Datacolor Spyder3TV review

Get your picture perfect


TechRadar Verdict

A handy calibration solution for the more money-conscious


  • +

    User-friendly installation

  • +

    Cheaper than alternatives


  • -

    Performance sometimes gives it away its budget status

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For the best picture performance from your TV, it'll need recalibrating. But how to check whether your set has been optimally adjusted?

Datacolor's Spyder3TV is a tristimulus colorimeter; in other words, a sensor which measures light output in the Red, Green and Blue wavebands.

It looks a little like a computer mouse, hangs over your TV screen and is connected via a USB cable to a PC (if you're a Mac user, you're out of luck).

Use with TVs or projectors

The system works for CRT, LCD, DLP, plasma and front projection sets, and the provided tripod mount means it can be used with PJs too.

The Datacolor software installs on your PC and prompts you to enter the current make, model and settings for your TV, then trawls through a series of adjustments using images from a test pattern DVD (PAL and NTSC versions are provided). At the end of the process your TV should be adjusted to industry standards.


The software is easy to understand, so you don't need any great technical knowledge to use it. A printable PDF report is available once calibration is complete, so the final settings can be reinstalled at any time. It is also cheaper than an ISF calibrator.


The Spyder3TV omits some of the more tweaky colour parameters of the Pro version.