Published On: May 17, 2010

Blue and Bright Sell More Video

Published On: May 17, 2010

Blue and Bright Sell More Video

The human eye likes blue. TV manufacturers know this, which is why many TVs are pre-calibrated to be overly blue. It may give the whites a lot of pop under the lights of a retail floor, but it's not the ideal setting for a home environment. The solution? Calibration is a must.

BlueEqualsBright.gifWhen you buy a Mac such as a Macbook Pro or an iMac or a Mac Pro you get for all intents and purposes a video calibration "wizard" that literally walks you through the process of setting up your monitors so that you have a chance of getting your computer monitors to look as good as they possibly can. Somehow your state-of-the-art $3,000 3D LED backlit LCD HDTV can't give you the same level of calibration or ease of use. The reason for this is that the video companies know what you want from video and are going to ship millions of their HDTVs pre-set to give you what you want even if you don't know it.

In case you didn't know it - you want blue. For me, blue is my favorite color. I wear Oliver Peoples blue-tinted glasses with a slight prescription as I like walking around with a hue of my favorite color while strolling the streets of Beverly Hills - and amazingly HDTVs are sold to us the same way. Knowing that the big box retailers sell television sets under the halogen lights of their not-so-personal stores, they ship their sets to "push blue" knowing full well that the human eye views blue more favorably than other colors. They know that humans see blue as brighter. Need more proof? How about laundry detergent? They push blue there to make your dirty underwear seem more "bright" (for lack of a better term). Car manufacturers know this trick too as they make their headlights look more blue, which increases the effect of a brighter headlight. Anyone with Xenon headlights knows the pleasure of driving in a "tennis court" thanks to these high end headlights, but without question - they push blue just like your HDTV in the store.

Today more than ever, video enthusiasts need to get their HDTVs calibrated. I recommend professional calibration from a top dealer, installer or Imaging Science Foundation expert. As an ISF school dropout myself, I realized that I could possibly learn much but not all that I needed to make a modern HDTV really shine. The art/science of calibrating one of today's best HDTVs is something that requires skill, education and most importantly - practice. That's why I fly in a top ISF calibrator from New York - a full 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles - to make my HDTVs look their best. You won't need to look that far. Whether you use a calibration Blu-ray or a professional calibrator, you will want to try to get SMPTE standards for your HDTV even if you think blue looks better in the short term. Pushing blue is for your trendy sunglasses - not your $10,000 HDTV or 1080p video projector. McDonalds makes your food taste salty because they know you like it better that way, but that doesn't mean that you should cook like that at home. The same goes for your video. Strive for broadcast standards. It's better for you and your overall video performance no matter what tricks video companies use to try to sell millions of flat HDTVs to the masses.

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