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How critical is Calibration?

by rshaneyfelt / November 5, 2009 6:22 AM PST

I just purchased a PN58B550 and am wondering about purchasing the $300 calibration package. Seems a lot to pay when I don't even know if the picture will look like it needs it yet.
- Will it be obvious if I need calibration?
- Do the calibration DVD's work well, and would it make sense to try that first before spending the $300?
- How many hours should the TV be in operation before performing the calibration?

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by sunlaker / November 5, 2009 12:40 PM PST

I just had it done on my 55 inch 640 model. Did I notice the difference? Not really, I would never pay 300 bucks for it thats for sure considering I was told it would take 2 hours and the tech was only here for an hour. Fortunately I bought a package of items and I don't think I really paid to much for the scam job.

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Is calibration worth it?
by BlueMoonAthena / November 5, 2009 9:30 PM PST

I recently had calibration done on my 52 and 37 inch models. Had I not received a much reduced price for the service I would have felt cheated. The difference is minor and if truth be known I think I liked the way it looked before calibration better. I was told that the calibration would take about two hours per set. The tech was at it for maybe a total of an hour and twenty minutes for both.

I was told to wait until the sets had at least 100 hours or use in them before having the calibration performed.

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by sunlaker / November 6, 2009 12:00 AM PST

I forgot to mention when I had my 55inch done the tech left a DVD in my Bluray which contained the basic instructions for TV adjustment. I used it on my 32 inch samsung which is all that it needed. 300 bucks=ripoff save your money. I suspect the price will be greatly reduced in the near future as the techs have paid for their equipment.

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How critical is Calibration?
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 6, 2009 1:20 AM PST


My advice to most people when it comes to calibration is to get one if you see the need to have a very specific color replication. With Samsung, most of the calibration settings are available in the UI under "Detailed Settings", so I believe most of what is adjusted in the calibration is found in the customer-accessible menu.

The HDTV Picture Settings forum is where many people who have calibrated their sets post their "ultimate settings", as well as some C|Net staffers who have either calibrated or adjusted the television to the settings they believe is the best picture representation - and that's free.

For plasmas, 100-200 hours is the break-in period, and I would recommend leaning towards 200 if you possibly can.

The other thing to consider is that if you perform a firmware update, your calibration will likely be lost. So make sure that your firmware is either updated - or that you just won't update it - before you pay the money.

Hope that helps.


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by jim isham / November 6, 2009 9:36 PM PST

I had it done by Best Buy on my LN52A850 and feel it was not worth it. As someone else said, it was supposed to take a couple of hours and he was done in less than one.
We couldn't agree on the color level setting. He set it way higher than I wanted. He set it for 50. Everybody looks like they have sunburn and the grass looks like it's been painted with a very bright green.
I ended up two calilbration settings, one for daytime and the other for evening, both with the color levels set too high. Neither can be accessed to adjust the color level.
So I have to use the Standard setting, so that I can set the color level to about 25, which to me, gives me a more natural looking flesh tone.
I wish I had insisted the color level be set at 25.

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by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 7, 2009 2:36 PM PST
In reply to: Calibration

jim isham,

A calibration is supposed to give natural colors.

I remember years ago, the first calibrated picture I saw was a NASCAR race, and it looked dark. The grass wasn't the bright green I saw on the other sets. I talked to the calibration expert, and he asked me to look at a different panel that wasn't calibrated. I told him that I thought the colors "popped" and were bright and impressive.

He pointed out that the calibrated TV had darker grass, because that's what you'd see if you were there in real life. The colors of the cars weren't oversaturated, because that's not how it was if you were there to see it. He noted that while a retailer would want to make the picture catch yor attention - the calibrated picture is to most closely match the colors as they were filmed.

So if you're unhappy, I don't think it's unreasonable to express your dispeasure. If people look sunburned, there's obviously a pretty bad red "push" that's in play here. Most of the managers I know at your retailer would rather have you happy, so see what they say.


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Don't do it.
by jgilliam1955 / November 7, 2009 2:00 AM PST

If the TV looks goood to you, then leave it alone. Mine has a sports setting. After trying all these "BEST" settings out there, I wasn't happy. I hit the sports mode button and the TV came alive. The TV will make guest stop in there tracks. It is that good.

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Don't do it
by sunlaker / September 26, 2010 6:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Don't do it.

After about six months of using the Best Buy Calibration I set my own!

It's perfect and it's custom! I should charge people 300 bucks to come out and perform the service/scam.

save your money folks!

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