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Old 07-26-2008   #1
Super Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 379
Default Calibration Nightmare

I had never had a display professionally calibrated previously, so I was eagerly looking forward to the calibration I had scheduled for my new Samsung HL67A750. In order to ensure a proper, professional calibration, I was careful to obtain the ISF-certified calibrator’s telephone number from the ISF website. He arrived with several expensive-looking cases of test equipment. I explained the sequence of keys required on the remote control to access the service menu. Once inside the service menu, the calibrator was completely stumped about what to do next. For some reason, the menu item “grayscale” was not an available menu option while in HDMI mode. After several frantic telephone calls to both Samsung and his trainer, a guy named “Jamie” who works at Sencore (the company which sold the test equipment), he still could not figure out what to do next, and so he informs me that the grayscale cannot be adjusted on this model while in HDMI mode. Though I knew that this didn’t make any sense, I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that someone tinkering around inside the service menu might cause some real damage. I later learned that the grayscale is adjusted from the submenu, WB (white balance). I also knew that “gamma” was supposed be between 2.2 and 2.5, though I didn’t understand why the default setting was –3. (This is not the actual gamma, but rather a user selectable parameter, which is chosen to achieve a gamma of between 2.2 and 2.5, depending on preference and ambient lighting.)

Furthermore, this ISF-certified calibrator had no idea what either CCA or Blue mode were for. CCA is Samsung’s “color coordinate adjustment” system, which automatically corrects primary and secondary colors to system specifications, and therefore must first temporarily be disabled before performing calibration of color and tint. I explained that using blue mode was much more accurate than using filters, and explained how bars are compared while in this mode. When we then turned on the blue mode and everything turned blue, he looked at me and asks, “Where are the bars”? So I explain that the blue mode only turns off the other colors, and that he still has to send the SMPTE test pattern to the display with his signal generator. He continued for a while really messing up all of my user settings. For example, he turned the contrast from 90 all the way down to 20. I explained to him, as politely as I could, that I had called him primarily for the grayscale calibration, since I didn’t have a colorimeter; and that since all of the other adjustments I could do myself with my AVIA II disk, he was now free to leave. At this time, he demanded that I pay him $70 for the service call. He wasn’t going to charge me the full amount, he said, since he didn’t finish the calibration. I preferred to just give him the 70 bucks to get rid of him, than have an argument.

So, Kal, maybe next time, I should simply invest my money in a colorimeter and follow your online instructions.
Perhaps I should even contact Sencore for a refund of my $70? After all, they are the ones, in this case, responsible for providing training. Clearly they are much more interested in selling equipment than they are in maintaining professional standards in the industry. What do you think?
rex is offline   Reply With Quote