How To Calibrate Your HDTV

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vmem

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Thanks for the detailed and great write up. it is inspiriting as always

Though honestly, for the "average" consumer, I find it hard to justify spending $350 to calibrate a $500 or so monitor set up and maybe a $800-1200 TV. I feel this is the type of thing you have to really get into (and end up doing it for free for your friends and family)
 

crisan_tiberiu

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the question is: why arent the producers calibrate the TVs right out of the factory? why? is it so hard to make a preset for the TVs? 99% of the TVs that come out of a factory will have the same "crappy" default settings. And sorry, i wont spend 350$ to calibrate my TV ^^ no way
 

shahrooz

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well the first time I saw a calibrate your something's screen article was a year ago. Back then I found out "one does not simply calibrate the screen of something"
 

The_Icon

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This is something I have been wanting for a long time now. Is there any good free tool to calibrate both the HDTV and my monitor? The TV is connected to my PC as well.
 

vmem

Splendid


They do calibrate the TVs (any manufacturer worth their salt anyway). the problem is two fold: first all TVs / monitors are relatively low margin because the market is highly competitive. unless you're paying a premium for "professional" monitors such as the Dell ultrasharp series, most panels will be calibrated the 'easy' way to some factory pre-set that is considered "good enough".

the second thing is that everyone's lighting conditions are different. maybe your room is brighter than mine and you like having the traditional type of bulbs that have a yellow / orange hue and I use white light bulbs. these things have a huge impact on how your TV looks, so at the end of the day the consumer will always need to do some calibration if you want perfect color reproduction.
 

RedJaron

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Agreed. Writing a DIY that can be done for under $50 would be very appreciated. $350 is more than I paid for my 42" screen years ago. I know it wasn't the top-end model, but I'm willing to bet most people have TVs under $800 and aren't willing to spend $100s more to calibrate the screen.
 

emccalment

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Just like everyone else I open this article thinking, "This sounds great! I'll definitely follow this!" Then I see $350 and stop reading right there. It's officially a waste of my time. Why are people satisfied with the discoloration? Because $350 isn't a joke. There have been mention of some free products above. Do a write up on one of those and I'm there.
 

Evolution2001

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I find that most HDTVs / Projectors have the reds oversaturated. For example, watching an awards show with a red carpet or someone wearing all red, the over-saturation causes it to 'glow' and wash out all contrast so it looks like a solid mass of red blob with a human head moving on the screen. And for the US people reading this, October in the NFL is especially harsh with all that electro-pink on the screen.
 

ceberle

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Spears & Munsil has a lot more patterns available than the Disney disc plus better instructions in my opinion. That being said, you can achieve similar results with the Disney disc so if you already have it, I'd suggest giving it a try before buying S&M. If you're happy with the way your TV looks afterward, you just saved $30!

-Christian-
 
I've been using the Datacolor Spyder4Elite ($249US) for a couple of years now. Best money I've ever spent. Yes, it is expensive, but it has calibrated my three desktop PC's monitors (two gaming rigs, one video/photography rig), three HDTVs, and two laptops. To me it was worth spending that much rather than wasting my time going out on the web and finding color calibration settings that others find "optimal" that I may not.

With that said, do not expect your games to look a whole lot better on your PC monitors after being calibrated by one of these. These tools are more for photography and video color accuracy more than anything else.
 

wiyosaya

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Thanks - I will have to check this out.

Amen!

For complete accuracy, the display has to be calibrated to the source. Where anyone, as a calibrator of devices, will gain the most is that if you have a source of some sort and calibrate it to the same reference to which your display is calibrated, then the ultimate in benefits is possible. In other words, take a picture of a standardized reference, show that picture on your display, then calibrate the display so that the picture of the standardized reference looks exactly like the standardized reference itself, then repeat for every source, e.g., scanner, still camera, video camera, etc, and pray your display has enough memory slots for those calibrated settings because you will need to switch to the matching setting when changing from one calibrated source to another.

As I understand it, the reality is that no two video sources, such as different BR discs, one TV network or another, are calibrated to the same reference. Thus, Joe Kane's interpretation of NTSC - "Never Twice the Same Color."

For viewing video sources over which one has no control, it is still worth calibrating to some reference because that will get rid of the "eye-catching" settings to which most manufacturers set their displays so that the average consumer will go "wow" when viewing the display in a showroom and thus, at least as the manufacturer hopes, buy the display.
 
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