Professional TV calibration yay or nay?

@Buckeye, you could perhaps try asking this question over at AVForums - you’ll have access to a larger number of high-end TV owners over there.

There’s a General TV forum, and also one for OLED TVs, and one for LG TVs, depending on how specific you want to get.


Thanks for this info. Do you have a link for a recommended dongle please?

I would like to have a go at this basic calibration.

Thanks, I’ll take a look in a couple of weeks when my TV has had time to burn in

I know it has been a few days since the last reply but I want to provide some insight from my experience. I’ve had several displays professionally calibrated over the years with nothing but outstanding results post calibration. If your TV supports advanced Color Management Controls then I would strongly consider the calibration. Typically these advanced CMC controls are not directly accessible from the menu and will be something that only a person with the right equipment will be able to access and adjust to prevent the end user from fundamentally altering the performance of the TV. A professional calibrator will be able to fine tune ever detail to get your display to perform as accurately as possible to a reference standard.

I’ve highlighted the reference standard as a reference picture can be a little controversial. Many people feel that a reference calibrated display might have better color accuracy and shadow detail, however it may not have as much “pop” compared to an uncalibrated display. This is due to a couple things. First, the reference is based on achieving a certain brightness in a darkened room. If you watch your display in a bright room, you might want to consider having the display calibrated to a separate setting for viewing in higher ambient light conditions as things might appear washed out. Second many TVs come with a default display setting referred to as torch mode that exaggerates the image brightness and ignores colors accuracy to make the picture really pop so that you want to buy it when you see it in a store. If one has been using this mode, it will probably take a little time to get used to the reference image.

Long story short, if your TV supports it, you understand what to expect from a reference calibrated display, and you think it will improve your enjoyment of the display, then it is definitely well worth the money to have it done by a professional.

Good luck with your decision.

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Useful to know, thanks.

Out of interest, how would I know if my TV had these controls (manuals are typically bad enough at describing the menu items you can access) and how are they accessed? Is there some IR voodoo, a separate interface or do calibrators have to take the back off?

I’d suggest checking with the manufacturer’s website and/or the manual. These types of settings are usually stated somewhere as it will be a selling point for the product. My current Sony TV has a CalMan for Bravia app that can be downloaded and used to calibrate my display only when connected to certain equipment.

The AVS forum website is also a great reference. You will find lots of info from real users about their experiences with the same display.

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Thanks for the detailed reply.
As I am many hundreds of £’s under budget I am 99% decided on using some of that saving on having my set calibrated.
I haven’t done too much research yet as it will be a little while before I can get time off of work to be home to let someone in, but the couple of company’s I’ve looked up that provide a calibration service in my area say they calibrate for dark and light scenarios.
Neither company are cheap, but I will still be saving on what I’d budgeted for and as a major investment that I hope will last for a minimum of 5 years (hopefully a lot more) I’m of the mindset to spend a bit more to get the absolute best out of this purchase.

As an aside I thought it was a bit of BS when I read on several places that OLED’s need to “burn in”, but I now believe that to be true, in the two weeks I’ve owned my set the picture has changed noticeably from my initial settings.

I can’t speak for more modern OLEDs but my 2016 model took several weeks to stabilise.

Google for:

manufacturer name TV “service menu”

On some (like the Panasonic plasmas), there aren’t any significant display adjustment settings in the hidden service menu, but on other sets, pretty much everything beyond the basics is hidden.

On LG televisions the CMS is accessible via the standard menus.

Ooh fun! Found white balance for my old Panny. The new Panny (2017) probably has everything visible (there are 10-point LUTS, white balance and black balance IIRC and some things I don’t understand - manual doesn’t help much, of course).