PaulyT said:Oh and either I missed it, or nobody has talked about the ISF calibration we witnessed? Doung (I think was his name) from LionAV came over on Friday afternoon to calibrate T7's projector (I don't remember what model it is, T7 will have to fill in). That was really fun to watch!
We had spent a little time watching a few demo scenes before the calibration, to try to prepare to make some judgement about the results. Not that it looked bad by any means, it's a great proj/screen and there was very little to complain about in my eyes, but we did notice that bright red things seemed to pop unnaturally, and there was possibly a slight red/yellow tint to the picture.
The process of the calibration was fascinating to follow, for me at least. The basic idea is that there's a test signal generator that puts images up on the screen, and a detector that measures the results - sort of like a little camera pointed at the screen from a few feet away. Doug wasn't sure exactly how the detector worked (my scientific mind wanted to know), but he was pretty certain that it measures multiple light wavelengths simultaneously, dunno if it had just r/g/b channels or something closer to a full spectrum analyzer...
The basic steps were, from what I can remember - so someone correct me if I get this wrong:
1) Set the overall brightness/contrast to a reasonable level, so that the "blacker than black" is not visible and full white is just barely at saturation.
2) Calibrate the white balance with a 80% and 20% white signal. That is, make the measured r/g/b colors equal, and at the appropriate level for the signal. This involved taking a measurement, tweaking the color settings (down deep in a user menu on this proj, but not a hidden system menu), and re-measuring, and repeat until the result is correct.
3) Set the overall gamma to the 2.2 standard. Mostly he had to tweak the levels down on the low part of the brightness curve (<20%).
4) This proj doesn't have detailed color management, so he could only make some sort of general tweaks to color balance. We watched some demo/reference scenes, and Doug would make tweaks by eye.
So, the obvious question was/is, what is the improvement, if any? Well we all agreed that the color balance was significantly improved. Reds looked natural, and colors stood out better in general without appearing oversaturated. As has been mentioned before, the display did seem dimmer overall, especially in the shadow regions. Doug did say that the uncalibrated gamma was way too low, and thus, to use his words, "the projector was coming out of black too fast" - meaning that the darker grays were too light compared to the brighter grays. It took some getting used to, and some folks thought it was still a little dark. Looked good to me! So while the results were not night and day, there was (to me) a definite improvement. I don't consider myself remotely qualified to say any more than that. I know T7's got some opinion on the results and the cost, but I'll let him explain so I don't put wrong words in his mouth.
Anyway, it was great to get a chance to see this being done, and likening it to the (very crude by comparison) color calibration I've done with my monitor for photography.