Eh. Here’s what they tell you when you buy a fabulous new (hot) TV: “we calibrate it so you get a great picture and use half as much energy, saving you money, the room doesn’t get as hot, and it prolongs the life of the display.”
Which is fine – if you mess with the buttons like I do, you realize that you can run it at absurd levels, get it super hot, or tone it down a lot (fine for dark rooms) and compromise. But that’s all it is, switching between modes.
I did it for a few reasons:
- I would be freaking out on a weekly basis, adjusting the levels and ending up on a sine wave of performance.
- I actually was kind of concerned about the energy it’d be eating, and I’d rather have it be on the conservative side for that.
- They do it for $300, and offered it to me for $200, with the option to cancel it before it happened. Then it rang up at $100 and they were like “that’s weird.”
I wasn’t thrilled with the process itself. (First, I had to wait for a few weeks to “break in” the plasma. Then they were booked for months, so it ended up being three months out.) I left a detailed note saying what I did with it, what I liked, and where I’d been leaving the levels so far. When I came back, everything was pretty washed out, so I might have undone everything by bumping the contrast back to higher-end and messing with the saturation (which I continue to do – there’s a fine line between the Vikings being a little washed out and Brian Williams looking like the B&W-then-colorized Shirley Temple.)
If your TV is like mine and every mode has its own color settings, he’ll do the ones you say you use. When we switched to the component-in in the back for TV (we were on S-Video when he was here) we used his base levels as a starting point, but I don’t think it’s perfect.
One thing they do that you can’t (or maybe you can, but I wouldn’t) is setting up a computer with a light sensor, and then going into the service menu to tune up the overall color balance. That should get you to an even, honest color no matter what you do to contrast or brightness. I think that takes effect for the whole TV, regardless of which mode you’re in.
In the end, there are a lot of settings I won’t bother with now that “the guy” has messed with them, but it hasn’t been the TV-performance peace of mind that I had anticipated. Then again, I’m a little fidgety about it.