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Dennis Hissink : January 4th 2005 - 16:25 CET

Datacolor launches SpyderTV

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ColorvisionDatacolor, the first name in color technology for businesses worldwide, continues its market reach with a newly developed home theater product line. SpyderTV will launch at UNVEILED, the official press event of CES International, held on January 4, 2005 before the show officially opens. The dynamic product represents a new line of display improvement tools for TV’s including, CRT, Plasma, RPTV, LCD or DLP display screens, and is developed by the same company that's been burning up the digital imaging category for years. Through the ColorVision brand Datacolor has delivered awardwinning Spyder products such as the ColorVision Spyder2PRO and ColorVision SpectroPRO2, preferred by professional and amateur digital photographers.
Datacolor launches SpyderTVThese tools have proven especially useful for digital camera owners using their computers as "digital darkrooms". Now, Datacolor has leveraged its colorimetric technology to optimize TV viewing.

"The overwhelming success of bringing our professional technology to the consumer market as we have done with ColorVision ColorPlus and the newly launched ColorVision Spyder2 Plus products has led us to this new digital/video product line," acknowledges Datacolor vice president, Brian Levey. SpyderTV takes the guesswork out of improving the picture on your home theater display."

Virtually all-home theater displays offer their owners visual menu adjustment sliders: Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, and Color Temperature Presets. "TV manufacturers have been including superb menu choices for more than a decade that improve TV performance in your home. Usually better pictures are designed to be only a few button presses away - figuring out the combination of buttons to press is the problem. The ISF "Calibration Wizard" in Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition PCs also uses these functions," confirms Joel Silver, founder of the Imaging Science Foundation.

But consumers often find these controls complicated and confusing. Additionally, the effectiveness of such controls is dependent upon an instrument that is often fallible, the human eye. Generally found as four sliders that operate in a multi-variant manner, these adjustments depend on the human eye to make distinctions. Most humans have problems with two variants, making it extremely difficult to obtain the kind of superior adjustments preferred for these displays. The SpyderTV colorimeter takes advantage of the four adjustment sliders that are available on virtually all TV's and accurately measures brightness, contrast, color, tint, and color temperature presets to guide the user to the exact scientifically-based adjustment for each control.

According to the product’s R & D gurus Mark Hunter and Heath Barber, who have joined Datacolor from the recent acquisition of professional home theater pioneer Milori, SpyderTV eliminates such troubling subjectivity with a hardware device that accurately measures targets on-screen and manages the process through a "wizarddriven" software package. In effect, they report, SpyderTV takes fine-tuning to another level with a process that is both accurate and easy to use.

"The Datacolor SpyderTV is designed to help consumers make selections that will accurately improve the display on virtually any monitor, from the high-end video screen found in today’s most sophisticated home entertainment center to the 36" TV in your living room," technical director of home theater products, Mark Hunter states.

"Owners will see a dramatic difference. The right adjustment to brightness and contrast alone results in a significant improvement in the display. Plus it's good that the process can easily be done at home, as display screens need to be periodically re-tuned," Levey says.

CES runs Jan 6- 9th, 2005. Datacolor will showcase SpyderTV along with its latest digital display video calibration systems throughout the show in the CES TechZones "Flash Forward 2.0: Bringing Digital Imaging into Focus," Central Plaza at Booth #24 and 26. Spyder TV is set to ship to retailers throughout the US by March 2005.

Consumers whose prized holiday gift was a fabulous flat screen TV may have already learned that high-def doesn't necessarily mean that the color can keep up. The blue on the Lions’ jerseys seems a lot more like the Dolphins' and the fullback himself looks green. For them, Levey adds final words of encouragement, "By the time basketball season rolls around, you'll have a terrific new tech tool to make sure the color display on your home theater system is as dynamic as the game in play."

   Read the special CES 2005 report
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