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LCD & Plasma Screen Calibration - DIY tools and procedures

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Bill4, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Hi,

    I would like to calibrate the Loewe Xelos SL32 and the Pioneer 504.

    I've read about how important proper screen calibration is, so I wonder what tools are available (and where to buy them from), and what advise (maybe procedures) can someone give me.

    This would be a DIY job, so any pointers, links, sample pictures etc. would be appriciated.
    I have never done this before, and my new Xelos will be arriving on monday.
    The pioneer will be my next purchase (this is for the launge) about 3 weeks time. Enough time to play calibration on the Xelos.

    Any help would be appriciated.
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'd go and buy AVIA guide to Home Theater and PAL Digital Video Essentials. Then spend a day watching them both to learn what all the patterns are for. After that you'll pretty much have the tools you need for the job. To do full calibration of greyscale and colour management/gamma requires expensive measuring equipment, knowledge and experience. With those discs however you should be able to make a significant improvement over out of the box set up.

    Gordon
     
  3. Orlando

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    How much difference can you really make, using the Video essentials discs etc.
    I know on some screens you have a lot of adjustment, i.e you can separately alter red, green, blue etc. I own a Pannasonic Veira and you can only change, colour contrast and brightness.
    Has anyone calibrated this screen using the disc and did it make enough difference to warrant buying it?
    Also to all you professional calibraters, can you make any significant improvement in picture quality to a Viera screen, and if you can how much would it cost?
    Maybe you could do a discounted group booking for a few members in the same localality, I'm in Basildon , Essex.
     
  4. sabujo

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    Have you tried the THX calibration menu on StarWars episode 1 disc? Its a good place to start.
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    DVE and AVIA are there to let you adjust contrast,brightness, colour, hue,sharpness and geometry correctly. The advanced settings of rgbcmy you need measuring equipment to do correctly. Even although there are only normal adjustments n user menu's you may find that service menu's allow professional users greater adjustments.

    No-one with a VIERA has asked me to do their screens yet so I've not looked in to what is possible with them. For pricing you just need to email me.

    Gordon
     
  6. Orlando

    Orlando
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    Yes I have tried the THX starwars calibration, but I found the only thing that you could adjust with accuracy was the brightness, as the contrast looked fine no matter where I had the contrast control set, and to set the colour correctly, you needed a special pair of blue filtered glasses or something.
    That is the reason I didn't buy the Avia disc or such like, if it is going to be a waste of time.
     
  7. neonmod

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    Video Essentials is the best bet, THX optimiser is a load of parp!

    I calibrated my old tv with V.E and tried the THX and found it made the settings well out from the V.E setup.

    I know some ppl have found out what the service menu access is and used this to gain full control over calibrating to get brilliant results.

    Get V.E or Avia, iwouln,t waste my money on both as they do exactly the same.

    Good luck! :)
     
  8. Ged

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    I own one of these discs and know they have some great tweak potentials... only problem is the PW6 offers so many tweak knobs, where do you start?
    If Gordon does a road show, count me in for Manchester, price permitting !!
    :thumbsup:
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The THX patterns are disc dependant. They allow you to set the correct settings specific for that disc and that disc only.

    Gordon
     
  10. Ged

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    After thinking about calibration I am a little confused as how to ensure that the reference material is presented correctly.
    If you consider the disc to be reference grade, that is fine but when it enters the DVD player it has an affect on its output, which when compensated for may dramatically effect the look of say, Sky.
    How do you compensate for having different image inputs?
    I have a Pioneer 757 DVD player with lots of tweaks, should I do a factory reset and only adjust the settings on the Plasma?
    Thanks
     
  11. GalacticaActual

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    Didnt we have a short conversation about my Viera gordon ;)

    The best way I have been told to calibrate a viera plasma is by using the VGA input. IT gives you a few more options regarding overscan and screen postion. Aparently Gamma and colour is also better to do through this. However because the vga port is at the front of the screen , it does make cableing an issue if you want your dvd player connected all the time :rolleyes:
    I have had reasonable results with DVE disc . Colour and brightness have been adjusted as well as the sharpness setting. The pluge pattern for contrast is however no good for a plasma. Aparently plasmas dont have the blooming effect even if the contrast is set too high. On the starwars dvd there is a thx optimser option which is a very basic set of calibration patterens. I found that the one for contrast gave me a good result on the plasma.
    As for a full ISF calibration ther are people on these very forums that might be able to do some very good things with your display. Piers, Gordon, and Maw are very knowledgable about such things :)
     
  12. GalacticaActual

    GalacticaActual
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    Best result I have found from the 757 is to have the video adjust mode in profesional, then set up from there. I am also useing Mark grant componnet cables which are very ,very good. You may find that once properly set up the picture on sky may look a little darker than usall. You will get used to this however and after a time wounder how you ever managed to watch tv any other way :)
     
  13. GalacticaActual

    GalacticaActual
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    Digital video essentials also comes with the red green and blue colour filters to help with proper colour adjustment :)
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    David we may have exchanged emails....I can't remember, but I am sure I'd remember if someone paid me money to work on one....and no-one has.

    Ged:
    One of the benefits of off board video processors like those I distribute is that they have the abiliy to store settings specific to the incoming source and signal type. This means you can have all your sources optmised. Some displays will allow you to do a similar thing but probably not to the same extent and accuracy.


    Gordon
     
  15. Ged

    Ged
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    Thanks Gordon, so in an ideal world the screen would be calibrated to a reference then all inputs would be individually tweaked to maintain the screens calibration?
    In my set up of a DVD on component and a multitude of looped RGB kit through a JS to PC converter it will probably be impossible to calibrate, as each item will have inherent differences in display levels, is this correct?
     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Yes in an ideal world....

    You are correct that it's likely each source will have variations in it's output so in your situation it wouldn't be possible to get them all perfect. Hopefully they'd be close though so it wont look too shabby.

    Gordon
     
  17. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Thanks for the answers guys.
    I still don't know where to buy them, how much would they cost, and what is the average fee for a professional calibration vs. this disks.

    It would also help if users post the way they access the Service menu in various screens (maybe a sticky thread: Service Menu Access). Anyone know how to enter the service menu on the Xelos SL32? I know it's been asked before, but not answered yet. Maybe a PM to me from the IFS guys :).

    How many people calibrated their screen using the DIY route, what was the result, and how many of you opted for the pro. calibration. If you have taken pro. calibration after the DIY route, was it worth it? Did it make much difference?

    I'm just trying to figure out what the best route is.
    Anyone with prices and links?
     
  18. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Service menu's are best left to those who know what they are doing. It's pretty simple to trash your display if you don't. I'd guess its about 10 times the cost of a disc for a calibration. You can go to the powerbuy section of this forum to see how much discs are and you can click on the banners in teh advertisors section to get to HCE and my own website for pricing or contact emails to get pricing.

    Gordon
     
  19. PhilipH

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    Just to throw in my £0.02...

    ...I've seen the results of a couple of Gordons calibrations and - personally - I wouldn't now waste my time piddling about with Avia or Video Essentials.

    Maybe I'm just getting old but I'd far rather get Gordon (or someone else who's qualified but I know Gordons standard of work) in to do the job right. In fact I only mentioned to him the other day in an email that if he was down my neck of the woods (we live at opposite ends of the country) then I would like him to set up my new LCD.

    Phil
     
  20. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Thanks Gordon.
    I will get the DVE disk to play with, but once I get the Pioneer Plasma screen, I will contact you regarding a calibration for both screens at the same time. I'm in Newcastle upon Tyne if the location makes a difference.

    Bill
     
  21. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Phil,
    Thanks (and I didn't even pay him to say that...)

    Bill,
    I have been to Newcastle before so I know the way now.....Just let me know about a month in advance so we can sort out times and dates suitable to yourself

    Gordon
     
  22. Fatheadedlizard

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    Hi Gordon,

    I live in Aldershot and just purchased a Panny TX-L42D26B could you please let me know how much you would roughly charge to calibrate it?

    Thanks
     
  23. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hi,

    We are not allowed to quote prices on the forum. It is against the rules, sorry. You can email me of course
     

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