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Details of Services
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VIDEO #1 - The meter I use sits on a tripod and measures the video display from roughly the same distane as the seating distance. Because of that, light in the room will affect calibration. The room will need to be completely dark during calibration. If that is not possible during the day, evening calibration appointments are common, though ending times, especially in the summer when sunset is after 8pm can be quite late for longer calibration appointments (i.e. 2D + 3D, grayscale, gamma, & color).
VIDEO #2 - You may have read that you need a different calibration for each different source component. That used to be true in the days of analog video, though there were rarely ways to achieve fully custom and separate calibrations for individual sources. Since analog video has been "dead" for quite a while now, that old idea is now mostly outmoded. There are still times when more than one calibration may be needed to accommodate a specific component, but most of the time, a single calibration using the video signal generator as the reference and insuring source components have the right settings achieves the best possible result. I will generally know if/when a disc player or some other component needs a "custom" calibration to make it accurate. However, if that disc player is replaced in the future, the new player would be made worse with that custom calibration so the system should be calibrated as it will remain for some time to avoid invalidating the calibration.
VIDEO #3 - Custom calibration for a cable or satellite TV tuner/DVR really isn't possible. HDTV color is the standard for every broadcast, cable, or satellite TV channel. Many hit the HDTV target or get fairly close to it. But some channels miss the mark by varying amounts. Furthermore, different programming on the same channel can vary. There is no way to make calibration perfect for every channel let alone for every program. All that can be done is to calibrate the video display to the HDTV standard using the video signal generator's test patterns and let each channel fall where it may in regards to accuracy. Recording color bar test patterns from a specific cable or satellite channel is not really helpful because it would only be valid for that channel and that pattern... the programs shown may have transfer differences that essentially make the program "de-calibrated."
VIDEO #4 - You may have read about day and night calibrations. Frankly, this is more baloney than useful. The video display is calibrated in a dark room. Any light that is present in the room after calibration will de-calibrate the display to some extent. And light comes in a LOT of colors. There's the warm glow of incandescent bulbs and some CFLs, there's the more brilliant "daylight" incandescent and CFL lamp color, and there's the infinite range of color present in sunlight (varies by season, by time of day, but presence or absence of clouds, is changed by the absence or presences of leaves on trees, etc.). There is no way to make a "daylight" calibration good for anything but one specific type of lighting. There are going to be variations that are impossible to compensate for. What I will do during a calibration session is determine how bright you can make the display using various controls and tell you how to use those controls (or settings) to vary the brightness of the picture while maintaining reasonably accurate images, knowing that the color of the light will introduce infinite variation that can't be corrected-for or even anticipated - the warm light of an incandescent lamp combined with the very blue light from an overcast sky, for example. My philosophy is to provide you with the range of settings you can use with your display to achieve reasonably good results in differing room lighting conditions while always being able to get back to the best "dark room" calibration settings.
VIDEO #5 - Images are affected by light reflected from walls, ceiling, and floors. You will want your video calibration performed after you have the room painted and carpeted the way it is going to remain for some time. Neutral colors will affect images least. Grays and black are, by far, the best colors for a room with a calibrated video display. A lot of green in the room is going to be worst for calibrated images. Reds are the next most powerful de-calibrating color. Blues have less effect, but are still a consideration. Dark colors are preferrable to lighter shades. Flat, non-reflective surfaces are better than glossy or other reflective surfaces.
AUDIO #1 - These days, many AV receivers and surround processors include automatic measurements and calibration using a microphone they provide. What they do not tell you is that NONE of those systems can repair "suckouts" in bass frequencies caused by interactions with room dimensions. A deep bass suck-out can easily be half or even a quarter as loud as it should be in a properly calibrated system. The only way to fix problems with suckouts is to either move the speaker (usually the subwoofer) or the listener or both. Eliminating bass suckouts before using the automated measurements and corrections in most recent AV receivers or surround processors means you'll havd a much better final result. I can assist with finding optimum locations for both listener and subwoofer, but the process can be time consuming in some rooms. And you must be able/allowed to move things within the room to achieve the best final result. If your placement options are limited by space or spousal considerations, you may have to live with acoustic compromises.
$325 for the first 3.5 hours
$55 per hour after the first 3.5 hours
Jobs requiring more than 9 hours of work will be split into 2 days (or more) with fees on a quote basis
These rates apply to all services
- Calibration of video displays
- Audio analysis and/or calibration and/or tuning
- Subwoofer tuning
- AC power analysis and recommendations
Services can be combined in a single visit up to 9 hours maximum in 1 day.
Travel charges may affect the total fee. Bridge tolls are added and travel time more than one hour each way is extra.
Payment can be made by personal check, cash, or PayPal. If using PayPal, I have to add $10 to cover PayPal fees. Payment is due at the conclusion of the calibration. You may be able to use PayPal to make a credit card payment even if you don't have a PayPal account. Check with PayPal to determine if this is possible as this capability has appeared and disappeared several times in the past.
San Ramon, CA
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db.theatrical at yahoo.com