A page dedicated to my client feedback, even though I have spent years and years resisting this very type of thing. Why? Because I’ve seen too many sites and known too many people that abuse the testimonial process for their own end. To say that the words are not genuine would be only the start of it. I worry that this area might be deemed to be similar. But I will be positive so please take it for what it is worth, my section. Only real names here of real people … no initials … (ex. RCJ from Palmdale … bad bad … and RCJ knows he is a bad man.)
My set has never looked better. I actually prefer the HDR10 over the Dolby Vision currently as I find it more accurate. So I’ve set my Oppo player to force HDR10 instead of Dolby Vision. The colors have never looked so realistic. Thanks again for the great job and pleasant conversation!
EDUCATION: Awesome! Incredible!
I met Michael TLV back in the early days of “furrypig01″ ~2003. I was looking through various A/V Forums on how to calibrate my newly purchased Home Theatre. I wanted the my JVC I’Art Pro (AV-56WP30) 56” Rear Project TV calibrated and was exploring the possibility of doing it myself. The cost of the calibration was prohibitive and considering I was looking to perhaps do this once or twice throughout the lifetime of the Home Theatre, it became clear that it was more efficient to have someone do who had the equipment and experience to do it instead. Sure, I could trial-and-error my way through it but at the end of the day, it wasn’t my area of expertise … so in comes Michael.
WITHOUT_EDUCATION: There’s already plenty of testimonials here covering his expertise so I won’t repeat what’s already been said. So; it’s 15 years later (2018) and yes, I still have the same 2K Home Theatre. It’s nothing fancy … it’s all JVC: AV-56WP30 (TV), HM-DH3000U (D-VHS 1080i), XV-NA77SL (DVD Progressive), XL-158BKJ (5-Disc CD), TD-W354BKEN (Dual Cassette), 8300 HDPVR (DVR), Apple TV2, Microsoft XBOX360 … all driven by the JVC RX-DP10SL Receiver to 7.1 Surround (Mission Speakers & KEF Powered Sub).
I’ve followed Michael’s recommendations over the years and as a result, the RGB drift on the TV is virtually non-existent after 15 years, the bulbs are still going strong!
Michael, thank you! You’re a true professional!
The picture quality was fantastic as was the soundstage. Just an amazing difference. When I purchase my new amp and UHD player next March I will have you over to calibrate my marantz projector as well as the sound again. I was bragging to James about the wonderful picture and amazing difference in the calibration made.
I loved the “movie plus extras” experience of the full calibration. Michael not only knows his stuff, he is able to convey some pretty complicated concepts in a way that makes sense. I could have listened for hours more. Most important of all, the work Michael did with my television resulted in an absolutely breathtaking picture. He explained where my own efforts had taken the picture farther away from being properly calibrated, and then worked some absolute magic on the picture. The colors are now more accurate and vivid, and the shadow detail is staggering. I was impressed with the picture when I bought the TV, but I had no idea it could look this much better.
I understand that the “full meal deal” might not be for everyone, and that they may only want to have a quick calibration done. Fair enough, but that’s not for me. One of the most valuable parts of the experience is that I now have a deeper understanding of how and why a calibration is done. Now I not only get to experience the next-level picture that my TV provides, I also understand what makes it a better picture than it was before.
WOW!! What a difference, watching a couple of movies last night. Great picture and wonderful sound. Loved it!!
Many thanks to you Michael! My projector has never looked so good. I have dabbled in video and (mostly) audio most of my adult life.
Michael’s visit was very educational. He carefully explained each and every step he was doing, and why he was doing it in a way anyone could understand and appreciate. His presentation/calibration “show” was rich with historical information, including some humor and interesting anecdotal stories thrown in.
After calibration, even my 4-year-old entry-level projector had a far better looking picture than it ever had before – I should have had this done years ago. It was really worth it!
Just the presentation was worth the money – the calibration was just the icing on the cake. Without education, the response would be in fact just the opposite, I would have had little appreciation for the why/wherefore of what you were doing. Who knew that our fancy new TVs still were backwards compatible with technology used in 1939?
Great job – I will have you back again.
I just had my Panasonic P55ST60 calibrated by Michael. Another pleasant morning and afternoon well spent. Thanks Mike, the picture is great. As well thanks for the “above and beyond” help with the audio problem.
For those of you with new, or not so new, displays, a professional calibration such as those provided by Michael are well worth it and I highly recommend his services. This is the second set that I have had done and the results are consistent. A better picture, a great experience and educational too.
Michael was very professional and gave an experience beyond my expectations. Before we even began the essentials of calibration we went over the exact reasons, in very methodical order, of calibration and what we’d be doing. He was very generous and patient with his time and explanations. Every part of the process he gave easy to understand examples of why brightness, contrast and color were being set the way they were. He had in-depth knowledge of the specific quirks of my tv and even gave a history of the standards of television. I came away not just with a perfectly calibrated TV, but a greater understanding of the science behind everything. Highly recommended!
Ingrid Dandanell , Edmonton AB
I have just had my new Panasonic TC-P55ST50 made the best that it could be by Michael Chen. If you have a new television, you owe it to yourself to make your television perform to the best of its ability.
Michael has set my television so that the black and white picture reminds me of movies made in the thirties and forties and the colour is absolutely awesome. I appreciated Michael’s professionalism and his willingness to educate me as he brought my set to an incredible level of enjoyment. He even fixed my Rotel Receiver so that I now can fully appreciate HD.
Michael is a techie who has excellent people skills. I urge you to email him or call him. You will never regret your decision to make your television perform to the best of its ability. I give the finished product 5 out of 5 stars and I give 5 out of 5 stars to my experience with Michael. The next time that I buy a new television set, I’ll not hesitate to give Michael a call.
I really enjoyed talking with you today. I find you very interesting and you are a genius with calibrating TV’s. Maybe I am just too picky,but the watching experience with a properly calibrated TV is well worth the investment. If more People could experience a calibrated TV for one day, they would not go back to an out of box TV. Screen looks great. I should never doubted this TV or your abilities to calibrated it. People just don’t know what they are missing. We have to find a better model to Educate them. People need to know what they are missing.
First of all, I wanted to thank you again for such awesome calibration work done on my JVC RS55 projector. I now have an accurate projection setup to match with my accurate Panasonic plasma setup.
You were very professional, on time, and I’ve never been educated as much on calibration as with you. Great times.
I watched two episodes of Spartacus tonight (blu-ray of course) and I was impressed particularly by precision of the flesh tones and overall color accuracy. I’m a very happy customer. 🙂
John Sciacca, Contributing Technical Editor – Sound and Vision Magazine commenting on this article
“Andrew, having sat through both trainings — ISF and THX — I definitely agree with your assessments. The THX training is FAR more hands-on and focused on *consistently* wringing out the very best, most accurate video that a display is capable of producing. Mr. Chen was one of my instructors, and the calibration history he brings — and shares — with the class is easily one of the best things students will takeaway.
EDUCATION: Very informative and the history of TV was interesting to me.
WITHOUT_EDUCATION: If the calibration was of excellent quality then I would feel satisfied however I would not have understood that correcting the settings for colour to the THX standard is the reason that different sources look different than the THX preset on my Panasonic VT30.
EDUCATION: It was technical to a point, but Michael also used many analogies to put it back into layman’s terms.
WITHOUT_EDUCATION: Definitely not. Without knowing what to expect, I would have expected something completely different. The explanation as to where we would end up made perfect sense. Not a “life-like” image, but a picture based on what the director had envisioned on his studio grade montior.
Understanding that T.V.’s do not have the same color spectrum as human eyes and for that matter, less color spectrum than a theater film, opened my human eyes to the fact that we can only do so much to try and achieve a quality picture that is pleasant to the eye…which again is subjective to each individual..
Firstly let me thank you for a great experience! Secondly, I have also to express that to say we are “extremely happy” with the TV setup is a massive understatement, thank you very much. It is such a big improvement. “Knowing it is as good as can be”, within the limits of the equipment, as you said, is also very reassuring for peace of mind, as I am glad that we are getting all that we can out of our set. It was good before, but now it is so much better, seemingly much more accurate/lifelike.
Eric Farrar, Ottawa, ON
I had fun too. What surprised me most is Janice found it interesting which is something I’ve failed at for years. We watched her favourite shows last night and boy what a difference. If Janice can see it too your job was successful and appreciated.
Eric & Janice
Bill Bird (Birdman), Winnipeg, MB (2003)
I had my first encounter with famed calibrationist Michael TLV Friday nite. A pleasant experience it was too. Michael swept into town to work his magic and the result was a display that changed far beyond what I had hoped for. The Toshiba 50hdx82 was warmed up and ready when Mike arrived and he wasted no time in getting down to work. I stayed out of his way but a pleasant and informative conversation carried on as he worked and I made spaghetti and sauce for dinner. Mike is a great guy and I can see why he says it becomes difficult for him when his clients seem to think they have found a new best friend. It is merely because he is so nice and the job turns out so well, better get used to it Mike
I need not go into all the steps in detail here as most if not all you guys know what a calibration entails and is well noted at the Keohi HDTV site but for everyone else Mike did his Tier 2 number on my set, Convergence , Geometry, Manual Focus, Screen Re-stack, SVM disable, Grey Scale,Lens Striping etc etc. When he centred the colour and tint he handed me the remote to adjust the most plesing level , to my eye, using the Video Esssentials picture of a woman with side colour bars and my final choices were within 1 clic of his setting. It was interesting to see the guts of my set as the entire front was removed to restack the screen and allow access for Mike to work on the guns. As we chatted he pulled bits of tape and string from his kit and later I commented on how simple it seemed, the pictures of Lens Striping I had seen made it look like a much more complicated thing than it is, ah but looks are deceiving and much like an ace surgeon Mike works carefully, methodically and speedily and to my comment that it didn’t seem like it needed much tape he replied that he actually used quite a lot! The string was most interesting. After attatching string to a gun Mike hung the screen temporarily on the front with the two ends of the string hanging down within reach, caliing up the grid for the red gun MIke tugged this way and that to manually focus the gun, fascinating
The room was darkened and work with the analyzer commenced, as much as I would have liked to hover over his shoulder and kibitz while he did his stuff, I resisted, not wanting to be a pain in the a@#, but techno thingies are way cool nec’est pas? Alas I stayed in the background but Mike never got distracted as we talked and I later found out that work on Toshiba’s are such an easy job for Mike,”cookie cutter” was his phrase, that he was in what I call “auto pilot” at my job. At last the laptop, PDA, analyzer and other bits of kit were put aside and we started to watch various test DVD images starting with the montage from the VE disc. I asked Mike what we are looking for and he said nobody got around to actually saying what each image was supposed to be for but the calibrator community had eventually deceiphered about 20% of the montage 😕 Just goes to show it ain’t a science as much as it is an art.
Mike played the opening to “Bring it On” with the cheerleaders in their red outfits to check for even colour with fleshtones from one side of the display to the other, some sets will show changes as the girls move across the screen. then “Shakespear in Love” for other colour images, blacks, etc. As I had not seen either of these discs I had no point of reference but that immediately changed as I put up the night scenes from the “Band of Brothers” episode “Carentan”. This I knew well and I immediately saw two things; the level of detail in the darkness was amazing stuff that was lost in blackness was now very appearant and the overall picture made sense of the phrase “film like” which I had read attributed to ISF calibrations. The phrase is bang on that’s exactly what it is like, WOW
Next “Zulu”, the recent MGM re-release had me somewhat dismayed, on the one hand the transfer was great much better that the previous one but the uniforms were orange! As a red-blooded Canadian I know what red serge is supposed to look like dammit having seen many RCMP in full dress uniform but the film made them orange and I put it down to a bad transfer, age and the like, sigh. But now ah ha! Red they were, YES! I clapped Mike on the knee in happiness much to his dismay 😛
Happy? You bet! Worth it? Every penny! I had no expectations going in, all that I had read about calibration here at this forum and elsewhere pointed to how important it was and how most were happy with the results. I paid big bucks for the set, a few more to get it right seemed worth it. Well it is, I know what the criticisms are against calibration as well and some are justified. The image is softer, no doubt, cable looks crappy, even crappier that before, but DVDs AHHHH, Man what a picture. Crappy cable I can live with, untill we get hi-def in Wpg or I spring for BEV hi-def, hell if it makes me watch more movies and less standard TV, no contest.
Mike e-mailed a summary of the calibration with charts, my set is now within 85% of D6500 no longer pushed to the red, now more even across the scale. Mike is a great guy, does a good job, hire him next time he’s in your area.