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TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

HDTV calibration?

by eshahad / February 10, 2008 9:40 AM PST

Best Buy and Circuit City offer calibration service, both of which vary drastically in price. Best Buy is more expensive, so does that mean they do a better job? Or am i just paying for their name? Or is there another company I could go with. I want the best picture quality out of my JVC HDTV! Thanks people!

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Cnet has a neat little
by dinox64 / February 10, 2008 10:33 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

Clip about calibration. It's for LCD but it can work on plasma as well. Just type in "calibration". Another thing to try is searching for your model number followed by calibration and see what comes up.
I've thought about buying a titorial disc but the comments/feedback on them is not very compulsive. What are the going rates for either C.C or Best Buy? You didn't mention them except that B.B is quite a bit more.

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Calibration a no no!
by eshahad / February 11, 2008 5:58 AM PST
In reply to: Cnet has a neat little

For some reason I could have sworn that CC offered calibration, but in calling them they do not. Best Buy on the other hand offers the service for $300.00.

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by jostenmeat / February 11, 2008 6:06 AM PST
In reply to: Calibration a no no!

should afford anyone you want for an in-home ISF + CEDIA cert'd TV cal. Doesn't even have to be a bigbox store. Get someone whos been doing it for a decade or two at the same price. Some people with projectors actually send them in to someone they trust, and often that is less, like $200. In-home add the $100.

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Not sure
by gabereyes / February 10, 2008 12:49 PM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

but I have a guess BB calibration is a ISF calibration that need special training and special equipment, I am not sure if CC is doing a true ISF calibration or if it just a calibration done by eye.

As for trying to calibrate the TV your self, this will help.
But you cannot change some of the most important settings, like white balance and VSM, I have used every disc I could find like sound and vision, Avia, Digital video DVE disc. they will give you good direction on how to fix some problems with the TV, but not all you still need the right equipment and the TVs service menu to get it perfect.

So I would ask CC if it is a ISF calibrator, and what is his name.
you can look it up here

good luck

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by eshahad / February 11, 2008 6:03 AM PST
In reply to: Not sure

thanks for your useful information. CC does not offer the service. I was wrong.

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what I have been reading
by jostenmeat / February 10, 2008 2:10 PM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

is that its the skill/knowledge of any one individual that is paramount. More so than if they are ISF or CEDIA, etc, of course, that wouldn't hurt. Call me cynical, but I would be very surprised if any great proportion of BB or CC employees had a true know-how. Probably an unfair statement, and also, I am already assuming that there are a few that do know what they are doing.

Another factor is controlled lighting. Perhaps a skilled individual could adjust for a nice compromise between day and night. I don't know anything about this because Ive never had a calibration done. If it was me, Id set it optimally for very little ambient light, something more in the line of "cinematic viewing".

This is not an approved list, but a list nonetheless of custom installers. Worth calling the couple that might be nearby for a quote on a calibration.

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by bevillan / February 11, 2008 12:59 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

In some CNET HDTV reviews they give you a detailed account of exactly what picture settings they set the HDTV to for their ideal testing picture. Now these settings are done in a very dark room so if you watch TV with some ambient lighting, you will need to up the brightness. I used CNET's recommended settings and my picture looks great on my SXRD (after I bumped up the brightness).

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by gretzkyv99 / February 11, 2008 11:19 PM PST
In reply to: Cnet

BestBuy does offer ISF certified calibrations. They work for GeekSquad install but are a different set of guys who are indeed certified by ISF and only do calibrations. It is $300, unless purchased with a new tv, which drops the cost to $200. Only other store I know for sure that offers this service is Tweeter (ChicagoLand Area), but I'm sure most high end stores have it.

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I am curious.
by ahtoi / February 12, 2008 12:53 AM PST
In reply to: Cnet

Where do you make the adjustment; in the back of the TV or in front with the remote?

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I am almost positive...
by stuntman_mike / February 12, 2008 2:00 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

that Best Buy uses outside contractors to do the calibrations. Just like when you need servicing, they don't have full time employees that only fix electronics. They send them out to people that they have formed a joint partnership with. It is the same with the calibrations.

You could go with them or you could do the same thing that BB did and find someone to do it for you.

The risk is that you don't find someone as good as the people that BB uses. The reward is you find someone better than the people that BB uses and possibly cheaper.

I would first try a calibration disc. You won't get the same results as you would get as if a professional went into your service menu and used equipment, but maybe you get close enough that you are happy with it and wouldn't know the difference. And it would only cost you $30 instead of $300. Try the disc first. If you are not satisfied you can always find someone to do the professional calibration later.

Good luck.

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by eshahad / February 12, 2008 4:18 AM PST

Thanks for you advice!

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by theoncomingstorm / February 12, 2008 4:19 AM PST

Having dealt with BB's technicians in home, they are 100% certified to do in-home ISF calibrations and good at their job. They are all BB employees who have been trained properly by ISF master calibrators. This is not third party. Circuit loves calling their "basic setup" a calibration, when it is in fact not.

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by gabereyes / February 12, 2008 4:41 AM PST
In reply to: ISF

BB also pays the installers and Calibrators very well, to me when it comes to quality of work, it doesnt matter what company you work for its how much they pay, a lot of BB installers are from other high end companys like ultimate electornics and independent delears, and its very rare to see a BB sells person that doesnt know much get a installer spot.


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isf bb calibration
by jay412 / February 12, 2008 8:24 AM PST
In reply to: Yes

how true is this?? i'm not sure if this is a gimmick to try to get me to use the BB calibration, but i was looking at the pioneer pdp-5080hd and the BB guy said you don't want to try to calibrate this tv is in a hidden menu and that you can actually damage the tv by calibrating it you might want to be careful doing it yourself if this is true for other tv's as well???

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yes, its called the "service menu"
by jostenmeat / February 12, 2008 9:18 AM PST
In reply to: isf bb calibration

as has been mentioned at this thread already. With some scouring of the internet, you may find a way in, but as mentioned, not recommended!

Some certain things (way above my head) are sometimes hard to find, even when in the service menu it seems. Ive been researching projectors, and man, the things they talk about. Sometimes its gamma they try to adjust, and other times...

an ISF cal will have them in the service menu, no doubt.

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by gabereyes / February 12, 2008 9:24 AM PST
In reply to: isf bb calibration

Is almost a need to do with todays TVs.

calibration was first done on old black and white TVs, it was a free service from the company you bought the TV from.

But today you have everyone making HDTV, Im suprised best chioce and always save doesnt make TVs now.
anyways the TV's today are setup to look good in the store under high lighting and next to other TV's so to stand out there have to push brightness, colors, and sharpness to a new level.

And to do this they loss the accuracy of sharpness and color, by overpushing everything and changing colors and color tempatures, that give the TV a blue picture to give you a apperance of brighter whites and brighter color, the same way your tooth paste and laundry detergent are Blue in color to make things look brighter.

its the same as if youve picked out paint in the store and then went home and painted the wall, it always looks diffrent in the home vs the store do to the lighting in the store because it has a diffrent color temp.

by adjusting color, brightness, sharpness, and color temp you can get a pure image that is more true to life.
but the problem is almost all TVs dont give you full controll of these setting to fix the problems, this is why you need a proffesional to do it in the service menu of the TV.
You can change some setting, but then you must know what setting to change and where to change them to, and the service menu is like reading a diffrent language it has setting called VSM, Gamma, White balance, RGB push and Cut-off and it takes a trained person to do this because you can change the wrong setting and mess up the TV its self.

You dont need to get a calibration from BB, but its a good idea to get one if you want a perfect picture.

hope this helps
good luck

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As others have said...
by stuntman_mike / February 13, 2008 1:08 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

do not go into the service menu (that's if you even knew how) unless you know what you are doing. Messing up color is one thing, but you do not want to create geometry issues.

You can get BB to do the cal for you or you can find your own professional to do it (possibly cheaper or better than the one's that BB would hire to do it).

This is if you are a videophile (which I am lol) and you need the absolute most accurate picture possible. If you just want a very good picture you could get a calibration disc for $30-50. You won't achieve professional calibration results but you will get very good results depending on how well you grasp the concepts of the test patterns that the disc employs.

For best results though, you will need a Sony TV lol. They offer the most picture adjustment options of any consumer TV manufacturer. Something to think about Wink

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Just to be clear...
by stuntman_mike / February 13, 2008 1:21 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV calibration?

jay412. You will not harm your TV by using the regular picture adjustment options that are on the TV. What I mean by that is when you hit adjust the picture settings using the remote like you would on any TV.

What we, and the BB salesman, are talking about is the service menu. The service menu is something that is accessed by a professional. You could also access it if you searched the internet for the codes to allow you to get into the service menu (they are usually very simple and involve a few button presses while the TV is off and then turning it on).

So yes, entering the code to get into the service menu, where only professionals belong, can damage (usually not physically just visually) the TV. But you can adjust the settings in the normal consumer picture settings menu, and not do any harm (although having the brightness and/or contrast settings to high could possible hurt the set over time).

I hope this answers your question better.

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