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“ How can we make sure that everyone who watches it, watches it properly? panel) so that it appears sharper and more impressive on a shop floor against its competitors.  The ones that drive us colour specialists mad is anything with the word ‘dynamic’ in it.  Dynamic Contrast, Smooth Motion, Noise Reduction and various settings like ‘Game’, ‘Dynamic’, ‘Sports’ etc. all play havoc with the image displayed, heightening colours and increasing the contrast, usually causing any detail in the image which is in the darker or lighter areas to disappear completely as the panel is worked hard to make the image more intense – any subtlety is gone – it’s like turning up the bass and treble on your amp and wondering why certain songs sound terrible, while others seem to sound more ‘epic’. If you actually turn off everything, and set the TV to standard you might be surprised to know, and this is in my experience true even with consumer sets, that they aren’t that far off the Rec. 709 standard.  At The Look we measure the black level (to make sure picture information isn’t being cut off, or isn’t too ‘lifted’) and we also measure, using a special probe and specialist software, how bright the TV is when a pure white image is put in to it.  We then measure pure Red, pure Green and pure Blue to see if it’s close to the Rec. 709 standard.  We then check a grey scale to confirm that there isn’t a strange colour cast or tint to the panel. Interestingly, with most HD panels from decent manufacturers, you can get them pretty close to the standard, certainly for home viewing. Why bother with any of this? Because you should want to watch programmes, feature films and commercials as they were colour graded by people like me and the Directors and Cinematographers I work with, and my other fellow Colourists the world over who’ve calibrated our screens.  Thankfully, digital cinema now means that when you go to your local cinema, it should be pretty accurate to what we saw – well, if it’s properly maintained that is. The chances are you won’t be able to do much more than going to ‘standard’ on your TV, turning off all the extra stuff I mentioned above, and doing a visual calibration with your own eyes on a film you trust – which may sound crazy, but in my experience, my eyes are as good as any probe I’ve used. Even after this, it’s not going to be perfect by any means, and even in a professional environment we struggle to get every colour at every point in the colour and brightness scale to be accurate to the Rec. 709 standard. So TVs may seem like a pain to tweak, with all their options and settings.  But what about your laptop, your iPad, your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy etc.? The bad news is, most of these devices don’t have a way of tweaking your screen, they don’t even work to the Rec. 709 standard, some say they work to the sRGB standard, but that’s unlikely out of the box.  I recently purchased an iPhone 5, restored my old iPhone 4 settings to it, so in effect they were identical, with the same home image.  Put them next to each other and I was gobsmacked at how different the same image looked, the iPhone 5 was significantly warmer in its colour tone. iPhone 5 on the right has significantly more yellow/warmth in the whites than the iPhone 4 display on the left Its true to say, if you buy another iPhone 5, put the same image on it, it will probably look different on that one too. So when clients say, “sorry I couldn’t make it to the grade, but I’ve downloaded your link and the product looks a bit yellow to me” I get a little frustrated! “Thomas, how can we make sure that everyone who watches it, watches it ‘properly’ as we see it on your screen?” You can’t. But I have an explanation on why you shouldn’t worry too much. For hundreds, even thousands of years, man has chosen colour by mixing paints and putting this paint on to a canvas, and this canvas would have been lit by both daylight and candle light, and later, by electric lamps of varying colour temperatures, he or she would have carried on working for days and weeks, TV-BAY MAGAZINE | 61 TV-BA073JAN13.indd 61 11/01/2013 14:17