Reasons I should not buy a NEC Multisync PA241W-BK-SV

Started Feb 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Wayne Larmon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,590
Re: SV software only for NEC displays

Majikthize wrote:

Radu Tenenbaum wrote:

Similar question but reverse situation.  If I already have the I1Display Pro with the i1Profiler software and get the NEC monitor (which I'm considering), would it be worthwhile getting the SV software?

I haven't had a chance to do a direct comparison. A friend of mine has a PA271 with the i1DP and both i1Profiler and SV software, so next time I'm at his place I'll check it out. I'd say the answer is yes, even if only for the conveniences. SV gives you the ability to create lots of custom profiles and save them in the monitor's circuitry, so that you can easily switch brightness levels and color spaces without having to recalibrate each time. Handy when you want to edit in aRGB, preview in sRGB, and then watch a movie. Also, once you've set your preferences and settings, calibrating is a one-click affair. Super-easy to use.

Almost.  If you have, say, five different "targets" (NEC's term for a collection of calibration settings), you can't re-calibrate all five with a single click.  You can only do a single calibration at once.  Because doing a calibration takes several minutes(longer than most people want to stand around and wait), you have to set aside "calibration baby sitting" time when are redoing all your calibration targets.  (Which need to be done no longer than 28 days apart.)  You need to manually switch between each target and click on the "Calibrate" button.  It would be handier if you could stack up all the calibrations that need redoing so you could start the process, go away and when you came back, all the recalibrations would be done.

The way SV maintains multiple targets is easy, because once a calibration has been done, you can switch to a different target by choosing it from a drop-down.  As you said, you don't need to do an entire calibration to switch between, say, aRGB and sRGB, at different luminances and gammas.  I'm pretty sure that if you wanted to do the same thing with iProfilier, you'd need to do an entire calibration each time you wanted to change settings.

But the main reason to use SV is increased precision.  SV directly controls the internal settings of the monitor, at the maximum precision that the hardware is capable of.  Which is much more precise than a 8 bit video card LUT is.  This means (theoretically) less posterization and banding.  I say "theoretically", because I use SV on my PA241W and iProfilier on my secondary Samsung monitor and I don't see any posterization or banding on the Samsung.

One real neat thing that SV can do is set a monitor so that it's native format (what it looks like outside of color managed programs) temporarily acts like it is exactly what the target is.  Maybe call this an emulated native response.  Which is meaningful if the target gamut is smaller than the monitor's true native gamut.  Because I edit in sRGB a lot, it is real handy that sRGB images look exactly the same on my PA241W in color managed programs as they do in programs that aren't color managed.  Even though my Samsung monitor isn't wide gamut, it's native format doesn't exactly match sRGB.  So sRGB images look different when viewed in color managed and non-color managed programs.    I found this to be disconcerting before I switched to a NEC monitor and SV.

Another example.  If you normally edit images in a wide gamut (aRGB, etc.), then you would usually have the target set to the monitor's true native format.  Which works great so long as you are in a color managed program.  But is not so great when you exit the color managed program and are looking at your Windows desktop.  Because the Windows desktop isn't color managed, the icons will look overly bright.  Images viewed in non-color managed programs can also look very wrong.   You can solve this by using SV to change the target to be one that has sRGB.  Until you want to edit images again.  At this time, use SV to change the target back to the one that uses the monitor's true native gamut.   (Don't know about how this works for Macs.)

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'No matter where you go, there you are.'

Heh.  Good sig.  When is Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League coming out, anyway?


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