- Pointing the Eye One Pro towards the lens with the ambient light diffusor attached: I’ve had success with this technique in the past with Babelcolor. Unfortunately, HCFR does not have the correct software support for interpreting measurements taken with the ambient light diffusor. One long calibration session wasted.
- Taking readings off the screen with Eye One Pro, no good readings below 30% gray: After realizing my ambient measurements and calibration was wrong, I set up the Eye One Pro facing my projection screen. I got really great measurments down to about 40% and then the readings just go haywire. I’m using the calibration now but I know I’ll have to try again. Two long calibration sessions wasted.
- Using the Eye One Pro at all: So I found some tests done by the guys behind another calibration software package and they came up with the following list of color meters: worst to best dark readings: Eye One Pro, Spyder2, DTP94, Display2. Who would have thought that the low priced Display2 beats out its premium big brother, the Eye One Pro.
- Unable to connect the Display2 over USB with the Parallels 3106 beta 3. Downgraded to 1970 and the meter is now recognized.
- HCFR does not have an ambient mode for the Display2, so you cannot take accurate readings with the diffuser attached. The Calman forum’s Display2 FAQ (reg required) recommends always using the diffuser whether taking readings off the projection screen or facing the projector’s lens. I found this to be true when I thought I was taking accurate readings off my screen without a diffuser and I changed the angle of the Display2 and got completely different readings. So, until HCFR adds an ambient mode for the Eye One meters they are unusable.
- For my latest calibration I switched back to Babelcolor and took measurements in ambient mode with the meter facing the projector lens (see my previous Babelcolor post for tips on using the program to take front projection measurements, this time I changed the Delta E rating to “uv” because it was more critical and matched HCFR’s calculations). After balancing the projector’s grayscale I wrote down my xyY (for some reason Babelcolor’s “Y” is an error value and does not represent luminance, so instead I recorded the lux value) values for each gray patch from 0-100%. I switched back to HCFR opened a new measurement document, checked “editable data” in the 0-100 grayscale table and entered my Babelcolor numbers. HCFR calculated gamma, contrast ratio and grayscale tracking and rendered its pretty charts.
Who said calibrating was ever going to be easy?
So I’m back to using two programs in two different operating systems and manually entering long integers into table cells. The good news is I know I can trust my results by using the best meter and (free) software for the job. Also my Sanyo Z3 looks better than ever with closely tracked grayscale, proper contrast (no clipped red, green or blue, more on this later), respectable contrast ratio and a gamma value one-one-hundredth off of spec.
To sum up: my best results were achieved by using:
- Meter: Eye One Display2 with ambient diffuser attached facing the projector lens gives me the most accurate readings, especially for dark readings from 0–30% gray.
- Meassurement Software: Babelcolor (unlimited Mac demo does everything we need, Windows demo has extra features but only lasts for 14 days)
- Analysis Software: HCFR for calculating and charting grayscale, gamma and contrast ratio based on manually typed values from Babelcolor