News CES 2018: Portrait Displays add AutoCal to LG 2018 OLED and SUPER UHD TVs

Discussion in 'LG TVs Forum' started by Steve Withers, Jan 7, 2018.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. Roohster

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      Sounds like a fantastic idea.

      I wonder why they've only brought it to the portrait model?
       
    3. Badge

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      Great for the video calibration industry.. I guess if you have the 3D LUT accuracy capability you’d be foolish not to use it. So add a few hundred to the price to have it professionally calibrated..

      But this automated workflow begs the question, why not sell me a TV from the factory already calibrated.
       
    4. doug56hl

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      Especially as it transforms a task that could require an hour or greater by a trained professional into one that can be performed in minutes. That wouldn't add a lot for the factory to do this and charge a premium price for the calibrated ones.

      But with this feature the cost of professional calibration may reach a new low. Can't see anyone being happy to pay £300+ for a couple of minutes in their house of a calibrators time ... ;)
       
      Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    5. doug56hl

      doug56hl
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      Portrait Displays is the owning company for Calman. Article notes all 2018 LG OLED and SUPER UHD TVs will allow CalMAN direct access to internal look-up tables (1D and 3D LUTs). Although I suspect only the higher end models will support auto calibration.

      Perhaps in a few years time TV's will be like receivers which bundle in a free microphone for Audyssey audio calibration and build the calibration software into the TV's plus include a meter in the box. And pigs might fly... :)
       
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      Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    6. Badge

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      Hope they start bundling Klein spectros lol ;P
       
    7. Canary_Jules

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      A couple of minutes? Hardly. We have already had autocal available for high end Panasonic TVs for some time in Calman. While helping to reduce overall time it still takes a few hours to calibrate a whole system in the context of the viewing environment - then you've got driving time to add on. Indeed, environment is important. Performing an autocal in a factory can't take that into account. While I'm sure that many of the videophile guys on these AVF threads are so into their hobby that a few may well invest in the necessary equipment, that equipment certainly won't come cheap. You will not only need Calman, but you will need a signal generator and a meter - and while the entry level colorimeters are ok they are going to struggle with the lower stimulii and will have the out of the box error and long term drift that is par for the course with cheap tri-stimulus meters. Part of the reason Spectracal will be doing this, apart from the altruistic aim of helping pro calibrators such as myself with their workload ;) , will be to sell calibration kits to retailers such as Currys. The Geek Squad are already doing such fly by 'calibrations' in the US and from what I understand they are sub par compared to the work of an experienced, better equipped and trained pro calibrator. As for £300 + for a calibration price, you can find cheaper ;)
       
    8. Ivan Samuel

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      The ‘performed in minutes’ calibration will be a CalMAN Lightning LUT. This isn’t a full profile.
      The accurate calibration option will be the 3500-reading 3D LUT offered instead.
      This takes around 90 minutes depending on the colorimeter used by the calibrator.

      If a customer wants day, night, game (3D LUT), HDR and Dolby Vision it is going to take 90 minutes per SDR memory plus the time required to do the standard HDR autocal.

      Then there is the time needed to verify that the LUT is good once the profiles have been run.
       
    9. doug56hl

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      The quote I gave was Steve Withers words in the news article.
      Again from the article LG is the first manufacturer to allow CalMAN direct access to the underlying hardware look-up tables..... They are also the first televisions to offer three-dimensional look-up tables (3D LUTs) as one of the CalMAN accessible tables and these 3D LUTs allow correction of minute colour variances.

      So are you saying this is all nothing new at all and is being over hyped? Also mentioned in a far longer and detailed article on the underlying process involved. While many TVs have had 3D LUTs in their video pipeline for a while, the LG models are the first to offer direct access for AutoCal. This allows a level of control, and performance, that has never been available on a TV before.
      https://referencehometheater.com/2018/commentary/what-is-a-3d-lut/
      It could though offer a dark room setting for both SDR and HDR. A dark room is a dark room surely?
      In case you hadn't gathered that paragraph was very much tongue in cheek.
       
    10. doug56hl

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      OK so in order of ascending accuracy and time needed to do it.
      • Uncalibrated - Avforums G7 review: given this largely accurate overall performance, the benefits of a calibration will be minimal. Zero time.
      • Possible premium factory or retailer pre-sale calibrated - should have highly accurate greyscale and gamma using Lightning LUT. "Minutes".
      • Full calibrated - reference level colour accuracy sufficient for mastering purposes? Requires a calibrator in the home viewing environment. Many hours.
      As much of this process is automated and thus possibly de-skilled (which automation usually does, that after all is one of its raison d'etres) and the mention by @Canary_Jules previously "Spectracal will be doing this....to sell calibration kits to retailers such as Currys" how likely/possible would it be for Currys, or anyone else, to also rent the calibration equipment out for LG 2018 TVs user full calibration home use? Possibly giving a better ROI than doing a Geek Squad approach.
       
      Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    11. Canary_Jules

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      Good post Ivan
      I seriously doubt that Currys would be hiring out their kits. As I hear from my US pro calibrator colleagues, Geek Squad's hit and run jobs are the best adverts for a proper professional calibration! LOL. I also seriously doubt that manufacturers are going to be doing 'dark room' calibrations anytime soon. THX and ISF modes are as far as they have wanted to go in the past and I really can't see any of them wanting to start hooking up individual TVs to signal generators and 'calibrating' in the factory.
       
    12. Canary_Jules

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      The ability to access the internal LUT is certainly new and very, very welcome. But I have used Calman's Direct Display Control to automate high end Panasonic TV calibrations. You still need to have technical knowledge to do it. I can see some really keen videophiles wanting to buy the gear and do their own thing, but I believe that the people who will really benefit from this are professional calibrators and their clients. Happy days! :)
       
    13. Ivan Samuel

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      Owners who seek out a professional to calibrate their display don't want 'largely accurate' they want the best possible result for their environment, sources and to a certain extent, personal preference.
      The CalMAN autocal features work well but they never equal the results achieved manually by an experienced calibrator.

      I applaud Portrait Displays for working with LG to implement 3D LUT calibration for the 2018 range.
      This is the best possible way to calibrate any display but it almost always requires a large profile (3000+ points) to generate excellent results.
      I would be surprised if the Lightning LUT works well for a display (OLED) that is prone to colour shift and white balance drift over the course of a calibration.
      Very few displays calibrate well with a Lightning LUT and those that do are usually of a professional nature used by colourists.

      The full 3500 profile is likely to work very well especially if this is performed after the white balance and gamma have already been adjusted properly.
      In order to get the best results from a large cube though a fast colorimeter (Klein K10A or Colorimetry Research CR-100) that can read very dim patches is needed.
      I can't see any company renting a £10K toolkit to Joe Bloggs.
      Geek Squad I believe still use the i1Pro2 for calibrations. This meter doesn't perform well for large 3D LUT profiles as it can't read close to black.
       
    14. doug56hl

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      What about anybody else? Renting high value items for short term use is fairly standard.
      As Joe Bloggs I can rent well over £10K of Canon or Nikon lens as a consumer with little problem. For example: Canon 800mm L lens, cheapest retail cost today: £11899, 3 day insured rental £220 (£73pd equivalent, much cheaper pro rata for longer rentals). And take them to much more hazardous environments than a home living room (african safaris for example).... :)

      £10K kit rented for £100 p.d would return £36.5K per year on a 100% rental rate. Even 50% rental would produce £8K (80%) annually from a £10K investment Not a bad ROI! I'm even thinking it may be worth starting a rental business of this type myself now I've seen the profits that could be made... :)
      Or rent the gear by the day/part week, way cheaper. If you're interested in doing this I'd recommend DougCalibrationRentals... ;)
      Surely depends if they can charge a premium price for them?
      I'm presuming quality control involves taking TVs out from the production line and running tests to ensure batches are OK. As the TVs are out from the line and being tested, nothing more than another couple of minutes to run a Lightning LUT calibration and then sell them as premium fully checked and 'calibrated' with an extra level of warranty. If demand exceeds supply, take more for the same handling...
      LCD television production line - Stock Image C014/9458 - Science Photo Library

      Anyway on a more serious stance, interesting news which while it remains to be seen how effective it is in practice can only be good for those wanting the best image possible from their 2018 LG TV.
       
      Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    15. doug56hl

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      I don't know enough about the process to debate/argue on this point but this article
      https://referencehometheater.com/2018/commentary/what-is-a-3d-lut/ does seem to suggest the automated results with the new 2018 LG Oleds will be better than from a manual calibration in the past due to the new access level now available to the TV hardware.

      Directly adjusting these LUTs is something that you cannot do yourself because of the huge number of data points that need adjusting. CalMAN software will automate this process, taking multiple reads and adjusting the many points available. CalMAN has been able to do much of this for years, but it required niche products that cost thousands of dollars. Since CalMAN now has direct access to the TV hardware, it also means that it will do all the other TV adjustments as well to dial in an ideal image. The process of calibrating is automated, and can be much faster than a traditional manual calibration, but will require the appropriate hardware and software.

      LG also has provided full hardware access to a separate 10-bit 1D LUT just for the gamma and grayscale that occurs just before display on the panel, after the 3D color LUT in the internal processing. This allows storage of 1024 different correction points, or the same number of points that are possible in HDR10 content. Compared to previous 10-step or 20-step grayscale and gamma controls, this allows a level of control that has never been available and can be optimized for the display.

      All HDR picture modes offer automated grayscale and color calibration

      On the 2018 OLED models and high-end SK LCD models from LG, they are introducing a cube LUT that calibration software will be able to directly address. With 33x33x33 or 17x17x17 cube LUTs, instead of adjusting 8 points, you will now be able to directly control and address 35,937 or 4,913 individual points.
      Add to that the 1024 different correction points for grayscale. I can't imagine it being possible to adjust this number of corrections manually (not unless a calibrator is there as a new house guest for a week or two at a time...:)).

      Obviously how this tests out in practice is the key issue. As you noted previously Oleds are prone to colour shift and white balance drift over the course of a calibration. But maybe the new models will prove to be more stable.
       
      Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    16. Badge

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      I would have thought that factory calibration would be done using specialised production line equipment, optimised and automated. Not some dude with a wobbly tripod, sipping a cup of weak tea and pushing the owners cat aside ;P

      Regarding environmental conditions, what is there aside from light levels? No at home calibration can consider all lighting scenarios, weather conditions etc. Yet it could be better simulated in controlled conditions such as a production line.

      I would expect to pay zero premium for this. I wouldn’t have thought it would be cost effective for manufacturers to have a specially treated subset of their product. I would expect all displays to meet an exacting standard, with another logo on the box to try to stand out from the competition.

      It’s then up to individuals to decide if they trust manufacturers claims and based on expert reviews decide whether to shell out more for a professional to pay a visit. But I bet the gains from this would be negligible.
       
    17. Ivan Samuel

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      I was referring to the current autocal versus manual adjustments. I frequently run the autocal and then fine tune afterwards as the errors can be improved further.

      A large 3D LUT profile is currently needed via an external source for LG OLEDs. I don't see this changing with the 2018 range. This will take more time not less....

      There is personal preference within your environment.
      Some people watch in the dark and others with lights on.
      The factory calibration could be perfect but as soon as one or more parameters are changed (OLED light, contrast, black level) from their default settings it will be inaccurate once again.
       
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    18. doug56hl

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      I don't follow how a manual pass can fine tune an auto pass when there are so many control adjustment points involved. The SDR calibration uses 1D LUT and 33x33x33 3D LUT calibration (giving 30,000+ adjustment points). From what you are saying the software doesn't seem to follow an iterative process to fine tune itself and seems a bit hit and miss as to its results.

      Re time I've seen mention of 7 hours minimum for the new LGs and autocal version. But I'm guessing that is just speculation at the moment.
      The question would be how inaccurate it could become with minor changes of only Oled light from say 40 to 45?

      Contrast and black level could be locked down in this factory calibration for dark room. Oled light could also be locked or restricted to a small +/- adjustment range. As the sets have so many modes available a locked 'perfect' one is no big deal.
       
    19. Ivan Samuel

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      I am referring to the standard (non 3D LUT) autocal. Further adjustments are needed after the automated part of the process to achieve good results. This will apply to HDR 10 and Dolby Vision.

      The display still needs to be set up properly prior to running the LUT profile.
      Take a look at the number of enthusiast calibrators who have had to run a 17x17x17 cube over and over again to get good results because they didn’t realise how to optimise the TV first.

      The current dark room preset requires a much larger change than five clicks to bring it down to a comfortable viewing level.
      That would throw out a factory calibration.
       
    20. doug56hl

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      You seem to be talking from a what is now standpoint compared to my what may/will be one with the new TVs. The new 1D autocal does all of that and more AFAIK. The only user variable seems to be Oled Light setting.

      Unless the factory calibration was within the usual range of home dark room calibrations, perhaps listening to customer feedback, "the dark preset you are using is too bright, please turn down Oled Light to a normal level". Optimum factory cal could then be made at the Oled Light mid point on the scale of +/- values which wouldn't throw out a calibration.
       
    21. Ivan Samuel

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      I am. Experience has taught me that apart from a few exceptional circumstances it is beneficial to re-adjust the non-3D-LUT memories manually after the autocal has been run.
      This may not be needed with the upcoming CalMAN release. I will believe it when I see it though.

      I am greatly looking forward to the promised 3D LUT support.
      I have been an advocate of this approach for years since I started using software that supports it.
      I don't see this as a cheap option for end users by equipment rental or software discounts though.
      Most customers couldn't care less about calibration. Many buyers haven't even heard the term.
      The posters on this forum aren't representative of the mainstream population and future buyers.
      I do think this will be of most use to professional calibrators although it is going to take longer to complete the job and some are likely to charge more as a result.
       

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