What the Students think about the training …
Last month I indulged myself by taking a two day personalized training course with Michael Chen of the Laser Video EXPerience. The course can be found on his website under training. Michael is an ISF graduate and a THX graduate as well as one of the leading instructors of the THX Video Calibration Seminars. The overall course was a bit of money but still cheaper than other three day courses. I was seeking the best instructions that my money could buy. I had signed up six months before for Michael’s Video training and I was glad I did. I always felt that it was better to be prepared for anything than to go in cold and lacking.
Michael is a very personable guy and easy to get along with and shows a very special talent for teaching. His knowledge of video equipment and video calibration left me in awe. The information that was presented was complete and thorough. The equipment that was offered for the training lab was excellent. In fact, there was equipment there that I had only seen in magazines and never dreamt of ever touching, let alone training on. As a bonus, SoCal Ray Jr skyped in periodically and also graced me with his wisdom (another very knowledgeable man).
For anyone who had taken any other three day course with a number of other people will contest that not all of your personal questions maybe met and waiting for equipment to train on can leave one frustrated and wishing that the other guy would hurry up and finish. There was none of that with Michael’s personalized training. Every question was addressed and the equipment was there and waiting.
My personal recommendation is that the course was worth every penny and I am considering doing it again in a year or two. The days started early and ended late in the evenings. I have come away a much wiser and a more experienced calibrator. If I felt that the course was lacking in anyway I would state it. As I feel we all need to watch out for one another. My rating on this course is a 15 out of 10. If you decide to take it you will not be disappointed.
Professional Hands On Video Calibration Training – Half Day Class:
– This is a half day (About 4-5 hours) training program aimed at businesses and individuals that want to reinforce the skills they learned/forgotten from an ISF/THX class. Students will walk through an entire calibration session and any areas where they are weak will be identified and strengthened through the skilled guidance of a seasoned THX Instructor or THX Calibrator. Improvement tips and ideas will be provided through out the process.
The focus of this program is on learning to do things correctly; not about trying to get you to buy things. Enthusiasts/Professional Calibrators are encouraged to bring their own gear. Training is available in Canada and the Los Angeles area. The instructors are some of the best real THX video calibrators out there who also happen to know how to teach this stuff correctly.
Co-requisite: Reviewed the 70+ part Video Training Series (better) or attended a one day calibration class previously under ISF or Spectracal banner (acceptable). Unfortunately, calibration cannot be taught from the ground up in just four hours and still have any meaningful practical experience time calibrating TVs.
Half Day Training: $350
Half Day Training w/Lifetime Access to Training Videos: $500
Professional Hands On Video Calibration Training – One Day Class:
– This is a one day (8 hour + 2 hour after hours practice depending on the venue) training program aimed at businesses and individuals that would like to offer video calibration as a value added service for their existing clients. The program is focused on learning a skill set and not about attaining certain letters to put on a shingle or business card. Students would get both class lecture and hands on time with displays and calibration software and hardware. This training program is software neutral (where possible) and both the Calman and the Chromapure packages are welcome.
The focus of this program is on learning to do things correctly; not about trying to get you to buy things. Both hardware and software options will be identified so that people can make informed decisions for themselves. Please contact me for more details. Training is available in Canada and in the Los Angeles area. The instructors are some of the best real THX video calibrators out there who also happen to know how to teach this stuff correctly as well as how the business of calibration really works. They are not a bunch of slick salesmen who don’t really calibrate TVs for anyone.
(If you already own hardware and software, the training can be tailored specifically to get the most out of your hardware and software, as well as help you understand their strengths and weaknesses.)
This program seeks to separate out those that are truly serious about learning versus those that just want letters above all else; quality of education be damned.
This one day training program also includes 6 month streaming access to the 14+ hour video training series that I have created to make sure you do not forget what you have learned. (A $175 value) Permanent access to the Video Series is provided for groups of two or more people. ($400+ value)
Co-requisite: The 70+ part Video Series is a course co-requisite so viewing the entire series is not required prior to attendance. This allows you to maximize your hands on time gaining practical experience.
The Course material is as follows:
1. History of TV
One Day Training: $650/person
Group Rate: $900 (2 people)
Group Rate: $1200 (up to 4 people)
Professional Hands On Video Calibration Training – Two Day Class:
– If you just want the ISF or the THX letters on your business card above all else, this is not the course for you. Move along. But if you are truly serious about learning how to do this right, then there might be hope for you yet. Besides, telling people that you were trained by the guy who created the THX video program can’t be seen as a bad thing. 😉
This is a two day training and certification program. This training covers the same material as you normally find in three day professional classes, but with only one to two people, this information can be presented much faster and more effectively. There is about 7 hours of lecture in this format and 9 hours of supervised hands on calibration time. Evening practice time is also available on both nights for an additional 6 hours.
(We are sneaky because this actually is a three day program and we’ve managed to turn it into one day of self study at home and two days in the classroom. All for the price of a two day program. No other program, not ISF and not THX, gives the students the level of training this program does. All you get out of those programs is a course book with slides and whatever notes you managed to scribble down in class. The students get way more out of this program. An ongoing video training series that is currently at 70+ parts running 14+ hours and continues to expand. How is that for continuing education.)
So how exactly does a class like this compare to a full THX class? Let’s break down the three days of the THX program into its base components. Three days of class at 8 hours each day for a total of 24 hours of class time. After hours practice time can vary, but is usually from 4 to 8 hours depending on the venue. Class on the final day is actually limited to 6 hours as the final two hours are spent disassembling the class equipment and packing it for shipping to the next destination. Class time is now 22 hours. 12 hours of class time is set aside for hands on labs and practice. Lecture time is now 10 hours. Factor in 2 hours of coffee breaks and washroom breaks over the three days and lecture time is now 8 hours. Factor in 1 hour of student questions and joking around and real lecture time is now 7 hours. When broken down in this manner, it is easier to see how the class material can be presented to an audience of one or two people in two solid days rather than three.
The Course material is as follows:
The successful completion of this training program and meeting all hardware/software requirements will result in “TLV Certification.” The difference between paying $2,000 for a three day class taught by me … or a $1,200 two day class taught by me. This two day training program also includes permanent access to the 14+hour video training series that I have created to make sure you do not forget what you have learned. (A $600 value) The three day THX class does not include the videos; funny how that goes.
Co-requisite: Viewing the 70+ part Video Series is a course co-requisite. It is highly recommended although not required and that those taking this program have reviewed the entire video series. The Video series is provided when you register for the class and put down a $200 non-refundable deposit.
Unique to this program is an examination of the business of calibration. No other education/training program on the market provides this type of information. Strategies for running a successful calibration business because just knowing how to calibrate a TV is not enough. (Don’t believe this? Just try talking to the 90% of ISF guys or 50% of THX guys whose calibration businesses failed within the first two years.)
Two Day Training: $1200/person
Group Rate: $2400 (up to 4 people)
TBD – Calgary, Alberta – College Classroom
Can’t make either of these times? Schedule a private session when you do have time.
So how does this class stack up to the competition? ISF … THX …
- Better instructors – Because we love what we do and we are not trying to sell you hardware and software on the back end (where most of the money is really made). (This should actually matter to you.)
- Better course material – Created by the main creator of the THX Video Training program.
- No conflict of interest in hardware and software sales
- Always has the best interests of the students at heart all the time (see no conflict of interest)
- Critically Acclaimed Video Training Series included (14+ hours of training as your permanent resource.) So much more than what the other programs will give you. A book of slides and your memories … if that.
- Lower class costs per student (As low as $650 / student based on a maximum group of four)
- Lower travel costs (Potentially) – Currently available in the greater Los Angeles, CA area, Calgary/Edmonton/Toronto/Montreal/Ottawa/Vancouver.
- After class support with calibration reference material
- Business Training / Advice
- ROI way faster than competition … start offering services to clients much faster and with greater confidence
- Lower Capital investment in hardware and software
The Business of Calibration – Half Day Class/Roundtable:
Okay, you have completed your ISF/THX class and you are already to enter the world of professional calibration. Glory awaits and you see $$$$ in your eyes. Now the rest of the story that they did not teach you at all. How does the business of calibration actually work? Contrary to what they might tell you in class, your name in the ISF/THX directory does not translate into your telephone ringing and bringing you business. It rarely works this way. Over on the THX forums, we even asked if anyone has ever had a job as a result of their name being on the THX website listing for calibrators. Lots of jokes, but no one has indicated that the websites actually led to a single real calibration job. If you do get one, consider yourself really, really lucky.
You are about to quickly find out that the calibration of the TV set is the easiest part of this business. Too bad they never taught you anything else about how the business of calibration actually works. Just being able to do a job does not mean people will actually come hire you to do it.
Chew on the following facts from the calibration business. The Imaging Science Foundation has been around since 1994 and has had more than 6000 people take the ISF class in that time. The attrition rate of all these certified ISF people is greater than 90%. 6000 reduced to 600. The real numbers may be even lower than this and closer to a 95% attrition rate. Attend a class with 20 people and know that only one or two of these people will be around in one to two years. Want proof? Visit the certified dealers section of the ISF website and contact all those listed as local to where you live and ask to see who is still active in the business. The results will astound you or shock you at the same time.
Can professional calibration actually replace a full time job? Short answer, highly unlikely, by itself.
Those selling the calibration classes will never tell you how the real numbers do not add up for most people. By the way, the salesmen make their money up front through selling seats to the class; and then they will try to convince everyone to buy $5,000 to $10,000 in equipment to get into this business. Hardware and software costs money, of course, and once you sign on the dotted line, you won’t hear from anyone again until they have new things to sell to you.
The tragedy beyond this is that the people teaching you how to calibrate TVs are not professional calibrators at all. They are sales men, and marketing people who have never done this work professionally at all. They can’t tell you how to run a business because they don’t work at the ground level in this industry at all. They are not calibrators.
Are you doomed? Well no, as God helps those that help themselves. So the saying goes. The Business of Calibration class is the missing piece of the puzzle. The other side of the process that is even more important than just knowing how to calibrate TVs.
The Business of Calibration class is a live session with a number of successful professional calibrators who have risen to the top of their industry. Listen to them share their secrets and tips and strategies for running their business and field your questions to them. Real answers about what works and what does not work from the people that work in the trenches.
And the help doesn’t end with the class either. We can be your safety net in all things calibration related, both in marketing and the nitty gritty of calibration.
Business of Calibration Training: $350
Coming Soon: Complete video/audio commentary for the entire training slide set for both the one day and two calibration training sessions.