I started the ISF with a simple but radical idea at the time. I wanted to build a network of professionals that would adjust home TVs to accurately display the intent of creative artists and film directors.
The initial focus was high-end residential integrators. Our success in that market was the result of meeting business owners with wonderful relationships with affluent clients. They were driven to install systems that would sound better and look better than anything their clients had ever seen before. We met most early ISF dealers through CEDIA and found many like-minded supporters there. Their clients saw vastly superior TV pictures and had the ability to afford them, and we were launched.
We soon discovered volumes of manufacturer’s technical staff that understood what we were doing and would support our efforts. With them we were able to design TVs that could be easily calibrated in the field. That brought ISF features to millions of mainstream TVs. I never thought that could be possible for a radical idea.
Studios were using consumer TVs as “client monitors”, and I soon found volumes of content creation professionals becoming ISF calibrators. That brought the concept full circle. There are now many thousands of professionals whose everyday work is faithful to the intent of artists and directors.
-Joel Silver, Founder of the Imaging Science Foundation
If you want to be a consumer electronics professional, where is your sphere of influence? Let’s explore the entire process. You will see where you fit in and how critical to the industry your role has become.
The entire artistic process is a series of optical and electronic “Transfer Functions”. Think of a digital signal coming into your TV, and then light comes out. That’s one kind of transfer function. Let’s follow the steps that deliver the intent of the director to viewers.
We have accomplished much over the years, and I have personally been recognized, awarded and written about for years - that is certainly not the whole story. The untold story is the years of hard work of many other ISF instructors who have made this possible. I have not done this alone, and it is time many of them have been given a voice. This is the first of a year long series where you will here from some of the top calibrators working alongside ISF, we hope you enjoy.
This month we will hear from Kevin Miller...
I was involved in the creation of the ISF with Joel Silver dating back to the spring of 1993 when working at The Perfect Vision as the Publisher and CEO. The idea that Joel so eloquently described was spawned over cocktails one evening at an InfoComm show in New Orleans. A little over a year later, in February of 1994, Joel launched his company with the first ever ISF seminar at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. I was at that seminar as a student with my Philips color analyzer in hand.
I started my company, ISFTV, in February of 2001. Later that year, I co-instructed a seminar with Joel that followed the CEDIA show in Indianapolis. Day two of the seminar, as fate would have it, was on 9/11/2001. We had a very large group of nearly 60 students who were all quite shaken by the morning’s events. Our great friend Stu Kobak, who ran a DVD review web site of his own called Filmsondisc.com, got Joel on the phone and encouraged him to have us finish that seminar even in the face of the horrific events of that day. We did persevere and got the class to the finish line.
Following that 2001 seminar, I spent many years co-instructing ISF seminars with Joel all over North America, which was a great learning experience. Joel helped launch my company as he has done for many small businesses all over the world. I am proud to have been a part of the creation of the Imaging Science Foundation, and continue to work closely with Joel and a number of talented technicians all over the country, furthering the goal of delivering the artist’s (Director’s) intent to consumer’s television screens. I have also been heavily involved for many years on the professional side of our industry, now supporting over 60 Post Production facilities with my professional calibration services and technical consulting in the New York Tri-state area. I have also been providing technical and product development consulting to TV and video source manufacturers since 2003.
Web site: www.isftv.com
They say a craftsman is only as good as his tools, and that couldn't be more true when it comes to calibrating displays. The whole point of calibrating a display is to test it against a known standard with extreme precision and accuracy. In some cases (such as post-production) an inaccurate display can disrupt the workflow of the project. This ultimately costs time, money, and frustration amongst the people who are doing everything they can to finish the project on time.
Today there are hundreds and hundreds of test patterns available to set up and calibrate displays. The SEVEN Generator is packed full of test patterns from the best in the business. We included patterns from ISF, Digital Video Solutions, the Professional Video Alliance, Spears and Munsil, Bill Wetzel, and some of our own Murideo patterns as well. You will never run out of test patterns with the SEVEN! If you have custom test patterns, reference images, or videos that you like to use, feel free to upload custom material with our Uploader Software.
Lip sync errors are painfully apparent in any A/V system. These issues have plagued integrators and calibrators for years, and until now, there has not been a calibration tool that allows you to measure lip sync. Now with the SEVEN Generator, you can not only calibrate the audio and the video but also easily measure for lip sync. These issues are hard to track down and are notorious for causing troubleshooting calls and truck rolls. Adding lip sync testing to your calibration ensures these issues don't show up after you leave the job site, and puts you ahead of your competitors.
HFR (High Frame Rate) is right around the corner and will make video look smoother than we've ever seen before. Sports fans and gamers are very excited about this, and calibrators need to be able to set the display up correctly for this new, highly anticipated feature. The SEVEN comes stock with native 120fps video material, which makes testing for HFR a breeze.
HFR, along with other features, is part of the brand new HDMI 2.1 spec. There is a lot of talk about HDMI 2.1 right now, and we are seeing products coming with these new high bandwidth connections. Not only does bandwidth increase to 48Gbps with HDMI 2.1, but it also comes with some pretty cool features like eARC. eARC provides much more bandwidth for audio to travel from a display back to an audio source such as an AVR or soundbar. This will allow for fully uncompressed audio, including Dolby Atmos, over the eARC channel which is something the industry has not seen before. As a calibrator, it will be essential to test for these signals to ensure that your customer is getting the highest possible quality audio signal for their system. Easily use the Seven Generator to test for these signals and configure the audio in your customer's system the best way possible.
Speaking of HDMI 2.1, the SEVEN was built with this new standard in mind. It will come stock with an HDMI 2.0 output, and once available, you will be able to send in your unit and Murideo can upgrade it to HDMI 2.1. Again, something that's the first of its kind and only available from Murideo.
This generator is packed full of features that will make a calibrator's life much easier. This highly advanced tool will ensure that your jobs are completed efficiently and at the highest possible level of quality. Increase customer satisfaction and outshine your competition! For more information visit murideo.com or give us a call at 605.330.8491.
New from Murideo, the SEVEN Generator is unlike any other with extensive audio and video testing capabilities.
Sioux Falls, S.D. - Murideo is proud to present the SEVEN Generator, the next generation in HDMI test and measurement equipment. An approved test device for Dolby Audio™, the SEVEN hosts an unmatched suite of audio and video tests ideal for the video device, display, or repeater manufacturer as well as the consummate video professional. The SEVEN is shipping now with full 4K video capabilities that can be upgraded to 8K in the future (late 2020). This upgrade will include full 48 Gbps speeds, 5, 8, and 10K test patterns, FRL tools, and more.
Murideo is responsible for the SIX-A Analyzer and DPL Labs certified SIX-G Generator Field Test Suite. Popular among the world’s top integrators and calibrators, the success of these products paved the way for the development of the Seven Generator. The SEVEN is the first low cost alternative HDMI test suite for pre-compliance testing of HDMI 2.x compatible products. A partial list of test tools included is listed below:
This device is the ideal solution for display calibration and evaluation. The test suite allows the user to construct a test signal with any video format and any audio format, then execute a test based on your own parameters and allows for reporting.
The impeccable performance in video generation is just the beginning. The SEVEN was designed with advanced audio testing capabilities, including A/V Sync (Lip Sync), Audio Latency, and Dolby Audio. The Audio Suite of tests is available in HDMI Tx, ARC Tx, and eARC Tx. With additional features like tone generation, frequency sweeps, AV Sync measurements, audio latency measurements, this is an audio swiss army knife. The built-in photo-diode sensor and microphone allow you to get real-time sync and latency measurements from HDMI and ARC/eARC.
The SEVEN Generator is listed at $5,999.00 MSRP and includes a free update to HDMI 2.1 Video (hardware update) and DTS test tool suite (firmware update) later this year. To purchase, evaluate or receive more information, please email email@example.com, contact Murideo at 877-886-5112 or visit www.Murideo.com/Seven-G.
Murideo, an AVPro Global Holdings brand, was created to satisfy the need for modern testing tools in the custom A/V market. Through a depth of knowledge brought on from years of experience in the electronics industry, the team at Murideo has brought cutting edge testing equipment to the world that were previously only available to the elite. The philosophy of Murideo is simple, focus on technology, focus on design, and focus on our users. For more information visit www.Murideo.com or call (877) 886-5112.
Press Contact: 605-782-2471
A new decade is here and its time to invest some time in yourself and your business. A great way to do that is with the training courses offered by AVPro.Training. With all new class dates for the upcoming year, there are plenty of opportunities to increase your knowledge and refine skill set, especially with HDMI 2.1 on the horizon. Below are the classes available from AVPro.Training:
ISF Level III Seminar
Join Joel Silver, 2018 CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, for this hands-on training in distributing and controlling 4K60 (4:4:4) signal distribution in a multi-room dwelling. Learn and do what it takes to get a signal from a new UHD HDR player to every zone in the installation via various devices including fiber optic, HDBaseT, HDMI over IP and even terminating fiber. You will also explore and learn HDR-10, Dolby Vision and HLG video calibration on today’s latest display technologies including flat panels and projectors.
Coming out of ISF Level III, you will have the knowledge to teach customers about picture quality and be able to confidently explain why investing in a better TV or projector is worth it. This will all contribute to more margin and better sales, ultimately increasing the bottom line. All of this and more is covered in ISF Level III!
February 8-10 | Amsterdam, Netherlands Pre ISE, Hosted by JVC
March 3-5 | Auckland, New Zealand
April 8-10 | Vancouver, BC, Canada Hosted by JVC
May 5-7 | Chicago, IL Hosted by NEC
September | Denver, CO Pre-CEDIA, Hosted by CEDIA
October 6-8 | Dallas, TX
November 4-6 | Los Angeles, CA
Building an A/V system for a client can be complex, especially when dealing with high bandwidth HDR video systems. Our goal is to teach A/V integrators how to design, build, troubleshoot, and maintain systems to keep their clients happy and keep coming back for years to come. AVPro Academy is a 2 day course from our knowledgeable and experienced trainers that will teach you about these complex systems and how to overcome technical limitations. After you complete AVPro Academy and pass an exam you will earn a certificate and become ISF Level I certified.
The Home Acoustics Alliance has developed the foremost course for Home Theater Acoustics design and performance. Whether you are seeking improvements in an existing system or building a new one, the course provides the framework and knowledge to practice acoustic design and calibration in the field. The various "Elements" that outline this framework are reviewed by the acoustical calibrator and graded based upon how well they conform to industry standards. The calibrator then has the information necessary to "pro"scribe the required changes to bring performance up to its best.
February 6 | Bracknell, UK
A special one-day, information packed course. Earn the HAA-HT1 Certification
February 15-19 | Amsterdam, NL
May 11-15 | Las Vegas, NV
The PVA Certified Professional Video Calibration course provides professional video calibrators the most in-depth and comprehensive calibration training available today. PVA training workshops are based on years of expertise in the physics of video and psycho-visual perception. Proven facts, solid concepts and decades of expertise come together in this unique, top rate workshop.
Join PVA for a three-day Professional Video Systems Calibration workshop and gain the hands-on experience and skills you need to properly calibrate modern high definition video systems – practical knowledge that can start generating revenue for your business immediately.
January 11-14 | Las Vegas, NV Post CES
February 15-18 | Amsterdam, NL
April 23-26 | Las Vegas, NV Post NAB
Murideo Introduces the SEVEN Generator, an Approved Test Device for Dolby Audio. New from Murideo, the SEVEN Generator is unlike any other with extensive audio and video testing capabilities.
Murideo is proud to present the SEVEN Generator, the next generation in HDMI test and measurement equipment. An approved test device for Dolby Audio, the SEVEN hosts an unmatched suite of audio and video tests ideal for the video device, display, or repeater manufacturer as well as the consummate video professional.
Murideo is responsible for the SIX-A Analyzer and DPL Labs certified SIX-G Generator Field Test Suite. Popular among the world’s top integrators and calibrators, the success of these products paved the way for the development of the Seven Generator. The impressive video capabilities of the SEVEN include native 10/12 Bit BT2020 video output with over 1000 patterns, including HDR, SDR, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Test patterns are generated from FPGA or raw YUV files for a truly native experience and include video playback. The SEVEN includes the full suite of patterns from Diversified Video Solutions and other patterns and videos from Bill Wetzel, ISF, PVA, Portrait Displays, and Spears & Munsil. This device is the ideal solution for display calibration and evaluation. The test suite allows the user to construct a test signal with any video format and any audio format, then execute a test based on your own parameters and allows for reporting. The SEVEN has 1.5TB of storage, with reservations for up to 3 minutes of 4K60 4:4:4 video playback so the user can quickly load patterns using the USB 3.0 interface and is capable of 120 frame video playback.
The impeccable performance in video generation is just the beginning. The SEVEN was designed with advanced audio testing capabilities, including A/V Sync (Lip Sync), Audio Latency, and Dolby Audio. This Dolby approved test device contains all current Dolby Audio streams, including; Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus (w/Dolby Atmos), Dolby MAT (Dolby Atmos), and Dolby True HD (w/ Dolby Atmos). The Audio Suite of tests is available in HDMI Tx, ARC Tx, and eARC Tx. With additional features like tone generation, frequency sweeps, AV Sync measurements, audio latency measurements, this is an audio swiss army knife. The built-in photo-diode sensor and microphone allow you to get real-time sync and latency measurements from HDMI and ARC/eARC.
For more information or to purchase the SEVEN Generator, please contact Murideo at 877-886-5112 or visit www.Murideo.com/Seven-G.
Integrators have been hanging flat panel TVs and installing projectors for decades, but how many of those are calibrated?
There is no doubt that every year TVs and projectors get better and better, and with HDMI 2.1 already here, we are about to see some truly unbelievable images. As great as these displays are, we are (and will always be) dealing with the same old dilemma: the display manufacturers have no idea what type of room the display will be in. They also can't predict every lighting condition, seating positions, what type of content the customer will be watching, nor what other gear may be in the system.
So, how do you ensure that the picture quality is optimized for each and every one of your clients? The answer is calibration. Calibration is a 100% custom service based on the client's unique environment and situation. No two rooms, systems, or people are the same, so why treat them as such?
As I travel around and teach people about displays and calibration, I have been bringing up the infamous Game of Thrones episode that was "too dark" (read my take on the episode here). Every time the topic comes up, everyone in the room winces and has a nice chuckle about the amount of controversy this caused. Multiple integrators have told me that their customers were calling in, claiming that their new TV was broken! Here is my question: if the display the customer was watching had been calibrated, would there have even been a controversy? Or phone calls? Or truck rolls?
I have a personal client of mine who was unfortunately going through chemotherapy treatments. Her vision was severely sensitive and any bright light gave her a massive migraine. As a film buff, watching movies is one of her favorite hobbies, but because her TV was so bright she could not enjoy her favorite pastime. As a last-ditch effort before returning the TV to the retailer, she hired me to come over and check things out.
During the calibration, we looked the test patterns together so I could tune the TV to her room and her vision. Two hours later, she was hugging me and crying because she could finally enjoy her movies without the migraines. Since then, she has referred me to at least five new clients. I love sharing this story because it really shows how important it is to understand not only a display's capabilities, but also the level of customer service you can potentially provide to your clients.
These days most displays are pretty easy to calibrate. Just a few basic adjustments to a display can make a major difference in picture quality. Now that we have Autocal with CalMAN (a calibration software package by Portrait Displays), a full calibration can be done quickly and accurately. If you consider yourself a custom integrator, this a great way to separate yourself from your competitors!
My challenge to you is to find out if your competition offers calibration. Visit imagingscience.com/dealers, enter your city and see what is happening around you. You might be surprised by what you find.
I recently hosted a webinar on this topic and had the founder of the ISF Joel Silver, HDTVTest's Vincent Teoh, and Portrait Displays Tyler Pruitt as guests. We had a great discussion about the industry and what we are excited to see over the next few years. Feel free to check that out here.
We host AVPro Academy and ISF courses all over the world several times throughout the year. Here you can learn more, in great detail, about this custom service and what you need to get started. If you have been before, but it has been a few years, maybe it's time for a refresher. Check out the dates and locations for these classes here.
If you are not calibrating the TVs and projectors that you install, I'd be interested in hearing why. What is holding you back?
Written by Jason Dustal, AVPro Head of Training and Education
Today’s digital age has resulted in a greater need for homeowners, bars, airports, and sports arenas to distribute audio and video over long distances. Previously, coax cable was used to transmit these analog signals but, as resolution has increased, so has bandwidth. This created a need for infrastructures that can distribute higher bandwidth digital signals over a long distance.
The use of Category cable and the introduction of HDBaseT came to the rescue. Using CAT cable, we can extend HDMI signals over 10x the distance of HDMI’s 10-meter specification. However, HDBaseT doesn’t use a traditional digital signal to transmit audio and video. While connection speeds for networks are measured in Mbps (Digital measurement of bits), HDBaseT signals are measured in MHz (Analog measurement of waveforms).
So, what does this mean?
Traditional ways of testing CAT cable using category testers does not determine whether or not the CAT cable can handle an HDBaseT signal. Most testing equipment made for category cables will check that the pinouts match on both ends of the cable, and sometimes the distance; more expensive units can even test for network speeds. Unfortunately, even if they can test data rates, it’s done in Mbps, and HDBaseT is measured in MHz. This renders the device inadequate for audio/video signals. While both can fall victim to EMI and attenuation from length, HDBaseT signals are more susceptible to both.
So, how do I test HDBaseT signals?
While there are a few solutions that test CAT cable for HDBaseT signals, they are expensive and few and far between. Don’t worry, hope is not lost. Tests can be run using a few simple tools you may already have:
Together these tools are only a proving ground for category and better results can be achieved by following both the HDBaseT Gold Standard and the HDBaseT Do’s and Don’ts. Checking category runs prevents frustration during installation and helps prevent additional truck rolls costing you money.
So you want HDR, but it's not displaying on your TV or Projector? This guide will walk you though troubleshooting this issue.
One of the most common issues that integrators have today is not being able to trigger HDR on a display. This can be frustrating, especially when it seems like all of the stars are aligned and everything in the system is HDR capable. Here are some tips on system setup and troubleshooting that will help you in case you run into this issue.
In the following scenario we are looking at this system:
UHD Blu-ray Player --> AVPro Edge Matrix Switch --> AVR --> Display
Some tips before you start troubleshooting:
How to troubleshoot for "No HDR":
NOTE: Conduct these troubleshooting tests with either the Murideo SIX A and G or the Fox & Hound Kit. This guide is written for the SIX A & G Test Suite, but the process is almost exactly the same with the Fox & Hound Kit. Always have a known good 18Gbps HDMI cable in your kit. You will use this for testing different components in the system.
Testing the source:
Testing the matrix switch:
If the source is outputting an HDR signal, the HDMI cable connecting the blu-ray player to the matrix switch tests out, and the matrix switch’s EDID is correct, then the problem should be solved. If not, confirm that the HDMI cable that connects the matrix switch to the AVR is passing 18Gbps. If it is not, replace the cable. If the cable tests out and shows zero errors, it’s time to move to the next component downstream. In this case that would be the AVR.
Testing the AVR:
Since the AVR has an input and an output you will have to test both.
At this point you have tested every other component and every HDMI cable in the system. If you are still not able to get HDR to the TV, follow these steps to test it:
In some cases, you may be dealing with an HDBaseT Matrix Switch. Here are some tips from HDBaseT that will endure a successful installation:
There are many ways to troubleshoot a system, and with the proper tools and methodology you can track down problems in a minimal amount of time. Come up with a plan, take things one step at a time, keep track of what you have and haven’t tested, and if problems continue to persist you can always call our tech support department at 877-886-5112 or +1 605 274 6055 (Int'l).
For years televisions have been plug-and-play. From the introduction of color television, to component, to the early years of HDMI, everything just worked. Today, we live in a world of catching up. Our legacy set top boxes struggle to produce 4K while advanced 4K displays sometimes resist the change to new formats. But hope is not lost, understanding common issues in today’s mixed resolution world can decrease the amount of time spent troubleshooting.
4K and HDR have taken the world by storm. Next-Gen gaming consoles and premium streaming devices have made this possible within the home but not all displays are as accepting as others. You may find a host of problems while simply trying to connect your device.
Distributed systems are a perfect way to deliver all sources to any part of the home; but what about HDR sources on legacy displays that do not support it? While scaling to the resolution of the display may show picture, you might find an issue with the image displayed.
Dolby Vision is the cream of the crop in terms of HDR. The ability to adjust brightness levels frame by frame attracts many consumers to buy displays capable of doing it. Unfortunately, not everyone can agree on how to process Dolby Vision leaving us with different profiles used in the market. If the source plugs directly into the display, this is not an issue. However, in a distributed system with multiple displays capable of Dolby Vision, they might not be processing it the same.
As displays continue to move from 4K to 8K and beyond it is almost guaranteed that new issues will arise. Being able to diagnose these problems now will help your ability to address them in the future. For help managing EDID and addressing high end 4K visit support.AVProEdge.com or give us a call at 877-886-5112.
Here at AVPro and Murideo we talk a lot about ISF calibration and how important it is when building a high performance A/V system. Display calibration is necessary to achieve two goals:
As important as ISF calibration is to a home theater system, it is as equally important in a commercial environment. Let’s take your favorite sports bar for example. Next time you go, look around at all of the displays see if they all match. Check out the grass on the baseball field. Does it look real or radioactive? Take a look at the white jerseys. Can you see detail in the jersey or is the white totally blown out? Calibration will fix all of these problems by making all of the displays look the same.
Next time you encounter a video wall, maybe at an airport, take a look at each panel. Especially when an advertisement pops up. Are all of the panels equal in brightness, or are some brighter or darker than others? Do they match in color, or are some white while others are a blue-ish white? Now imagine that you are a marketing executive for a brand that pays for advertising space in that airport. What would you think if you saw your brand or logo on the screens and the color of your logo was incorrect? All of these problems will be fixed with calibration since all of the displays are calibrated to the same standard.
In many cases a commercial display will be initially set up in its brightest picture mode. Not only does this ruin the image quality, but it can literally be painful to look at. That last thing someone wants after a nice dinner in a restaurant is a migraine. In one extreme case, in an airport I had to close my eyes while coming down the escalator because the LED wall is entirely too bright. Not only is this unnecessary wear and tear on the display, but it can be dangerous!
As important as ISF calibration is in a home theater system, it is equally and arguably more important in a commercial environment. In these cases, the goal is not only image fidelity and accuracy, but also to save the life of the displays and to keep people looking at these displays comfortable and safe.
AVPro and Murideo have everything you need to offer display calibration to your clients. From pattern generators (the Murideo SIX G and VideoForge PRO) to meters and software including CalMAN we have you covered. Not only does AVPro offer the tools you need, we also work hand in hand with the Imaging Science Foundation to put on the best training in the industry. Have questions on how to get started or want to attend an ISF class? Give us a call at 877-886-5112 or visit avpro.training/isf for more information!
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