Blast From The Past … Genesis of a Calibrator … Part 1

pen to paperThis is a series of writings that I did from 1990 to 2002 reviewing and putting to “Paper” my thoughts about the movies I collected at the time on Laserdisc and then DVD.  (And there were a lot of movies too.)  Within these writings are elements that ultimately paved the road to the world of professional calibration.  The total collection of writings came to about 100 MB of material at the time so be prepared for something that will be long.  It may actually be amusing to see how I use a particular film as some spring board to talking about calibration.

The writings also play out like a diary of sorts as it is possible to piece together just what type of person I was at the time and my frame of mind.  My daughter started to go through some of these and she got a good laugh out of it.  Most of it was written before she was even born.  I made it a rule not to change anything that I wrote when I was doing this.  I would only correct for spelling and grammar and nothing else.  Because this material was not originally intended for others to look at, the paragraph structure is pretty messy so be warned.

It’s raw and it’s also potentially offensive at times.  Let the games begin.




This book represents a walkthrough of my existing Laserdisc collection including titles that I do not presently own, but would like to obtain at some point in the future.  It also occasionally makes reference to titles that I used to own, but have subsequently purged from the collection for one reason or another.  A small portion of the entries have not even been announced for Laserdisc release (yet) so the items represent a sort of on going wish list.  The document will never truly be complete as the format I have chosen allows for continuous updates of new entries and information as it becomes available.  The directory provides information on the overall picture and audio quality of the disc releases as well as a running commentary on the often undocumented problems experienced in the Laserdisc industry.  It also provides my personal insights on the overall laser video experience as well as little known tidbits of information regarding certain films.  (There is also a significant portion of my personality embedded into this document.)

The collection started out modestly in the summer of 1985 with the purchase of the now departed “Supergirl” title from Instant Replay (or Sight & Sound as they are known today and I should have taken the import version at the time since it would take me six more years before finding the import.).  The first player (LD660) came from J & R Music World in October of the same year.  The directory actually had its origins in 1991 while I was working in Vancouver, B.C.  From the initial library of 150 titles at that time to the 420+ titles in late 1996 back down to the mid 300’s in 1997, this directory is only a “Work In Progress.”  The purpose of the directory was to capture in print my thoughts about certain disc purchases/programs at the time I first watched them and to be able to look back at the program perhaps years later and examine how the impressions change.

A “Prime Directive” was established for this directory since almost the beginning.  Except for spelling and grammatical changes, I am not permitted to alter or erase any comments that I have entered into this directory whether they turn out to be right or wrong.  The only ideological changes permitted are included in parenthesis near the original entry.  The format of the directory permits for the rambling on of ideas and no defined paragraph structure is present, but I assure you, this was intentional from the beginning.  The lack of paragraph structure was necessary to maintain the relative orderly appearance of the document.  With the advent of the DVD (Check out Africa The Serengeti for the DVD write up which gets longer and longer.) just around the corner, I do expect to be adding film titles of that format (590 and counting) to this directory in the course of time.  It may even be interesting to be able to chronicle the development of that new format through their software releases.  There are many unanswered questions at this time, but all will be answered in good time and covered in these pages.  It’s how I learned to stop worrying about the formats and love the all formats for what they were and not what they were not.

To whomever is reading this, I hope you find it as enjoyable to read as I had fun writing it.  This is my labour of love.  The next version is always around the corner.  The opinions represented here in do reflect the position of the publisher and editor.  That out of the way, feel free to skip any passages you are not interested in, as I am certain that there is something in it for everyone.  Have Fun!  I know I did.


Best Regards,


Michael H. Chen

[important]This document is dedicated to those who said it was a waste of time and effort.  Faith manages.[/important]

Michael Chen

Michael Chen is the only THX Video Systems Instructor in Canada, and beyond these borders, is one of just two THX Video Instructors in the entire world.  He has actively consulted with Spectracal and ChromaPure and has created numerous education videos on the calibration process with still more to come.  His Video Calibration Training Series has quickly become the most comprehensive and simple to understand learning tool on the market today.  He has also taught classes for both the ISF and Spectracal as well and is now spearheading his all new TLVEXP calibration training program. Let Michael teach you Video Calibration and add that additional income stream to your installation and integration business

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