- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 11 October 2012
The immediately apparent change is a total overhaul of the user interface that is in CalMAN. In my option, the re-organization has made it a more intuitive interface that works better in daily use. Controls for your meter, pattern source, and display control are now at the top of the screen instead of being buried in the Options menu. As you work with these choices for every single calibration, moving them out to a more visible location makes more sense.
This change, along with the switch to a menu system that is more like a Windows application, really improves the ease-of-use of CalMAN. Adjusting to the new layout only took a couple of tries. The location of items is now more intuitive for new users, and for first time users the process of getting started has been made much easier than before. The new UI is a much better experience, and a large improvement to the software.
Pictured: Pre and Post Calibration Result Workflow Screens
AutoCal has been thoroughly revamped in CalMAN 5 compared to previous versions. In prior versions you could usually calibrate the gamma and grayscale automatically, but adjusting the gamut was still done manually through the CalMAN interface, or through your CMS device. Now in supported devices, this can all be done automatically from CalMAN. Additionally you no longer need a dedicated workflow for easy device that can be calibrated automatically. Once you have selected your appropriate Target Display from the tabs at the top, screens that are designed for grayscale, gamma, or gamut will have an AutoCal button associated with them. For devices that support this functionality, a list that grows all the time, it allows you to quickly get results that are very good to fantastic, and still allows you to dial it in more if you wish to do so.
Pictured: Grayscale/Gamma and CMS workflow screens.
Along with this, Lumagen has updated their Radiance processors (reviewed previously at Secrets of Home Theater) to support a 5x5x5 color matrix for precise gamut control. Most CMS systems, including the Radiance previously, have you setup the 100% saturation and luminance value for the primary, and often secondary, colors and then try to calculate the other values correctly. This lets you instead make a full series of measures at different intensities and saturations, calibrate each of those correctly, and then it will calculate the intermediate points.
The common method works perfectly in any display that has perfectly linear response from 0-100% for all saturations and intensities, but really no displays have that. This allows you to have a far larger set of data to work from, and to get all of those other values dialed in much better. As CalMAN can do this automatically in around an hour, it’s likely the quickest, most beneficial upgrade you can do for an existing home theater setup that I’m aware of.