Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Return To Posting, I'm Still Here!

First off, let me apologize to all regular visitors to this blog for my long absence from posting. I want to assure everyone I am still very much active as a calibrator. I have had steady business all this year. In fact, I’m doing about as much work as I’m able to. My reason for not posting is simply that I’ve been doing more reviews for Secrets than I ever thought I would. Starting in late October of 2009, I’ve had at least one product, and sometimes as many as four, in my theater under evaluation. Below I have listed all the reviews published since August of 2009:

Focal Dome Speaker System
Revel Performa Speaker System
NuVision 65-inch LCD TV
Optoma HD8200 DLP Projector
Optoma HD8600 DLP Projector
Optoma HD20 DLP Projector (benchmarks only)
Samsung SP-A900B DLP Projector
Runco LS-5 DLP Projector
Emotiva Factory Visit

During all that, I calibrated a number of Pioneer plasmas and a few Samsung DLPs as well. I’ve had particularly good results from the A650 series TVs. Calibration is done in the CCA menu, just like the older models. After selecting the correct gamma curve and tweaking the white balance, these displays look very good. They’re a bargain too and well worth the price of a pro calibration. Out of the box performance is not so great with poor gamma and crushed blacks and whites. Color is OK but adjusting the CCA menu really makes these sets pop. I also calibrated a JVC HD750, a Pioneer FPJ-1 (JVC RS2 clone) and very recently, an Epson Home Cinema 8100. The HD750 needed a firmware update to fix the CMS but after the upload, performance was stunning. Anyone out there with an HD750, RS20 or Anthem LTX-500 that needs the update, let me know and I will include it with my calibration service at no extra charge.

Despite the exit of Pioneer from the plasma market at the end of last year, there are still sets available. Some stores are gouging for them but if you dig around, you may find a deal. If you’re in the market for a new flat panel and you don’t need the extra light output of an LCD, I highly recommend looking for a Pioneer. I still believe Panasonic is at least two or three years away from equaling the contrast performance of the 9th generation Kuro TVs.

You’ll see by my above linked projector reviews, I have experienced quite a few DLP models. I got great results from all of them and I enjoyed watching movies very much. My pick for ultimate performance is still LCoS however. My Anthem LTX-500 sat in a box for almost three months and when it finally returned to the shelf, I felt like my old friend was back. Of all the DLPs I’ve tested, the Runco LS-5 showed the deepest blacks and highest contrast. It still didn’t match the Anthem. Unless you have a large room and screen, LCoS is my preference.

I don’t want to talk about specific gear for upcoming reviews but I’ll give a general preview. Right now I have a multi-channel processor, a two-channel integrated amp and an LCoS projector under review. I recently finished articles on two Blu-ray players and expect those to be published soon. Later this summer, I’m expecting a new surround speaker system to be delivered. This system will include the biggest center channel I’ve ever seen and a gargantuan sub as well.

Finally, I’ve added movie reviews to my plate at Secrets. You may have read the monthly Renter’s Guides in the past. Now they are much larger as we have a total of six writers contributing. I do about four movies a month. Most recently, I covered the new Blu-ray release of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Thanks again for reading and as always, if you have questions about my calibration services, please email me. Enjoy the view!


Anonymous said...


This is a message for the webmaster/admin here at www.avsforum.com.

Can I use some of the information from your blog post right above if I give a link back to your website?


Chris Eberle said...

Yes, please feel free. And thanks for the link-back!