When I started calibrating, TVs and projectors were nowhere near as advanced as they are today. A TV back would only have a few controls and they were usually buried in the minefield of the service menu. Sometimes the controls worked, and sometimes they didn’t. I just had to do my best with what I had to work with. I still run into these situations sometimes, but luckily it’s not often. The difference today is that our equipment and software are light years better and the calibrator community is as big and as strong as ever.
I want to invite you to join our newest hour long webinar on display calibration in 2019. I'm going to do a quick refresher for those calibrators that may be a little rusty, then I will talk about all the advancements in imaging science, we will also talk about all the mis-information that is out there as well as what the future holds.
One of the most popular videos on our YouTube page is my calibration webinar from last year. But this one will be the most exciting one I’ve done so far. I’ll have 3 special guests on to talk about some of their experiences and what they are looking forward to in 2020 and beyond.
Calibration Expert Guests
Want to learn even more?
If you haven’t taken the class before, there is not a better time than now. During the ISF class we spend 3 full days covering everything related to electronic imaging and the standards that hold everything together. This includes hands on activities such as fiber termination, front panel TV controls, and manual and automated calibration of the grayscale and color gamut on the displays that we have in class. EDID management and HDCP compliance cause headaches everyday. We will show you how to use the necessary tools to keep track of and manage these things. Not only will you come out of class with a solid foundation of video signals and a new skill, but also CEDIA and AVIXA credits. If you take and pass the ISF exam you will be listed on the ISF site as a certified dealer so potential customers can easily find you.
We see a wide range of students come through the ISF class. Seats have been filled by not only A/V integrators, but also cinematographers, post production editors and colorists, broadcast engineers, medical professionals, even home theater enthusiasts looking to learn. Continuing education in our industry is a MUST, and we invite you to class even if you have taken the course before.
With the introduction of 4K and HDR (High Dynamic Range), the AV industry has been flooded with various signal types that may not be supported by your distributed system.
Does your device say 4K60Hz, yet still no signal?
Is you device “full 4K”?
The truth is, some devices cannot handle higher bandwidth 4K (4K60Hz 4:4:4 8Bit/18G or 4K60Hz 4:2:2 12Bit/18G). Using a 4:2:0 Chroma manufacturers can produce “4K60Hz” devices that are only handling 50% of the color information, as well as not displaying full HDR (4K60Hz 4:2:0 8 or 10Bit/(9G). Leaving customers with a choice to use only a few select 4K formats. For years manufacturers have been hiding behind this vague specification affecting switches, extenders, and even HDMI cables. Looking for specs that include 18Gbps or 4K60 4:4:4 with HDR, help notate a wide open, high bandwidth 4K signal. AVPro Edge provides many 18Gbps solutions, including all of our 444 extenders and AUHD products, that ensure the best video quality for your customers. Murideo, trusted in HDMI testing and troubleshooting, also provides tools to help confirm correct signaling with the Fox & Hound Testing and Troubleshooting Kit and the SIX-A Analyzer & SIX-G Generator Test Suite.
The Imaging Science Foundation continued its international training, this time making a stop in Australia. ISF teamed up with AVPro and AVD to put on a display calibration course down under. Jason Dustal ISF Level III Instructor, taught this class and he had this to say:
"ISF along with our partners at AV Distributors recently hosted the first Australian ISF class in a couple of years! The class was attended by a wide variety of people including experienced calibrators, medical professionals, post production professionals, and some who are brand new to calibration! We spent time talking about 18Gbps distribution and how to troubleshoot HDMI issues. Lots of hands on activities with both flat panels and projectors gave the attendees a glimpse of what to expect in the real world when servicing clients! We'd love to see you at the next class, cheers mate!"
ISF hosts classes all year long around the world, if you are interested in becoming an ISF certified calibrator register for class today.
For more information on ISF Visit AVPro.Training
In order for a distributed video system to work nicely with different kinds of displays EDID managing is crucial. What is an EDID?
An EDID is the data that is sent from a display to a source, this data tells that source what kind of signal to output. Some displays may ask for 1080p resolution with 2ch audio, and some may ask for 4K resolution with HDR colors and Dolby Atmos, in order for these two displays to play nicely inside one installation we need to manage the EDID to work with both. Every integrator has been here; you connect everything in a new installation, play your source and....... one or more displays do not have picture. If you are working with 4K, you may have an EDID problem. The Fox & Hound has many capabilities, in this article we are going to explore how you can use your Fox & Hound to manage the EDID's in your system. There are two main ways you use the Fox & Hound for EDID management:
Testing an Multizone Video Distribution System
Scenario: 8 video zone installation, using different brand displays, the source is a Apple 4K streamer. When the integrator turns on the system, 4 displays have a picture, 4 displays say no picture. You have tested all the cables and connection points and extenders and they all work - You have an EDID problem.
The Answer: Find the television inside the system that is the oldest or has the lowest capabilities. Your goal is to find an EDID that will work with all the displays in your system. Connect the Analyzer to this display and copy the EDID. You will be able to see all the information from that EDID including:
The final step would be to place this EDID from your Analyzer into your video matrix switcher. Connect the analyzer to the input of your matrix switcher and using the matrix web GUI you can use this EDID on each input. We recommend AVPro Edge's line of matrix switchers for easy EDID management.
Saving your favorite EDID's
Scenario: You find a EDID from a specific display that works great for all the products you like to install, even when you use different brands of displays, this EDID works every time. You go to a new install and they don't have the type of TV that outputs the EDID you like to use. How can you get your favorite EDID into this installation?
The Answer: By using the Fox & Hound HDMI Testing and Troubleshooting kit you can save your favorite EDID for later use. This might not seem that exciting but if you are working with 4K and HDR, having the perfect EDID is essential. To give you a head start the Fox & Hound comes loaded with the most useful EDID's already loaded.
This is only one of hundreds of ways you can use the Fox & Hound to save time when working with HDMI. If you do not currently have a Fox & Hound from Murideo right now is the time to buy, we just introduced a payment plan where you can get a Fox & Hound for $199.00 a month for 12 months. For more information give us a call!
Getting your hands on professional HDMI testing, troubleshooting and calibration equipment has never been easier. Purchasing HDMI test equipment can be expensive, but with the new 12-month payment plans from Murideo, things just got a lot more affordable.
Murideo offers two Generator and Analyzer pairs:
The Murideo SIX-G and SIX-A: A robust 18Gbps 4K HDMI Generator and Analyzer combination that also comes with a PC software, perfect for calibrators, manufactures, and integrators testing areas.
The Murideo Fox & Hound: A 18Gbps 4K HDMI testing kit that is built to be in every integrators truck. Very easy to use and understand, this tool saves integrators time and money, hands down.
*A credit card must be on file to participate in this promotion. This card will be automatically charged every month.
Working alongside ISF, AVPro Edge and Murideo are manufacturing products that keep the ISF method at the forefront of 4K video distribution. It is paramount to the mission of ISF to get the complete and correct signal from the source through any repeaters in the HDMI network all the way to the display. Our goal is to assure that what the client sees on their display is as close to the director’s original intent as possible.
Few integrators have successfully taken the dive into distributing 4K with HDR because the signal exceeds the limitations of most of the current infrastructure in homes and businesses. CEDIA integrators have either put in systems with 4K and no HDR, limit the system to 1080P SDR, or they put the sources in the room with the HDR display. None of these compromises are necessary. At the ISF Seminar, these missteps will be covered at length to help attendees confidently sell and install these high bandwidth products and systems without the need for any shortcuts or compromises. For example, the course will cover high bandwidth distribution products like the AVPro Edge HDBaseT extenders. Thanks to the proprietary compression algorithm ICT (Invisible Compression Technology), AVPro is able to deliver a pristine image, free from compression artifacts, over category cable. With these and other 4K + HDR solutions from AVPro Edge, including matrix switchers, audio down-mixers, distribution amplifiers and more, the system can be optimized for high bandwidth signal distribution. Then, it will be time to perfect the display.
Thanks to advanced tools and software the calibration process is as easy as ever, and today’s displays typically calibrate very well. With Murideo’s SIX-G Test Pattern Generator and AutoCal by CalMAN, the tedious parts of calibration are now automated, saving calibrators tons of time. This leaves more time for educating the client and giving them a great demo.
Now, let's cover some basics on what calibration is all about and some of the tools that are needed.
What makes a great picture?
It's easy to look at a TV in a showroom and say “that TV looks great!”, but what is so great about it? Most people are fooled by the blazingly blue-ish whites, the way too dark shadow details, the oversaturated colors, the extra sharpness and edge enhancement, and the dreaded soap opera effect. Luckily we've studied what makes a great picture, and at the end of the day it all based on our human biology and how we see. Here are the four things that we look for while judging picture quality:
Why calibrate a display?
There are two approaches to why a display should be calibrated. The first approach is easy! All you need to know are the four qualities of a great image that you just read about. Let’s use these and talk about how the picture will be improved after calibration.
The second approach is all about standards, which can be somewhat abstract to the average Joe. When we calibrate a display we are setting it to known standards. There is a major benefit to this because it will allow you to view the movie, video game, TV show, etc as the creators intended. Calibration is all about honoring the art of content creation. When a filmmaker uses a specific color palette for a scene of a movie, it is done intentionally. Color in movies is used to set the mood of a scene and to evoke emotion within the viewer. This type of emotional manipulation is not only used in film, but video games and TV shows as well. As someone who appreciates the time, effort, and artistry that goes into production, calibration ensures that the reproduction is as close as possible to what was intended.
Now that we have defined picture quality and covered the benefits of display calibration, let’s cover what tools are needed to offer this unique service.
What tools are needed?
ISF Calibration is a very unique, custom service that you should be offering to your clients. Labor dollars will contribute to your bottom line and system maintenance will not only ensure that your client’s system is performing it’s best, but it will also bring in recurring revenue. We have studied the numbers over the years and have also found out that ISF calibration also helps prevent TV returns which is a great added bonus. With the help of AVPro and the ISF, we can give you knowledge to not only perform this service, but also how to explain the benefits to your salespeople and ultimately your clients. Again, for more information including dates for ISF Australia and other AVPro Academy classes, contact AVD at +61 7 5561 7530 or visit avpro.training.
Striking differentials in 8K TV picture quality at CES 2019 showcased the awesome potential for 8K - and showed the serious pitfalls of processing massive amount of data into space, light and time.
The best pictures at CES were fantastic and created buying lust - even among the financially challenged press corps. The worst TVs were soft and fuzzy, artifact ridden, and were downright fatiguing to watch.
All Digital TVs (DTV) are simply machines that turn bits into pictures. The first DTVs in 1982 digitized our old analog TV pictures that used either 525 or 625 TV lines.
To better understand this long progress that has evolved to 8K TV, just visualize how we see TVs in space, light and time. Let’s break it down:
Space – The number of visible lines or pixels on screen
Light – How bright the picture is, and how many colors are visible on screen
Time – How many pictures are flashed per second – “temporal resolution” or pictures per second (PPS)
To start at the beginning, how did analog bring pictures into our home:
Space – Either 525 or 625 horizontal lines top to bottom
Light – Tube TVs (CRTs) were only 100 Nits bright – but had unlimited steps between black and white
Time – Either 50 or 60 pictures per second (PPS), unchanged since the 1930’s
Standard Definition Digital Rec.601
Space – 640x480, or roughly 300,000 (.3K) pixels to process
Light – 100 Nits – 220 steps from black to white to process at 8 Bit – CRT TV’s phosphor-based colors
Time – Same 50/60 PPS as 1930’s
High Definition Digital Rec.709
Space – Up to 1920x1080, or roughly 2,000,000 pixels (2K)
Light – 100 Nits – 220 steps at 8 Bit – but somewhat improved to 1990 CRT colors
Time – Same 50/60 PPS as 1930’s
Ultra-High Definition – 2012 specs BT.2246-1
Space – Up to 8K – roughly 33,000,000 pixels
Light – Up to 10,000 Nits – at 10 Bit roughly 1000 steps, at 12 Bit roughly 4000 steps
Time – Up to 120PPS – “temporal resolution” is finally improved – and sports are awesome!
Processing 8K TV Data – The Beauty and the Beast!
Creating perfect analog pictures with digital bits will never happen. However, more bits provide the possibility to create pictures that are closer to analog and will look beautiful at very close viewing distances – but only if processing is superb!
The Beauty - Evolving from .3K to 8K provides the potential for smooth artifact free pictures if processing deploys sufficient power and speed coupled with intelligent algorithm engineering.
The Beast - 8K reveals poor processing like a jeweler’s loop reveals defects in diamonds.
The Beauty – Even a 1000 Nit TV is 10x brighter than our old TVs – and with 200x more steps and 8K pixels, we can control color and light transitions that are life like and relaxing to watch.
The Beast – Brighter TVs reveal motion artifacts and poor color transitions that induce user fatigue.
The Beauty – We have been watching 60 PPS since 1939. HDR’s space, color and light have revolutionized watching movies in our homes. 120 PPS will do the same for sports!
The Beast – Double the number of PPS increases the cost of processing and the challenges for engineering intelligent algorithms.
The 8K CES Conclusions
For those readers who like to skip to the bottom of a story, here are the quick facts:
1 – There is far more to 8K than just less visible pixels. Improved control over motion in space, plus precision modulation of light and color produces visibly improved “digital to analog conversion”.
2 – If video processing is superb in time, space and color, then 8K pixels enable visibly smoother transitions and deliver more analog like pictures.
3 – Motion artifacts may still occur, but they are one quarter the size and therefore less visible.
4 – 8K 120 PPS will redefine “temporal resolution” and revolutionize watching sports on TVs.
5 – At first, only the Tier One TVs will be awesome with 8K. Many TVs will look worse with 8K. We will get what we pay for in 8K!
CES 2019 showcased what the planet’s best engineering teams can accomplish with 8K’s spatial resolution. They showcased vastly improved space, color and light. I can’t wait to see what these amazing people will do with 120PPS TVs at CES 2020.
I left the CES 2019 show discovering that I need new TVs once again……….it was enormous fun and a most entertaining show!
Here at Murideo we talk a lot about video calibration, but what about audio calibration? The audio inside a home theater is one of the most important parts. So why are so many installers doing home theaters without properly setting up the room to benefit the audio?
We want to change that and are here to help, with the HAA kit from Murideo, and access to HAA training, you can become the a certified home acoustics expert. HAA classes will give you the knowlege you need to successfully set up a room with perfect acoustics. Find our more here. www.avpro.training/haa-audio1.html
The HAA Kit will provide you with all the tools you need to test the room and make sure you are setting up the best experience possible for your client. You can purchase the HAA Kit here. www.avprostore.com/HAA-Complete-Acoustic-Calibration-Kit-PLUS-p/au-haa-kit-plkus.htm
From the HAA Website: The HAA is all about “Great Sound Through Science”. If you are looking for a community that is focused on high performance audio in the home environment, you’ve found it. We’ve been in the business of high performance sound since 2001. We are not an equipment or design sales company but our professional membership is filled with companies that are. Look through our Dealer Locator for a pro near you, or join our community as an Enthusiast member for free to get advice on our forums. Help us build our new public portal by joining and participating. Also, come back from time to time to read our expanding blog and see how our public site grows.
The Imaging Science Foundation has been leading the display calibration charge for over 20 years. In that time ISF has grown and adapted to each advancement in display technology that has come to market.
Today is no different, always pushing display technology forward, Joel Silver founder of ISF had this to say:
“The current HDR era is the very best of times for ISF Calibrators and their clients! The early HDR HDMI connectivity issues are now easily resolved by those with Level III skills, and the impressive HDR image quality now available through streaming, discs and HDR downloads is driving sales of ISF calibrations and large screen UHD TVs.
The upcoming year will bring us wonderful new content in HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision's three offerings, HLG, SL-HDR1,2,3 and a glimpse of 8K and sporting events in 100/120 Hz. Today's innovations have revitalized movie viewing - tomorrow's advances in temporal resolution will revolutionize sports!
We will only offer five North American ISF Level III sessions in 2019 - overseas demand and private sessions will limit the number ISF sessions. We were touched by CEDIA's recognition of ISF's impact on thousands of businesses, and we look forward to seeing you at an ISF Level III event in 2019.”
Joel Silver was awarded the CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award in September 2018 at the CEDIA Expo in San Diego. You are able to find his award video below.
Being an ISF certified calibrator you become an expert in delivering the best possible picture to the display, With the Level III Class, calibration has expanded from the display to the distribution channel. Attendees will get hands on experience with the latest calibration and video distribution equipment as well as work on a verity of modern projectors and displays. We hope to see you in 2019.
The Level III ISF event is a seminar that Joel himself hosts around the world. Planning for ISF Level III is being done now and we would love your help. Please vote for the city where you would like to see ISF in 2019 below.
In the above video, we take a quick look at calibration throughout the years, where it started to the present day.
Third Party Reviews & Articles