SMART III - Video Calibration Toolkit
Steve Smallcombe's SMARTAVTWEAKS site
Out of the box, video projectors can produce great images. Tweaked or tuned up they can be even better. The key to tweaking is to create a custom color temperature that maximizes the brightness and contrast of the projector and at the same time achieves the best possible black levels. In the process, one must also maintain the proper balance of red green and blue at all levels of image brightness. To some extent, this can be done by eye using Avia and other test DVDs, but I have found that the use of a fairly low cost measurement device can make the process much less subjective. I call this technique, SMART for Simple Measurement And Ratio Tracking.
Introduction to how SMART works
Frequently Asked Questions about SMART
Here is what's new is SMART III version 1.2
The Dummies Guide explains the SMART process in a non-technical way
Buy SMART III at EnhancedHT - your exclusive source for all SMART products
Not sure you are ready to try SMART yourself? Have a certified SMART person do the calibration for you
Having trouble? Learn the most common mistakes people make using SMART
Read about using bias lights to improve perceived black levels.
Here are some additional tips for the SONY projectors and solution to common problems.
Over the last few years, I, and many others have found the SMART III is a very useful tool for characterizing and calibrating a wide range of video projectors, including LCD, DLP and LCOS, in terms of grayscale tracking, gamma tracking and the measurement and optimization of contrast ratios. For LCD-based projectors, especially, a key part of this process has been the use of CC filters, a technique I developed for use with my SONY 10HT several years ago.
The use of CC filters, especially with LCD-based projectors can improve contrast ratio, grayscale tracking and color balance at low IRE levels, where LCD-based projectors often have a bit of a blue tint.
Today, CC filters are in widespread usage with many kinds of projectors. SMART can be used to re-establish the color balance in conjunction with the use of a CC filter, thus obtaining significant improvements in contrast ratio and black levels. It is easy to focus on the filter as the tweak, but since the object of this exercise is to NOT correct or change the color balance after the filter is applied, then the measurement and adjustment process that assures this, SMART III, is just as important as the filter. For an introduction to the use of CC filters, click here.
Sanyo Z1 before Calibration
Sanyo Z1 after SMART III calibration
III version 2.0.
In general the manual has been significantly updated and make consistent with the current spreadsheet and my recent experiences calibrating projectors, e.g. it now includes a section on calibrating projectors that use a dynamic iris. Read more about What's new with version 2.0
Read about SMART for DLP-based projectors.
Sanyo Z2 has proven particularly difficult to tweak, but SMART and a CC
filter can help. Tweaking the Sanyo Z2
Reviews using SMART III
I have used SMART III in reviews of the Sanyo PLV-70 , the Epson TW100 , Optoma H55, Sanyo PLV-Z1, PLV-Z2, Optoma H55 and H56, the BenQ8700, SHARP 12000, Hitachi TX100, Infocus 4805 and Panasonic 300U, 500U and 700U projectors
Note added on April 2, 2011: SMART sales were suspended in 2005. I would like to thank all of the many SMART customers for their support and encouragement over the last few years, and Enhanced Home Theater for doing a very professional job of handling the business aspects of SMART.
You can contact me (Steve Smallcombe) via e-mail at email@example.com
Last update: April 2, 2011: SMART sales suspended.
|Copyright 2001-2005 Steve Smallcombe|