I would generally agree, but there is an exception to this rule, recently released, which is the new i1Display Pro. Reports show negligible inaccuracy - the main thing is to be patient and take very long readings which Lightspace will automatically have you do. Also, you can rent higher end ones by the day in many large cities - you can get by calibrating every 6 weeks, and once you know the software, it doesn't take long to perform the calibration.
I know still to motion is like apples to oranges, but I as a color management pro in stills used the Eye One products for over 12 years for print. Their devices are the defacto color measurement devices in that industry. My largest client was Spiegel catalog, followed by Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Vogue, and some of the most renown photographers in the world, relied on me, and I relied on my Eye One devices. From monitoring on set all the way to the printed page, I could maintain a 95% match.
So why would this not work for motion. My Eizo displays a beautiful neutral image, and each and every client (directors, DP's, editors) are amazed by the images of their work on my screen. Last year I taught at a post production conference in Ireland. The first speaker was a color management expert from the UK. His info was terrific, but he delivered his presentation off a laptop connected to a HD projector. The images displayed he had to apologize for, because what looks proper on his laptop, displayed badly on the LCD projector.
After his presentation, I had 5 minutes, I spent that time profiling the projector (with an Eye One device). I started my program with the RED sizzle reel provided by Ted Schilowitz. My colors were dead on, skin tones correct, colors popped, and I explained that if you spend the time to produce a work of art, why kill it by presenting it in less than accurate color. To me, if these other more expensive devices work better that my Eye One, I bet you could not tell the difference, my opinion. But unless someone shows me a side by side, it's all talk.
I know of a very big, major film where the director was so concerned about the home video "look," the facility went out and bought a dozen different flat screens, just to reassure him that the film would translate well to many different kinds of flat screens. None of them precisely matched the pro monitors and projectors in the main room, but the engineers were able to tweak them so that at least the director's fears were addressed. I have also dealt with a few A-list directors who approved the transfer in our room, then took a check disk or tape home and called to complain that they didn't like the way it looked on their home monitor. It's not fun to confront a director with the idea that maybe their set doesn't tell them the truth. "But I watch lots of movies on my monitor, and they look great! My movie looks like crap!"
I have also worked at facilities that used both the (very expensive) Minolta and Philips Color Analyzers -- and these did not agree. So this is a case where even costly pro devices each adhered to a slightly different standard. Which do you believe? We literally averaged the two and hoped for the best. It worked for 25 years that I know of.
95% subjective accuracy is the best you can expect to achieve when simulating CMYK or multi-ink output on an RGB display. Your soft proof is not as color critical as your source-to-print color transform which is happening under the hood without regard to your display. In video production you treat your display as the substrate. You calibrate it to the spec. In the case of broadcast, you have no control over the calibration of the systems used to view the final product. Display accuracy and consistency are critical.
You mentioned using Eye One products. If you're creating printer profiles, you're using a spectro, not a colorimeter. That's an important distinction because spectros are usually more accurate than colorimeters.
In regards to A/B comparisons, mass produced low end colorimeters are more likely to show variation between same model units right out of the box than their more expensive counterparts, they're less durable (more susceptible to handling damage), and could quickly become less of an investment than an expendable when you compare the cost of regular calibration to the cost of replacement. They're simply not the right tool for professionals in color critical environments.
i1Display pro works really well, and many units have been extensively tested with less than 0.5 Delta variance between them (Delta 3 is limit of average human vision, so 1/6 of that). It is very new, released June 2011. I agree Spyder 3 is a joke
To the other poster, sorry, I thought you meant LED TV, (not computer monitor). However, Flanders Scientific has avoided LED, and I think for good reason, but there probably are some reasonable LED compu monitors out there. Still, viewing angles are an issue with anything other than front-projection, CRT and plasma. You never know whether you are grading out how you've leaned in your chair, and that idea scares me.
Any great CRT or top-quality plasma can be properly calibarted using a 3D LUT - the underlying screen tech is excellent
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