HCFR Colormeter

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Note: 4.0/5 (13 votes)


The “HCFR Colormeter” is the result of a collective development effort, driven by some passionate persons of HCFR forums…

Everything starts by a forum subject ” Build your own colormeter ” in the DIY forum. Alec, Emmanuel, Georges, Michel (Mlill) and others elaborates the first bases of reflections.

At the end of 2004, a first draft is outlined, after an intense reflexion phase with Emmanuel and Michel on theory bases, Francois-Xavier (Letchoa) founds very interesting sensors at TAOS who were going to become the eyes of the system. Benoit and Patrice (Ki and Laric) starts probe design when in the meantime FX builds alpha version of the software…

March 2005, things accelerates even more, Michel, Emmanuel, Georges and FX have completed the whole maths and software architecture, an initial version of “HCFR” probe is available and ready for live testing (it was using serial port and PIC 16F876).

Summer 2005, many features are added to software and on probe side we decide to use USB port, this makes easier powering the sensors and we also add IR support (emiter) to the probe…

Autumn 2005, the software is now in beta 12, USB probe works marvelously. Michel intensively works on profiles while Georges joins team and largely improves software design and features. We start looking at some professional grade building of probe.

In parallel, a beta testers team starts long series of tests and measurements, Jean-Louis starts working on documentation while David and Christophe build a superb DVD of test patterns…
Benoit, always full of ideas, add infrared acquisition to probe (using sensors !), the software is now able to fully aquire remote command and can drive a DVD player and thus the test patterns DVD.

Winter, 2005, we are ready (almost :D)… The “HCFR Colormeter” can leave our hands and go public…


 What it does ? / how does it work?

Our screens, LCD, Plasma, CRT as well as video projectors must to display colors as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, most did not have correct initial settings and/or can vary over time…

The “HCFR Colormeter” allows to calibrate a screen (or projector), this consisting in measuring displayed color patterns. Then you, users, will have to change settings and parameters on your devices to try to refine the results to be as close as possible to the standard of video color reproduction.

 The Software

The “HCFR Colormeter” software is the heart of the system, it receive the color information from probes, to treat them. It then allow you to display various curves and the histograms to acheive calibrating your setup.

 Windows version (New Release 3.0.4)

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The windows version of the software runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Seven.

The current version ( v3.x ) of the software is available for downloading… 
This software is distributed under FSFGNU GPL license.

ColorHCFR is available in French, English and German (Spanish version should come soon). It also have build-in contextual help.

Since early 2012, a new maintainer, “John Ad” is working on “3.x” version that mainly correct a few bugs AND support a lot of third party probes.
Curent version is 3.0.4, you can download it here… 

More details here : ColorHCFR V3 by sourceforge.net[Topic officiel V3]

“Original” version (v2.1) is available here : Original Team version 2.1 (8.1 Mo)

Latest version (v3.x) supports our Probe as well as a “simulated” one (so you can learn even if you don’t yet have a probe). This latest version also support of some well known third party probes :

  • i1 Display 1, 2, 3 et LT
  • i1 Pro
  • Colormunki Photo, Design et Display 
  • Spyder 2, 3 et 4
  • Huey 
  • ColorBob

 Mac OS X version

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A mac OS X version of the colorHCFR software is now available.
This version works on mac OS 10.4 and 10.5, on intel and PPC processors

The current version if v1.1.2, available to download :

ColorHCFR for Mac OS X v1.1.2 (1.7 Mo)

discussion forum is available for suggestions, comments and questions.

This version supports the HCFR probe (see below), as well as some well known third party probes :

  • Spyder II
  • Spyder III
Warning : if the HCFR probe is not detected by the software or if you enconter problems (especialy with the remote IR control of DVD player), please update your probe with the 5.40 verion of the firmware :
>>> HCFR probe firmware v5.40
The update can be done in the colorHCFR software using the “HCFR sensor updater” tool, in the “tools” menu.
With this firmware, you will need to install a new version of the windows driver if you also use it with this OS :
>>> The the windows driver v4.0


 Online help

You can also look at this article (in French only at the moment) : “Colorimètre HCFR : La calibration “pour les Nuls”

Thanks to McGayver, Sonata31 and Treza.

PDF version of this tutorial is also available (in French).


 HCFR Probe

A probe is the essential to measure colors. We have build our own version (similar to tri-stimulus probes). It contains light sensors we use to measure embeded CPU (PIC) format and transmit data to application software via USB link.

Our probe also allows to control a DVD Player (or any IR driven device) this, in addition to pattern DVD will allow to calibrate your full video chain from player to projector/screen quite easily. (We strongly recommend you first use software generated patterns, then use DVD + IR stuff when you are “fluent” with our software)…

Although we encourage you build our sensor (it gives very good and reliable results, including sub 30 IRE) it is not mandatory, starting with version 1.1 we support SpyderII and DTP94 probes.

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Here is a link to DIY page on how to build the probe. “DIY HCFR Probe”

The probe is available in two forms, a single layer PCB (easy to handle by DIY person) and a more professional dual layer PCB.

 Patterns DVD (New Release)

We have designed a test pattern DVD that will allow you to calibrate your full video chain by playing it on you DVD box (can even be controled by our probe). It includes all patterns needed by software as well as wome usefull bonus.

So far this DVD is only available in PAL, an NTSC version is on his way.

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Download PAL DVD ISO image (~60Mb) – Version 2.0

People looking for HD-DVD or BD calibration disk, we strongly encourage to look at this thread on AVS Forum : AVS HD 709 – Free calibration disk(s) 
Many thanks to “alluringreality” and “hwjohn” for their nice disk(s)

 Make a donation…

If you would like to help support the continued development and extensions on this software (and hardware) please consider making a donation to HCFR.

More information on this page.


 Initial “HCFR Colorimeter” Team :

Patrice AFFLATET: Sensor Design
Benoit SEGUIN: Sensor Design
François-Xavier CHABOUD: Software Development
Georges GALLERAND: Software Development
Michel de LILLERS: Color Measurement and Sensors Expert
Emmanuel PIAT: Color Measurement and Sensors Expert
Christophe CHEREL: Graphical Design
Jean Luc DENIAUD: Graphical Design & Documentation
David LAIR: Patterns DVD
Henri NICOLAS: Testing
Franck CAREDDU: Testing

We would like to thanks people that participates to forums threads giving tips and ideas we added to software and probe. 
Special thanks to Jean-Michel, Jérome, Olivier and Philippe for their testing efforts…

Please use existing forums when trying to contact authors (English chat is welcome).

HCFR Colormeter, 4.0 out of 5 based on 13 ratings