Re: Calibration Nightmare
Rex, has anyone asked you yet, "Why are you using HDMI?"
You can get a better video image from high quality component video cables than HDMI. All HDMI does is HDCP and make the movie producers happy. Granted, if you've got a blu-ray player, then you're kinda stuck using an HDMI cable for that, but a cable or dish output will look much better across component video cables. I've done the side-by-side test time and time again with my clients and have heard them say "YUCK, what's that signal?" to which I respond...."That's your cable TV signal going across the HDMI cable that you insisted I use !"
As for your calibration issues....no one warned you about BB (Best Buy). They're all about being efficient and quick in-and-out.
Sounds like HDMI, eh? one cable makes it easy for both sound and video...but "easy" doesn't always mean "best". Doing something faster and slicker and something is going to be left out of the equation: quality.
Have you been to ISF training? Instead of criticizing the folks you've been exposed to, it's probably worth your time (and expense) to go experience the training yourself. You'll learn alot more about color science and have a better respect for what's involved.
Did BB leave you a calibration report that shows the before and after differences? Are you close to the D65 standard?
ISF'ers don't adjust blue....it's considered a no-no. Tweaking Red and Green will 99 times out of 100 get you where you need to be. Same with gamma....unless the calibrator can't get your TV dialed in with the gamma setting of 2.2 or 2.0, they won't be changing it from the default. Sort of like changing the spark plug gap on your car's plugs.....sure you can adjust the gap if you really know what you're doing, but you might sacrifice efficiency or even worse end up damaging someting along the way. If you want to modify your blue settings, go right ahead. Good Luck.
Compare your calibrated image to that of 90% of your friends and family who also have HDTVs. Can you tell a difference? I beat it's favorable, too.