Video Setup

Each video component must be setup properly to get the most from the gear that you purchase.  The following is a simplified list with the parameters you can change in parenthesis to get that property correct.  This is an important step to do since no display is shipped correct from the factory and installers do not get this right either.  When these steps are done right your image should be sharp, have beautiful colors and come close to the best theaters in the country.  If you have the opportunity go to one of the ArcLight Cinemas in LA to see how good your system is to a reference experience.  If you cannot go there try a digital cinema using a Christie projector.

  • Adjust to obtain the best colors possible (picture mode, white balance, brightness, contrast, color, hue, color management, YCbCr/RGB mode). Skin tones should look good and colors should be saturated when done right.
  • Adjust light output appropriate for your theater (picture mode, contrast, white balance, lamp power, iris, projector position, screen size, screen gain).  You should get a punchy and not irritatingly bright image when this is working well.
  • Adjust system to minimize motion artifacts (picture mode, sharpness, video processing, source resolution).  You should not see strange processing effects like trailing stars in pans or multiple footballs in the air on passes when this is right.
  • Adjust display gamma to obtain the proper contrast (picture mode, gamma, contrast).  Images should appear contrasty and not washed out or too dark when set properly.
  • Adjust display black level to properly display near black information (brightness, gamma, source reference black level, display reference black level).  The image should not be washed out when correct or excessively dark.
  • Maximize image resolution (picture mode, focus, sharpness, source resolution, lens shift, throw ratio, keystone).  When done right things are sharp, but not enhanced so it looks fake.  Article on how to do this is here.
  • Maximize image contrast (lamp power, contrast, brightness, lens shift, screen material, white balance).  This will make your image have the most punch it can.
  • Minimize image distortion (picture mode, sharpness, output resolution, picture settings, projector mounting).  Things will have the proper sharpness and geometry when this is right.

Doing these things properly is very complex especially if you have never seen a high quality image.  Your choices to do this are to hire a professional ISF calibrator like AccuCal with $40,000 worth of gear, purchase test equipment to do this yourself or purchase HD Basics and use the walk-through to setup your system.