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ISF calibration


adamsappel
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Has anyone had this done to their television? I'm having an IC convergence error on my Mitsubishi 46807 (this seems to be an all-too-common problem with Mits sets at the 2-3 year mark, essentially my picture looks like a funhouse mirror and the colors separate in the corners) and I'm contemplating having a complete ISF calibration done in addition to the not-under-warranty repair. However, the cost (~$750) is giving me pause. The ISF tech gets superlative reviews, and I'm sure the results would be impressive, but is it worth 25% of the cost of the tv? Should I attempt the repair on my own (it's just some soldering, probably no more difficult than a mod chip install)?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if an ISF calibration will fix your problem but it shouldn't cost you that much. Mine (done by HTF's Gregg Loewen) was $400 but I opted for some extra stuff done so it came out to $550. I've only had my Toshiba 50h80 since 3/02 so I really wasn't having any problems with it. Just wanted to improve my HT experience on the video end since everything was taken care of on the audio end.

 

Since you haven't followed up on your post, I'm curious as to what you ended up doing. Not-under-warrenty repair? ISF calibration? Both? Neither?

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The cost I quoted included estimated repair and convergence time and a travel cost for the ISF tech. I was all set to bite the bullet when I checked online and found I live about a quarter-mile from a high-end ISF-certified home theater store. It's in a nondescript strip mall and is by appointment only. I'd never noticed it before though I'd driven by it dozens of times. I've been playing phone tag with them, but the cost is now in line with what you paid, Angel. I'll post when it gets done. Can't wait!

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call me crazy, but does anyone else think that paying $400+ to have someone come over and tune your TV a bit crazy. Now I can understand it when you have a Mits and need to get rid of that horrible red push "feature" that they have(Mits should do it for free, but thats a different story). I guess my Panny L300u spoiled me.

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Glad to hear you're almost there. I had forgotten to mention that the $550 price didn't include the $50 travel fee I paid up front (about 2 months in advance). Well worth it all, IMO. I now have a kick-ass picture which will get even better when I go hi-def.

 

Keep me posted.

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Oh, I agree it's crazy. But it really can make a discernable difference, from everything I've heard. Perfect color, perfect focus, etc. And yes, that damn "red push" will finally be gone. I'm using the Radio Shack attenuator workaround. That "feature", along with the inevitable IC convergence problem, means I can't recommend the Mits. I'm going with a front projector when we move into a new house next year. And I won't be buying from the same store where I bought the set. I was expecting a certain level of follow-up when I dropped three grand on a tv, but it was a year before anyone called and then it was just to tell me that the HDTV tuner was out. If they'd have kept in touch, I would have probably spent at least another $1000 on accessories.

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HTF's Gregg Loewen

 

Gregg also did my television and I can't quite recommend him enough. Absolute professional and one hell of a tech. Well worth the 400 bucks.

 

call me crazy, but does anyone else think that paying $400+ to have someone come over and tune your TV a bit crazy

 

Until you see the night and day difference between what you see everyday and a finely tuned reference quality picture. You simply cannot go back to watching DVD in the same way. The best 400 dollars I spent on my television and I'm not overstating that.

 

You really can't help but notice how completely "artificial" your television used to look after the calibration. The picture has a depth to it (at least on my Tosh) that I didn't think was possible out of that television. I would recommend it to anyone that spent money on a good quality RPTV or or Front Projector even. My personal opinion of course.

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ou really can't help but notice how completely "artificial" your television used to look after the calibration. The picture has a depth to it (at least on my Tosh) that I didn't think was possible out of that Television. I would recommend it to anything that spent money on a good quality RPTV or or Front Projector even. My personal opinion of course.

:Rock:

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Originally posted by gigapower:

call me crazy, but does anyone else think that paying $400+ to have someone come over and tune your TV a bit crazy.

 

You're crazy. :)

 

A full ISF calibration is a lot more than just some guy coming over to tune your TV. Much of what they do involves tweaks that require specific instruments to read (particularly setting gray scale levels properly) as well as an understanding of the higher menu functions of the set (i.e. anything from the service menu on up).

 

I have now had my calibrated twice. The first time was done by Steve Martin in November 2001 (and, no, he's not that Steve Martin). In February of this year, Gregg Loewen touched up my set and did a few things that Steve wasn't able to do the first time around (mostly because no one knew how to do them yet). I can honestly say that I noticed a remarkable improvement in my TV's visual quality after both visits. I highly recommend having an ISF calibration done to anyone who is willing to to spend thousands of dollars on a high quality display.

 

Look at it this way: For an extra $400 - $500, you can get your TV to look better than 99% of the displays available on the market. I say, it's worth it.

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Look at it this way: For an extra $400 - $500, you can get your TV to look better than 99% of the displays available on the market. I say, it's worth it.

 

I completely agree Jeffrey. I'm having Gregg back out early next year (have to email him soon) to do a yearly touch up on my set ($225 for yearly touch ups is a good price too). When it comes to ISF calibration I'm a believer and as long as I own this set and whatever set comes after, this is a process that is tops on my list of "to do" items for my TV.

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Look at it this way: For an extra $400 - $500, you can get your TV to look better than 99% of the displays available on the market. I say, it's worth it.

Absolutely. It's like getting a new car, you get the full-coverage insurance (much like an extended warranty on the tv) but you also get the best service and maintenance for it to keep it running at it's best. If anyone is willing to spend $2k+ on a widescreen hdtv-ready monitor, then the $400 would make total sense.

 

Crazy? Home theater in general is crazy and expensive, but fun and satisfying.

 

:D

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  • 2 years later...

*Sparkz waves staff of worms and resurrects thread from the dead*

 

Well, since my wife just spent over $500 getting her Steinway tuned and a humidifier installed on it, I figure that gives me enough ammo to persuade her that I want to spent the same amount of money to have someone come and tune the TV.

 

Does anyone still talk/game with adamsappel? It looks like he hasn't posted in a couple of years. He was/is living in the same area as me (Montgomery Co., Maryland) and I'd be interested to hear his feedback on the ISF tech he mentioned. I've been doing some internet searches on ISF techs in this area to get reviews/opinions but haven't found any so far, so thought I'd give this a shot.

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Hey Sparkz,

 

I've had ISF calibration done on my set several times in the past and have been very happy with the results. If you're looking at getting a calibration done, I'd recommend the following:

 

http://www.lionav.com/services.html

 

Gregg Leown has done my set in the past and he is exceptional (and willing to travel as he does tours on the east coast). I cannot recommend him enough. I've wonderful things about the other guys that work over at lionav and you can't go wrong with thier service. If you have any questions about the calibration, feel free to ask.

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I had my set done by Michael Chen, but I'm not sure how often he comes down from the Great White North anymore. Romier's link seems to be your best bet for someone more local. Also, check your PM. :)

 

I was actually thinking about getting a "touch-up", as it has been several years since I had my set calibrated and at the time I only had one input done. Now with the HD satellite box, HD cable box, Xbox 360, and DVD player going into the set I am really wishing I had done all of the inputs!

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Thanks for the referrals guys, and for the PMs. From what I found online so far, LionAv looks to be the go-to guys. And I've lurked over at another forum where Gregg posts alot, and have been impressed. I was just worried about trying to schedule a travel date or wait for a tour, so thought it may be easier logistically to find someone local.

 

Looks like Gregg's next tour to the DC area is in November. The wife wants to paint the family room this fall, so maybe it is better to wait until then, since I'd have to move the TV out of the room. Romier or Dave, can you comment about what may happen to a TV if its moved after being calibrated?

 

The TV is a Toshiba 46H84. I think I spent ~$1200 on it two years ago. I struggle a little bit with paying 1/3 of its value on the ISF, but from what I've read, it's like buying a major upgrade to the picture and is almost like getting a new TV.

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Romier or Dave, can you comment about what may happen to a TV if its moved after being calibrated?

Generally speaking when you move an RPTV set like the one you own you're going to shift the convergence on the set slightly. If you're very careful this should be minimal. Just make sure you're moving the television in an upright position, protect the screen as best you can, and be careful to not jar the set around much if at all.

 

Also, if you're familiar with entering the service menus of your TV set any convergence issues should be easily counterable. You should be able to find instructions on how to enter the service menu online and access any convergence menus available. (or I can just PM the info to you;))

 

I struggle a little bit with paying 1/3 of its value on the ISF, but from what I've read, it's like buying a major upgrade to the picture and is almost like getting a new TV.

It is the best money I've spent on my television set. Let me warn you that an ISF calibrated image can take some getting used to if you're not familiar with seeing such an image (I wasn't at the time I got my set calibrated). However, once you sit down to take in a movie or two you will be absolutely floored by how much more natural and "filmlike" an image your television is outputting. I currently own a Toshiba 42H82 for reference which is very similiar to the set that you have.

 

Also, keep in mind that ISF calibration is not a one time thing and you're done. It's important to get the yearly "tune up" to keep things looking the way they should. I've not done my set in almost a year and a half in anticipation of buying a new television. Rest assured when I get my new DLP later in the year, I'll have Gregg back out for another round of tuning.

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I'll also vouch for the good people at Lion AV. Steve Martin (no, not that Steve Martin) calibrated my set originally, and Gregg Lowen has touched up my twice in the years since. I highly recommend doing the calibration as it will unleash the full potential of your TV. Literally, it's like getting a new TV. The difference is that good.

 

That said, I am in desperate need of a tune up, but unfortunately don't have the funds to do it. At some point I know I'll get it done again. I just need to find a way to get the money together.

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I have not moved my set since the calibration, partly because I did not want to jostle anything out of alignment, but mostly because my TV weighs slightly less than my Toyota. :D

 

One thing I absolutely MUST get done is an overscan adjustment on my set. Because I have an early HDTV it locks into "FULL" mode when receiving a progressive signal, and as a result the top few inches of my screen gets cut off when playing my 360. It was bad enough when I couldn't read any of the status messages in Oblivion but now I can't see the top header on the map grid in Chromehounds (with the numbers 0-9) and that is a bigger problem.

 

I'm hoping that an ISF tech can "squeeze" the image down just a touch, even a half-inch would help, by fiddling with the overscan settings.

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It's a Pinoeer Elite PRO-610HD, and while I know how to get into the service menu, it is a strange and cryptic place and I have been unble to locate a manual to act as a guide. As I need a touch-up anyway, and as Michael Chen is in fact affiliated with LionAV, I actually followed your link and sent a message to Gregg (as he is local to me) asking if he thought having him do an overscan adjustment would help the problem. As I said, I am well overdue for a touch-up anyway so maybe I can kill two birds here.

 

I briefly contemplated buying the service manual on Ebay, but in reading some forum posts from Michael (he is perhaps better known as "Michael TLV") it sounds like without the HD overscan patterns and precise knowledge of what I am doing I could screw my set up pretty badly. Being in possession of neither, I am hopeful that Gregg can help. :)

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I've gotten into the service menu on mine and adjusted convergence and overscan. I agree that it is a strange and cryptic place. And I got a little greedy and curious to see what else I could tweak. Remember when you were a kid and adult said "no running in the pool area" and you did anyway? Well, one of the most often repeated warnings about the service menu is "write down you settings". I didn't. I didn't screw anything up major, but something is off with the geometry, hence the desire/need for an ISF technician.

 

Another thing I was curious about...does an ISF tech do anything to your tv that might affect an extended warranty?

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Another thing I was curious about...does an ISF tech do anything to your tv that might affect an extended warranty?

 

The ISF techs I’ve used have opened up the set in order to perform some tweaks on the CRT lenses, clean off any debris that might have built up on them, etc. That might negate a warranty if they leave behind any signs that someone was messing around in there. I’d say its worth it though because these little tweaks can do a lot to improve the quality of your picture.

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KDS-50A2000

 

Is that just the next revision of the SXRD with the bottom mount speaker? Let me know how that goes-I've got the current model of the 50" SXRD, and haven't even thought about ISF. I figure that I'm using enough inputs and different sources that calibration might not be as effective as if I was just watching DVDs on it.

 

Actually, that bring up a good point-did anyone get their sets ISF calibrated for gaming as well as movies? I get the impression that all calibrations are done on a per-input basis.

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