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My ISF Calibration experience

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by LostInUK, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. LostInUK

    Standard Member

    Sep 1, 2001
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    I have spent the last 3 or 4 months trying to understand which way to go in what respects to display sets. I had a rented TV for the last 18 months and it was time to get something that could provide a good image that would suit the rest of the HT system.
    I decided to go for the "TV and Projector" root instead of a Plasma, as I think the final results is by all means better. But I do not intend to use the future projector for all sources and for the time being I needed a good TV display. So I started my major "internet" search ever. Read thousands of news groups messages and also asked oppinion to all my major expert sources. Then tried to watch different set (never seen two with same settings :-( and also very difficult to get the same source feeding two different ones). In the final I opted for the Loewe Aconda.

    When I got the Loewe at home, I plugged it in and howwwwwww, what a image. It blows majority of the TV set I had seen till date. Really good, even if the press says not with completely stupid excuses.
    But after some hours it was noticeable that there were some artifacts in the image (which one can switch off) and colours and contrasts could be better. I tried to play with contrast and colour settings but it did not got as good as I thought it could. It reminded me the previous Sony. The whites were to strong and if contrast was decreased then all the details were lost away. The image was always good and looked very 3D, if I can say so, but something was missing for the so acclaimed TOP QUALITY Aconda is know for.
    Thus, I thought about our experience in the "Projectors Event", and how much the good set-up of the projector had been emphasised. Would it be possible to do it in the TV set? I knew Gordon said so in one of its forum messages, so I sent him a message and booked an ISF calibration appointment with him, down here in London.

    The expectations were big, but I could not predict what the final result would be. To be serious I was a bit scared it would not get that much better. I always thought that Loewe would set the TV sets properly and there was not much we could do about it. But there it was Gordon, his laptop and video analyser ready to start. So let see.

    Well, I WAS WRONG!!!! As soon as Gordon was able to measure the colour temperature of one of the grey brightness level and the result came in the top Blue end of the scale, I soon understand that a lot could be improved. As expected the TV set was intentionally set at the factory to look rather good when appreciated at a shop, when we do not have the time or conditions to appreciate the detail.

    Gordon spend the next 30/40 minutes playing around with the RGB levels till he got a neutral colour temperature (6500K) for the different grey brightness. He then did a final set of colour and contrast.

    Before showing me any DVD or set-top box image he advised me that faces on TV broadcasts could look reddish, but DVD images should be better that ever. Essentially, I would see loads of contrast between colours, I should be able to differentiate many more details and all colours should look rather natural instead of "fantastic" as they were.
    Next, we watched some scenes of "Moulin Rouge". I was astonished with all the contrasts we could notice in the image.
    I followed by watching "Gladiator" and same of the "Blue Planet" chapters, and once more contrast are excellent and colours are impressively natural. I do not want to repeat myself, but I have never seen better on a TV set.
    I watched some of the scenes again and again (e.g. Gladiator first Battle and Battle of Carthage). I could observe many more details, even contrast in "white" colours are sufficiently good to be now noticeable. Also ran the THX image optimizer and it did not need any change. It was already OK.
    I then changed to the set-top box and it is true the faces look a bit reddish in studio broadcasts, but I think that it is not important if one considers that all the rest looks much more natural. It is even strange after 30 years of watching TV. It does not look like one.

    After this experience I truly recommend the ISF calibration of any display that it is able to be calibrated as so. And I will do it on all of my displays that I considered the colour accuracy to be important, as it is the case of my HT displays, being it the TV or projector.

    Sorry for this long email but since a lot has been asked about ISF calibration I thought I should let others know about my findings. :)

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