Two weeks, and we’re still congratulating PatM on his recent ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) certification. (PatJ already has his.) And with all that PatM’s been doing lately, it’s quite a trophy for him. We upgraded our ISF calibration equipment at the end of last year, and that, of course, involved not only a large expenditure, but an equally large investment in time to learn the accompanying new software.
We love to ISF video displays. Projectors, flat-panels, CRTs.
Some readers may appreciate an introduction: ISF video calibration will produce the most accurate image, with the truest colors, film-like picture qualities, and often brings with it much longer life to the display being calibrated. A well-done ISF can make a home theater look like a system costing thousands more.
Speaking of green, your flat panel will use up to 40% less energy (and your friends will be green with envy).
A little background: when TV programs are produced, then transferred from film to DVD, the process is precisely monitored on video displays calibrated to industry standards. Your video display can accurately reproduce the full, original quality of those programs only if it is calibrated to the same industry standards. You can enjoy the full quality of your new (or older) TV, monitor, or projector with professional calibration.
Some installers claim that they’ve adjusted a new TV/projector for its best performance (using only their eyes?), but unless the unit has been professionally calibrated, it won’t look as good as it can. Remember how different all those TVs look at the store or the sports bar, when all were receiving the same feed? This demonstrates the non-standard adjustment of each display. Manufacturers adjust their models to look as appealing as possible (brightest) next to competing models on a showroom floor. They usually set the user and technician service controls for the highest apparent light output.
Why aren’t the units calibrated to industry standards before they ship? Let’s blame it on environmental influences, beginning with shipping. Just moving a unit can cause a shift in performance. Also influencing the output are initial aging (the first hours of use), and even the unique lighting effects of the viewing room. Setting each unit to industry standards before shipping would add greatly to the cost of your unit, and would need to be reset anyway!
A video display is the last step in the visual experience. Source gear, distribution, and cabling all contribute to the final picture quality. But if the display isn’t set to industry standards, you’re not seeing exactly what was intended by the filmmakers. A precisely calibrated video system does full justice to the high-quality video signal. It can give you picture quality approaching, or even exceeding, that of local cinemas (usually the latter). And, a mis-calibrated display mangles the picture miserably. Calibration is one of the most effective and least expensive upgrades you can make to your video system.
A calibrated display will:
- display a sharper-focused, full-resolution image;
- show full detail in the darkest and brightest parts of all scenes;
- be properly matched to your video system and viewing environment;
- maintain accurate color balance at all picture light levels;
- produce a full range of accurate colors, including flesh tones, grass, sky, and sports jerseys;
- have a cinema theater “film look;”
- minimize picture artifacts (distortions);
- be easier on your eyes; and
- last up to twice as long as a display with factory default settings.
We’ve priced our ISFs competitively, starting at $300. www.imagingscience.com