Review by Scott Greczkowski, Moderator: Toshiba TW40X81

By Master Calibrationist Gregg Loewen

A Non Technical Review of Gregg’s work

On Sunday. April 14th 2002  I was lucky enough to have the man who is considered the best video calibrationist in the country come to my house in Connecticut to do his magic on my two year old Toshiba TW40X81 HDTV. I have done the do it yourself calibration using AVIA and Video Essential and I always considered my set to be nicly calibrated,  after Gregg did his work I did not expect how good my set could look!

I have had this set for close to two years, and ever since I purchased the set I wanted it ISF Calibrated.  I have talked to a few ISF Calibrationists but none of them did what I wanted them to do, which was give my set an overall tuneup, such as check and clean the lenses and mirrors, adjust the focus via both electronic and mechanical means.

I did not want to pay $500 for someone to come to my house and pop in Video Essentials and due all the work using the remote control.  Because no one out there could convince me their service was worth it I decided to not have the service done.

Gregg Loewen disables the SVM Circuit on my Toshiba TW40X81One day while reading around at the Home Theather Forum Website I came upon a message raving about the work of a man by the name of Gregg Loewen.  Within a few days there were many other people singing the priases of Gregg.  And the think that impressed me was, he did the work I was looking for! Gregg’s work way beyond a normal ISF calibration, his services included the following

  • Evaluation of the viewing environment and display device
  • Removal of the protective screen (restacking)
  • Mechanical disconnection of SVM Circuit
  • Image Centering
  • Minimization of overscan
  • Correction of geometry errors
  • Convergence
  • Electronic and Mechanical focus adjustments
  • Cleaning of the Optics
  • Herman TLV Maneuver
  • Greyscale adjustment to 6500 D Keliv
  • Color Decoder Adjustment via service menu
  • Lense Striping (if needed)
  • Computer generated report

Gregg also has no problem calibrating HDTV Inputs, which many of the other guys said they could not do.  He was also worked on a lot of my type of sets before, which was a big plus, I didn’t want someone in there who was just guessing.  I decided then and there I wanted Gregg’s service and his price was actually a little lower then what the other guys wanted.  I shot off Gregg and email and he soon contacted me with a date in which he would travel from Maine to Connecticut to work on my TV.  I could not wait for him to arrive!

Gregg is busy restacking my screenThe day rolled around and Gregg promptly arrived at 10am.  A quick look at my setup and I could tell that Gregg was impressed with my setup.  I know that he has worked on much better setups then mine, but I think he liked how I had it setup.  He grabbed a quick handfull of fresh popcorn from my popcorn machine and went to work.  The first thing he did was get his cordless screwdriver and removed my screen and the front grill. Next he put his hands under the set and disable the SVM circuit by pulling some wires from the circuit board.  He then covered the wire ends with electrical tape to make sure the wires shorted nothing out.

Next he asked me if I wanted the protective screen removed.  Because I have an 8 year old I told him of my concern, he explained to me he was not going to remove it, he was just going to move the screen to the back.  What he was doing was called a “restack”  I told him sure what the heck.

Within seconds, he had the screen off and he had it on my table.  I quickly grabbed my Digital camera and snapped a picture, in seconds he was done and putting the screws back in.

After doing the restack  he was just about to put the screen back on the set, but for some reason he tied a string to one of the lenses in the set, the then temporarly atteched the screen, imediately I saw a HUGE difference in the picture, the glare that the screen had before was gone, and this was with all the lights on!

I believe the first words out of my mouth were “Holy Shit!” thats how much this simple modification improved things!

Gregg then reached down and fiddled with the electronic focus conrols which are hidden under one of the speaker covers.  Next up I figure why he tied a string to one of the lenses.  He did this to mechanicaly focus the gun!  By pulling the string left of right he was able to focus the gun perfectly.  His did this to all the lenses.  I thought the focus was great now, but Gregg explained to me it would look even better once he did the Herman TLV Maneuver to the set.

I let Gregg get to work, he was zooming in and out of the service and designer menus. I was scared to disturb him as I didn’t want to divert his attention.  I kept quiet for a long time just to let him concentrate.

After awhile the quiet drove me nuts.  And I told Gregg I had some questions I wanted asked, he told me to ask away at any time and not to hold back he could talk and work at the same time.

This broke the ice and we talked a lot as he was  working.  I was so into talking to Greg I didn’t even notice him doing the Herman TLV, but he did mention that he just did it.

Gregg then adjusted the Greyscalem to do this he used his laptop and a thing that looked like a big suction cup.  Gregg attached this to the screen with tape.  (I should add earlier he had this hooked up to the set and took some pre calibration numbers)

My set was running extemely high and with a real blue color tint.  My set was up around 15000 degrees kalvin before he started.  Once he was done everything was at just about 6500 degrees kalvin which is almost perfect!

He adjusted the greyscale via the service and designer menus.  I was amazed at the way he zipped though the screens.

Once the setting of the grey scale was complete Gregg printed me out a calibration report, which showed how bad my set was before and how good it is now.

It's convergence time!From here we went to work on the Geomitry, overscan and convergence.  Again doing his work in lightning speed.

When he was done it was time for the moment of truth.  I went and got my wife who feels that TV is nothing more then pictures and words.  We first watched a quick demo that Gregg had with him from the movie “Bring it on”

I was amazed at how good the picture quality was, even my wife was suprised and stated that even the blacks looked great!  The faces looed real you could see everything in grand detail!

We then popped in the movie, Pearl Harbor and watched this for a few minutes.  Gregg was excited to see and hear this movie he had only viewed this movie on his laptop once before.  He was suprised by the sound quality from my setup.  Again I know Gregg  has been to a lot of places with a setups much grander then mine but I do think he liked what he saw and heard.  As we watch the movie it seemed just like we were in a theater.

Next up we turned the TV to Dish Networks HDTV Demo channel,  I couldn’t believe the difference in the pictures now!  It was like looking out a window it was that clear!  I never ever thought my HDTV picture could look this good!  I handed Gregg his payment without hesitation for his work well done.  The 6 hour job only took  him 4 hours, he was very happy with his work.

My wife then asked about the glare screen, so Gregg said lets do a test.  He told me to turn on all the lights.  He then asked my wife to sit down, amazingly we would watch the TV with all the lights on with no loss of quality and no glare being reflected from the set.  I think she was finally happy!

I don’t want this to sound like an  ad for Greg Loewens services, but if you are looking to get your set done, I HIGHLY recommend his service, he gives you his “full meal deal” at a price which other ISF guys charge for doing a basic 30 minuite calibration!

After Gregg left, my family and I watched A.I. and Willy Wanka and the Chocolate Factory.  I was smiling the entire time! Thanks Gregg!