Datacolor released Spyder4TV HD recently, and I wrote a quick review of it, to announce its availability. So, when someone runs a search for the product name, my review is one of the hits on the first page. It is possible from WordPress to see the search terms used from incoming hits, and, not surprisingly, Spyder4TV is in a number of them. But nearly every day I get hits that have the product name, plus the words “serial” or “serial number” in them. These would be from people who already own a Spyder4 (thank you very much!) and who are interested in also being able to calibrate TVs and Video Reference Displays with it (which is also great).
But what they are doing is looking for a Spyder4TV HD serial number, in hopes that they can use that serial number, and a download of the software from Datacolor’s website, to calibrate their TVs or Reference Displays. That explains the title of this article; if people are going to look for S4TV serial numbers on the web, I might as well provide a top hit in their search, that explains why their plan is not going to work.
Spyder4 serial numbers will not allow you to run Spyder4 applications. To do that, you use the serial number to communicate with Datacolor’s servers, and get an authorization code, which is linked to your specific Spyder, and which will unlock the correct Spyder application for use with that specific Spyder. If a serial number has already been used once to authorize a Spyder, it can’t be used again; so posting such numbers on the web won’t allow others to use the software. And even if someone created a Serial Generator app to create new Spyder4 serial numbers (don’t think I’m getting paranoid here, there were such serial generators created for earlier Spyder products) the numbers it created would not be in the database on the server, so could not be activated.
But beyond the issue of honesty, and of how the Spyder products are secured against piracy, just running the Spyder4TV HD software would not be the whole deal; there are DVDs and BluRay discs needed for the patterns generated on the TV or Reference Display, and there is the SpyderWeb (see image below) used to hold the Spyder securely on large TV screens. These are all included in the Spyder4TV HD product… and in the cross-grade package.
Which brings me to the positive part of this post: as I stated in my earlier review, there is a way for Spyder4Pro and Spyder4Elite owners to run Spyder4TV HD without resorting to piracy. The cross-grade bundle has not been officially released yet, because it is a physical bundle, and needs to be assembled and packaged for shipping to cross-grade purchasers. But all the components of Spyder4TV HD, except the Spyder4, will soon be available to Pro and Elite owners, at a reasonable cross-grade price. I don’t have the final official pricing (which will vary worldwide, of course) but since the full Spyder4TV HD package retails for $129US, I think it would be safe to assume it will be, in US$, a two digit price tag. And I’m told that it will be available soon.
So be patient, and don’t waste your time (and risk your computer’s security) surfing the underbelly of the web, where “Serialz” and “Serial Gens” are found. Just keep an eye out for the official announcement of the Spyder4TV HD CrossGrade. I’ll try to put a note up here on my blog when it arrives, for any of you who follow this blog and might be interested.