Video calibration is the process of precisely measuring a display's color characteristics and adjusting its picture controls to produce the most accurate output. Video production for movies and TV conforms to industry specifications that define a precise color pallet and detail levels.

Article by: Robert Heron
August 20, 2020

Why calibrate?

Today's televisions and projectors are capable of producing some of the most exquisite imagery yet seen. However, variances in manufacturing and the myriad of picture adjustment options mean that even the best models from top manufacturers leave room for improvement.

Any uncalibrated video display device (LCD, OLED, plasma, projector) isn't showing you the intended vision of the content's creator. No consumer display produces accurate imagery right out of the box!

There are several benefits of having your TV or projector calibrated by a professional:

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?

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?

Is your display sacrificing detail?

Consistent Color Mixing

Almost all televisions and projectors generate a color by mixing red, green, and blue (aka the primary colors in additive color mixing.) With these display systems, the color white is the three primaries combined. Shades of gray 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 combined to save bandwidth. Fine-tuning a display's depiction of the color of gray dark-to-bright (aka grayscale) is a critical aspect of the calibration service. An inaccurate grayscale will also negatively influence all color as it appears on-screen.

Additive color mixing

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 movies' appearance (aka soap opera effect.) Professional video calibration minimizes these unwanted artifacts resulting in a more eye-pleasing picture!


While we strive for optimal picture performance, a side-effect of professional video calibration is often a display device that also consumes less electricity.

Heron Fidelity uses CalMAN calibration software from Portrait Displays


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 Heron Fidelity directly.