NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

Started Oct 1, 2007 | Discussions
Pigasus Contributing Member • Posts: 514
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Will49 wrote:

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.

I'd like to add my thanks for your detailed explanation of the issues.

Firefox may well be a solution. But only if it assumes that untagged images are sRGB. This is a question I have raised in a number of places but I still don't know the answer. So do you know what Firefox 3 does with untagged images? Is it really going to be the whole solution?

-- hide signature --
saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,253
12-bit is better than 8-bit still

The big thing about 12-bit LUTs in monitors, even if the output to the panel itself is only 8-bit, is that the display chooses between those 68.7 thousand million (12-bit color) or so colors available and maps them to the 8-bit output (16.78 million or so colors). With an 8-bit LUT, you'd have only 16.78 million colors to choose from, to map to their correct places in a 16.78 million color output, thus some repeated colors will be displayed, and potential posterization.

bullet1 wrote:

What is good of paying big bucks for the extra bits when the rest of
the system don't even have or care? A system can only be as good as
its weakest link.

VG Veteran Member • Posts: 4,732
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Tom,

Tom_Bruno wrote:

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.

The internal LUT can only be accessed by SpectraView and not by 3rd party profilers. SpectraView automatically tunes the 2690 based on your presets such as white point, gamma intensity, etc.

I use a 2690 daily in my imaging consulting business and work with everything from high end print to simple web output. The enhanced color gamut allows me to see additional info that I would miss with sRGB based monitors and for web output, I have a Lacie Electron Blue IV to check by.

From what I've seen on this thread, your workflow wouldn't benefit from the 2690 anyways as it takes a good understanding and use of color gamuts to utilize the benefits. If I was you, I'd get a big, high end sRGB LCD and be done with it.
Regards,
VG

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,253
Everybody doing digital photos needs sRGB

What the previous poster said was very true. And before anything else, let me say if it hasn't already, that you can actually switch between sRGB and the hardware-calibrated profile in the monitor's menu (sRGB to/from P). So switching is not the most convenient thing, but it works OK, considering how sweet is having more color for your profiled photos with the 2690.

And, I also have the 2690 and I do a lot of HD video and TV viewing. It is outstanding for this. I have it calibrated with the Spectraview II software, on Windows XP and Vista via 2 different computers.

Tom_Bruno wrote:

[...] 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.

We all have a need for sRGB, unless one never wants their pictures to be displayed in a non-calibrated monitor. Especially people who have commercial websites (i.e. pros)

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 “

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.

If the 2490's functions are the same as the 2690, and I strongly suspect that they are, the sRGB preset (and the "N" preset too, by the way) cannot be changed either , just as any of the other presets cannot be calibrated using the colorimeter. You can only change some color settings for the 1, 2, 3, and 5 presets, but those won't be changed by the Spectraview calibration. That calibration has its own preset, which is "P". So, even if you have any preset set before calibration, after calibration you will see that you're now automagically in the "P" preset. Change from that, and the calibration goes poof. Back to pre-calibration-land.

So, to address your question, and to reiterate what the previous poster said, the 2490 does not really calibrate the sRGB preset, it is just that because the panel is more "limited" to near-sRGB gamut, the "P" setting on it looks a lot more like real sRGB even when it's hardware-calibrated using the 12-bit LUTs. But it's not quite sRGB exactly. It's just that the native gamut of the 2690 is so much wider that the difference is very discernible only then, but that's the good thing about it, and I'll say with confidence that that's pretty much why most people bought it over the 2490. The size difference is not very important. Again, this is all assuming that the 2490 has the same tweaking abilities and features as the 2690, which is what is advertised and people are saying.

And by the way, the 2690 doesn't calibrate to Adobe RGB either. When hardware-calibrating it, it just spreads the gamut within its available native gamut. It's just because it's so close to Adobe RGB that some people seem to think it's the same, it's the same relationship the 2490 has with the sRGB color space. Similar, but not quite the same:

Adobe RGB is the yellow outline, sRGB is the cyan one, and the calibrated 2690's gamut is the colored triangle (white outline).

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.

I think what's important now is what's your primary work, and if it's uncompromised color capabilities (limited only by technology or price), then you can choose something like the 2690 and compromise on having to switch the preset to sRGB gamut manually when you need to, which isn't that hard. If not, then you have the 2490 which is pretty much the same monitor, but looks more like the majority of other monitors on the net.

There could be the option to actually calibrate to sRGB, since the monitor's color changes over time, and after a while the sRGB preset might not be quite as accurate, but that's pretty much moot, since if you wanna accurately see sRGB pictures you need to use a color-aware program anyway, and there's no problem with the 2690 in those.

(continued in the next post)

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,253
Part 2

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.

You can do that, as I said above, if you don't mind switching in the menu once in a while.

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?

You're right.

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?

If you have the Spectraview II software and a compatible colorimeter (whose compatibility list has actually expanded to include the Spyder 2 and others in the latest version), which is the only way this whole thread would be relevant, then you can just switch sRGB to/from P in the monitor's OSD and be done with it. No reboot at all.

About profiles, since the color tweaking is being done in the monitor and not in Windows, I suspect the ICC profile that Spectraview assigns to the monitor in Windows is a dummy one. It doesn't do anything in Windows aside maybe to make sure there's no other profiles interfering. The monitor may be reading it directly, but I don't see why, because it has its own profiles that you can load in the Spectraview software. This suspected dummy profile doesn't do anything that I can tell in Windows itself. In any case, for what you ask, you don't need to switch profiles in Windows or in the monitor.

So, all in all, it's a great monitor for an LCD. There are limitations with S-IPS monitors, like black levels, but I've tried an S-PVA panel before (Dell 2407) and was very disappointed with the contrast shift. This is what I saw, if you're interested.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=23024058

and the follow-up with pictures:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=23058338

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,253
Yeah, but it's not very relevant.

PixelDave wrote:

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

What the sRGB preset will give you is what most other monitors will give you, only the 2690 will presumably compress the gamut, aside from changing colors. But if you need accurate sRGB anyway, you need to also be using a color-aware program, and the calibrated 2690 doesn't have a problem with that. For non-color aware programs as most browsers, sRGB accuracy won't be relevant in any case. Just close enough is good enough.

Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
Re: Part 2

saynomore wrote:

About profiles, since the color tweaking is being done in the monitor
and not in Windows, I suspect the ICC profile that Spectraview
assigns to the monitor in Windows is a dummy one. It doesn't do
anything in Windows aside maybe to make sure there's no other
profiles interfering. The monitor may be reading it directly, but I
don't see why, because it has its own profiles that you can load in
the Spectraview software. This suspected dummy profile doesn't do
anything that I can tell in Windows itself. In any case, for what you
ask, you don't need to switch profiles in Windows or in the monitor.

Fully colour-managed applications would need to know whether the monitor was in sRGB or it's "wide-gamut" mode.

The only way such colour-managed applications can tell which monitor mode you are using, is if you switch between different ICM profiles in the Windows Display Color Management dialog/setting (which are read by the "fully CM'd" application).

You wouldn't need to reboot - just change the default display profile before launching the application.

But of course - you're probably wouldn't want to be using "colour-managed" applications with your wide-gamut monitor in "sRGB" mode - (unless confusion sets in - which seems more than likely).

Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
FF3 colour management...

Pigasus wrote:

Will49 wrote:

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.

I'd like to add my thanks for your detailed explanation of the issues.

Firefox may well be a solution. But only if it assumes that untagged
images are sRGB. This is a question I have raised in a number of
places but I still don't know the answer. So do you know what
Firefox 3 does with untagged images? Is it really going to be the
whole solution?

As I replied in another thread, but for the benefit of readers in this thread...

Firefox 3 (with CM enabled) assumes sRGB where there is no colour profile associated with an image. The colour translation between sRGB and the monitor profile still occurs (if the monitor is not itself sRGB), so the colours should look correct.

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,253
Still...

Mark H wrote:

Fully colour-managed applications would need to know whether the
monitor was in sRGB or it's "wide-gamut" mode.

The monitor profile used by color-aware programs is so the graphics card can modify its output to suit the monitor, but this is at the cost of tweaking the card's LUT. There would be no point in having a 12-bit LUT in the monitor if you need to tweak the card's LUT too. The point is exactly that you don't have to tweak the card, and just leave it at its native color settings.

The only way such colour-managed applications can tell which monitor
mode you are using, is if you switch between different ICM profiles
in the Windows Display Color Management dialog/setting (which are
read by the "fully CM'd" application).

With the NEC and other similar monitors, the only thing color-aware apps need to do is read the picture's profile, interpret what the color values mean, then output that information as it is. It is the monitor's job now to do the conversion for the display output. I have done some testing that suggests that this is indeed true. I don't have an application that can only read the picture's profile, but let you choose only to use/not to use the monitor profile to compare, but if the image is untagged, you can see what difference it makes if you use/don't use the monitor profile in software like Zoombrowser (Canon's software). The answer is none.

That software has an "Adjust color of images using monitor profile" option, but it would be more accurate to say "use ICC management", because it not only enables the monitor's profile, but also enables reading the image tags, so tagged images do display a difference, but it's because their tag, not the output to the monitor (i.e. the monitor profile). As I said, the way to get around this is to test with untagged images, and they don't show any difference.

You wouldn't need to reboot - just change the default display profile
before launching the application.

But of course - you're probably wouldn't want to be using
"colour-managed" applications with your wide-gamut monitor in "sRGB"
mode - (unless confusion sets in - which seems more than likely).

Yeah, you're totally right. That was actually my point in another post in this thread.

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Part 2

Saynomore – First off, thanks for your detailed and informative response. Also I read your posts on the Dell 2407, including the one with the side by side screen shots. That post was great. A picture is worth a thousand words, and those shots spoke volumes.

You’ve answered many of my questions, but I have a handful more you might be of help with if you have the chance.

saynomore wrote:
…you can actually switch
between sRGB and the hardware-calibrated profile in the monitor's
menu (sRGB to/from P). So switching is not the most convenient thing,
but it works OK, considering how sweet is having more color for your
profiled photos with the 2690.

You’ve reassured me. I now feel fearless about this switching procedure.

We all have a need for sRGB, unless one never wants their pictures to
be displayed in a non-calibrated monitor. Especially people who have
commercial websites (i.e. pros)

Right. For some years to come there will be millions of people viewing whatever images we post on our websites or on Pbase or the like, and seeing them on their sRGB monitors using non-color-aware programs like IE.

If the 2490's functions are the same as the 2690…the sRGB preset (and the "N" preset too, by the way) cannot be changed either, just as any of the other presets cannot be calibrated using the colorimeter. You can only
change some color settings for the 1, 2, 3, and 5 presets, but those
won't be changed by the Spectraview calibration. That calibration has
its own preset, which is "P". So, even if you have any preset set
before calibration, after calibration you will see that you're now
automatically in the "P" preset. Change from that, and the
calibration goes poof. Back to pre-calibration-land.

Bear with me, this will be my first LCD. Here’s what is no doubt a dumb question: After calibrating the NEC hardware using SpectraView II, is it possible to additionally use the Eye One or Spyder's software for a second profile, to fine-tune the internal NEC profile, stored on the PC to drive the graphics card? Two profiles at once? Or is either/or, SpectraView or Eye One profiles? How does that work?

It's just that the native gamut of the 2690 is so much wider
that the difference is very discernible only then, but that's the
good thing about it, and I'll say with confidence that that's pretty
much why most people bought it over the 2490. The size difference is
not very important. Again, this is all assuming that the 2490 has the
same tweaking abilities and features as the 2690, which is what is
advertised and people are saying.

So I gather that the 2490 has no advantage in displaying sRGB, despite its 76% color gamut. I was guessing, apparently incorrectly, that the narrower gamut was set up expressly for sRGB, since sRGB is the most widely used standard . I had the impression that the 2490 was being marketed to those who primarily used non-graphics programs, to make sRGB appear correct, but apparently this is not true. .

And by the way, the 2690 doesn't calibrate to Adobe RGB either. When
hardware-calibrating it, it just spreads the gamut within its
available native gamut. It's just because it's so close to Adobe RGB
that some people seem to think it's the same, it's the same
relationship the 2490 has with the sRGB color space. Similar, but not
quite the same:

Very interesting, and a good point. I’ll bet a lot of people don't realize that. I didn't.

My priority for a high quality monitor at this time is photo editing. I know I can do the internet and Office on most screens. My laptop handles them adequately. But my laptop (Think Pad) has the same extreme viewing angle problems that ordinary LCD’s do.

It’s clear that no LCD is great yet. Certainly not perfect. Life is a compromise. I’d like to swing my usage towards photography, which is a serious hobby for me. As to other programs, I do need at least adequate, or acceptable, images.

Just close enough is good enough.

That would work for me.

Here's where a picture or two would be worth a few thousand words. If you have the time and energy, maybe you would take a couple of screen shots of images as they appear on the 2690, calibrated to aRGB, from IE or Power Point (non-color-aware) and the same image in Photoshop. Or whatever comparison you think would be meaningful. Side by side they would tell a story, as did your excellent shots of the Dell vs. the NEC.

If sRGB looks OK, “pretty good,” “acceptable,” “good enough” or some such thing there wouldn’t be an issue for me in getting the wide gamut monitor and setting it up. And I don’t mind the idea of switching modes, now that you’ve explained it so well.

Again, a picture would be worth a lot of words. I do not mean to pressure you in any way, but if you deem it possible to do a screenshot, I’m sure others would also love to see it as well.

Thanks again for your detailed comments.
---------------
Tom B

 Tom_Bruno's gear list:Tom_Bruno's gear list
Canon G9 X Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +3 more
Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
You are confused/wrong...

saynomore wrote:

Mark H wrote:

Fully colour-managed applications would need to know whether the
monitor was in sRGB or it's "wide-gamut" mode.

The monitor profile used by color-aware programs is so the graphics
card can modify its output to suit the monitor, but this is at the
cost of tweaking the card's LUT.

No, that is incorrect.

The ICM profile on the PC contains both the "description" of the monitor's characteristics post calibration (after the LUT is applied in the graphics card - i.e. the RGB chromaticity coordinates, and the "calibrated" gamma characteristic) - AND additionaly it also happens to be used (but not always) as a place to store the calibration's LUT data.

It's only the "Gamma LUT Loader" utility that accesses the LUT data (usually just at system start up).

The "colour-aware" applications do NOT use the LUT data - they only make use of the post LUT calibrated "characteristics" information (chromaticities, and "overall" gamma).

An important point to note here is - that the colour managing applications do not use the graphics card to perform any manipulations; the colour managing applications perform the neccessary colour data translations entirely within the applications themselves (albeit most often using Windows API/DLL function calls).

There would be no point in having a
12-bit LUT in the monitor if you need to tweak the card's LUT too.
The point is exactly that you don't have to tweak the card, and just
leave it at its native color settings.

Yes - that statement is largely true - although I'll repeat, the monitor's internal 12 bit LUT only deals with gamma, black/grey/white calibration, in essence it has nothing to do with gamut translation.

The only way such colour-managed applications can tell which monitor
mode you are using, is if you switch between different ICM profiles
in the Windows Display Color Management dialog/setting (which are
read by the "fully CM'd" application).

With the NEC and other similar monitors, the only thing color-aware
apps need to do is read the picture's profile, interpret what the
color values mean, then output that information as it is. It is the
monitor's job now to do the conversion for the display output.

No - that's wrong.

The monitor normally doesn't make any "colour profile" translation ( see bottom of page).

The colour-aware apps (the full ones like Photoshop), read both the image file's profile AND the system's display profile - and then the app' makes the translation between the source and the output profile.

It couldn't be any other way - because the app's conversion HAS to have a "destination/output" profile, otherwise it wouldn't know what colour profile to convert too, and would then default to the narrow sRGB.

I have
done some testing that suggests that this is indeed true. I don't
have an application that can only read the picture's profile, but let
you choose only to use/not to use the monitor profile to compare, but
if the image is untagged, you can see what difference it makes if you
use/don't use the monitor profile in software like Zoombrowser
(Canon's software). The answer is none.
That software has an "Adjust color of images using monitor profile"
option, but it would be more accurate to say "use ICC management",
because it not only enables the monitor's profile, but also enables
reading the image tags, so tagged images do display a difference, but
it's because their tag, not the output to the monitor (i.e. the
monitor profile). As I said, the way to get around this is to test
with untagged images, and they don't show any difference.

The best way to test the difference a monitor's profile makes, is simply to switch between/associate "very different" monitor profiles in the Windows> Display Properties> Settings> Advanced> Color Management> Set as Default dialog.

Try switching the default profile associated to the monitor between something like "WideGamutRGB" and "sRGB Color Space Profile" - then relaunch the application, and load the same tagged input file.

In Photoshop you would see an enormous difference between having the two different monitor profiles (colour management enabled) - which clearly demonstrates the importance of having the right profile associated with current characteristics/mode of the monitor.

And this is why you should need to switch between different ICM profiles in Windows/App's, when switching between the NEC 2690's "wide/native gamut" and "sRGB" modes, when using "fully colour-managed app's" - to the application/PC system, it's like you are effectively switching between different monitors (although actually just gamut/profile is changing).

But of course - you're probably wouldn't want to be using
"colour-managed" applications with your wide-gamut monitor in "sRGB"
mode - (unless confusion sets in - which seems more than likely).

Yeah, you're totally right. That was actually my point in another
post in this thread.

Of course, that previous last observation still stands.

Note: The one situation where the NEC monitor (and others with the same function) actually does do colour translation - is of course, when you switch into the special "sRGB" mode.

In this special case, the monitor receives what should be "sRGB colour data", and then translates it into the panel's "native wide-gamut" colour space, so that it displays it correctly.

But in all other, normal day to day scenarios, it's the O/S or applications that translate whatever source data profile into the the display's profile (not the graphics card, and not the monitor) - and again I'll repeat, if you effectively change the display's profile, the OS/applications need to know.

carauction Veteran Member • Posts: 6,647
Re: question in layman terms, much appreciated

Mitrajoon wrote:

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.

I was wondering if any would be kind enough to expand on this post. I also have an aRGB workflow. My end result is to be able to Post Process my images to their fullest potential where I can see the rewards in my prints. Is this the biggest reason one would buy the 2690, for its wide aRGB color gamut?

Now, after converting a file that you have worked on to sRGB colorspace for web posting, is there going to be a problem the way others see this file on their monitor? Or, is the problem going to be how the 2690 shows an sRGB image on its' monitor.

Would any be kind enough to explain LUT's. I know they are Look up Tables. How are they used, and to what advantages? I use Monaco Optics XR for calibrating. It also shows an area for LUT's. Would I have any problem using this calibrating software on the 2690 model?

The price difference between the 2490 & 2690 is not that much. With rebate, $1100 vs. $990 at Provantage.

So the bottom line question in layman terms(appreciated), if one is looking for as much info. in their aRGB file as possible to achieve the best possible prints, is the wide gamut 2690 the answer? And if one is also looking to share and 'view' images in sRGB web colorspace, is there a drawback to this monitor?

And lastly, is there much to lose as far as file info with the NEC2490, but more to gain as far as sRGB web viewing & sharing.

Thank you for responses

Mike

Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
8 bit panels don't have 2^12 colours (12 bit colour)...

There's more confusion/misinformation here, I believe...

saynomore wrote:

The big thing about 12-bit LUTs in monitors, even if the output to
the panel itself is only 8-bit, is that the display chooses between
those 68.7 thousand million (12-bit color) or so colors available
and maps them to the 8-bit output (16.78 million or so colors). With
an 8-bit LUT, you'd have only 16.78 million colors to choose from, to
map to their correct places in a 16.78 million color output, thus
some repeated colors will be displayed, and potential posterization.

I'm pretty certain that these 8 bit flat panels cannot pick from 68.7 thousand million colours.

The LCD panels themselves (just the glass LCD componentsl) only have an 8 bit per colour interface. This indicates that there are only the 16.7 million possible predefined colours available, at best.

The 12 bits refered to in the internal LUT has more to do with "added precision" (analogous to having more decimal places) - this increased precision helps to minimise/eliminate rounding errors (that introduce inaccuracies and banding) that can otherwise occur during the integer based digital signal processing involved in OSD adjustments etc.

The only way these 8 bit panels could select more than the normal 16.7 million colours, would be to employ "dithering" of some kind - but to the best of my knowledge, this technique is only used in the lower cost/faster switching "6 bit", usually "TN" type panels.

Will49 Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: 8 bit panels don't have 2^12 colours (12 bit colour)...

Correct - the 8 bit panel modules are limited to 16.7 million colors, however when combined with dithering and FRC techniques, the extra 4 bits can be rendered.

Similar to how 6 bit panels render 8 bit data, but in this case extended to 12 bit data on an 8 bit panel.

Mark H wrote:

I'm pretty certain that these 8 bit flat panels cannot pick from
68.7 thousand million colours.

The LCD panels themselves (just the glass LCD componentsl) only have
an 8 bit per colour interface. This indicates that there are only the
16.7 million possible predefined colours available, at best.

The 12 bits refered to in the internal LUT has more to do with "added
precision" (analogous to having more decimal places) - this increased
precision helps to minimise/eliminate rounding errors (that introduce
inaccuracies and banding) that can otherwise occur during the integer
based digital signal processing involved in OSD adjustments etc.

The only way these 8 bit panels could select more than the normal
16.7 million colours, would be to employ "dithering" of some kind -
but to the best of my knowledge, this technique is only used in the
lower cost/faster switching "6 bit", usually "TN" type panels.

-- hide signature --

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

Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
Thanks for the correction/clarification...

Will49 wrote:

Correct - the 8 bit panel modules are limited to 16.7 million colors,
however when combined with dithering and FRC techniques, the extra 4
bits can be rendered.

Similar to how 6 bit panels render 8 bit data, but in this case
extended to 12 bit data on an 8 bit panel.

Thanks for that clarification - that's interesting to know.

So, I was "half right", but, also "half wrong" (still learning).

Presumably the dithering must only be "temporal" AKA "FRC" on quality 8 bit displays - because "spatial/pattern" dithering would introduce very nasty effects in still image display.

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: You are confused/wrong...

Mark and Will, thanks for your detailed input. As I’ve mentioned, I am new to LCD’s, having never owned one except for several laptops. I’m trying to understand how the basic characteristics of these screens apply to daily use.

Mark H wrote:

Note: The one situation where the NEC monitor (and others with the
same function) actually does do colour translation - is of course,
when you switch into the special "sRGB" mode.

In this special case, the monitor receives what should be "sRGB
colour data", and then translates it into the panel's "native
wide-gamut" colour space, so that it displays it correctly.

But “correctly” in that case would mean correct for the OS and programs to which NEC originally created the internal sRGB, not necessarily any one user’s setup. So using the preset sRGB can result in oversaturated images on the display, as was reported by the people on those threads I mentioned earlier, and here on DPR.

Try switching the default profile associated to the monitor between
something like "WideGamutRGB" and "sRGB Color Space Profile" - then
relaunch the application, and load the same tagged input file.

In Photoshop you would see an enormous difference between having the
two different monitor profiles (colour management enabled) - which
clearly demonstrates the importance of having the right profile
associated with current characteristics/mode of the monitor.

And this is why you should need to switch between different ICM
profiles in Windows/App's, when switching between the NEC 2690's
"wide/native gamut" and "sRGB" modes, when using "fully
colour-managed app's" - to the application/PC system, it's like you
are effectively switching between different monitors (although
actually just gamut/profile is changing).

If I read you correctly, that means I can/should profile the 2690, if I get one, in two ways: 1) For wide gamut, to use Photoshop, and 2) For standard gamut, or sRGB, to use the internet, Power Point etc.

And if I’m getting this right, you’re saying that I can switch profiles back and forth as needed to accommodate different tasks.

And that seems to say that profiling the monitor for sRGB and using that profile is replacing the need for switching the 2690’s internal mode to sRGB. Also that since creating an sRGB profile involves calibrating the monitor to my own system, it will be more accurate for displaying sRGB on my own system than the 2690’s preset sRGB.

Bottom line, if the above is correct, it means that using the two profiles would allow the 2690 to display either sRGB or aRGB, but not at the same time. And the sRGB profile would be pretty close to accurate.

But of course - you're probably wouldn't want to be using
"colour-managed" applications with your wide-gamut monitor in "sRGB"
mode - (unless confusion sets in - which seems more than likely).

Yeah, you're totally right.

Oh, yes. Confusion has set in.

To risk repeating myself, are the creation and use of profiles, as above, a “fix” for this over saturation? By calibrating the 2690 to one’s own system, will it render sRGB images correctly, or “pretty close?”

Finally, I’d like to get back to the basic point. I want a very good monitor for photo editing. I also need to use it for general work. I’m willing to adapt by making profiles, and switching them as needed.

From the recent discussion, it seems like the 2690 could function in this way, for both editing and net viewing – assuming the user sets and changes profiles for the different tasks.

If so, that would answer Mike’s similar question:

carauction wrote:

So the bottom line question in layman terms(appreciated), if one is
looking for as much info. in their aRGB file as possible to achieve
the best possible prints, is the wide gamut 2690 the answer? And if
one is also looking to share and 'view' images in sRGB web
colorspace, is there a drawback to this monitor?

IF I’m right, the drawback can be fixed with the profiles.

And lastly, is there much to lose as far as file info with the
NEC2490, but more to gain as far as sRGB web viewing & sharing.

I’d like to know that, too.

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Tom B

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Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
Clarification, corrections, and advice...

Tom_Bruno wrote:

Mark H wrote:

Note: The one situation where the NEC monitor (and others with the
same function) actually does do colour translation - is of course,
when you switch into the special "sRGB" mode.

In this special case, the monitor receives what should be "sRGB
colour data", and then translates it into the panel's "native
wide-gamut" colour space, so that it displays it correctly.

But “correctly” in that case would mean correct for the OS and
programs to which NEC originally created the internal sRGB, not
necessarily any one user’s setup.

No, not at all.

The "sRGB" mode is totally independent of any OS or program - it simply makes the monitor behave just as if it were a regular commonplace sRGB display.

So using the preset sRGB can
result in oversaturated images on the display, as was reported by the
people on those threads I mentioned earlier, and here on DPR.

It's difficult to see why images would look oversaturated on the "sRGB mode" - it should be more likely to see either normal or undersaturated.

....And this is why you should need to switch between different ICM
profiles in Windows/App's, when switching between the NEC 2690's
"wide/native gamut" and "sRGB" modes, when using "fully
colour-managed app's" - to the application/PC system, it's like you
are effectively switching between different monitors (although
actually just gamut/profile is changing).

If I read you correctly, that means I can/should profile the 2690, if
I get one, in two ways: 1) For wide gamut, to use Photoshop, and 2)
For standard gamut, or sRGB, to use the internet, Power Point etc.

If NEC have done a reasonably good job of the "sRGB mode" then you may not need to profile it - but there's certainly little to lose if you do.

You may know that this particular NEC cannot hold an internal calibration for its sRGB mode, so such a profile has to be done the usual way using graphics card LUT loading.

This may cause a further problem - because if you want to switch between monitor gamut modes, you would not only need to switch the ICM profile on the PC to keep your fully colour-managed app's like Photoshop happy (to enable them to determine the colour gamut in use), but you would also need to clear out/load back in any gamma correction LUT loaded into the graphics card from the sRGB profiling/calibration.

Loading gama correction LUTs conventionaly only occurs on OS startup - but you can manually run the gamma loader from the short-cut in the startup folder (after switching the Windows Default ICM profile).

And if I’m getting this right, you’re saying that I can switch
profiles back and forth as needed to accommodate different tasks.

Well, yes, but...

And that seems to say that profiling the monitor for sRGB and using
that profile is replacing the need for switching the 2690’s internal
mode to sRGB. Also that since creating an sRGB profile involves
calibrating the monitor to my own system, it will be more accurate
for displaying sRGB on my own system than the 2690’s preset sRGB.

Not quite right I'm afraid - you always have to switch the monitor mode (at the very least).

To switch between the two gamut modes - you'd ideally want to both switch the mode on the monitor AND correspondingly change the ICM file in use on the PC OS, - AND then reload the graphics card LUT.

Bottom line, if the above is correct, it means that using the two
profiles would allow the 2690 to display either sRGB or aRGB, but not
at the same time. And the sRGB profile would be pretty close to
accurate.

To risk repeating myself, are the creation and use of profiles, as
above, a “fix” for this over saturation? By calibrating the 2690 to
one’s own system, will it render sRGB images correctly, or “pretty
close?”

The calibrations merely help with accuracy in their respective modes - but it's having the appropriate colour profile in place whilst using the respective mode that is the key thing - but the profiles only matter when using fully colour-managed applications like Photoshop.

When using non-colour managed app's you can either switch to the NEC's sRGB mode, or put up with oversaturated colour in the NEC's native wide-gamut mode. N.B. Changing the ICM profile (on the OS/PC) has no affect in non-colour managed applications (because, by definition, these app's don't take any notice of the profiles).

Finally, I’d like to get back to the basic point. I want a very good
monitor for photo editing. I also need to use it for general work.
I’m willing to adapt by making profiles, and switching them as needed.

From the recent discussion, it seems like the 2690 could function in
this way, for both editing and net viewing – assuming the user sets
and changes profiles for the different tasks.

It could - but - I think it's clear from many peoples' confusion, and the complications/hassle involved - I personaly think that most people would be generally better off all round NOT buying these wide-gamut displays.

The current benefit's of using wide-gamut displays probably do not justify the effort and the complications involved - for the majority.

I would personaly recommend most people to just get a top notch "regular sRGB" display - which not only would be every bit as good for most people, but also less complicated to deal with, less technical issues, and also would very likely be considerably less costly.

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,253
sorry I'm late.

I haven't had too much time to go through your replies, but it seems reasonable what you say. We're all here mostly to learn, so thanks for that. I've never heard of dithering in 8-bit native panels, but like you say, it only makes sense. Do you have any links explaining this further, and/or any ways to detect if it's true?

About profiles, I still don't have the time to read your post and do what you say thoroughly, so maybe I'll get back to you on that. It did cross my mind before that the suspected (by me, at least) dummy profile was more than just null data, but it didn't dawn on me what on earth it could do.

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Clarification, corrections, and advice..Part 1

Mark, thanks for another detailed and informative reply. I must say I agree with your basic points, including your conclusion that wide gamut monitors aren’t suitable for most people’s needs at this time.

I’ll post a couple of comments, then a final question. My post is a bit long, so I’m splitting it to two parts. Sorry for the length.

Mark H wrote:
It's difficult to see why images would look oversaturated on the
"sRGB mode" - it should be more likely to see either normal or
under saturated.

But plenty people complain about OVER-saturated images while using wide gamut monitors on the net, including with NEC 2690 and the Samsung 24 inch. Here are a few samples, Samsung first:

“the Samsung 245T was exhibiting overly saturated reds and oranges. This is the same problem that I had with the Dell. These wide gamut monitors seem to give you more saturated, vivid color.”
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=24569333

“these extended gamut monitors are totally different then the monitors they replace. I just wasted 10 days with my GretagMacBeth Photo SG ($1500) system and Match3 plus ColorEyes software and could not get a satisfactory result on the Dell 2407.”
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=24589591

The color is WAY too saturated and the contrast is about 25% too high and that was AFTER color calibration.

I ended up taking it down to 25% of normal saturation, just look at ANY of the normal Windows colors on the desktop for a clue. WAY over the top.

At this point the only two monitors the truly make the grade in flat panel are the LaCie's and the Eizo.
I spent a long long time doing the homework.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=24588115

and a couple of threads where you posted comments:

“I made some portraits in Lightroom/Photoshop cs3 and uploaded them to my website for the customer to see.

Problem is that in the webbrowser (and my emailprogram) colors are way way off. Much to reddish/magenta. Terrible. The woman mailed me and complained about the colors being off. I can see why. What I see in my colormanaged programs and on the internet (or my emailprogram) is so different that it's hard to live with.

I have a 30" HP LP3065 which is calibrated, Colors match prints perfectly.

It has a wide gamut so the difference between my pics in CS3 and on the internet is quite extreme.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=24461564&changemode=1

And regarding the Dell 3007WFP-HC:

“If you are running Windows XP, the desktop color management is limited. The whole system is color managed but with the final output color space set to sRGB. Connecting one of those wide gamut monitors to it, you will first be amazed by the vivid colors for the landscape photos but then suddenly be shocked to see wrong skin tones for the portraits.”

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=25060360&changemode=1

There are also mentions of over saturation of sRGB on the NEC 2690 in the Hard Forum links I posted earlier.

(continued in part 2)
---------------
Tom B

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OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Clarification, corrections, and advice...Part 2

Back to your past, Mark:

…because if you want to switch
between monitor gamut modes, you would not only need to switch the
ICM profile on the PC to keep your fully colour-managed app's like
Photoshop happy (to enable them to determine the colour gamut in
use), but you would also need to clear out/load back in any gamma
correction LUT loaded into the graphics card from the sRGB
profiling/calibration.

Loading gamma correction LUTs conventionally only occurs on OS startup

  • but you can manually run the gamma loader from the short-cut in the

startup folder (after switching the Windows Default ICM profile).

Switching modes is evidently a pretty involved process. And no doubt there’s plenty room for error along the way.

…you always have to switch the monitor
mode (at the very least).

To switch between the two gamut modes - you'd ideally want to both
switch the mode on the monitor AND correspondingly change the ICM
file in use on the PC OS, - AND then reload the graphics card LUT.

Hmmhh. That sounds like too much to go through on a regular basis, like every time I switch from Photoshop to the net. Photography is a serious hobby for me, but it is a hobby. My professional work is not graphics based, so I need those standard sRGB programs to look about right through most of the day. Getting a wide gamut monitor seems impractical for all around usage.

The calibrations merely help with accuracy in their respective modes

  • but it's having the appropriate colour profile in place whilst

using the respective mode that is the key thing - but the profiles
only matter when using fully colour-managed applications like
Photoshop.

That is, not using the net under WinXP.

…it seems like the 2690 could function…for both editing and net viewing – assuming the user sets
and changes profiles for the different tasks.

It could - but - I think it's clear from many peoples' confusion, and
the complications/hassle involved - I personally think that most
people would be generally better off all round NOT buying these
wide-gamut displays.

The current benefit's of using wide-gamut displays probably do not
justify the effort and the complications involved - for the majority.

On this point I think you’re clearly right. Other people have said the same thing in other threads, but you’ve spelled out the technical details with such logical detail that your conclusion is inevitable.

One day we’ll all have new computers with new operating systems and new programs that are fully color aware and compatible. That will not be next year or the one after. Graphics professionals, Mac users and others whose work is dedicated to color critical jobs would probably benefit from these Porsches of the monitor world. But for everyone else they’re pretty restrictive. I agree that for most people these wide gamut monitors would be more trouble than pleasure. A high pain to low pleasure ratio, it seems.

I would personally recommend most people to just get a top notch
"regular sRGB" display - which not only would be every bit as good
for most people, but also less complicated to deal with, less
technical issues, and also would very likely be considerably less
costly.

My final question: Does the NEC 2490WUXi meet that description? IPS panel, nice big 24 inch screen and all, with standard gamut. The 2490, my other choice, seems like a top notch “regular” sRGB monitor, that would function well with both Photoshop and the internet. With no hassles.

Am I missing something one this one?

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Tom B

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