How can I color-adjust my television?
November 28, 2004 6:37 PM   Subscribe

When I look at my digital photos on my laptop, they look great. When I connect the camera to the tv, they look dark and the color looks "off". The picture also looks off when we watch DVD's. Does anyone have a free color test pattern that can help me adjust my TV ? Any other links that can help me adjust this Panasonic 27" ( less than 1 year old ). Google just overwhelms me with info. It mostly comes back with software or videos that I have to purchase....
posted by kingb to Technology (10 answers total)
It is hard to give specific advice without knowing what OS your laptop has, but my general advice is to make sure you laptop monitor is calibrated correctly. Once you laptop is calibrated, you should be able to edit your with a better idea of how they will show up on other displays. Plus LCD (your laptop) and CRT (your TV) displays will look at least a little different under the best of circumstances. Google for monitor calibration suitable for your OS.
posted by cayla at 7:21 PM on November 28, 2004

I don't know if there's a free version or not, but Video Essentials is a worthwhile calibration tool. It will do color, brightness/contrast, and test out your various audio settings to make sure everything's hooked up right. It's typically about $40. Alterntatively, some THX DVDs come with a more limited set of calibration sets.

Also, note that digital images won't look the same on a TV as they do on a computer monitor - there's no calibrated color correction, and the color ranges are just not the same.
posted by Caviar at 7:24 PM on November 28, 2004

Oh, I forgot - if you're adjusting color with Video Essentials, you also need the calibrated blue strip that comes with the DVD. An image alone is not sufficient.
posted by Caviar at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2004

More info...
For windows: (I don't use windows myself, but maybe this link will help.
OS X: You are looking for an application in the utilities folder called, ColorSync Utility.
posted by cayla at 7:30 PM on November 28, 2004

Response by poster: For cayla and others, I have Windows XP. But the problem is actually with the televison, not with the computer monitor or camera...
posted by kingb at 8:26 PM on November 28, 2004

One of my DVDs has a system test as one of the bonus features. I can't remember which one, but I'm thinking it was some kind of Lucas release. I remember THX being featured prominently in it.

Barring finding a DVD with a calibration routine, you might have a look through here (scroll down past the ads to the actual content). I haven't looked through it myself, but the TOC looks comprehensive.
posted by willnot at 8:38 PM on November 28, 2004

The Finding Nemo DVD (region 4 at least) has a TXH audio and video calibration routine, that worked pretty well. I had my TV set way too dark, and some of my speakers were out of phase.

You need to calibrate to particular lighting conditions though -- so I have a day-time and a night-time preset.
posted by yt at 12:06 AM on November 29, 2004

But the problem is actually with the televison, not with the computer monitor or camera...

WIthout a calibration image, how do you know that?
posted by grouse at 12:35 AM on November 29, 2004

grouse - i'd guess because things look fine on the computer but not on the TV. but good point. the problem may not be with the TV at all.

rent a movie with the test pattern, open your TV color / contrast menu, and have at it. also, worth double-checking your computer just in case - you might have your brightness too high, so "just right" on the computer looks too dark on the TV screen.

try another TV if you have access to one at a friend's house or whatever. that will definitely tell you if it's your TV specifically or an issue elsewhere... like, say, does your normal TV look ok or is it always dark? is it just a problem when using digital input? how is your DVD connected - component, S-video, analog? can you connect it differently? if regular TV looks fine i'd suspect your DVD has some color adjustment preset or something isn't plugged in right. if you have it connected digitally, try the analog and see if that makes a difference. if it goes in through a receiver, cable box, etc. try plugging it directly into the TV.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:21 AM on November 29, 2004

All THX optimized releases should have one, but they don't. I know that the just-released Star Wars does not on the episode VI disc.
posted by codger at 10:06 AM on December 1, 2004

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