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Video Calibration

18886 Views 5 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  lcaillo

AVS HD 709 DVD files

Digital Video Essentials

Disney WOW




Spears & Munsil

Ted's LightSpace CMS Calibration Disk



B & K Precision

GME Technology


http://www.spectracal.com/newpurchase.aspx?xType=Signal Generators


www.calman.tv (old web site)
http://www.spectracal.com (new web site)



MPEG2 reference decoder






Orb Optronix

Photo Research



Simplay Labs (formerly Anchor Bay)





A good summary of many of the tools that professional calibrators might use

Lion Audio/Video Consultants
Good explanations of some basic ideas regarding calibration

A good guide to using DVE, written by professional calibrators for consumers

Ram Electronics DVE/AVIA guide

Sound & Vision Mag - How to: Calibrate Your HDTV

Spears & Munsil - Choosing a Color Space

Colour Physics

MPEG2 test patterns
Only a guy from Mizar 5 would do all this work just for fun.

Basic Guide to Color Calibration using a CMS (updated and enhanced)

Ursa's "Guide to Basic Display Calibration for New Users" - a MUST read!!

ChrisWiggles Background Guide to Setting Source Options

Link to quotes from Guy Kuo on calibration

Informative articles on projection from the screen company Da-Lite

Books, FAQs & Articles
Amazon.com: The Reproduction of Colour (The Wiley-IS&T Series in Imaging Science and Technology): Books: R. W. G. Hunt
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Service Menu Access

A good source is:


If you find that these do not have what you need, post a question in the Manufacturers Service and Support Forum here at HTS and we may be able to come up with more info.
Service menus, calibration and warranty issues

I keep running across discussions regarding voiding warranties by accessing service menus and performing calibrations. There are several points that need to be understood about warranties and how decisions are made regarding what is covered and what is not.

First, it is important to understand that it is often the local servicer, who is typically an agent of the manufacturer only in the performance of repairs, who makes the initial determination that a problem is covered or not. This determination may or may not be supported by the manufacturer. It also may or may not be upheld legally in a dispute over warranty status. The point here is that you need to maintain a relationship with the servicer and understand his perspective to avoid problems. As soon as tome techs hear that you have had the set calibrated or that you are a DIYer and have been in the service menu, red flags go up. He may assume that you are going to be a busybody and a troublesome client and simply not want to get involved. Warranty work usually is done at a much lower rate than OOW (out of warranty) repairs, the servicer makes nothing on the parts, and has the added hassle of filing claims and getting credits. The bottom line is that you have to understand the perspective of the servicer to avoid warranty issues.

Going into a service menu itself should not void a warranty. Some manufacturers will say that it will, and this is intended to keep unqualified people out of areas that CAN cause problems, and to avoid customer service reps having to answer questions regarding adjustments that they are not familiar with. One can cause damage to hardware and create unrecoverable problems using some service menu adjustments. One can also create real headaches for service techs. If, however, you make adjustments that do not create problems nor affect the service that is otherwise needed, you should have no problems with warranty from a legal perspective. If you do effect a problem, or affect a problem, that is another matter.

The first and best advice is DON'T ADJUST ANYTHING WHEN YOU ARE NOT CERTAIN OF THE EFFECTS. The second advice is to record original values for ALL parameters, even those that you do not adjust. This may be a real headache, but if a global reset of all data becomes needed, you want to be able to get back to where you started. This is also useful in the rare occasion that an EEPROM(memory IC) needs to be replaced. Finally, don't mention to a repair tech that you have had your set calibrated unless there is a possibility that the problem is related. There is no way that one can tell that someone has been in the service menu of most systems except the values of the parameters, and those vary on most sets. If they don't then you should not have been changing that setting in most cases. If you do change a fixed setting, it should be reset to the factory standard BEFORE calling for service. That way, you can't be blamed for the problem, unless you have done something to cause a service issue. In those cases you will almost never be able to restore the settings.

The legal matter of service menu adjustments is that no court will uphold a warranty rejection simply because you entered the service menu, unless the problem is something that could be caused by such adjustments and that can be shown. The practical matter is that you don't want servicers in the field making the assumption that you have messed something up, so it is better to return the set to factory conditions before service or simply don't mention it. If you do mess something up that requires service then explain what you did. It may save lots of time and repair cost. If you didn't create a problem related to the service needed it is irrelevant that you have entered the service level and will likely never be noted.
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What does ISF mean?

ISF stands for Imaging Science Foundation.

ISF is a training organization that educates people on color science and display performance.

ISF training may have little to do with doing a good calibration. Some who are ISF trained have the experience to do so and some are still clueless. ISF training can mean several things. It could mean a full course, which covers the basics of color science and is a good start, but does not mean that one has any real experience at all. It could mean that someone took the "ISF lite" course. It could also mean that someone on the staff took one of these classes and then "trained" others. Check the credentials and experience of the individual before paying for a calibration. Ask some detailed questions about what experience they have with your set and the other components in your system. Ask for details on what they can do and what they typically do to your type of display, as well as what kind of education they do as part of the process and what reporting of data and settings you can expect.
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I have removed a couple of old posts of mine and will be creating some new stickies that will form the basis of our new inititiative to make our Video Calibration Forum more useful and post-worthy. We will be focusing on three levels of Display Adjustment, Basic Consumer Display Adjustment, Robust DIYDisplay Adjustment, and Display Calibration.

Please offer any comments or suggestions about the direction that we will be taking. We would like anyone to be able to come to the forum and easily find advise regarding how to get the most out of a display, regardless of level of knowledge. As with our other forums, we will emphasize sharing of information and work toghether to create new knowledge, while making everyone feel at home at Home Theater Shack.

A few guiding principles that we will follow:

First, we will strive to keep the terminology consistent and clear. The most important aspect of this will be the use of the term Calibration. We will use Calibration to refer to aljustment or alignment that uses an external reference for measurement. Much of what we call calibration is really adjustment that is not based upon an externally validated measurement. We will try to keep this distinction clear.
Second, we will attempt to provide reference threads and a forum organization that promotes discussion and help at all levels of expertise. This means that users with no knowledge will be common, and it is our responsibility to provide advice and education that meets their needs at the same time that we provide for the extension of knowledge of those who are experts in the field. Sharing at these various levels can be a challenge, and we ask patience of all. We will try to maintain a forum organization that makes everyone feel that they have a place to post comfortably.
Finally, we need to maintain perspective and context. Not everyone needs a professional calibration, but everyone has benefited from the expansion of knowledge that has been the result of the “evangelism” of leaders in the field like ISF, THX, SpectraCal (and CalMan from which it grew), and the many individuals that have raised the bar on performance. Along the way, even the most cynical critic of calibration and the most naïve consumer have reaped the rewards of better displays that have more range in available performance than ever. We need to support our sponsors and pros who give up their time and expertise to help our users, but also recognize that the average consumer needs little more than clear advice on what adjustments can be expected to do to an image.
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The links in the post at the top of the thread are, in some instances, dated. I would appreciate help in finding more current links and weeding out the ones that are no longer useful. Post or PM me with suggestions and I will edit as appropriate.
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