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Datacolor SpyderTV - Calibration.

9996 Views 28 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  SlimDiesel
Read about this in Popular Science. They said US$250. Anyone used it?
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Looks interesting. Too bad these systems don't work on front projectors. It would be nice if your local AV store rented the system.
just ordered one off of ebay`

I just ordered one of these off of ebayll, i'll post my comments once i get it.
I have purchased two of these from for the Graphic design / Publications department where I work. I've seen what they can do for high end PC monitors (CRT) and it was impressive. Never thought of trying it at home. Guess what I'll be borrowing from work today?
Was watching HDnet the other day and they had a show about what's hot at the CEDIA 05 show,the Spyder was mentioned on their,as what's new in the home calibration front.Talked about it a bit and basically showed how it worked.
From the brochure for the Spyder:
Virtually all-home theater displays offer visual menu adjustment sliders: Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, and Color Temperature Presets. However, they rely on the viewer’s eye to determine whether the settings are correct. This can lead to inaccuracies because people see color differently. The perception of color changes based upon lighting, seasons and other subjective conditions. Datacolor SpyderTV has fully automated the process, applying scientifically-based adjustments to each control in order to achieve more accurate results. It’s the next best thing to hiring an ISF certified calibrator.
$250 USD to adjust sliders in the user menu? I must be missing something, particularly since calibrators do more than that.
eljay said:
From the brochure for the Spyder:

$250 USD to adjust sliders in the user menu? I must be missing something, particularly since calibrators do more than that.
The most important function of the Datacolor SpyderTV is to calibrate grey scale. With a proper grey scale, colors will look correct. Skin tones will look like real skin. Not too green or too blue or too red. Also dark scenes will have details and look black, no color tint where there shouldn't be any.
The only way to properly do greyscale is in the service menu, usually with a Sencor unit. Although the "sensor" on this unit is similar, if not identical, I'm not sure it allows for service menu settings in the software on the PC... The unit is mainly for user settings and should give you good PQ, except for that final service greyscale step.

It's almost like using AVIA, without relying on your eyes, the sensor does the checking.
just got my spiderTV

Just got my spyderTV unit.

I'm certianly not a home theater expert but the whole setup and "calibration" procedure whas pretty straight foward, i defeinetly noticed a PQ improvment while playing video games (perfect dark zero on the xbox 360).. Hard to say if it was worth the cost, but soon i'll have 3 HD TV's and it will be cheaper to use this than get a real Pro in to calibrate my sets.

I have a 34inch Toshiba CRT widescreen TV, but i'm planning to pickup two new big HD sets in the next couple of months.
Out of curiosity, how much did the one off of eBay cost you? Was the seller in the U.S. or Canada?

grog said:
Out of curiosity, how much did the one off of eBay cost you? Was the seller in the U.S. or Canada?

It cost me 221.85 USD with shipping and insurance and about $40 CDN for customs.
I listen to the "HDTV and Home Theater Podcast" that is put on by two guys from and they reviewed one of these. I think the review was in episode #40. They gave it a good review if I remember correctly.
I bought one of these from a "friend". It works very well and is very quick.

The entire "calibration" took 36 minutes (for my first one) and there is no "guesswork" on contrast, brightness, colour, tint and colour temperature.

The unit helps you to optimize these user settings. It doesn't do service menu settings or sharpness.

Good product.

The above report talked about "repeated requests". I also encountered this, but only once (not 4 times like they did). I simply assumed that the device didn't get the "reading" quite right. I did not find the unit "favours red". (My TV recently had a pro calibration)
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I actually wanted to buy this about 2 weeks ago to calibrate my monitor I use for processing my digital photos. I had second thoughts, but after reading your positive comments, I might just drop by Henry's one of these days and get myself a copy especially now that I have this awesome Hitachi plasma TV.
Not sure but thought I had seen a software that can be used with this analyzer for doing greyscale and what not....the only problem is that the software costs about 6.000 dollars....and it was from datacolor....
That would be the "Colorfacts Professional" package. It lists for $2400 US on the Colorvision web site.
Quite interesting. I've always thought that the calibrating discs like AVIA and DVE are a flawed system because the user is expected to figure out what the colours 'should" look like (i.e. they have no point of reference). Is something like this really worth the cash? How often do people find they need to re-calibrate their sets/monitors? Also how does the calibration time differ from using AVIA (I've had it for months and haven't had time to use it). Thanks.
With AVIA, there is a "point of reference" when using the filters, although you can always feel free to tweak the colours a bit by eye.

Each way would likely require about the same amount of time for the first calibration since the calibration is only one aspect of the overall time. It takes perhaps 1/2 hour to watch the AVIA and the Spyder DVDs so that you understand what to do and then you "do it".

The AVIA DVD also has additional test patterns that the Spyder doesn't have like sharpness, overscan, sound setup, etc.

The Spyder would be typically used in conjunction with or in addition to AVIA or DVE, not just instead.

I would certainly not spend $250+ for this device to simply do one or two TVs. I plan to use it in "future work" and if that doesn't pan out, I'll resell it.
With most of us wary about splurging on the cost of the Spyder, those who already own it might want to think about renting it out. I am pretty sure the owners could recoup the cost in no time. Just a thought, but let me know if anyone is willing to rent it to me. I'm in the GTA.
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