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FAQ: About our Advanced Calibration Information

By Art Feierman
So you want Advanced Calibration Information? Find out here exactly what you'll get when you purchase a subscription for bonus content, including advanced calibration information.

Q: What is Advanced Calibration Information?

A:  Only our paid subscribers have access to our Advanced Calibration Information, which began collecting from the projectors we review starting in October of 2012. But what exactly do I get, you ask? Well, the information you are "paying for" are the CMS ("Color Management Settings"), or the calibration info for the individual colors--Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. However, with almost all projectors, CMS is independent of the mode you're using the projector in. That is, the same CMS settings apply to Dynamic, THX, Living Room, etc. Thus, on the Advanced Calibration Information pages, there wouldn't be any indication of mode, because it's not really relevant.

The CMS information is presented numerically in table form, as well as in CIE Gamut chart graphics, like the one on the right.

Click Image to Enlarge

Q: So how valuable are these CMS settings?

A:  Readers in general report that our settings are an improvement. With some projectors, that's a a dramatic improvement, and with others, only minor change.  They can never be perfect or universally consistent, because no two lamps in any two projectors produce identical color, for one thing. Additionally, of course, color of a projector changes over time, as the lamps get more hours on them.  Most projectors have 20-100 hours on them by the time we calibrate them.

Q: How does this compare to a professional calibration?

A:  What we offer isn't a substitute for a professional calibration, but then, it's $9.99, not $250-$750 like you might pay for a pro to do it.

However, keep in mind that no professional calibrator would calibrate all the modes on a projector--so don't anticipate that being an added bonus of someone doing it in-person. But, many--depending on the spend--will calibrate in conjunction with your input devices. That is, they'll make sure your blu-ray player, etc. are set up as best as possible... Some will even calibrate to your screen, as no screen is perfect in terms of color, either. But again, you could be paying up to 75 times as much.

Q: What info do I already get from the public Calibration page?

A:  Our home projector reviews typically offer some general, public calibration information. Of course, the rest of these calibration settings can be found on the regular calibration page(s), depending on the review. Each public Calibration page will show you the general settings the projector started with, out of the box, pre-calibration: Color Temperature settings, lumen output and color temperature in a given mode, the default settings for contrast, color temperature, brightness and auto iris (if applicable).

We then typically give some post-calibration settings. You'll also get the settings our calibrator, Mike, ended up with after doing a grayscale calibration. Sometimes these will focus on a given mode.

However, if you want the calibrated "Color Management Settings," or CMS, for each individual color, you'll need to subscribe.

Q: So what else does subscribing get me?

A:  In addition to our Advanced Calibration Information, you will have special access to:

  • Bonus FAQ/informational content as it becomes available
  • Additional full-length (10+ min) Projector Reviews TV video summaries
  • Rebates and discounts from various projector/projector accessory manufacturers and dealers, including Epson, BenQ, Projector People, Visual Apex and more (valid only in the US)

As we expand, more and more exclusive content will be available to subscribers.

Q: Great, I want in! How do I subscribe?

A:  That's easy! Click here to subscribe.

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