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Home Theater High Fidelity Review
CalMAN is used for ISF Level I and II training, and is available in a variety of different configurations ranging from the DIY user to the full time calibration professional. CalMAN has been at work on Version 5 for two years now, extensively testing it and making changes and improvements in response to the feedback received. Full Review
CalMAN Calibration Software Version 5
Written by Chris Heinonen
Prior to SpectraCal's CalMAN software, it would be nearly impossible to keep track of the highly interactive adjustments that constitute a comprehensive CMS solution. Now, thanks to several choices of charts and graphs, it is a very doable task.
One Installer’s Opinion
Imaging Science Foundation ISF
"CalMAN is a breakthrough in the areas of precision calibration, repeatability and ease of updates. We are proud to have been a part of its development!"
Imaging Science Foundation
Boca Raton, FL
"In my opinion this software needs to be a required part of every video calibrator's tool kit. Its state of the art gamma and color management manipulation capabilities make it the industry leader for working on the latest display technologies."
"Oh wow, thank you so much. I had no idea there was a manufacturing error, and since I haven't used the unit in depth yet, other than a quick test to make sure it loaded the drivers proper. Just got the unit today, with a huge surprise on my face when I saw the FedEx guy at the door. Thank you so much for your service, I never had a company be so preemptive before!"
"Everything is working great. I love the new software. I dialed everything in quickly and accurately. Definitely improved over ver. 3 because it is easier to use. Thanks to all."
"This is the most comprehensive piece of calibration software that I have had the pleasure of working with (and I have worked with quite a few). With their impeccable support and their willingness to listen to feedback and suggestions, their product has evolved into quite the masterpiece. SpectraCal has poised themselves to be a market leader for the calibration software market. The software is well suited both for Novice and Pro Calibrators. The application Help Files and predefined layouts are invaluable to the novice. For a Pro Calibrator, the ability to create custom workflow layouts is just what the doctor ordered. Calman has a comprehensive list of meters that it supports which also gives it a great edge over the competition. In addition to the tremendous meter support, this software provides you with the most comprehensive list of analytical data I have seen compared to other software packages. In a nutshell you can't go wrong with this software package."
Digital Video Calibrations LLC
"CalMAN is simply the most versatile, well researched, tested, and well documented software available for display calibration. No professional's set of tools is complete without it. As a professional, having the ability to work with multiple meters in the same software is fantastic. For the hobbyist, the exceptional documentation make it not only a fine tool, but a great learning opportunity. The support is second to none. Like many great products, CalMAN grew out of a desire to do a job better and a curiosity about a technology. Well done."
A/V Calibration and Repair Technician
"The new GUI of CalMAN looks nearly perfect! Good job!"
"I have been calibrating professionally since the fall of 2002. I have owned Progressive Labs (very briefly), ColorFacts 7.5, and CalMAN. I also got some time in with Sencore software during ISF training. I started using CalMAN last fall (now CalMAN Pro), and I am now a serious fan. CalMAN is the most informative and analytical program I have seen by a large margin. In addition to the usual RGB tracking, luminance, and color gamut graphs, there are far more unique graphs available than any other program I have seen. For example, the color luminance chart is a great help in calibrating "perfect color" and similar color decoding adjustments. It measures the luminance of the primary and secondary colors in relation to white. Depending on the test pattern source, it is possible to verify consistent results at 75%, 100%, and even 50%. The absolute RGB color balance chart and point gamma charts are invaluable with those displays that feature multi point gamma adjustment. Before CalMAN, I used to try to make these adjustments with just a luminance chart; but these new tools provide far more precise results. In addition to the graphs, there is more raw data available than on any program I have seen. Finding the gamma at, for example, 70% stimulus is a snap. Also, finding the x, y, z, Y, L, u', v', and other data of either white at any stimulus level or any primary/secondary color is easy. Their customer service and support has also been outstanding, with quick responses from the highly knowledgeable programmers and creators. It's not a matter of how close CalMAN comes to the more expensive programs; rather, it's a matter of how badly does CalMAN embarrass the more expensive programs."
"I've used many different calibration software packages and am a longtime Colorfacts user but I am always looking for something better. With displays and video processors offering even more complicated colour management systems I needed an all in one software package that would give me the information I needed quickly and accurately in order to make use of these powerful new calibration tools. I found that solution in CalMAN. Not only that, unlike with some of the other packages I've used, the support has been superb. The CalMAN guys listen to feedback and implement it. Great product."
ISF calibrator and Lumagen Distributor
"Thought I'd let you know the calibration of the Plasma went perfect. Because the grayscale was accurate before I purchased the ColorMunki, I just used the ColorMunki for adjusting the color gamut controls in the DVDO Duo. I did all the adjustments manually & dialled in coordinates & luminance to very accurate levels. I put on a HD Satellite channel & wow the colors just popped out of the screen. Every color looked exactly how it's supposed to look. I couldn't get those colors with the Display 2 no matter how much I tweaked them. I'm very happy with the performance of the ColorMunki & the cost of it. My Pioneer Plasma always had a superb picture but never like this. It's as good as it gets. I'll calibrate my AE-900U Panasonic projector when anchorbay does an update to allow multiple profiles. That way I can store a profile for the Plasma & a different one for the projector & choose between which ever one I've got plugged in to the DVDO Duo. Thanks for all your help with the ColorMunki. I'm a happy camper! Have a great weekend & I'll talk to you soon."
"One of the reasons for using CalMAN is that you can get 9 gamma calculations for each 11-step grayscale measurement and show the graph of that if you wish (either in the workspace or in reports or both) so it's easy to see what different brands do with gamma. Panasonic 800U panels, for example: in THX mode, they have a low gamma (2.0 or even lower) at the dark end of the luminance scale, around 2.1 gamma in the midtones, and 2.3 gamma in the highlights. This can't be accidental. They decided to intentionally create that particular response. And this is specific to the THX mode - if you measure the 9 gamma points for other Modes on the 800U, they all do something different (with much lower gamma numbers than THX mode). It's useful to know that a display's Gamma is not the same for every point on the grayscale. Software that gives you just 1 number for gamma doesn't tell the whole story - though you can get a general idea that gamma may not be uniform by looking at the graph of luminance for each grayscale step - especially if there's a reference gamma line on that graph. But I have to say, knowing the 9 gamma numbers from CalMAN has me hooked - when calibrating a Radiance you can make each step as perfect or intentionally imperfect as you like very easily."
Colorado Springs, CO
"Architecture that assists accuracy... flexibility... development in advanced calibration techniques and reporting... large range of external probe and generator compatibility... user made layout designs where the user decides which components of information he or she requires... Read Nigel's whole evaluation."
Masterpiece Calibration Ltd (ISF)
"The one day calibration boot-camp is a terrific way to get introduced to the basics of complete color calibration without having to commit to an expensive, multi-day training program or sort through endless, often confusing, data of unknown quality that is available online." Read Marks Entire Review.
"CalMAN is the calibration software to own because of its accuracy, educational materials, flexible workflow (based on each user's experience and preferred workflow), and unparalleled support from both developers and users.
Because of CalMAN, both the software and support (in the form of direct interactions with the developers/owners) I was able to effortlessly learn the “ins and outs” of calibration in a relatively short period of time and, because of this, my picture quality has never been better as attested to by my friends and fellow home theater enthusiasts..."
"You guys are so awesome. I recommend your product to anybody that will listen and want to learn about color calibration."
"Having recently attended the full 2 day ISF Level II training with Joel Silver and Jeff Murray and Widescreen Review's Terry Paullin on site at Monster Cable - and thus on location with each of us, up close and personal - I find the opportunity talked about here to be very enticing. Even if you are not a professional in the field and just want this knowledge for yourself and your own display, the meat of what Joel talked about will be there, and the benefit of the hands-on training of everyone at Spectracal, as they were for us.
Nothing can replace the incredible depth of experience Joel Silver of ISF brings to the table from his lifetime passion for having displays do their thing right for all of us, but having Jeff Murray not just being the head of Spectracal in some office somewhere but there at the controls and hopping on each and every little thing that was challenging to any of us - from use of the very sophisticated analyzers and signal generators to hangups with the various personal laptops brought into play by all of us (each of which seems to have its own "personality"...) Jeff was on it, and 100% successful at keeping things on track at all times, no matter what the issue. Jerry Palleschi, formerly of Sencore and now with Spectracal, kept us all on track and well organized offsite, before and after the actual event.
If you feel personally in need of this kind of calibration wizardry - as all of us calibrators are these days - I know of no better way of getting the necessary training on these things than by being in the adept hands of SpectraCal and its elite cadre of calibration operatives."
"CalMAN is a great value."
Ray Coronado, Jr.
"You guys supply the best customer service I have ever experienced."
Dumont, New Jersey
"I have to say that Spectracal has some of the best and most responsive customer service of any company I have dealt with in my 14+ years of reviewing TVs."
"My son (he is almost 3) and I watched ‘Cars’ (I must have seen it over 10 times now – can’t wait until the 2nd one comes out) I was amazed with the change in the picture - the colours are a lot better. The greens greener and the reds are redder (I am sure you have heard this before) Cars looked warm and natural, but clean, kind to the eyes and soothing, but still fresh and alive, yes that is what I would say alive. I bought a dead projector and SpectraCal brought it to life!"
Shaun W Hubbard
Isle of Man
"You guys have done a tremendous job bringing professional calibration to home enthusiasts at reasonable price. I certainly have benefited from working with Spectracal and hope to benefit again with this upgrade. Happy Thanksgiving,"
4.2 is Awesome!
"I just wanted to drop you guys a note to tell you that I have been working with 4.2 for about 10 days now, and I love it. The ISF reports are slick and comprehensive, and I have not had real glitches of any kind. Great work!"
"Just wanted to let you know that I will place an order in the next few days for the CalPC+Cal Home + M2 bundle. Thanks to your quality and prompt answers to all of my (many) question I am feeling confident with the purchase and the product I am about to buy, so two thumbs up :)"