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The Constitution of Calibration


The Constitution of Calibration

Greetings once again colleagues.  I have returned from the netherworld, otherwise known as the dreaded service menu, to advise on my calibration experiences.


Initially, before any calibration, I was greatly disappointed with the ATT Uverse system, thinking that my cable tv wired system was sufficient.  But, as a defacto perfectionist, and with the added benefit of having an electrical engineering background, with a little encouragement from the technical learneds such as SomeJoe, etc., I embarked on a goal of finding the "true" Uverse high definition picture.


After rewiring my own house with CAT5e, etc (read the old posts), I came across the calibration post for dvd calibration.  After purchasing the two most popular calibration dvds, the picture improved, but still not perfect.  Further internet investigation revealed the website of Calibration for Dummies, which required venturing into the "prohibited" service menu.  Filled with enthusiasm for obtaining the ultimate HDTV picture, and with a little encouragement and verification from respected and honored Uverse peers, I gathered enough courage to try it, with one hand on my colorimeter, and the other on the phone to call a tv repair man.


After many months of casual calibration with a colorimeter (hooked into my computer) and a calibration dvd, I finally perfected the picture.  The initial calibrations revealed that the TV's "out of the box" color saturations were way off, with red being around 110% and blue around 85% (perfection is 100% for both).  I believe that this could not be fixed with dvd calibration.  Then I had to find the best picture mode for the best HDTV picture, with in my case was cinema mode for panasonic's TH-50PX77U.  The anti-glare screen on this tv made it difficult for calibration measurements, but I finally found out that you can do two different types of measurements for this screen, one while in the service menu and the other while out of the service menu (which I believe to be truer and better).  The most important thing that I discovered was making sure that 10 IRE was 0.65% of 100 IRE (Calibration jargon for the service menu), and that the 2% and 4% bars above black should be visible even at 100 IRE (same jargon).  (Adjusting the sub-bright in the service menu allowed for this, but not too much.)  After months of coming downstairs and working on calibration techniques, I have a 50" panny that now looks great.


However, I wouldn't recommend going into the service menu.  Doing so may destroy your television set, which may or may not be repairable. 


I want to thank you of those that gave me the confidence, even to those that suggested for me to let them know "when" I contacted the repair technician (which never happened).


Always in high def,


Vincentfam, no longer the hermit.

Message Edited by vincentfam on 02-02-2010 08:03 PM
Message Edited by vincentfam on 02-02-2010 08:06 PM
Message 1 of 7

Re: The Constitution of Calibration

Good for you Vince.  I think there are less than 10 people in the forum who have the skills to even attempt to do what you did.  And even fewer who have the patience to go through all of the calibration techniques you did.  Glad you have a pic that you like.  Enjoy.
Message 2 of 7

Re: The Constitution of Calibration

I have a similar 50" Panny plasma.  Can you post all your final picture settings?  Also, did you find any difference with the MPEG Noise Reduction setting?  My set is calibrated with one of the calibration DVDs.


Finally, how old is your TV?  How do you watch 4:3 material?  My set has a hint of burn-in from black side bars.  Next TV will definitely be an LCD.

Message 3 of 7

Re: The Constitution of Calibration

RCSMG, thanks for your comments.  I hope that people that use this forum realize how helpful you and the other seasoned experts are.  Yes, I have patience, but I am also very cheap and did not want to spend the money on professional calibration.  However, in some cases, professional calibration can be great, especially if a person intends on keeping an HDTV for a very long time and the professional technician has a lot of experience calibrating tvs.  You don't want professional calibration from someone that just walked out of a trade school or a seminar.


Thanks again for your comments.


Vincentfam, no longer the hermit.

Message 4 of 7

Re: The Constitution of Calibration

gbh62, My tv is about 2 1/2 years old, but I do not watch 4:3 material.  My tv's final settings may not work on your tv because all tvs, even from the same manufacturer, may be different.  Also, I changed the settings in the service menu, which also affects the user menu settings.  I believe that every tv is unique and every tv has what I consider a "sweet spot" where certain unique settings provide for a great picture quality.  I believe that it also just takes time, or a seasoned tech, to find it.  These are my limited beliefs and not advice, as I am not certified in calibration.

As Randyl says, IMHO.


Vincentfam, no longer the hermit.

Message 5 of 7

Re: The Constitution of Calibration

gbh62, check your utalk mail for settings
Message 6 of 7

Re: The Constitution of Calibration



I have found the secret to calibrating a panny 50" if you have the DVE calibration disk.  When calibrating, do not use the "window" IRE patterns, but instead use the one described as "pluge w/ Gray Scale" for brightness and the "Reverse Gray Ramps & Steps" for contrast. 


First, go to the Reverse pattern and turn up the contrast as bright as it can go.  Then lower it until you can see the separate segments of the whitess part of the pattern.  If two of the segments kind of bleed together, your contrast is too bright.  Also, if their is a slight hint of color in the white part of this pattern, your contrast is too bright and probably needs to be lowered a little more.  However, I wouldn't worry too much about the hint of color, being that cable channels are not always perfectly adjusted for color.


Next, go to the pluge w/ gray scale pattern.  This looks like four boxes on top of each other with three lines on both sides of the boxes.  The lines farthest away from the boxes is called the "4% below black".  You should adjust the brightness for this pattern to where to can barely see the 4% line.  My research indicates that this pattern is actually designed to where you are supposed to barely see the 4% line when calibrating.


Go back to the Reverse pattern to double check and adjust the contrast in the white part of that pattern, if necessary, then go back to the pluge pattern to adjust the brightness, if necessary.  You can do this for each TV mode (Sports, vivid, movie, etc.) that you have.  Repeat these steps until you are satisfied.  You are going to be surprised about the results.


Good Luck!


Vincentfam, no longer the hermit.

Message 7 of 7
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