By Andrew Liszewski
The Datacolor Spyder products have long been used by imaging professionals like photographers or graphic designers for calibrating their screens to ensure accurate color reproduction. Trust me there’s nothing worse than tweaking a project for a few weeks only to have it come back from the printers in a whole new color scheme because your monitor was off. Well now home theater enthusiasts can do the same with the SpyderTV calibrator.
Like its PC counterparts the SpyderTV sensor is placed directly onto the TV screen and is then connected to your computer via USB. You start by telling the included software the make and model of your TV and the current settings including color temperature and brightness. You’re then instructed to skip to different test patterns on an included DVD while the software calculates the optimal color, tint and brightness settings based on readings from the sensor. CrunchGear recently took the device for a spin and were quite pleased with the results they got for their JVC DLP television even when watching standard def programming.
At $229 (available on the Datacolor website) the device is actually not that expensive when compared to higher end solutions and is probably worth every penny if you want to get the most from your home theater setup. And I wouldn’t recommend buying the device, using it once and then selling it since the colors on your TV will change over time and you will need to recalibrate it again in the future. (For example I recalibrate my PC’s monitor every 2 weeks.)