There are a few different programs out there to assist in calibrating a display, but CalMAN from SpectraCal is currently the most prevalent. CalMAN is used for ISF Level I and II training, and is available in a variety of different configurations ranging from the DIY user to the full time calibration professional.
Darbee came into our lives after a dry period in the world of video processors. New video processors are coming out all the time, but the excitement behind them is pretty much the focus of videophiles and pro calibrators.
New models of Smartphones seem to be arriving on phone store shelves almost daily, and the Apple iPhone is feeling the snapping at their heels by the latest models from numerous companies. Samsung's Galaxy S-III is definitely strong competition. . . . .
Last year I looked at the Lumagen Radiance Mini-3D video processor and its interaction with ChromaPure software for automated calibrations. Paired with an older projector, it was able to provide an accurate grayscale, gamut, and gamma providing an image that was far more accurate than without it. Now, we take a look at the Radiance XS-3D video processor, which is a step up from the Mini-3D.
If you've read the previous DIY calibration articles here at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, then you've seen us cover ChromaPure and CalMAN calibration systems, and the DVDO Duo video processor. This time we're going to look at the newest release of ChromaPure, version 2.2, as well as the Lumagen Radiance Mini-3D Video Processor, both individually and together.
One of the things I like about CEDIA is discovering something that I hadn't expected to impress me. Oh sure the dazzling larger than life flat panels, or bright projectors are always omnipresent. The beautiful glossy speakers and sometimes those overstuffed theater chairs are a welcomed relief. But this year walking by the WallWizard booth it was the motorized wall mounts caught my attention. When I was introduced to them I was shown some innovative ideas that seemed to solve issues we've all thought about but never seen addressed.
While at CEDIA last September, I witnessed a demonstration of the OmniMount LEDP75 wall mount kit and was fascinated with the ease of installation and the uniqueness of the design. From the initial cutting to mounting took the technician about 15 minutes. The fact that they were also giving away a free LCD flat panel from Samsung did not dissuade me from watching the demo either. (No…I did not win).
A recent search on DTV stations in the San Francisco Bay Area listed all the channels within 100 miles of San Francisco. The list was long. Many transmitter locations were far away, so I was not going to receive all the channels. But still, the count was healthy. The site even listed several stations that are not broadcasting yet, but had either applied for or had received approval by the FCC. The ClearStream Micron Over-the-Air Indoor Antenna is designed to pull in those distant stations. Does it work?
JVC's GZ-HM1 follows on the HM550, but adds a few more features, such as external microphone inputs. JVC's latest series of consumer high definition video cameras continue to set standards in resolution and image quality.
JVC's new GZ-HM550 has full 1920 x 1080 resolution, records up to 2 hours, 57 minutes in its highest quality mode, has a built-in 32 GB SD card, and is the smallest high definition video camera we have ever tested. At $799.95 MSRP, it will not only fit in your shirt pocket, but won't strain the wallet in your hip pocket.
Emotiva, which started out marketing amplifiers, expanded to include preamplifiers, SSPs, speakers, and now, to complete the line, a complete series of cables. These include coaxial analog RCA, coaxial digital RCA, digital Toslink, balanced XLR, HDMI, and speaker cables. They come in two models, one being the X-Series that we review here, and the Ultra-Series, which is the entry level. I found the cables to be extremely well constructed, with gold-plated contacts, and rugged enough to be man-handled through the typical maze of wires that we all have behind our equipment racks. The sound in my reference system using the Emotiva cables was excellent. The prices are very reasonable, and are a better value than what I see in blister packs at various mass market electronic stores.
Up until the past year, the sensors in HD video cameras were just barely enough in pixel count (2,073,600) to get 1920 x 1080 video. That has changed now, and camera manufacturers are putting sensors in their HD video cameras that have a much higher pixel count. The main reason is so that consumers can take high resolution snapshots with their video cameras, similar to the high resolution photos they can get from dedicated digital snapshot cameras. The serendipity is that the high resolution image can be downsampled to 1920 x 1080 rather than there being only just over 2 megapixels to start with, and this gives a sharper video image. The JVC GZ-HM400U is just such a camera, with its 10.3 megapixel sensor. Have a look at our review to see how it performed.
Panasonic's AG-HSC1UP High Definition Camcorder has 3 CCDs, records at 1080p in the AVCHD format, and comes with a portable hard drive to transfer your videos when you fill up the included SD memory card that holds about 1.5 hours of video recorded at the highest quality (13 Mbps). It has a 12x optical zoom, and is very compact.
I love products that solve irritating problems simply and inexpensively. The Next Generation Home Products Remote Extender is one such product. With a five-minute installation you can eliminate the need to point your remote control at your gear. You can also control components in closets or even in other rooms. The best part is any remote that accepts AA or AAA batteries can be converted in seconds.
If you want to get the most accurate picture from your television or projector you need to calibrate it. The question then becomes – do you hire a professional or do it yourself? It is now quite feasible to do your own calibration with tools that don't cost much more than a pro calibrator's fee. The product that is squarely at the forefront of this market is CalMAN from SpectraCal. CalMAN is a package that can be used by anyone interested in display calibration from the hobbyist to the professional.