5 Must-Have Calibration Tools
Besides having the right equipment, technicians must make sure to wear the proper shirt when calibrating video so it does not affect the color or brightness level readings.
Either way, you need the right equipment to calibrate A/V systems.
According to David Frangioni of Audio One in Miami, a typical audio calibration for a 5.1 system will take:
Good: 30 minutes
Better: 4-8 hours or more
Best: 1-2 days
Frangioni says it’s a one-man job for the most part, but in most cases having an assistant will speed up the process. Frangioni advises integrators to sell audio calibration as a stand-alone service for $500 to $2,000, depending on the complexity of the system and whether you’re offering good, better, or best calibration. Recording studios and high-end theaters can cost double that amount to calibrate. Once a dealer buys the equipment, the margin on the service is high.
For a basic audio calibration, the system must have an audio receiver or pre-amp that can output test tones. If not, then you must generate your own test tones with a test disc with tones and pink noise on it.
“I always bring reference discs with me, both to use as test tones and source material that I’ve heard hundreds of times in many different rooms,” says Frangioni. “That way I have a solid reference point for what the audio should sound like when the system is calibrated.”
Who better to address video calibration equipment needs than the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). According to president Joel Silver, in addition to having proper test patterns for color, white and black levels, it’s also imperative the technician wears the proper shirt. The technician should never wear something with bright colors that can affect the precision equipment. A black shirt is advisable.
“Always use the right tool for the right job,” says Silver. There are different types of meters that can be used. For example, meters that actually touch the screen vs. non-contact, tripod-mounted meters that read off of the screen from a distance. “The screen is part of the system,” declares Silver.