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Proper 10 Step Basic HDTV Calibration

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Old 01-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Proper 10 Step Basic HDTV Calibration

Proper 10 Step (Basic) HDTV Calibration workflow:
Tools Required: TV and DVD or BD Player. Equipment Owner’s Manuals. A test pattern disk. Blue and if possible a Red filter. An hour or two.

1. Check for correct connection interfaces between components.

2. Check that sources are set for proper resolution output considering the TV displays capabilities (480i, 720p, 1080i or 1080p). Check that all enhancement protocols such as “black enhancement” “room (ambient) lighting control”, digital noise reduction, etc.etc, are all in the off or defeated mode. This needs to be done on the TV as well as the DVD player and possibly in your Av pre/pro or receiver. We want to calibrate just the display initially.

3. Allow a few minutes of warm up time for any display type. It used to take 30 minutes. Today, perhaps 5 or 10 are adequate.

4. Using any pluge pattern (black bars or blacker than black bar pattern) from any test disk or signal generator, set up the black levels using the brightness control.

5. Using a ten step crossed gray scale pattern or facsimile, adjust the white level with the picture/contrast control so clear delineation can be seen between the 90 and 100 IRE boxes. If you are blinded by the light output and can still see delineation, reduce the white output to help with eyestrain.

6. Recheck the black level and readjust as required. Black and white level controls tend to interact. Spend all required time to get these two levels precisely set.

7. Set color and tint with the aid of a SMPTE blue bar pattern and with the aid of a blue filter. These controls (color or Saturation and tint or Phase) will also interact to some degree with nearly all displays. Recheck and readjust as required.

Note: I like to use a red bar pattern with a red filter if I will not be making other possible corrections with test probes and gear. This red pattern test will help most basic calibrations remove the over saturation of red due to high presets internally designated by manufacturers with regards to color temperature. Using the red pattern will compensate for those displays that are running a cooler than standard color temperature. This is done to help sell TV’s off the showroom floor. The by-product of which is that what should be a correct blue bar setting tends to over-saturate red, thus making skin appear to be redder than normal. If a red filter is not available to you, simply reduce the color setting until skin tone appears more accurate.

8. Check that the Sharpness pattern shows little or no ringing or what appears to be a white line next to the black lines of the pattern. On today’s displays the sharpness control may not appear to make much of a change. Just make sure the control does not seem to add the above mentioned white lines next to the black ones.

9. If the display has a Cinema, THX or Movie/Film preset and the room in which you will do critical film or TV viewing has low ambient light levels, use that preset. You will still need to verify that you are getting the best Black and White levels possible by following the above procedure. At this time and in the low light levels of the room, check for a “Gamma” preset and if present, adjust it to 2.4. Again, recheck the B/W levels as the Gamma control found on some displays will assuredly affect the B/W level range. Also check that the color and tint of the image is acceptable.

10. Most importantly, have some fun with this and remember to enjoy a film or 2000.

By following the 10 steps above, your TV will produce excellent pictures that come very close to what the director of the production intended for you to see. There are further steps to be made that will derive even better quality viewing of your media, but just performing the above will get you much closer than those souls that just plug it in to the AC and a box.

Doug k
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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what is your opinion on this disc? http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-benchmark/
The guys at AVS forum seem to like it, but since you are the man, I would like your thoughts on it.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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Its a nice disc. Between it and DVE, you can do just about whatever you want, unless you decide to go all in and buy a meter.


I prefer the Brightness and Sharpness pattern on DVE, but S&M has great color space and motion tests. AFAIK, S&M has a new disc coming this Spring.

Last edited by elwaylite; 01-14-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:05 PM   #4
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I'm all for any test disk with minimum patterns that a novice can use to perform a "basic HDTV calibration" including the free THX Optimizer and the AVSHD 709 project found here.

www.bit.ly/avshd709

Ease of use should be a priority IMO as most novice HDTV owners hesitate to even read their owners manuals, let alone a test DVD instruction protocol.

A perfect disk would be one with just those patterns mentioned necessary to perform the basic calibration and the instructions for use noting the required TV controls.

Frankly, one should come with every HDTV set sold, again IMO. It would also serve to prove that all displays need to be set up individally for its best performance in the owners environment.

Doug k
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d6500k View Post
I'm all for any test disk with minimum patterns that a novice can use to perform a "basic HDTV calibration" including the free THX Optimizer and the AVSHD 709 project found here.

www.bit.ly/avshd709
Amen!!!

Quote:
Ease of use should be a priority IMO as most novice HDTV owners hesitate to even read their owners manuals, let alone a test DVD instruction protocol.
Amen!!!

Quote:
A perfect disk would be one with just those patterns mentioned necessary to perform the basic calibration and the instructions for use noting the required TV controls.
Amen!!!

Quote:
Frankly, one should come with every HDTV set sold, again IMO. It would also serve to prove that all displays need to be set up individally for its best performance in the owners environment.
Amen!!!

Believe me Doug, I'm not baiting you.
But, how about your thoughts on which basic controls to "adjust on the fly" based on room lighting, program content and user preferences . . .
and which to NOT touch?
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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I hope I am not off topic, but what about using something where someone has done the calibration for your specific TV and then posting the settings. Then used those. does this work?
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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Electrical components inside your new display will measure differently, right down to ohm's etc.. Add to that the chance that your room's environment match exactly with the "online calibration" numbers set by the original calibration, and the answer is a definitive ....... Maybe.

Using another's calibration numbers might get you close, or not.

Doing a "basic cal" in your home with your display is always the best first step. Beyond that, a measured calibration is the only way to know for sure that your display is spot on for your room.

Doug k
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candrews08 View Post
I hope I am not off topic, but what about using something where someone has done the calibration for your specific TV and then posting the settings. Then used those. does this work?
I just got a mid to low level Samsung for my living room. I've been playing with the calibrations for a few weeks now and have been enjoying it. I used some online calibrations I found as a jumping board and went from there. D6500K is 100% right when he talks about every room being different. Honestly, make it look good to your eyes. Everyone sees different things in their displays.
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