjustment for personal prefferences.

    An ISF calibrator not only calibrates the "basic five" user controls (color, contrast, brightness, sharpness, tint), but also calibrates the different temperatures of white (warm, cool, normal) which is the palette over which color information is displayed. They ensure you're using the proper type cables (S-Video, Component, etc...), calibrate for day and night watching, remove the "red push" manufacturers add to overcome past manufacturing limitations which caused the blueish tint of CRTs, verify 3:2 pull-down is working correctly, check for correct color decoding, screen geometry, convergence and even evaluate your viewing area for bias lighting and proper viewing distance from the screen. Many controls are calibrated for each input so you're getting the best possible picture independent of source and there can be as many as six or seven inputs. Many ISF calibrators can provide audio calibration as well, calibrating levels, checking freq. response, setting subwoofer levels, etc..

    If you just went out and spent $1100 for a standard RPTV, then I would say buy a DVD and go through its setup, you'll probably be fine. But, if you've just paid "big bucks" on that big HDTV, DLP, LCos, LCD or other high-end display it's well worth the money because with large screen you will see every defect. Also just getting your display out of the "torch-mode" manufacturer's setting will help to extend the life of your display.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Firstly, I was mistaken, it is not Craig Miller that's doing a tour in my area, it Craig Rounds who is also from HomeTheaterSpot.

    I paid $2600 for my TV 2 years ago. I first adjusted using S&V's HT Tuneup DVD and more recently with DVE.

    Have I waited to long?

    Bill

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