Welcome to Heron Fidelity!
This is the home of Robert Heron's insight into the latest home theater gear, apps, services, and technology. It's also the place to contact him for professional video calibration and home theater consultation services.
What is video calibration?
Video calibration is the process of precisely measuring a display's color characteristics and adjusting its picture controls in order to produce the most accurate output possible. Video production for movies and TV conforms to an industry specification that defines a very specific color pallet and detail levels. Any video display device (LCD, OLED, plasma, projector) that hasn't been properly calibrated isn't showing you the intended vision of the content's creator, and no consumer display produces accurate imagery right out of the box!
There are several benefits of having your TV or projector professionally calibrated:
- Accurate color - a display's depiction of color should accurately represent the information contained within a video signal. Finding and properly adjusting the appropriate picture settings to exacting broadcast and film production standards will result in faithful video reproduction.
- Revealing picture detail - an improperly configured television or projector often sacrifices bright and dark details that should otherwise be visible to the audience.
- Consistent color mixing - Almost all televisions and projectors generate color by mixing red, green, and blue (aka the primary colors in additive color mixing). The color white is generated by mixing the three primaries together. Shades of gray, like those depicted in the picture above, are created by collectively reducing the brightness of the primaries until there is no light (aka black). It's important that each shade of gray be the same hue, and this is a primary goal of professional video calibration as it has a direct affect on overall picture accuracy.
- Minimizing artificial enhancements - most televisions and projectors are factory configured to produce as bright of a picture as possible regardless of color or detail accuracy. Many LCDs also enable a motion resolution enhancement that unnaturally smooths the appearance of movies to the point that it appears as if they were recorded on a camcorder. Professional video calibration minimizes these unwanted artifacts resulting in a more eye-pleasing picture!
- Efficiency - while we strive for optimal picture performance, a side-effect of professional video calibration is often a display device that also consumes less electricity.
Which picture setup is correct? Image credit: Samsung
Is your display sacrificing detail?
Today's televisions and projectors are capable of producing some of the finest imagery yet seen, however, variances in manufacturing along with the myriad of picture adjustment options mean that even the best models from top manufacturers leave room for improvement.
Robert is based in Northern California/Bay Area and welcomes calibration project requests from anywhere in the world!
For more information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Robert directly.