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Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-15-2018

Calibration settings:

Hello my name is Simon and I wanted to sharey calibration settings with you because it is really expensive to pay for expert calibration when you can just use math to find the correct but not "exact" settings for your television.

First let's go over a few key terms;


Backlight: Adjusts the levels of lighting behind the display allowing the image to be seen

Contrast: Adjusts the current color temperature(white level) of the display from black to pure white

Brightness: Adjusts the amount of light that is displayed from the original format(the camera the recorded the media)

Sharpness: Adjusts the basic clarity of the image displayed ( H Sharpness and V Sharpness stand for Horizontal and Vertical)

Color: Adjusts the amount of color that is displayed on your television

Hue or Tint: On televisions; is a tool to adjust, as you prefer, the amount of (G)reen shade or tint; and (R)ed shade or hue (-/+) in the entire display

Temperature: Is a tool to adjust the level of colors to display an effect of summer or winter, warm or cool/cold.


Dynamic Contrast: adjust the dynamics of the display using the televisions contrast in order to create a more accurate depth of field

Dynamic Color: adjusts the dynamics of the display using the televisions' color levels in order to create a more accurate depth of field

Preferred Color: Adjusts the colors of the High Dynamic Range engine, that it uses to create a better, more accurate depth of field

Gamut: Is a specified spectrum of colors

Gamma: Is a precision tool on a scale to improve the basic color spectrum specified


Saturation: On televisions; is a tool used to correct color bleeding in the display panel caused by data transfer components(hardware)

Hue or Tint: On televisions; is a tool to adjust, as you prefer, the amount of green shade(tint) or red shade(hue) per pixel {or in the entire display}

Luminance: Is the measure of the ratio of light (color) to surface area(display). (this is a measurement of the amount of color the reaches the face of the display)


2 Point White Balance: Is a precise tool allowing for most accurate calibration and correction of the white balance of a television

Kelvin Scale: A scale to measure temperature in light

Color Temperature: Degrees Kelvin

10, 20 or 25 Point White Balance: Is the primary form of accurate calibration of the white balance of a television.

Gain/Highs: On televisions; is a tool used to tune the illuminance (strength/power) of all the colors in the display

Offset/Lows: On televisions; is a tool used to tune the saturation of all the colors in the display by pixel

IRE Point: Is the measure of the amount of power being delivered to the display (this allows for proper depth of field and a wider array of colors)

Target Luminance/ candela/meter2( cd/m2)/luminosity/nit/LUX: Is a measure of the brightness of the display

Adjusting Luminance: Is the measure of the brightness to each IRE point of the display allowing for smoother action scenes and quicker scene changes


Chroma: The ratio the RGB colors are displayed on your televisions display (4:2:0, 4:2:2, 4:4:4)

Before telling you how to calibrate your television by your self I will be going over a few things.

Your television settings, almost all of them; obviously, are on a scale of 0 to max and/or backwards 0 to "nothing".

This is what we have to work with as we are not certified professionals and do not have the codes to alter the proprietary manufacturer set settings of our television.

Let me go on.

So I had to assume the scales on our televisions were on the said same scale.

That scale is 0-255, at least for televisions ranging up to ~1000 nit. or 1000 cd/m2, ranging from the darkest of grey (common television black) to pure white; or 0,0,0-255,255,255.

So 255_100%; 0_0%.

but wait; not all televisions use the complete standard RGB scale, sort of; LED televisions are said to reach the full standard RGB spectrum of 0-255 `where LCD televisions only reach about 90% or accurately described as 0-235.

Furthermore I took the assumption that most displays, not all, are on a brightness scale of 0 nit.-1000 nit..

I also took the assumption that any specific color management adjusting would be so small I would not need to know the scale, I don't.

Knowing that; let's go on to how you and the professionals, although they don't, should adjust the settings of your television.

First: if this is not a brand new television go ahead and reset it if it is a brand new television go ahead and set it up and plug it in and turn it on...side thought, and very importantly, the television does need a break in period; about 6 months for entry level televisions; shorter for for more advanced televisions with a higher refresh rate

Next: You should adjust the colors of your display so that the white balance can be found and/or observed most accurately as to know you are adjusting your settings right.

Saturation Hue/Tint Luminance
Red -4 0 0
Green -2 0 2
Blue 0 0 0
Cyan 0 0 2
Magenta0 0 0
Yellow -7 0 2

Then: You can tune your white balance settings first start with the 10, 20 or 25 as that is the standard/main setting your television displays a grey scale. Don't jump ahead of me to adjust your 2 point because I'm gonna tell you what to do with that next.

IRE % Point Red Green Blue
5 2 2 2
10 5 5 5
15 7 7 7
20 9 9 9
25 12 12 12
30 14 14 14
35 16 16 16
40 18 18 18
45 21 21 21
50 23 23 23
55 25 25 25
60 28 28 28
65 30 30 30
70 32 32 32
75 35 35 35
80 37 37 37
85 39 39 39
90 41 41 41
95 44 44 44
100 46 46 46

These settings are on a scale of 0-235; but, but, all you "LED TV" owners have an LCD panel behind your LED panel that can only reach a maximum RGB level of 235. So keeping that in mind I recommend setting your white balance levels at 235. If you want to set your televisions 100% IRE to a 255 point each scale point is equal to 5 (50=255)

After that: you should tune your Adjusting Luminance settings. For those of you with an Adjusting Luminance setting you will need to adjust these settings as well. When doing so you will first use your Target Luminance setting from your 100% IRE point and divide that by 20 for TV's with a maximum nit. , or Target luminace of 1000; for TV's with a maximum nit. , or target luminance, of 2000 you should divide by 40 and for TVs with a maximum ni., or target luminance, of 2500 you would divide by 50 and set your Adjusting Luminance to the point rounding up from .5 for all tvs. then move downward from 100% IRE to 5% IRE using the target Luminance or NIT. of that IRE point with the same equation, nit÷20 (nit.÷40 or nit. ÷50) To find the nit or target Luminance of each IRE point I recommend, once you are at the Adjusting Luminance setting adjustment panel, selecting next to display the Red setting adjusment panel and the nit. level will be displayed next to the Red title, you can do this with Red Green or Blue. Another way; is to go back out of the adjustment Luminance panel for each IRE point into the main white balance adjustment categories menu and the nit. or target Luminance will be displayed there under Target Luminance.

There are to many Target Luminance points to give a chart for each, but it is simple to do by yourself with just a pen, pad of paper and a calculator, like the one on your phone. Smiley Happy.

If you are setting your Target Luminance at 500 the Adjusting Luminance for the 100% IRE point is 25, 500÷20=25.

Now: You can adjust your 2 point balance. There two thing you can do here one being adjusting for a 4:2:2 Chroma or 4:2:0 Chroma HDR color ratio for HDR televisions; the other is alter the color temperature of the display, separate and more intricate than the basic temperature setting this is measured on a kelvin scale like the lights you buy at home depot or the grocery store. Some of you, if you want to keep your television for over 10 years, don't have to do anything in your 2 point white balance; if you have 4:4:4 Chroma or a 1080p/720p television and do not want to change the white point or kelvin temperature of your display you can skip this step.

Moving on; these settings adjust the white balance on a 1:1(Gain/Highs) scale or a 5:1 point scale(Offset/Lows).

This precise level scale tuning will allow your display to display a proper 4:4:4 image even though you only have a 4:2:0 Chroma HDR Engine.

For 4:2:0 televisions use (Not for 1080p or 720p):

Gain/Highs Offset/Lows
Red. 0 0
Green 2 10
Blue 4 20

For 4:2:2 televisions use (Not for 1080p or 720p):

Gain/Highs Offset/Lows
Red 0 0
Green 2 10
Blue 2 10

Now that everyones' televisions are at a 4:4:4 ratio, or 1:1:1 for 1080p televisions. You can alter the white point or kelvin temperature of the display. I recommend a measuring tool to do this you can buy them online you just need one to take measurements. Do your research there are several white points from 0K-15,000K going up by 500; commonly referred to as D65, D70, D75 etc.. Again each Gain or High adjustment point is 1:1 and each Offset or Low adjustment point is 5:1.

Finally: You can adjust your basic settings.

When my televisions were new I set my contrast to 60% and adjusted the brightness to just before the display started to show a white or light grey cloudiness and then adjusted my contrast to when my display displayed the most fuller better colors before adjusting the sharpness and then colors.

Rules to keep in mind: a 100 Contrast setting is 100% (maximum white), a 100 Brightness settings is 100% of light(maximum amount of light), a 100 Sharpness setting is 100% SharpNESS, a 100 color setting is 100% color. 100/-100 Hue/Tint is 100% (R)ed or (G)reen shade respectively.

The essentials are you want 100% contrast, the lowest possible brightness giving you the most amount of light without any cloudiness, the most amount of color without any bleeding or discoloration, the least amount of sharpness possible providing the sharpest image and no hue or tint.

I would adjusting your brightness first and then your contrast move back to your brightness and back once more to your contrast and then adjust your sharpness before your colors and once your image is as sharp as possible adjust you colors to the highest setting possible and then back to your sharpness hopefully you can turn this down and adjust your colors again and then continue to check your sharpness and colors until they're most accurate; at this point you can double check your contrast then brightness setting. you can repeat in this manner until you obtain the most accurate vibrant image.

And you're all done. As for the advance/expert options. I recommend setting the gamma before the gamut the preferred colors(skin, grass, and sky) before dynamic contrast and then dynamic colors.

You need to remember your television has a break in period and televisions with a higher refresh rate have a shorter break in period than the televisions with a lower refresh rate.

Good luck.
Posts: 1,362
Topics: 17
Kudos: 104
Solutions: 82
Registered: ‎10-03-2017

Re: Calibration settings:

Hello, SimonTaub,


You are far too kind for sharing some of the in's and out's of getting a TV calibrated. It's one of the roads less traveled by most customers but the final product can net you a more immersive viewing experience. That being said, I do want to warn perspective DIYers who may want to tackle this to be aware that there are a lot more settings and steps involved in getting a TV fully calibrated and close to perfect. Changing your settings also vary depending on a few different factors. If any readers would like to read our TKB on calibrations I've linked it below.



Dave|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
Give Kudos if you like this post or Accept as Solution if it answers your query!
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-26-2014

Re: Calibration settings:

Sorry guys but this comment:

"side thought, and very importantly, the television does need a break in period; about 6 months for entry level televisions; shorter for for more advanced televisions with a higher refresh rate"

is absolutely not true.

First of all no two people have the exact same viewing habits so suggesting someone wait SIX MONTHS to calibrate their television is such an impossible and vague measurement it can't do anyone any good. Please cite a source for this recommendation, which respected professional is suggesting a break-in period even remotely close to 6 months? Imagine all the HDTV shootouts that use new panels that are invalid due to being done around 100 hours of being opened? And who is going to spend money calibrating an entry-level television anyway? They're never going to acheive a respectable calibration to begin with. What would refresh rate have to do with break-in period on LCD/LED sets where the pixel isn't self-illuminating? I do recall people used to do 200 hour break-ins on Pioneer and Panasonic plasmas but that was because the person (DeWayne Davis) doing the calibration ON A DIFFERENT SET, said they were doing it after running the EA calibration slides for 200 hours and thus if people wanted to "closely" match the picture they were getting with a professional ISF calibration, they should do the same to try and have the panel at the same lifespan, because no two panels perform identically. If you want to break in your TV for 100 hours, that's 4 days not 6 months! 200 hours? Now you're at 8 days.

I wouldn't hesitate to have my brand new OLED panel calibrated within a week out of the box, why wait 6 months to get the best picture out of it? Seems absurd, especially for those who have money that might be upgrading to the newest model annually - now you're only watching your TV calibrated for 50% of its viewing lifespan. If you're spending money on today's stunning OLED panels, makes sense to spring $300~$400 for a professional calibration to get the most out of it.

If you want a generic calibration, spend $30 on the Spears & Munsil disc (4K UHD also now available) and be done with it.

Emerging Expert
Posts: 7,116
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Calibration settings:

Is it truly worth it?  I know some people that have paid for the service and swear by it  but I cannot help  but think that they swear by it because they paid somebody a lot of money.


There are a number of articles out there stating that modern higher end TV's are already coming so good out of the box that calibration had almost no change to the picture.


I have seen supposedly calibrated TV's on display in the store and have been over whelmed buy the result. 


I go for the most white white and the most black black when I look at a picture.  And the  "calibrated" sets were not terribly black black or white white. 


I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own. Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query.
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-26-2014

Re: Calibration settings:

I have a TC-65EZ950 Panasonic 4K OLED so for me it was worth the $350 to get it properly calibrated - I could have lived with the already stunning picture for sure, but I sat in on the process as I have known the calibration specialist in Ontario for many years via speaking engagements at TAVES and as a fellow Nine Inch Nails fan, so I got in depth looks at the before and after performance.

I think if you're a keen vidiophile that seeks out the best 4K Ultra HD discs then you want to get the best out of each disc and a calibration helps with that. It's for sure a niche market that will get one, not just because of the cost but look at how many people out there are clueless about AV subjects, they think refresh rate makes sports look better while ignoring motion resolution, they think vinyl sounds better just because it's vinyl with no idea that many times it's just the same digital master destined for the CD and download markets cut to vinyl, they have motion compensation circuitry on, they don't notice the aspect ratio is incorrect, etc., etc., etc.

Also consider when looking at calibrated sets in places like Best Buy, measure the ambient light output in store and it's likely well over 100 lumens, four times higher than that in other big box chain superstores that are more than electronics stores, in my watching environment I have double-thick black out curtains so even in daytime it's very dark, and it's pitch black at night. So for me OLED reigns supreme and the calibration ensures I'm as close to the hollywood reference master as I can get. If I had an LED in a living room without controlled lighting, I wouldn't spend a penny on a calibration.