NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

Started Oct 1, 2007 | Discussions
DRG Veteran Member • Posts: 5,217
There is a point ...

PixelDave wrote:

What this leaves you with is the ability to calibrate the monitor
through you gfx card and not through the hardware LUT. So that being
said, what is the point in spending the $$$ for fancy features if you
are not going to utilize them.

Most of the alternative options offer limited choices to adjust the native performance of the monitor prior to generating a profile, especially when you drive the panel via DVI. So the 2690 entering such a mode with sRGB just puts it in parity with these other monitor. Except, of course, for the fact that it shines through when you need it the most, when processing images in a color-managed workflow in aRGB mode. It's like having two monitors in one and the extra cost goes to having this extra mode when color accuracy actually matters.

By the way, given the extra care with which this monitor is likely assembled, its sRGB mode may already be quite well calibrated, with the profile not needing to move tones around very much. In this case, the fact that profiling occurs through the 8-bit graphics card interface won't really degrade IQ.

David

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Another point.

The sRGB mode is calibrated at the factory. So as time goes on those settings effectively become inaccurate.

DRG wrote:

PixelDave wrote:

What this leaves you with is the ability to calibrate the monitor
through you gfx card and not through the hardware LUT. So that being
said, what is the point in spending the $$$ for fancy features if you
are not going to utilize them.

Most of the alternative options offer limited choices to adjust the
native performance of the monitor prior to generating a profile,
especially when you drive the panel via DVI. So the 2690 entering
such a mode with sRGB just puts it in parity with these other
monitor. Except, of course, for the fact that it shines through when
you need it the most, when processing images in a color-managed
workflow in aRGB mode. It's like having two monitors in one and the
extra cost goes to having this extra mode when color accuracy
actually matters.

By the way, given the extra care with which this monitor is likely
assembled, its sRGB mode may already be quite well calibrated, with
the profile not needing to move tones around very much. In this case,
the fact that profiling occurs through the 8-bit graphics card
interface won't really degrade IQ.

David

DavidC Senior Member • Posts: 2,166
Re: Another point.

Just for interest I should add that my problem with this display has not been inadequate colour adjustment but the high pitched hum it emits. This is irritating to me in such an expensive display. Despite a remedial trip back to NEC the display continues to hum. I have a very early version of the display and understand that the hum may not occur in later versions.

I have found zero problems using this display in sRGB mode. Colour consistency between CS3 and Painter X, and between display and printers, is absolutely fine for me. All the colour problems I have had in workflow were when I used aRGB. Thankfully nothing I do needs it.

David

Jim Dandy Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: Great deals at

Unbelievable...that's $400 less that I paid about 10 days ago. I did look there before I bought. This must have just happened.

Good find.
--
Jim
http://www.jimcolephoto.com
Flagstaff, Arizona

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,932
2190 costs more than 2490.. why?

Does anyone know why the 2190 apparently seems to sell for the same or more $ than the 2490 at most resellers?

PixelDave wrote:

On a further note, the 2190UXi is a highly acclaimed monitor in terms
of proper color reproduction. When I asked the NEC rep how the
2490WUxi compared to this monitor he said that could expect the same
level of quality.

So with that said, I am going to purchase a 2490 as a color critical
AND general purpose monitor.

Dave

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,932
Re: Great deals at

Indeed... in fact the "-SV" version bundled with the colorimeter and software is only about $200 more than the non-SV version.. IMO makes sense to go this route vs. purchasing software separately to save $30.. Though see my other post.. the SVII software installer seems to be on the necdisplay site but indicates requires serial number.

has anyone tried this installer with a non-SV-bundled 2490?

http://www.necdisplay.com/SupportCenter/Monitors/spectraview2/

Jim Dandy wrote:

Unbelievable...that's $400 less that I paid about 10 days ago. I did
look there before I bought. This must have just happened.

Good find.
--
Jim
http://www.jimcolephoto.com
Flagstaff, Arizona

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,932
Also rebate..

This is a hard to find form.. eg. Provantage doesn't even mention it.. but there's a $50 rebate if purchased thru Oct 14th..

You can get a form on pc connection's site on the 2490's product page.

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re 2690

How are you finding your monitor so far?

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Another point.

DavidC wrote:

my problem with this display has not been inadequate colour adjustment but the high pitched hum it emits. This is irritating to me in such an expensive display. Despite a remedial trip back to NEC the display continues to hum.

You’re not the only one, David. A number of users have complained about the 2690’s hum on the Hard Forum. Several guys returned their 2690’s because of it, and the replacements still had the noise. One guy recorded the sound as proof of a defect before sending the panel to the repair center. He posted the audio file here:

http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/~a93003.../lcd2690_2.mp3

First you hear background hiss, then the hum, then hiss again as the monitor is turned on & off. It is quite obnoxious. A different guy, who also had the hum, measured the sound as being 191 Hz. Yet another, who also had the hum, recorded it at 207 Hz, guessing that was a harmonic. Not everyone’s panel has it, but unless you get lucky on this issue, it may drive you crazy. Especially as sending it to NEC for repair doesn't seem to fix it.

The Hard Forum 2690 thread is dense and wooly, and a lot to plow through, but mentions of the hum can be found here:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1095840&page=45

Also mentioned on that page are the calibration issues with sRGB. If you have time to kill, later pages detail lots more problems with this sRGB calibration snafu.

Apparently, to use the 2690WUXi for general purposes with appropriate colors this is what you have to do:

1.“Dumb it down” by selecting the sRGB mode from the internal menu on the OSD.

2.The factory sRGB preset is NOT accurate for any one computer. Unless you’re very lucky and your PC closely matches the PC that NEC used in their factory, everything except Photoshop type programs will have blown reds and oversaturated colors in the sRGB preset.

3.So, you have to calibrate your graphics card to the 2690’s sRGB mode, and save a profile for that in your computer. Now you’re calibrated in 8 bits, although you paid for 12 bit calibration.

4.To use Photoshop in wide gamut, you access the OSD and turn off sRGB, and turn off your graphics card’s sRGB profile.

5.When you close Photoshop to use the internet, Office, Power Point, and essentially all other programs you have to access the 2690’s OSD, dumb it down to sRGB, open your graphics software and set the sRGB profile you created.
6.This often (usually?) involves rebooting the computer.

7.To edit photos using wide gamut you have to go through each step, and the same steps in reverse order to go back to general use

One way to look at this conundrum is David DRG’s point of view:

It's like having two monitors in one and the extra cost goes to having this extra mode when color accuracy actually matters.

That’s true. But another way to look at it is that it’s a colossal PITA. The question is, does the modest increase in on-screen color gamut justify going through such a hassle, perhaps several times per day?

I'm still pondering. I plan to decide by Sunday, when I go into B&H. I will pick either this troubled screen or the much easier to use NEC 2490WUXi. Most likely the latter, given all these problems. But I’m still thinking. David DRG's point is valid. But I sure don't want that hum.

I haven’t laid my money down yet.
---------------
Tom B

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Mitrajoon Senior Member • Posts: 1,981
Re: Another point.

For whatever it's worth, and it may not be much, I've got the 2690 and have had none of the problems described. I believe the humming sound was an issue that tended to occur in the European models which have different internals to meet EU requirements

I also don't understand the SRGB issue. My work flow (camera, monitor and Photoshop) is all argb. Prints match very well. When I put stuff on my web site I run a batch command and convert my files from 16 bit argb PSD/Tiff files to 8 bit srgb jpeg. I assume there is some compression going to srgb, but I can't see it on the monitor. Could be I'm just not as critical as others on such things.

The 2690 is a great screen for photo editing and the Spectraview software makes calibrating a snap. When I first got the monitor and later when I got Spectraview, I called their tech support with really basic questions on set up etc and got real humans who actually worked on developing the monitor and the software. As you can see from the other thread on this subject, their tech support guy (Will) , addresses questions when posed.

Keep us posted on what you end up doing.
--
Mitra
http://jmlphotography.smugmug.com/

DavidC Senior Member • Posts: 2,166
Re: Another point.

Yes, I saw and was involved in the long noise discussion in [H]ardforum/Displays. Having made enquiries of some other manufacturers I suspect hums are a problem with many large panel displays and it's a bit of a lottery. Nevertheless, it is still very annoying in the 2690 - particularly coming from a silent CRT.

I did not know about the sRGB calibration hole when I bought the display. I probably wouldn't have bought it had I known. BUT - the adjustment limitation in sRGB applies only to colour - not to the other controls like Brightness, Contrast and Sharpness. All these can be changed. I am pretty aware of colour in my pc use and I have to say again that I have noticed no colour problems using sRGB - I don't need aRGB because I don't prepare work for CMYK.

I do like the 2690 because of the little extra image size at 1920x1200 compared to a 24" 1920x1200. Even after increasing font size, some internet text - like this forum - is still pretty small. I would probably buy a 30" if I could find a silent one and if (I haven't worked it out yet) the same image/text looks larger on a 2560 x1600 res 30" screen than it does on the 25+" inches and 1920x1200 of the 2690.

Not scientific I know but there it is.

David

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Whichever way you go.

If you want to save some $$$ provantage.com has some great prices.

Jim Dandy Regular Member • Posts: 178
Another follow-up re: sRGB

I finally got my new Eye One II calibration device yesterday and figured out how to calibrate the monitor in aRGB mode using the graphics card (while I await the arrival of my SpectraView II software).

My sRGB images on my own website that I said "Yikes" to in my previous post using an uncalibrated monitor, now only look just a tad bit over saturated. Nothing so ugly as the other day. All in all, quite acceptable.

I am now in the camp of users that likes the performance of the 2690 for both aRGB and sees no great issues with the monitor as far as non-photoshop usage.

By the way I hear absolutely no humming or buzzing from this monitor as reported my some European users.

Can't wait to get this beauty's hardware dialed in with the SpectraView.
--
Jim
http://www.jimcolephoto.com
Flagstaff, Arizona

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Another follow-up re: sRGB

Jim Dandy wrote:

I finally got my new Eye One II calibration device yesterday and
figured out how to calibrate the monitor in aRGB mode using the
graphics card (while I await the arrival of my SpectraView II
software).

My sRGB images on my own website that I said "Yikes" to in my
previous post using an uncalibrated monitor, now only look just a tad
bit over saturated. Nothing so ugly as the other day. All in all,
quite acceptable.

That's reassuring to some extent, Jim. But for roughly $1,700 I'd guess most buyers are looking for right-on colors, not acceptable or a bit oversaturated.

A question: Have you tried setting your 2690WUXi to its internal sRGB preset, via the OSD? That should get you pretty close to correct balance for the internet and Office applications, and then you could use your Eye One to fine tune the sRGB preset the rest of the way via your graphics card. In this mode, internal sRGB preset plus Eye One compensation, it would be real interesting to know how things look in Photoshop.

You'd be vewing in standard-gamut 72%. The purpose of this experiment is that if your pictures look good in Photoshop while running calibrated sRGB on the 2690WUXi, well, that would be an easy way to take advantage of the screen's extra size and not have to change back and forth between display modes. My hunch is that images in PS would look great on that screen in calibrated sRGB.

I for one would love it if you'd try that experiment. If you do have the chance to do it, please let us know how it works.

Incidentally all, check out the thread on wide gamut monitors that Nelson Chen has started here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1004&thread=25060360

-- hide signature --

Tom B

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Jim Dandy Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: Another follow-up re: sRGB

Tom, thanks for the suggestion, but I bought this monitor specifically for image work in aRGB in Photoshop and specifically for the 12-bit LUT hardware calibration. This is where the monitor excels according to all reports and according to my brief experience as well.

I am not really interested in dialing in the sRGB component. The sRGB persormance is good enough in the calibrated aRGB space for my occasional forays onto the internet.

-- hide signature --

Jim
http://www.jimcolephoto.com
Flagstaff, Arizona

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: Another follow-up re: sRGB

Where are you getting your prices?!?!?!?!?!

The retail value is $1299 and it can be had for significantly less.

Tom_Bruno wrote:

Jim Dandy wrote:

I finally got my new Eye One II calibration device yesterday and
figured out how to calibrate the monitor in aRGB mode using the
graphics card (while I await the arrival of my SpectraView II
software).

My sRGB images on my own website that I said "Yikes" to in my
previous post using an uncalibrated monitor, now only look just a tad
bit over saturated. Nothing so ugly as the other day. All in all,
quite acceptable.

That's reassuring to some extent, Jim. But for roughly $1,700 I'd
guess most buyers are looking for right-on colors, not acceptable or
a bit oversaturated.

A question: Have you tried setting your 2690WUXi to its internal
sRGB preset, via the OSD? That should get you pretty close to
correct balance for the internet and Office applications, and then
you could use your Eye One to fine tune the sRGB preset the rest of
the way via your graphics card. In this mode, internal sRGB preset
plus Eye One compensation, it would be real interesting to know how
things look in Photoshop.

You'd be vewing in standard-gamut 72%. The purpose of this
experiment is that if your pictures look good in Photoshop while
running calibrated sRGB on the 2690WUXi, well, that would be an easy
way to take advantage of the screen's extra size and not have to
change back and forth between display modes. My hunch is that images
in PS would look great on that screen in calibrated sRGB.

I for one would love it if you'd try that experiment. If you do have
the chance to do it, please let us know how it works.

Incidentally all, check out the thread on wide gamut monitors that
Nelson Chen has started here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1004&thread=25060360

Will49 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Tom

I'm sorry you are so upset about the apparent lack of a calibratable sRGB mode on the LCD2690, but please step back a bit and look at what is going on, and how things should work, and how things will hopefully work in the future.

First of all, the LCD2690 is marketed as a wide color gamut monitor. If that doesn't suit a particular application, the LCD2490 is the recommended alternative. It has identical features but is 2" smaller and of course closely matches sRGB colorspace.

The monitor is doing what is was intended to do - display images in wide color gamut. To use it in sRGB mode is kind of like getting a Porsche and driving it around in first gear. OK, granted there are times when you may need to do this, but it shouldn't be that often. This same "problem" applies to not only the NEC LCD2690, but also the 30" Dell etc.

How about the web browser and core OS - are they doing what they should be doing? The web browser should be color managing all web images and converting them to render correctly in your monitor's color space. If an image does not contain an embedded ICC profile, then it should be assumed to be sRGB and converted to display correctly on your monitor.

As you found out, IE on XP doesn't do this - it's color management unaware.

You can confirm this using the following test page:
http://www.color.org/version4html.xalter

Contrast that to a Mac, where the browser understands color management and this is pretty much a non-issue.

The latest beta of Firefox 3 is color management aware, if you enable it. So as long as you have the correct ICC profile for the monitor installed, images should be displayed correctly.

What is happening with the LCD2690 is that it is making the lack of color management in IE frighteningly obvious because of the huge color gamut difference between the image's color space and that of the monitor. This same issue is present with all other monitors, but because they are much closer to sRGB it isn't as apparent. So unless your monitor just happens to exactly match sRGB, you aren't getting exactly the colors you should be in IE.

Looking towards the future, it has finally become obvious that color management is necessary in web browsers and other applications. Unfortunately it took a long time and the introduction of wide gamut monitors to hammer this home. Things are changing, for example new versions of MS Office are now color management aware.

Now lets take a look at the sRGB modes on both the LCD2690 and LCD2490:

On both the LCD2490 and LCD2690, the sRGB preset is just that - a factory preset. It can't be user adjusted on either. If you are using a DVI digital signal then there shouldn't be much difference between your PC and the system used to calibrate it at the factory.

The sRGB spec basically specifies the gamma, white point, and red, green and blue primaries.

On the 2490, or any other standard gamut monitor, the primaries are pretty close to sRGB. The white point can be adjusted to D65 and gamma to 2.2 as per the sRGB spec. If you have a 3rd party calibration system or SpectraView II, you can also directly calibrate to "sRGB" because all that needs to be done is adjust the white pint and gamma.

Now on the LCD2690, because it's red and green primaries are so different from the sRGB spec, the only way to get it to emulate sRGB is to do some fancy internal processing tricks to make it seem like its actually close to sRGB. This means changing reds so they aren't such a deep red, greens so they aren't so green, etc. When you select sRGB this is what it is actually doing internally.

When it is in this preset sRGB mode, it is not possible to user adjust it's internal white point or gamma - because it's already doing all this processing on the image. If you really wanted you could use a 3rd party calibration system, but each time you switched in and out of sRGB mode, you would have to change the active ICC monitor profile etc.

So to call the LCD2690 fundamentally flawed or say it is the result of a major design blunder is not at all accurate. It is doing what it was intended to do. If all applications on XP correctly did color management, then this would be a non-issue.

If you don't want to take the leap to Vista or Firefox 3, have you considered getting a "cheap and cheerful" monitor as your secondary display? That would allow you to quickly preview how images would be seen by others in sRGB land. That or choose the LCD2490 if you don't mind spending all of your time locked into sRGB colorspace.

-- hide signature --

Will Hollingworth
Manager of OEM Product Design & Development Engineering
NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc.

HAE Senior Member • Posts: 1,028
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

This is an interesting thread. However, it should have been easy for NEC to include a calibrated and profiled sRGB. Given the early state of color mgmt integration in the OS and other 'unadvanced' software, that would have been a useful addition. Basically, sRGB is a subset of the monitor color space and any profiling/calibration made to the monitor covers that subset. I would think making use of the calibration/profiling data to provide an accurate sRGB mode should have been an easy software implementation. Anyway, with the high color gamut monitors being the new cool thing, I would expect the necessary OS/software updates should come quickly. I hope we will see start seeing monitors with 10bit input (as well as support from photoshop and other image processing for 10-bit output) as the 256 discrete steps offered by 8 bit color channels is less than great for characterizing colors accurately in an expanded color space.

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Another follow-up re: sRGB

PixelDave wrote:

Where are you getting your prices?!?!?!?!?!

The retail value is $1299 and it can be had for significantly less.

Hmmm. You're right. This is strange. Price at B&H today is $1,679:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/481527-REG/NEC_LCD2690WUXi_BK_MultiSync_2690WUXi_25_5_Widescreen.html

But the price at the NEC website is $1,299 -- with a $50 rebate:

http://www.necdisplay.com/Products/Product/

What's up with B&H? Strange price difference. I generally buy at B&H and figure their prices are typical, so I didn't even check. Thanks for pointing it out.
---------------
Tom B

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OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Will, first off let me thank you for responding to this thread in such detail. Your time and expertise are most welcome, and gratefully appreciated.

Will49 wrote:

The monitor…was intended to…display images in
wide color gamut. To use it in sRGB mode is kind of like getting a
Porsche and driving it around in first gear. OK, granted there are
times when you may need to do this, but it shouldn't be that often.

I don’t own a Porsche, but they’re all over the roads around here in Fairfield County, along with Ferraris and other fancy toys. They’re not going any faster than my sedan, and they’re parked in the grocery lots like everyone else. I’d guess that 95% or more of computer owners, like sports car owners, use their gear for everyday tasks most of the time. Even a serious photo hobbyist like myself is doing myriad other tasks, often simultaneously with several program windows open. Only graphics pros – and there are some on DPR – have no need of sRGB.

On both the LCD2490 and LCD2690, the sRGB preset is just that - a
factory preset. It can't be user adjusted on either. If you are using
a DVI digital signal then there shouldn't be much difference between
your PC and the system used to calibrate it at the factory.

This is at the core of what I’m trying to figure out. What you said here confuses me. On the NEC 2490 page it says:

“Internal 12-bit Look Up Tables (LUTs) allows the display of 16.7 million colors out of a palette of 69 billion, thus providing for more points of shading between white and black and virtual elimination of color banding and posterization effects “

http://www.necdisplay.com/Products/Product/?product=a46240bd-a846-4de7-b644-bd7f0b7e6ece

Those internal 12 bit LUT’s must be used for calibrating the monitor. What else would they be for? If that’s true, it means that the 2490 can be calibrated using its 12 bit LUT’s. And that would be in sRGB, since the 2490 is spec’ed at 76% Adobe coverage. That would be the opposite of what you said.

What am I missing? Does SpectraView work on the 2490? How does one use those LUT’s on the 2490? How does one calibrate the 2490? What mode are you calibrating in? Is it only through the graphics card? Any light you shed on this would be MUCH appreciated.

Looking towards the future, it has finally become obvious that color
management is necessary in web browsers and other applications.

I’m sure you’re right about that. But until the kinks are ironed out and the world is color-aware compatible – what do you think, 2 to 4 years? More? – Most of us will be using plenty of standard, non-color aware applications that utilize sRGB.

One strategy is to get the more advanced 2690 now. Then use it in the sRGB and occasionally in aRGB for critical Photoshop work, and figure that by the time the industry standardizes I’ll be ready with a great screen. I'd like to do that, and am considering this as an option. I WANT to get the 2690, the newer, more capable and bigger screen. But I don’t want to set up huge hassles, or change my OS and all my programs. I’m trying to figure out how I can get the fancy new gear and still use all my current programs successfully.

Here’s my bright idea. I’d love a reality check on it. Switching modes on occasion sounds like it might do the trick, or am I wrong? It doesn’t sound too bad. How long would that take – to turn the sRGB preset on and off on the 2690 screen, and select/deselect a profile from the graphics card? Would that be easy? Would it involve a reboot? Am I completely off the mark with this notion?

Contrast that to a Mac, where the browser understands color
management and this is pretty much a non-issue.

Ah, Mac envy strikes again. You would have to rub it in.

Once again, your thoughtful comments and input are greatly appreciated.

-- hide signature --

Tom B

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