NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

Started Oct 1, 2007 | Discussions thread
UCSB
UCSB Contributing Member • Posts: 993
Re: NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

Here are some of my observations on the 2690 & sRGB.

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I have just upgraded my monitor to a NEC LCD2690WUXi wide gamut monitor. In doing the project, I learned several things that may be helpful to others.

A little background … I use my monitor for photo editing, photo soft proofing/printing, web development, and general (web, office apps). I need to have accurate colors when reviewing my web development on the monitor.

The bottom line: when using a wide gamut monitor you must be in a color managed application or your colors are going to be too saturated. Color will be unreliable if you are using applications that are not color managed.

Photo editing/viewing software is color managed can be used with wide gamut monitors to get nice results. The problem is if you are reviewing images on the web or doing web development. I have not focused on office applications (Microsoft Office), but I am assuming that they will have bad color. If you have spent any time looking at this issue, please share your observations. I produce .pdf documents out of office apps and would like to have color support here, but have not looked at this issue either.

I purchased a Dell 2407 HC wide gamut monitor a couple of months ago. But, could not solve the web support issues and had to return the monitor. In recent weeks, I ended up buying both the standard gamut NEC LCD2490WUXi and wide gamut NEC LCD2690WUXi.

Here is what I learned about web color support on a PC. Comments are for PC users. Current versions of MS Internet Explorer and Foxfire do not support color management and will give you incorrect color. The color will be unusable if you are doing web development or just want color that is reliable. Apple has released a browser called Safari for the PC that is supposedly color managed. It will look at color profiles in images and correct. But, the overall experience does not work on wide gamut monitors because they seem to be leaving all sRGB content (plus some other content) untouched. Basically, their browser will work on standard gamut monitors, but not wide gamut monitors. All other browsers (Opera, etc.) do not do color management.

Fortunately, there is an effort to develop the next version of Foxfire (v3). This updated browser is planned to be available in 2008. The open source effort has a working alpha code version of this browser up and going (alpha v7) for software developers. Since software development is one of my skill sets, I downloaded the alpha software. Color management is available in the software and it is implemented correctly. It uses your monitor profile and will present all content correctly (with the exception of plug-ins like Flash, that are not under the browsers control). It assumes that untagged content is sRGB and converts it correctly. Currently, the color management is turned off in the alpha version and you have to go into browser configuration code (not preferences, you need to some technical background here to go into the control code) to turn it on. This new browser will solve the web color management issues when it is released. I don’t know when the production release will occur, or even when the beta releases might become available. The alpha code seems stable to me and I plan to use it for my general web use (but, not for secure web apps at this time).

Anyway, since we have discussed this issue many times, I just wanted to let everyone know that this critical piece of the puzzle is on it’s way. With instructions, I think most non techie’s could easily flip on the color support in the alpha code. If you are currently using Foxfire, this new version is almost exactly the same.

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Some thoughts on sRGB mode on the 2690
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Also, I can now answer the question that I asked above about sRGB mode on the 2690. sRGB mode does not seem to be very good. When I switched it on the color did not seem to be extremely accurate. You can't calibrate sRGB mode using SpectraView II ... so I used Eye-One Match3 to do an external calibration while in sRGB mode. I ended up with a DeltaE in the Match3 monitor validator of 3.4. This confirmed my impressions. I'm not entirely sure about my approach. But, basically I do not feel that you can rely on sRGB mode for accurate color. I dropped the sRGB project once I realized that I was getting a good solution with the next generation of Foxfire.

If anyone has found a way to squeeze great color out of sRGB mode, I would be very interested in your approach.

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Bill.

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