- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 13 June 2012
Setup of the Lumagen Radiance XS-3D
Setting up the Radiance, at the most basic level, is simply inserting it into the device chain and then setting it to the correct input. Taking full advantage of everything it can offer will take a long time so it may be wise to budget a weekend for this. Each input has its own bank of settings, allowing each item to be calibrated independently from the other. Additionally these can be tied to different resolutions or refresh rates, to be very exact in how sources are managed. Does the display handle 1080p24 and 1080p60 just slightly differently? The Radiance can calibrate for each of these settings to get the best from every source.
Many displays perform differently with 24p sources than 60p or 60i sources as they display them with a different refresh rate. With the Radiance they can be calibrated differently so that the grayscale and gamma are as perfect as possible for both of these options even if the black level is different. This allows for the best performance from film, video, and all other content instead of having to choose one.
Using a 2.40 screen in a theater provides that movie cinema feeling for cinemascope movies. What has recently started to happen is that IMAX releases like The Dark Knight that are mostly 2.39:1 but have sequences that are a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. With a 16:9 screen this is fine, but on a cinemascope screen the top and bottom of the frame now spill over onto the walls. The Radiance can setup masking for this image, which only allows the 2.35 or 2.40 area to be seen and cuts off the rest. This effectively crops out content, but that's how The Dark Knight was shown in non-IMAX theaters originally. It effectively removes the light spill and presents these hybrid titles as if they were native cinemascope.
Another 2.40 screen issue is that title screen of movies are typically 16:9, requiring a zoom out to use the menu and then a zoom back in for the movie. Just like with the masking the Radiance can create a preset that will scale the image to a smaller size, making the 16:9 menus fit in a 2.40 screen. You wouldn't want to do this with movie content, as it reduces resolution, but for menu selections it is fast and effective.
Many people won't use these features on the Radiance, but they might choose to use many others. Coaxial output is very use for those that are still using older receivers, and the S-Video and Composite inputs are there for those with library of VHS tapes or classic video game consoles. The real key is that the Radiance has all of this power and features and can grow with any system over time. Many features are there that might not be used when it is first installed, but will be there and available when the time comes.
Lumagen has also continued to enhance the test patterns available in their firmware to make it easier to setup a display correctly. Setting brightness and contrast is much easier, and there is a pattern to check for color clipping all the way up to peak levels in red, green, and blue. Calibrators will differ on what level they prefer to calibrate clipping so (some prefer 235, some 255, and some in-between), but these patterns make it easy to choose one. There is also a new pattern that can be set to any RGB value. This allows for programs like CalMan and ChromaPure to measure any color and saturation they want, not just primary or secondary and give you a much better idea of how the display performs.