Author Topic:

Why copying settings from the web won't get you a calibrated TV

 (Read 76994 times)

Offline David Mackenzie

  • Global Moderator
  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 882
  • -Received: 1977
  • Posts: 3429
    • View Profile
    • Personal web site

We often get asked for calibrated settings at HDTVtest.

We're usually happy to share them, especially if a model has a particularly bad out of the box preset mode, so users can see some improvement.

However, even in the case of TVs with decent presets, people still ask us for the settings, so we release them with this disclaimer:

The usual disclaimer: Copying calibrated settings from the internet will not net you a calibrated TV. Calibration is an exact process which involves measuring colours and brightness from the TV screen and making precise adjustments to offset errors. In comparison, copying settings used on another TV will only provide an approximate result. In the case of TVs which have very good preset picture modes, they may even make the image quality worse.

Although many settings operate in the same way from unit to unit, some of the most crucial  settings - the Greyscale (White Balance) adjustments - are largely specific to each TV and can only be successfully adjusted with a calibration device and software. The following settings reflect the adjustments that we made on our individual review sample.


Today I bought a Panasonic ST50 and as an experiment, copied the settings I used on the review sample TV to get near-perfect Greyscale tracking.

Here is the default True Cinema mode settings on that TV:



And here are the calibrated settings from one TV copied into another:



As you can see, we just took a plus-green TV and made it... plus-red! Delta errors, for the most part, are worse. Colour is reigned in a bit but is still wrong.

*********

Updated, July 10, 2012: here's another example with the out of the box settings on a Samsung LED LCD TV, with the calibrated settings we were asked to give out, copied into a very similar model.

Out of the box:



Copied settings - even bigger errors:



*********

For this reason, we generally only recommend sharing settings if the out of the box preset on your display is especially inaccurate (we share full settings in these cases).

If you want the best performance from your display, it needs to be calibrated.
« Last Edit: 22 November 2012, 02:04:21 PM by David Mackenzie »
HDTVTest.co.uk Reviewer
--
Please don't send me the same question through multiple methods (email/forum/PM) since I can't respond 3 separate times. Please post on the forums or use private messages for messages that need privacy. Thanks!

Offline panman40

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 2040
  • -Received: 1591
  • Posts: 5860
  • 'The truth Is out there'
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #1 on: 12 June 2012, 07:10:54 AM »
Do you think that 'Size' may have had an impact too or not David ?. It does look like one could do more harm than good tho by copying settings  ::).

OT where did you purchase your ST ?  ;D
Sony KDL-55W905, Pana TX-L37LZD80, Panasonic DMP-BDT310, Pana DMP-BD60, Oppo BDP-103DMZ, Sky HD 1TB, Yamaha RXV 675, 7.1ch, 2x Kef Q300C, 4X Kef HTS3001SE Eggs,  Kef Q600C Centre, BK XXLS400 Sub, Harmony 900 & 650. Sennheiser RS160 Phones, iPad 4 64GB.

Offline FoxHounder

  • Global Moderator
  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 674
  • -Received: 864
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #2 on: 12 June 2012, 08:36:16 AM »
As you can see, we just took a plus-green TV and made it... plus-red! Delta errors, for the most part, are WORSE. Colour is reigned in a bit but is still wrong.
I also tried to apply those calibrated settings, but the slight green tint became more reddish by eye.
Can you post your 50ST50 actual calibrated settings later? I wonder how much they'll be different from reviewed 42ST50 settings.
I'm going to run-in ST50 a bit more, and then get it calibrated properly. Individually, that is.
Video: Panasonic TX-PR55VT60 + Pioneer BDP-140
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR626 + Boston Acoustics CS260 II 5.1

Offline RJ

  • Industry Insider
  • [Movie] Mode
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 17
  • -Received: 71
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
    • Kalibrate
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #3 on: 12 June 2012, 01:21:44 PM »
Do you think that 'Size' may have had an impact too or not David ?. It does look like one could do more harm than good tho by copying settings  ::).

OT where did you purchase your ST ?  ;D

Size could have a bearing, but that is not the only thing that will have a bearing...

If you think about all the components that go into these sets, and consider that these are consumer (and not military/broadcast) grade, each component is going to have an allowable element of deviation in them. Add all those deviations together, and that creates a much deviation that could influence the picture. That is before you consider video chains and sources (I have seen AVRs in chains that have completely changed a greyscale - hiking red etc).

There is a very high probability that you could actually make the picture worse rather than better when copying settings, and I have seen this first hand, as David has shown...
Director, Kalibrate Limited (www.kalibrate.co.uk). THX Certified Video Calibrator

Offline Orso

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 37
  • -Received: 107
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #4 on: 12 June 2012, 04:26:22 PM »
Yes, no sets are born exactly the same and copying calibrated settings from Inet to the letter won't give you a calibrated one.

YET I believe, it will give you a pretty good starting point contrast&greyscale wise IF :

1- Your set comes from the same factory assembly line as the one reviewed and calibrated.

I think the main difference between sets come from the quick calibration robot at the end of this line (there must be a vid on youtube somewhere about pdp manufacturing). Bots share the same rough pre-calibration process (kinda the same as the one found in old service manuals) but they are not working at all in pitch dark rooms etc. That's why you get different greyscale values in service menu, why EU and US recommended settings differ and why differences exist within the same continent (remember last year Dnice dual sets of xT30 settings).
My feeling is that types/sets of settings actually exist and that you have to find the one that match your  TV.

2- Your set has the same size or more exactly, share the same power limitations.

IMHO, ABL is once again the culprit here. It will affect everything. This year 42" and 50" are both working within a 108W cap so their settings and light output should be kinda close (50 should be dimmer than 42 thou). 55" and 65" are another kinds of beasts thou. I don't even know if they are energy star compliant this year. Their settings will differ from small sizes but follow the same greyscale trend. Once again you have first to find at which type/assembly line your set belongs to.   

My 2 cents.
Let the trolling begin.

PS : On the scale of differences between sets I would then add :
1,5 - Firmware : US and EU FW teams do not use the same presets to set picture modes. 
3 - Age of the panel meaning here the number of pulses that will trigger the scheduled voltage changes.
4 - Minor deviations between components (phosphors homogeneity for the most part)
« Last Edit: 12 June 2012, 07:50:46 PM by Orso »

Offline artur79

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 42
  • -Received: 18
  • Posts: 124
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #5 on: 12 June 2012, 10:51:06 PM »
Interesting theory, orso, but given all the unknowns/variables that you listed + drift in colors and GS over time I'd say that the chances of finding settings that match your own plasma set at that given time (a certain amount of hrs of use) are slim at best. IF you are right. ;) And what's worse: you'll never know that your settings are correct unless you have a good meter. But then again, if you have that, why not calibrate yourself, right? :)
BTW, thank you for this thread, David!

Offline fahrenheit

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 30
  • -Received: 124
  • Posts: 237
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #6 on: 13 June 2012, 11:42:47 PM »
Not only do these displays not behave the same out of the box, but they don't age the same either.

Anyone who has calibrated the same display over months/years will know that nothing lasts forever. Even if you were to accidentally land on like for like setttings on both displays, how long before they part ways? No two owners watch the same thing for the same period of time.

Not only is proper calibration important, but so too is follow-up.

Offline Orso

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 37
  • -Received: 107
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #7 on: 14 June 2012, 12:50:19 AM »
You are both right, that's why I used the term "starting point contrast&greyscale wise". Proper calibration and followups are ofc the way to go.

Now put you in the shoes of a meter-less owner that suffers for example from a green tinted ootb greyscale. What woud you do ? You would try 2pt greyscale values from reviewers/DIY owners. On some sets no need to be a pro calibrator to actually see the green or red tint and witness the effect of the new settings. Of course the greyscale, color temp etc will drift along the way. You may then find usefull to try settings from an older set, tweak them etc.

As for the drifting issue, past the 3000hours, it's pretty linear. The difference is how fast the set will reach the pulse count that will trigger the long term use scheduled mode (that will depend on how long and on which picture mode the set has been actually used etc.). The biggest differences between sets are imho due to the way the set has been used during the first 1000 hours anyway. Then they all should slowly tend to the same behavior.   

Oh well, I knew I should not have posted this message. BUT I still believe in the usefulness of posting and trying to use calibrated settings from reviewers, pro and DIY calibrators. It is not perfect, it may even make your picture actually worse but let's be honest here for a moment. We all started this way, reading reviews, browsing forums, toying around with settings, getting this way more and more interested in PQ and calibration.

That's why I think these settings should remain public and Pro/DIY calilbrators should keep on posting theirs. It's beneficial for everyone even the professionals getting more clients that way. From time to time, purists sitting on top of Calibration Moutain will throw their tiny fists in the air, yell on newbs on forums but who cares, f**k them. The more ppl will be interested in PQ (hence settings), the merrier we will all be.

Amen.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2012, 01:10:12 AM by Orso »

Offline David Mackenzie

  • Global Moderator
  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 882
  • -Received: 1977
  • Posts: 3429
    • View Profile
    • Personal web site
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #8 on: 14 June 2012, 01:14:36 AM »
Quote
Now put you in the shoes of a meter-less owner that suffers for example from a green tinted ootb greyscale. What woud you do ? You would try 2pt greyscale values from reviewers/DIY owners.

Quote
We all started this way, reading reviews, browsing forums, toying around with settings, getting this way more and more interested in PQ and calibration.
Totally agree - but what concerns me is that I think some of these people think they're getting the equivalent of calibration. Just so long as everyone knows what they're getting...

That's why we share settings, but with a disclaimer.

Quote
It's beneficial for everyone even the professionals getting more clients that way
I'd agree with that too. The people who copy settings and never get calibrated would never have paid for it anyway. And some of them will develop a further interest in it and eventually realise that copying settings is, well, hit and miss, and go down the calibration route.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2012, 01:21:11 AM by David Mackenzie »
HDTVTest.co.uk Reviewer
--
Please don't send me the same question through multiple methods (email/forum/PM) since I can't respond 3 separate times. Please post on the forums or use private messages for messages that need privacy. Thanks!

Offline hdtvandgaming

  • [Standard] Mode
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 2
  • -Received: 2
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
    • HDTV'S AND GAMING
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #9 on: 14 June 2012, 01:38:08 AM »
Do you think its worth getting a calibration disc? if so which is the best to buy. 

Offline David Mackenzie

  • Global Moderator
  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 882
  • -Received: 1977
  • Posts: 3429
    • View Profile
    • Personal web site
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #10 on: 14 June 2012, 02:06:02 AM »
It depends what your expectations are.

A calibration disc on its own can only help you set things you can do without a meter, like Brightness, Contrast, Overscan, and Sharpness.

These are the sort of things that are either easily correctable (Overscan and Sharpness) or are nowadays normally correct for most viewing environments out of the box anyway (Brightness).

If you have a meter and calibration software, then a test disc is essential (unless you have a pattern generator - $$$$$).

Have a look at the free downloadable AVSHD test disc. We use it a lot at HDTVtest: http://www.avsforum.com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration
HDTVTest.co.uk Reviewer
--
Please don't send me the same question through multiple methods (email/forum/PM) since I can't respond 3 separate times. Please post on the forums or use private messages for messages that need privacy. Thanks!

Offline FoxHounder

  • Global Moderator
  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 674
  • -Received: 864
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #11 on: 14 June 2012, 06:24:22 AM »
Have a look at the free downloadable AVSHD test disc.
That's a great material, I always use it for fast tweaking. It's free, which is also a plus. ;D
Video: Panasonic TX-PR55VT60 + Pioneer BDP-140
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR626 + Boston Acoustics CS260 II 5.1

Offline SETEM

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 1110
  • -Received: 354
  • Posts: 906
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #12 on: 14 June 2012, 09:41:18 AM »
It depends what your expectations are.

A calibration disc on its own can only help you set things you can do without a meter, like Brightness, Contrast, Overscan, and Sharpness.

These are the sort of things that are either easily correctable (Overscan and Sharpness) or are nowadays normally correct for most viewing environments out of the box anyway (Brightness).

If you have a meter and calibration software, then a test disc is essential (unless you have a pattern generator - $$$$$).

Have a look at the free downloadable AVSHD test disc. We use it a lot at HDTVtest: http://www.avsforum.com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration

Yeah, that's the one I've been using to check/tweak my copied settings at 1080@24p from my ps3 :) great stuff!

(BTW, I should mention that I am only using copied settings because I live in Norway, where I can't seem to find anyone who does HDTV-calibration! My set does look a lot better (lucky? :) ), albeit not perfect, using the copied Pro than when using any other modes. This is apparent to my (and other peoples) eyes, and "verified" by extensive eyeballing real content and test patterns - Not just blindly copying.
Though, I wish I could get it calibrated, just to take it to the max :P)
« Last Edit: 14 June 2012, 03:49:45 PM by SETEM »
Panasonic TX-P55VT60Y, PS4, PS3, X360, Wii, Pioneer VSX-421, Sony SS-FCR4000 5.0, Yamaha YST-FSW100.
(Panasonic TX-P50G30Y, Pioneer PDP-LX5090, Panasonic TX-P42ST60Y)

Offline FoxHounder

  • Global Moderator
  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 674
  • -Received: 864
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #13 on: 14 June 2012, 04:35:50 PM »
David, okay, I'm gonna sound weird and ignorant to the morale of this topic, but can you please share your settings for 50ST50 after calibration anyway? I'm curious to compare them with another results and experiment with my ST50, and also I would like to know how many Contrast clicks correspond to ~120 cd/m2 output on your set.
I'd be grateful if you can do that, please. :-[
« Last Edit: 14 June 2012, 04:39:17 PM by FoxHounder »
Video: Panasonic TX-PR55VT60 + Pioneer BDP-140
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR626 + Boston Acoustics CS260 II 5.1

Offline artur79

  • Calibrated
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Gave: 42
  • -Received: 18
  • Posts: 124
    • View Profile
Re: Why copying calibrated settings from the internet isn't worthwhile
« Reply #14 on: 14 June 2012, 08:41:09 PM »
Setem, http://www.avshop.no/SystemConfigurator.aspx?q=st:10512206;c:100462;fl:0
Follow the address for prices. Hmm, how does one make links on this forum?
Orso, I don't see why you shouldn't have written your last post. You are absolutely right about how it all starts for a lot of us. I copied settings online for a while before I understood that my eyes weren't lying. The colors were off. So I bought a cheap colorimeter, calibrated my TV with it several times. Each time I got better results. Now the filters have drifted too much for the meter to be of any use. I'm waiting for i1 Pro 2 to arrive, can't wait to recalibrate my LCD with "proper" equipment and hopefully achieve a close-to-correct picture on my future Pana plasma. I even plan on getting a Lumagen mini in the future, if I'm not happy with the results. The same can be said about audio (for my part). Correct reproduction is important to me and the stumbling steps in the right direction would've never be taken without the right forumusers that sparked my interest!
Like David put it, as long as online calibration settings do not mislead people to think that their picture is "calibrated" who's to say they shouldn't play around with them and hopefully get better subjective results?

These member(s) thanked your post: