Getting into TV calibration

CMG00

Novice Member
I’ve had my LG 55B7 nearly 2-and-a-half years now, and it’s got to the point where I’m getting quite tired of all the banding and compression anomalies that are revealed due to the less-than-stellar default white balance settings in the HDR picture mode. Adjusting the brightness isn’t a simple fix and would induce more problems, and trying to fine-tune white balance by eye would be silly.

More recently I’ve been thinking more seriously about finally getting a calibration. Since I can never find any TV calibrators locally where I am, and given the current situation I’m not prepared to have people travel and come into my home, I’m more inclined to purchase appropriate equipment and learn to calibrate the TV myself.

I’ve been starting to do look into various colorimeters/spectrometers but it’s confusing where to start and finding out how capable/accurate certain models are. The SDR greyscale looks mainly ok (when I set my 4K player to output SDR none of the aforementioned banding or compression is present) but it could still do with some fine-tuning. The HDR settings/WB are quite rusty and definitely need to be corrected.

Where do I start in learning how to go about this? Which consumer colorimeter models would be suitable for measuring values for an OLED in both SDR and HDR spaces? Is it also possible to measure/calibrate Dolby Vision using it? How do I go about finding the relevant software/testing patterns?

This is mainly new to me and trawling through product pages of similar-looking models hasn’t been that helpful so far, so any guidance/advice would be great!
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
Firstly, a calibration will do little to improve banding (posterisation) and compression artefacts, as they're a factor of the content you're watching. I.e. it's low bit rate. That said, depending on where these artefacts are visible, they may be reduced after a calibration if for example, Brightness is too high and thus the near black response is too bright.

I'd highly recommend you buy your own kit and learn to do the job yourself though. That's what I've done!

I'd start with an X-rite i1D3 meter. These are about the best consumer grade colorimeters you can buy, with reasonable accuracy out the box, including decent low light accuracy, as well as reasonable speed of reading.
One point to put to bed is that colorimeters will not give you a perfectly accurate read out the box. None, not even a pro grade Klein K-10a at £6.5k. To facilitate their accuracy, they should always be profiled against the specific display, using a reference spectroradiometer, like a Specbos Jeti 1511. Profiling against the specific display is important as each individual TV will have its own spectral distribution, almost like it's own visual response fingerprint.
That said, clearly for hobbyist calibrators, that's not something that's easy to do. So, an out the box i1D3 will do to get you started. Later on, as you get more comfortable and confident, you can do as I've done and pay a pro calibrator, with the applicable kit, to profile your meter to your display(s).

Oh and the X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer's aren't reference spectros, so I'd save your money if you're considering one of them as chances are, it'll be no more accurate than your out the box i1D3 colorimeter.

To go with your i1D3, I'd start with a software package like HCFR or ColourSpace ZRO. The former would probably be better to start with.
For test pattern generation, a Raspberry Pi running PGenerator would work well and is cheap. It will allow a degree of automation with how the patches are sent to the TV, which will speed up the process and reduce frustration.
If you want to calibrate HDR10, you'll need a device to inject the HDR infoFrame. There are a number of HDfury products that can do this, including the HDfury Linker (shameless plug, I have one for sale). Essentially, this little box sits between the RPi and TV.
For Dolby Vision calibration, your best, cheapest bet would be to buy and download a test pattern set and put them on a USB thumb drive, which you'd plug into the TV and display the test patterns that way.
As you can see, the test pattern generation is really the one of the most complicated part for the hobbyist as a dedicated TPG that supports SDR, HDR10, HLG and DoVi is expensive. However, the i1D3 and HFCR do support all those picture formats in themselves, so you'd not need to mess around too much with them.

A lot of different information there that could add to the confusion. The main points around using an i1D3, with HFCR and a applicable test pattern generator/ pattern disc are what to take away. They're what will get you started.

Some references for you.

Google "greyscale and color calibration for dummies".
Over on the AVSforums, look for the PGenerator thread in the Display Calibration forum.
You'll also find a wealth of information on calibrating the LG OLEDs over there too, even a specific "LG 2017 OLED Calibration thread".

There are a few of us here that calibrate our own displays so please lean on that knowledge and experience if required. I subscribe to this thread and if you have any questions, ask them in here.

Paul
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
Calibration is fun, but...
upgrade to a used c9 would cost the same as entry level calibration kit?
C9 doesn't really benefit from entry level calibration.
Projectors benefit greatly from calibration.
 

sebna

Member
Calibration is fun, but...
upgrade to a used c9 would cost the same as entry level calibration kit?
C9 doesn't really benefit from entry level calibration.
Projectors benefit greatly from calibration.

I would say that it depends on PJ. My x7900 looks much better out of the box than C6 or C9.
 

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