Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
wellsupplyguy

plasma tv

23 posts in this topic

I Just bought a plasma tv and was wondering if the calibration sevice they offer is needed or is it just a gimmick ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it could be a gimmick. I bought a plasma and just went through the instructions and adjusted the picture till I felt it was good. But, they probably know more than me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wellsupplyguy, I have a plasma TV (Sam's Club)and installed it myself. Nothing was mentioned about 'calibration' when I bought it. I'm more than satisfied with the picture and reception I have. Would this be from the people in the 'Blue shirts' by any chance?? If so, I'd blow it off, that's just driven by commission. I'm on Comcast cable and the HD on plasma is awesome!! Don't let them screw ya! Phred52

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had it done on my tv(LCD).. I could notice a difference but, not by much.. Im not sure if i would pay the full price to have it done. The reason i had my done is because, it was included with the tv when i brought it. However, I was told when it was done that, it will save on the energy and also, on the life of the tv.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are DIY calibration CD's and DVD's out there. Just pop it in and follow instructions wink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a difference between the DIY DVD and a real calibration done by a pro. I just purchased a LCD and was offered a calibration as well. I never asked exactly what they adjust but turned down the offer anyway. They said they use a Spyder but didn't say whether or not they enter the service menus to make changes.

A real professional calibration will go into the service menus and make much more detailed adjustments then what the customer is able to do in the user menus which only have the general adjustments (contract, color, brightness, etc).

From what I understand a projection TV such as a DLP stands to gain more from a professional calibration than a LCD or Plasma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a forum, much like this one where you can look up whatever tv you have and there's hours of discussions on it.

We just picked up a Samsung LN46a850 and took it out of the box.

I got it at Best Buy and noticed they had a calibration area there, but was never asked about whether I wanted it done.

I hear about it on ads on the radio, about "picture-perfect" or calibration. I was actually talking to a factory rep from Sharp yesterday when I was buying my TV, and he said they should be good to go.

Also, for what it's worth, Best Buy beat any price I could find online for this TV, which was almost $1,000 less than what their tag said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just picked up a Samsung LN46a850 and took it out of the box.

Great TV with the TOC (Touch Of Color) 120hz

We have a Samsung LN52a650 TOC 120hz and a Samsung LN40a550 60hz both tv's look amazing. I had a slight power down problem with my 650 but samsung had someone out to repair it in 3 days after I submitted the helpdesk ticket on their HSOforum thru the self help tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Samsung LN46a630 - 120 hz TOC

Awesome -right out of the box - don't know how calibrating could do better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, lot's of fellow Sammy owners. One week old LN52A750 here. It looked great right out of the box too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just purchased a 42" panasonic plasma @ circut and BB and did a lot of shopping around and both places pushed hard for the calibration, anywhere from 100 to 300 for them to do it. They said it would double the life of the set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about 'doubling' the life of the unit, but it definitely helps to turn down the brightness and contrast to 'normal' levels.

One thing I did when I bought my pioneer plasma that I think is even more important than a calibration is use a "break in" DVD that cycles through the color spectrum for like 100 hours or so. With plamas, at least some of the things I've read say that the break in DVD used when you first get the unit will reduce the chance of 'burn in' later. I don't know if it makes a difference because I don't have two plasma TVs and a bunch of time to do side by side comparison with and without a break-in period. I figure better safe than sorry.

You can learn about "break in" and "burn in" by googling the terms "break-in burn-in image retention" and click on the first link from samsungplasmatvfaq dot com. Other sites like avsforum have plenty of information about breaking in plasma TVs.

The free DVD that I used to break in the TV was downloaded by googling the terms "eaprogramming plasma break in dvd iso download" and click on the first link and then there's about 3 different formats you can download it in on the left. Download it with whatever DVD format you can burn, then burn it to a DVD and pop it in and let it loop for a few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether or not calibration is worth it depends on how much of a "videophile" you are...but one thing is for sure is that it's not a gimmic or a hoax.

If the calibration is an ISF approved/certified one, it's the real deal. Again though, whether or not you think it's worth it is a personal deal.

If you do it, it is best done in the viewing area/conditions in which the TV will be used. Also, that gives you a chance to see the before and after.

Even if you don't get a calibration, do yourself a really BIG favor and take the TV out of "torch mode"...the super bright settings that are almost always the defaults out of the box.

Using DVDs like Digital Video Essentials (DVE) or AVIA, you can dail in the set pretty nicely, but as someone else mentioned, it's not the same as a professional ISF calibration.

I think the break in DVD is OK, but really not necessary. Just turn down the brightness and contrast, and set up the color to realistic levels, and watch the TV like normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is this calibration? Never heard of this until now. Is it adjusting color/sharpness/contrast stuff like that or something different with plasma/lcd tv's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A technician will attach a colormeter to the front of the TV which detects what is being output. You could call it an electronic eye that measures brightness, color temperature, contrast, and color. He then can take those readings and adjust the TV to output a "perfect" picture by utilizing a service menu that most people don't know about.

I've read that most LCD and plasma TV's don't have much use for a professional calibration, although they can get your standard settings right where they should be without fooling around with the settings like most people do until they think it looks best.

Some people who own the equipment have done cal's on LCD's and then shared the results on various websites. They have said that tweaking the service menu had little to no affect on the picture quality. Projection TV's however are quite different and can benefit from a professional calibration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At BB today looking at the 42 Plasma for $750 they showed me the ISF cal. It will pay for its self over 2 years in power savings on most larger tv's. They had 2 hooked up to power meters and the ISF one was drawing half the non calibrated one. And you could see more detail in a guys black coat also. But for $300 we will see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was at circut city they were going to charge me $150 and I live about 40 miles from their store. I think that there is wiggle room in that price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing they are doing to reduce energy use in their "calibration" is turn down the brightness and/or contrast, and this is something you should probably do when you get it home anyway since they're cranked up right out of the box. Save the cash and turn down the brightness/contrast yourself when you get it home.

Another thing to find out prior to ponying up the cash for their calibration is find out if they are going to calibrate all the signal inputs or if it's extra to do multiple inputs....DVD, etc. Each input has it's own inherent video settings and each must be calibrated if you want the total package. Otherwise you'll be watching TV with the calibrated settings and then DVD without the cal'd set up, or whichever one they chose to set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calibration was derived from the old projection big screen TV's. The color tubes or cannons had to be calibrated and adjusted from time to time.

New flat screen TV's don't have these.

Having said that, AVIA seems to get the nod from all the videophiles.

I can tell you this, if BB is trying to sell you on it, there's a good chance you are being overcharged wink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At BB today looking at the 42 Plasma for $750 they showed me the ISF cal. It will pay for its self over 2 years in power savings on most larger tv's. They had 2 hooked up to power meters and the ISF one was drawing half the non calibrated one. And you could see more detail in a guys black coat also. But for $300 we will see.

Wow, you have to be kidding me. They want 300 bucks for a cal on a TV. That's hilarious, considering they are spending at most 1 hour in your home, and that probably includes driving time for most people. Since when do trained monkeys get paid laywer or doctor hourly rates?

Yes, you will save power. This you can do yourself by taking down your contrast and brightness, as lots of us have mentioned already. Get a DVD and do the color calibration yourself if you'd like. You have access to the menus you need, the "service menus" are not needed to calibrate a flat panel television.

And as for the "ISF certification" that the geek squad has, well...you can get many free varieties of calibration DVDs that you can burn yourself. If you really like the acronym ISF for some reason, you can even get one DIRECTLY from imaging science (the people who certify "ISF certified" professionals! Just google "imaging science dvd hdtv". It's 30 bucks, but it's much cheaper than the $300 that BBY will charge you, and you can use it on however many TVs you want, lend it to friends, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google is a wonderful thing!! I got a plasma tv a few months back and never thought about calibration. So this thread piqued my curiosity. Couple of things I found is that you should have about 200 hours on your tv before calibration or you will have to do it again and you can also do a pretty good job yourself. They said the best way is to get a calibration DVD, but me being a bit cheap(my Scottish heritage) I did some digging on the web trying to find a free download. What I did find was an article stating PIXAR DVDs have THX optimizer that you can use to calibrate. So before you run out and buy a Calibration DVD to do this at home, here is the article from the web.

Quote:
HDTV calibration on the cheap

by Kevin C. Tofel, posted Jul 29th 2005 at 3:19PM

THX OptimizationSo you've got an HDTV. How do you know it's properly calibrated for the best possible picture? You could invite a technician over for dinner and a movie, but that costs too much and sounds a little too personal. Perhaps you could buy the DTV calibration standard called "Digital Video Essentials", but by the time you order it and receive it you've just watched a week's worth of television. Hmm.....what else could we use? If you have kids, chances are you already have a passable tool for this: a THX-Optimized DVD.

Before we get pounded with comments, we will disclose that this method is not the best way to calibrate your digital set. The intention here is to make some basic adjustments to get your set closer to perfection. Let's just say it's much better than "eyeballing" the adjustments!

Tucked away on just about every Pixar and Lucasfilm DVD since the year 2000 is a "THX Optimizer" chapter in the SetUp or Special Features section of the DVD. Check any of the recent kids DVDs from Pixar: Monsters, Inc. seems to be the one we use the most. Pop the disc in and look for the Optimizer chapter. The DVD will walk you through a series of tests, complete with instructions, on how to adjust your set to best "pass" the test.

Brightness and ContrastThe first test helps adjust your Contrast and Picture settings. You're looking for the darkest blacks and the brightest whites in this test. The DVD will show a white box that has eight sections to it. Around the white box is a black border. For this test, you adjust your Picture and\or Contrast settings so that the eight white boxes are distinct and so they don't blur into the black border.

Contrast testThe second test focuses on setting the Brightness levels. The test will show the "THX" logo surrounded by boxes in ten shades of black. Here you want to ensure the black levels are dark, but not limited to just a few shades of black. This will help with dark scenes and shadows, providing depth to those areas of the screen. Adjust your Brightness settings until you can count seven of the ten shaded boxes.

The next test requires special blue filter glasses available from THX and helps with the color and hue of your set. Luckily, you can skip this test if you don't have the glasses or if you just feel silly wearing blue glasses. Skip this chapter and proceed to the Monitor Performance test. Here you are focusing on two key features: the Color and the Sharpness of your picture.

Look for the red box, which is the sixth color box across the top half of the screen. Adjust your Color settings on your TV to make the box red, but not bleeding into the boxes next to it.Color and Sharpness A good way to approach this test is to back your Color setting to zero so that the picture is black and white. Step up your color settings until the red appears red to you, but again, not so much that it bleeds into the next box. Once the Color setting is good, adjust your set's Tint setting until the Cyan and Magenta blocks appear correctly. This test is a bit of judgment on your part.

Finally, look at the Sharpness Bar on the lower half of the screen and move your sets Sharpness setting up until the vertical lines look edgy. Move the Sharpness back down to where the lines become softer, but are still defined. This test is also semi-subjective, so there is no right or wrong here.

4:3 aspect testFollowing your Sharpness adjustments, the next test validates your set's 4:3 aspect. If you have a 4:3 or full screen television, you should see two perfectly formed rectangles and one perfect circle. Any lines that appear jagged or non-linear could indicate an issue with your set's alignment. If you have a 16:9 or widescreen television, change your aspect setting to 4:3 for this test.

16:9 aspectSimilar to the last test, this final one checks your 16:9 aspect ratio setup. If you have a 4:3 television, you can skip the test as it's basically a repeat of the last test. For a 16:9 set, you're again looking for the perfect rectangles and the circle. This test also checks your DVD aspect setting to ensure that it's optimized for your television's aspect ratio.

That's it! You've run through some basic calibration techniques to provide a better picture on your digital TV. At this point, the THX Optimizer will play a short clip of the DVD or another film so you can get a feel for the changes you've made. Again, this method doesn't take the place of professional calibration or one of the other videophile DVD methods, but it works in a pinch and you probably already have the Optimizer in your home. Now, where did we put our cool blue glasses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a 42" panasonic plasma tv for 999 @ circut city, They matched the price sears wanted for the same set. Also they wanted a 150 if I bought the calibration package at that time,So they probably want more if I ask now. I think I will give the THX optimizer a whirl, the price is right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0