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ISF Calibration Service
The Imaging Science Foundation was founded several years ago by Joe Kane and Joel Silver. They were concerned at the lack of education and standards in the home entertainment industry with regard to video playback. So they set up the ISF to promote high standards in retailers, manufacturers and customers! ISF certified techs understand how to get the best from your equipment and, when equipped with the right calibration tools, can set up your display equipment to give its best possible picture.
Grey Scale and Colour Calibration
Have you ever walked into department store or large electrical retailer and considered their display? More often than not, they have all their televisions on the same channel, and they are showing you a picture that comes from the same feed. Yet, strangely, the picture quality and colour ratios vary widely (and wildly) from set to set. Even on sets which are of the same make and model. Why is this? And more importantly, how can you tell which picture is right?
Take a look at the two pictures here. The top pictures we have taken of the same scene, showing on the same projector, Sony VPL10HT bottom pictures are from VPL11HT. The only difference, and admittedly it is a huge one, is that the shot on the left was taken before ISF calibration, and the one on the right was taken after ISF calibration.
So what exactly is it that we are seeing? The greyscale and colours have been refined, so that in Image B, the skin tones and depth are greatly improved. The woman looks much more natural, much healthier, and altogether more realistic. The other interesting thing is that it is considerably easier to see her in relation to the background, and we get a much better sense of just how far away from this backdrop she is standing. Now consider the fact that the PC monitor you are using to compare them probably isn't calibrated correctly either, and imagine how much more vivid this difference is going to be when you see it for real in your own home.
How did we achieve such a dramatic difference? By using a sophisticated measurement tool called a Colour Analyser, which was developed specifically for this purpose, we first established what the pre-existing colour balance levels were for this projector.
Then, using a dedicated software package, we analysed where these results deviated from the optimum standards for this particular home cinema (taking into consideration not only the equipment, but ambient light sources and the colour of the wall-coverings and screen material).
Finally, we re-calibrated the entire playback chain for optimum configuration, and then re-measured the image. The real beauty of this is that, not only are the results there on the screen for the naked eye to see, they are also measurable time after time after time.
Why should you care? Well, the unfortunate truth, as our department store array of unmatched TV pictures demonstrates, most, if not all, video displays are wrongly set up by the manufacturer and often on purpose. This is because they are trying to grab your attention by making their sets look "different" . By correctly configuring the image you are looking at, whether it is a small widescreen set or a fourteen foot wide cinema screen, you will immediately enjoy the benefits of true picture excellence, and be getting the most value for money as possible from your home cinema. In fact, in the long run, ISF calibration could wind up saving you money full stop. Because CRT front projection requires very precise geometry and convergence to achieve the best picture. This service combined with ISF greyscale calibration at the same time could make a bigger difference than buying a more expensive projector.
What's more, it's not only projector based systems which can benefit. All display devices can. Rear projection and direct view televisions often yield even bigger results.
If you are interested in vastly improving the quality of your own image, then please don't hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to visit your home and give you results such as those you see above. In each case, we will begin with an appraisal of your current system, and using the techniques outlined, achieve a measurable improvement in your system.