If you know what calibration is but are wondering if calibration is “worth it”, click here! Otherwise, read on!

For an excellent short article on calibration by Charles Poynton, recognized by many as the industry’s expert on digital video, click here.

Why Do I Need to Calibrate?

If you think that new HDTV or sound system you bought was adjusted by the manufacturer for the best and most accurate picture or sound, think again! You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on your new system – don’t you want it to look and sound the best it possibly can? Not only can calibration get your system to a place where it looks or sounds its best, but it can save energy and extend the life of your equipment!

Why don’t TV and stereo manufacturers just sell their products already properly adjusted? Two reasons:

  1. Manufacturers are more interested in getting you to buy their product than in giving you an accurate picture out of the box.
  2. Proper adjustment of the device is very dependent on the room it will be placed in.

Especially for televisions, manufacturers adjust the settings to compete with other manufacturers and draw your attention in an environment (the TV showroom) that in no way resembles your home. The pictures are too bright, too blue, and have grossly inaccurate color. While you may be wowed by this (and most consumers are, as TVs are flying off the shelves), it bears no resemblance to how the picture should look.

What is Calibration?

Calibration is the process of tuning your television or sound system so that it looks or sounds as accurately as it can. More specifically, it adjusts the settings and configuration of either your television or sound system so it looks or sounds the way it should, as defined by the broadcast and film industries.

TV and movie producers and directors – the Steven Spielbergs, Jerry Bruckheimers, and George Lucas’ of the world – create their shows to look and sound a very specific way. Not only is every element carefully controlled during the creation of the film or show, but when a film is released into theaters or a show broadcast on TV, the theaters and broadcasters also have specific standards they must live up to.

In a home theater, your television and sound system are defining what you see and hear. Most people would agree that the purpose of a home theater is to re-create the experience of going to a movie theater as closely as possible. If your theater is showing you the wrong colors, or you have trouble understanding what people are saying, or any other problems, then you are not seeing or hearing what the director intended.

This is what calibration is all about: giving you the most accurate picture and sound possible.

Even if you don’t have a “theater”, per se, any television or sound system will benefit greatly from calibration, for the same reasons.

For more discussion on video calibration, please see this blog post: Is a calibrated picture a “better” picture?

What Can We Do For You?

Not only can we help you set up any portion of your home theater to ensure it is connected properly, but we specialize in making your HDTV or home theater look and sound the best it can through professional, certified calibration.

We can also help you design your home theater, whether you’re upgrading an existing system or starting from scratch.

Calibrating Sound Systems

Calibrating a sound system is very different than calibrating a TV. For a TV, there are very specific settings the TV should conform to. Calibrating a TV involves using special procedures and test equipment to match the TV to that specification.

Sound systems are different – and much more complex. The elements involved in getting good sound out of your system are numerous and complicated. The single greatest element affecting the sound, in many cases more so than even the speakers themselves, is the room you’re sitting in.

Audio calibration and tuning is our specialty. Calibrating your sound system is no less important than your TV. If you want more detail on what’s involved in sound system calibration, see our Audio Calibration page, or contact us through email or phone.