What is display calibration?
Display calibration is the process of optimizing the display to look its best. Through the use of specialized equipment, such as a test pattern generator and tristimulus color meter, the calibration expert measures a display’s performance and adjusts the display characteristics (e.g., contrast, brightness, tint, sharpness, color set point) to optimize display performance.
Through specialized training (Imaging Science Foundation) and 10 years experience calibrating massive multi-projector displays at Sandia National Laboratories, David Logsted has the unique experience necessary to calibrate your display for best performance!
Contact David anytime to discuss your display calibration needs.
Displays come in many forms (e.g., flat panel monitors, projectors, CRT) utilizing a variety of technologies (e.g., LCD, DLP, LCos, CRT, OLED). Displays are not all created equal, nor do they look the same. In fact, it is not beyond the display manufacturer to tweak displays at the factory to catch the attention of would be buyers through over-saturated colors and washed out whites. Sitting on the store shelf amongst competitive products, such a display indeed grabs attention (as an aside, it’s impossible to effectively compare the quality of TVs on the shelf when they’re all calibrated differently). The unaware buyer then takes that shiny new LCD TV home, turns it on, and watches their favorite DVD, without ever touching the image controls. Yet the movie makers target a specific look and color for movie viewing. From another perspective, when a display is used for scientific or engineering purposes, it is extremely important that every detail be discernable.
When adjusted properly, the fine detail in the image is visible, the colors are natural, and the display performs at its best.
Customers/arenas which benefit from proper display calibration include:
- Scientific/Engineering: the essential subtleties become visible, saving time, impacting designs and potentially lives.
- Home Theater: Calibration brings the display into conformity with the movie-maker’s standards. The viewing experience is more realistic, natural, and enjoyable. Those Orcs hiding in the shadows within the Mines or Moria (caves in Lord of the Rings) are visible, and the snow-covered mountain passes have contoured shapes, rather than just white snow.
- Broadcast: The broadcast environment is very demanding. These displays are used to determine if the images going out to the broadcast audience are acceptable. A uniform appearance across all displays in the broadcast environment is critical.
- Editing: Like monitors in a recording studio, the video monitors used by video editing professionals must be calibrated properly to ensure a high quality product.
- Multi-tile: These displays comprised of multiple smaller displays are all around us. In the newsroom, the casino, and the sports bar. Even a planetarium is a multi-tile display made with projectors. It is very important that all images comprising the display be adjusted to look the same.
- Retail Store: It is very difficult to effectively compare the quality of TVs on the shelf when they’re all calibrated differently. The retail store which cares about the customer will have the displays on the shelf properly calibrated so that the customer can make an informed decision. Moreover, proper calibration will bring out the best in the TVs for sale.
- AV Systems Contractor: It makes sense that anyone who designs and sells audio visual systems would calibrate the displays prior to delivering the system to the customer. Yet not all systems contractors have a qualified calibration expert. Sadly, even the largest systems contractors can skip over this all important setup step. By delivering the best imagery, proper display calibration not only benefits the customer, but also makes the systems contractor look good, bolstering future sales.
Display calibration is both art and science!
The calibration process is not linear. That is, it is not always straightforward, especially when calibrating multi-tile displays. For example, when calibrating a multi-tile display, sometimes the color meter will say the color is right for one tile, yet that tile still doesn’t look like its neighboring tiles. What then? Only the critical eye of an experienced calibration expert can successfully resolve such challenges. The fact is, a calibrated image involves many factors beyond just what a meter can read. Yes, some box-sales stores offer display calibration services, but when spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on a new display or home theater, and perhaps many hours of planning, it just doesn’t make sense to trust that all important last step to a kid with a few hours of canned training under his belt. Instead…
Hire a professional!
Please contact David anytime to discuss your display calibration needs.