ISF Certified Calibration Services for Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Vancouver and the Pacific NorthWest


ISF Video Calibration

    The Calibrator's job is to deliver the right picture, the whole picture, and nothing but the picture.

    Utilizing a state-of-the art color analyzer system together with the industry reference test patterns and video clips, we will calibrate your monitor or display to the NTSC and HDTV standards.  However, calibration is not all about the equipment.  There is no substitute for experience and training, and we take pride in being one of the most dedicated service companies when it comes to research and attention to detail.

    We will calibrate your display the standard professionals have it set up in the broadcast studios.  A proper calibration is essential to be able to reproduce the programming content in an accurate way. When a display is properly set up, you will be able to see what the director of the program intended you to see, not artifacts caused by incorrect settings.

     Front-panel settings optimized include:

  • Black Level (a.k.a. Brightness)
  • White Level (a.k.a. Contrast/Picture)
  • Chroma Level (a.k.a. Color/Saturation)
  • Chroma Phase (a.k.a. Tint)
  • Sharpness

    Advanced settings optimized, through front-panel or service menu:

  • Gray scale tracking to D65 broadcasting standard (C.I.E. 1931)
  • Overscan
  • Additional Color Decoder adjustments
  • Gamma curve adjustments
  • Disabling of SVM and other "enhancements" that hide picture detail
  • Other internal tweaks to enhance resolution etc (depending on set).
  • Color gamut

    Why would I pay for this? Why isn't the monitor or TV set up correctly from the factory?

    In a perfect world, it would be!  However, the main reason displays are very poorly set up, out of the box, is that they are configured to be able to compete with other televisions in a bright showroom. Since the human eye will always prefer a brighter display over a dimmer one, cranking white level up sells TV sets.  However, it's disastrous for picture quality.  Most televisions also display white with a strong blueish tinge, for the same reason.  A blue white will always seem brighter than a more neutral gray white.  Why are laundry detergents blue?  They contain blue coloring to make your shirts "whiter than white"!  All this competing over which set has the brightest picture also has another side effect.  Since so much blue is added, people's skin tones don't look right.  So how did the television industry tackle this?  Easy, just make all red color information more red (also known as "red push") to compensate!

    These "tricks" (and others) are designed to make you pick their set in a side-by-side comparison.  However, they do not give you a good or accurate picture.  Only by following the NTSC and/or HDTV standards can we deliver the right picture!

    There are several other reasons televisions need calibration:

  • Room environment.  Since not all television end up in the same room with the same lighting, you need to set it up where it's supposed to be used.  The factory can't do this for you.
  • Different sources. For a calibration to be optimal, it should be done with the actual source equipment you intend to use.  Calibration should be done with your DVD player, not the factory's or retailers. There can be a 10% difference between DVD players in what signal they send to the television. Even the same model from the same manufacturer differs between units!
  • Protect your investment. Proper calibration extends the lifetime of the display.

    And of course, the primary reason, the picture will look much better. It will let you focus on the content of the programming, instead of annoying distractions and artifacts.

        Direct view sets: $400
        Rear/Front Projectors: $500
        Optional Color Gamut calibration (if available in display): $100
        External Video Processor calibration: $400

    Discounts are available if more than one set is calibrated during the same visit.  All pricing includes customized reports showing gray scale tracking pre and post calibration.

    Equipment used

  • Progressive Labs MicroSpec spectroradiometer
  • Progressive Labs C-5 color analyzer
  • Progressive Labs CA-6X color analyzer with optional LCD flat panel Probe
  • A Visual Standard TVS Pro optical comparator
  • Sony PVM-96 reference D65 studio monitor
  • Ovation Multimedia Avia Pro test patterns reference suite
  • Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials Professional SD and HD DVD
  • Accupel HDG-4000 HD/SD/DVI pattern generator
  • Various BluRay calibration discs.

    Work we do NOT perform

  • CRT Rear/Front projector focus and convergence
  • CRT Direct View focus and convergence

    Models we do NOT work on, since they can't be calibrated accurately

  • Sharp Aquos LCD panels
  • Mitsubishi Rear Projection sets

Audio Calibration

    Calibrating a home theater sound system is critical to deliver a true movie-like experience.   Today's Dolby Digital, DTS and HD soundstracks require at least six speakers (2 front, 1 center, 2 surround and 1 sub-woofer) to give accurate sound reproduction.  Balancing the output of the speakers in very hard to do by ear, but our sound level meter and RTA analyzer can do the job. We also adjust things like sub-woofer cross-over frequency, to make sure all speakers are performing at their optimal capacity.  We charge $200 for this service.