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Professional Calibration Equipment

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by methos3kgt, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. methos3kgt

    methos3kgt
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    Greetings all,
    I've been doing a great deal of reading and research on various tv technologies, but am finding it difficult to find very specific information regarding calibration. My query is to what equipment is used for such a service?
    I know there are calibration DVD's out there that allow for basic calibration, but I'm interested in finding out about the internal calibration that I feel should be done to most serious home theater systems.
    ISF states they sell an "optical comparator", but isn't clear on the other equipment that may be needed. I suppose you could sum up what I'm seeking by asking "what equipment is needed, and what does each do?"
    I've also looked into DisplayMate, though its aimed more towards computer monitors, it seems functional for video. Is this an example of a calibration program that is also required with the professional equipment?
    I'm mostly interested in the calibration of DLP and LCoS.

    If anyone can help in my understanding of this, I'd surely appreciate it.
     
  2. Piers

    Piers
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    The DVDs - the most obvious ones are DVE and AVIA will help you set up contrast, brightness, colour saturation and sharpness. An optical comparator will help you to set the display device to D65. A better solution is a tri-stimulus device linked to a lap-top that will let you calibrate the colour temperature. Read my web site for more info including the links to imagingscience.com who got this all going!
     
  3. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Methos,

    Over on the DLP/LCD forum, there is a basic calibration 'sticky' at the top of the forum that covers basic calibration using Avia nd DVE.

    As Piers says, you will need a device that can see colour in the same way as the human eye to allow calibration to the standard of D65. Colorfacts is one such device and info can be found here: http://www.milori.com/products/professional/

    There are others such as the OpticOne from Ovation IIRC which is a similar product in a similar price range. There are others that cost a lot more and are more accurate, but the Colorfacts products are more than good enough to qualify as ISF calibration capable.

    For the hobbyist on a budget (and who isn't), SMART III is excellent value for money. It uses a calibrated light meter and three RGB colour gels to take the colour readings. You have to manualy read and note down the readings (into an Excel spreadsheet) so it's more labour intensive, plus it doesn't see colour in quite the same way, so you won't necessarily end up at D65. You can have a colour temp that is 6500Kelvin, but it could also look green. I believe there may be a newer version of SMART coming out soon that will be generic, whereas earlier versions were more projector specific. It's not a recognised ISF capable device though. http://www.smartavtweaks.com/

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  4. methos3kgt

    methos3kgt
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    Wow, I am very appreciative of the prompt and very nice replies.
    I'm very impressed by the courtesy of the users on the forum.
    I will be sure to read through those sites carefully.

    What exactly is D65 btw?


    Thank you much.
     
  5. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Sorry, should have explained.

    D65 is an industry standard for colour. When a movie is made, the film is colour balanced to a standard - a set 'colour temperature' so that if all equipment in the display chain is optomised towards that standard, what you see on your display will be accurate, and as the 'director intended'.

    Innacurate colours could mean that shadow areas look purple or red, and bright areas like clouds look green/blue for example. You want white to look white (D65 is referred to as a 'white point'), and all variations of grey from white to black to look grey. If the colour balance is wrong, they will have a colour tint(s) so they will not be grey, and colour will be incorrctly balanced.

    Imagine a world where the Matrix wasn't green! :)

    Here is a post I made with some pictures from Colorfacts which show some of the results of a calbration: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207226

    Gary.
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    As has been said above D65 is one of the key specs you want to get right for a good display. The others are often outwith your control.....ie the colour of red, green, blue...the gamma curve....how the clour decoder works.....They are all important and good tools like those mentioned help you to see what is happening and hopefully fix them.

    There are before and after screen shots on my website under the ISF services page....obvioulsy without a calibrated screen they aren't going to look correct but you should be able to see there is a significant difference between before and after....

    Also should add that colorfacts is just software. You can buy it bundled wiith hardware though. This means you can start with a tri0stimulus divice then if you get more serious move up to some of the even more nutter hardware options that work with it.

    Gordon
     
  7. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Gordon,

    Good point about CF being just software - I often bundle the whole package as a single product, whereas CF can work with many different types of hardware.

    I thought you were located in Scotland, not the South East? Or is that just where you are currently?

    Gary.
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Garry,

    I got fed up losing business as everyone presumes because I live in Scoland that is where my business is.....the actual truth is that for about 1/3 -1/2 each month I am in England.....specifically around the M25 and down to the coast. It's got to the point that I'm now looking at purchasing a flat to work from down south....hotel bills are more than my mortgage right now!

    Gordon
     
  9. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Gordon,

    Good point - I think even I thought like that to be honest - you being inaccessable because you're in Scotland. At least if you buy somewhere down South, it's an investment rather than a non returnable outlay.

    Gary.
     
  10. Alaric

    Alaric
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    CF being just software - I often bundle the whole package as a single product

    Does this imply you re-sell this product gary ???
     
  11. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Alaric,

    When I said "bundle", I meant in my mind, not as a seller - sorry for the confusion.

    I tend to look at Colorfacts as a single product, although the software can work with many different hardware sensors as Gordon has said, not just the ones they sell with it.

    Gary.
     

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