eeColor Box – 3D LUTs for the consumer electronics market – coming soon? – maybe
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As a THXer it is not my goal to be a traveling calibrator nor put food on the table via my certification and abilities. All I want is to be able to take a consumer TV or projector and make picture fidelity the best it can be. I truly enjoy 1D LUT calibrating of displays but as we all have seen there are many faults inside the Rec.709 gamut. 3D Look Up Tables have the ability to smooth out most of the faults, and to that end I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to the subject. My gut feeling is that 3D LUT technology will soon become part of the work we will all be doing. THX is doing it’s own work on the topic but so far nothing exists that can be passed down to us, the CE calibrators. There are two companies, SpectraCal and Light Illusion that I am most interested in at this time.
Near term, again, hopefully:
The Box – http://eecolor.com/eecolortech.htm
SpectraCal is peddling it – http://store.spectracal.com/business-av/video-processors/spectracal-eecolor-processor.html
SpectralCal news – http://store.spectracal.com/news/press-release.html
Here is what I know and hopefully this device will eventually become mainstream and/or force prices down on other processors like the Davio:
SpectraCal is touting and is soon to release Studio software which will “automatically” produce 3D LUTs for individual displays. From reading their announcements I am skeptical that the software covers enough color points but the final result vs comparisons remains to be seen. I believe that 3D LUT formulation and implementation will also be be available in the upcoming CalMAN v5 Commercial and possibly Expert modes but needs to be confirmed upon release.
In September, 2011, at CEDIA, I purchased the first eeColor Box from SpectraCal. I had high hopes for some sort of magic improvement in fidelity but was unimpressed when the six canned LUTs did nothing more than keep skin tones more or less correct while greatly oversaturating everything else. Now that SpectraCal is using it for calibrated LUTs perhaps it will live up to its expectations.
For well over a year I have been communicating with Steve Shaw, owner of Light Illusion, with specific emphasis on LUTs. He has been toying with introducing his own LUT holding box but has not produced one as of this time. I have been talking not only with Steve but also with the president of SpectraCal and a representative from ee all on the subject of 3D LUT implementation. Steve was at NAB last week and gained information from both ee and SpectraCal.
So far I have learned to use Light Illusion’s LightSpace CMS software and am able to produce 3D LUTs for my personal displays. With the help of Tom Bond from ee I have been able to load them into the eeColor Box but it is not working correctly in that the box is doing additional unwanted processing and the resulting picture is unsatisfactory both visually and in measuring. Light Illusion received an eeBox today and Steve confirms my findings. He will be working with ee to see what can be done via firmware or hardware.
I am extremely enthusiastic about the potential of this technology due to the hundreds if not thousands of dedicated home theaters here in my Southwest Florida town of Naples. I doubt there would be an abundance of interest in less affluent areas but you never know.
I’ll keep you all informed of any progress or failures through this sub forum and would appreciate and thoughts, views, and expertise you can offer.
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