What Is Home Theater Calibration?



The home theater calibration process brings your audio and/or video equipment closer to the performance standards. The closer your equipment operates to these standards the better things will sound and look. Surprisingly, equipment ranging in cost from modest to professional benefit from calibration.

Why AccuCal Video Calibration Improves Image Quality Dramatically:

I have the opportunity to work with some exceptional monitors used in movie post production. The images these present are very attractive. I see zero displays sold to consumers that are close to being accurate out of the box.

My goal is to bring this same level of performance to the home by adjusting your system. Movie directors tell part of the story with color and light levels. When a display is not close to what the director wanted you to see you are not getting the full experience of the film. You are likely not to get the mood or time of day with a scene which is typically told with color. Sporting events will look more real on a calibrated display. Gaming sequences are more photo realistic and details near black are not lost. Proper display calibration requires instrumentation to measure color and light output along with other test equipment to find all other errors. Without these tools and experience with accurate images it is impossible to have an accurate display.

Common errors I find in consumer displays that can be corrected include:

  • Poor color accuracy
  • Washed out images
  • Dim images
  • Loss of detail near black
  • Low resolution
  • Poor motion
  • Image banding
  • Pixelated images

These errors are typically caused by the following:

  • Poor factory display calibration
  • Blu-Ray and DVD players, cable boxes and satellite receivers settings mistakes
  • Poor video settings in receivers and preamplifiers
  • Poor settings in video processors
  • Poor setup tools owned by the consumer
  • Poor tools owned by competitors

An amazing level of video reproduction can be achieved in systems that are far from the best when good tools are combined with experience to move the system closer to reference performance levels.


Why AccuCal Audio Calibration Improves Sound Quality Dramatically:

I have the opportunity to hear sound in movie post production facilities and very quality home systems. Knowing what is possible along with professional audio tools enables me find the errors in your system and reduce their impact on sound quality.

Your system will not sound like it should without a thorough audio calibration by a person skilled in the task using quality tools. This applies to expensive as well as less expensive systems. Many people who are dissatisfied with their surround sound continue to change equipment when the real solution can frequently be found within the equipment they own if only they had it setup correctly.

Common errors I find in sound systems that can be corrected:

  • Poor dialog intelligibility
  • Harsh or anemic sound
  • Bass is too loud or too low
  • Poor surround effect believability
  • Movies lack impact
  • Poor clarity

These errors can be caused by:

  • Automatic sound calibration including Audyssey, MPACC, YPAO, ARC, Room Perfect, Trinnov, Dirac and the others
  • Poor subwoofer settings
  • Poor audio source device settings
  • Poor option selections in receiver or preamp
  • Poor surround mode selection in receiver or preamp
  • Poor speaker placement
  • Poor speaker level balance
  • Poor frequency response
  • Speakers out of phase with others
  • Subwoofer out of phase with speakers
  • Wiring errors
  • Poor calibration tools used by consumers
  • Poor calibration tools used by competitors

An amazing level of sound reproduction can be achieved with equipment in rooms that are far from the best when professional tools are combined with experience. Many people think that because their speaker locations or room acoustics cannot be changed, their system is as good as it can get. This is far from the truth. With excellent tools and experience, the benefits from audio calibration are amazing in almost all situations because it is so easy for things to be far from optimal with today’s products.