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Professional Video Calibration

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.

tl;dr Robert brings tens of thousands of dollars worth of test equipment, software, and know-how to a location and perfects picture quality.

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!

Why calibrate?
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.

  • Which picture setup is correct? Image credit: Samsung

  • Revealing picture detail - an improperly configured television or projector often sacrifices bright and dark details that should otherwise be visible to the audience.

  • Is your display sacrificing detail?

  • Consistent color mixing - Almost all televisions and projectors generate color by mixing red, green, and blue (aka the primary colors in additive color mixing). With these display systems, 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). The signals in our video sources are often encoded as high resolution grayscale pictures with relatively low resolution color information that is combined to form the imagery that we see. A critical aspect of professional video calibration is to fine tune a display's depiction of grayscale information to be neutral-colored so as not to negatively influence the color information in the video signal.
  • 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.

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 uses CalMAN calibration software from SpectraCal

Robert is a THX/ISF trained calibrator based in Northern California/Bay Area, and he welcomes project requests from anywhere in the world!

For more information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Robert directly.

Reader Comments (1)

Calibrator in Toronto?

Hey Robert,

Big fan of AVexcel! You guys actually answered my question about the Panasonic OLED - which I ended up purchasing!

I'm actually looking for a calibrator in the Toronto area, I'm wondering if you might know anyone? I'd be happy to fly you here... but I'm not sure I've got the budget for that!


March 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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