I am in the process of buying a Samsung 46 LCD for TV and to show jpeg images. I am wondering where/how can I get a calibration done to get sRGB colors on the Samsung 6 series lcd tv.

Any ideas?



I have a 2010 series 8.. there are a few ways to do this and all depend on the input used.

If you're using an HDMI input and running a blue-ray or dvd.. then Spyder makes a television calibrator that helps balance your colors for television viewing.  I have this and it does indeed make a difference.

If you're using an HDMI input via your PC.. and I've done this via a ATI 5770, 5970, and currently a 5450 card with native HDMI.. you just can't use a regular profiling puck and software.. at least not successfully and at least not any of the three that I have (NEC wide-gamut puck, Xrite 1id2, Spyder Pro). 

My experience shows these panels are not designed to be a computer monitor, so sRGB is not a consideration in their design.  In fact, their gamut appears to be much smaller.  Also keep in mind that a 50" 1920x1080p monitor vs. say a NEC LCD2690uxi2 imaging monitor at 1920x1200.. then the pixels on the 50" are way bigger and it really shows making text hard to read.

With all that said.. I love using my 50" Series 8 for several uses.   It's great for tethered shooting, models love looking to the big monitor just to see their pose and expression and it helps them to see each image as it happens.  In this case exact color doesn't really matter.

I also use it to share images with family and friends and sometimes customers I invite over to my home.  They can sit on the sofa and be comfortable and if there is no harsh sunlight shining in (evening time) then they can very easily see the screen and the image on the screen and they enjoy viewing images in this matter.. most say it beats sitting at a desk with a 26 or 30 inch monitor.  But again, they're not looking at the finer details or color.. just the overall experience of the image.

To get the colors right on my set.. I put it in movie mode.. as a starting point.  Having experimented with the other modes I find movie mode is the closest to what I want (sRGB)..

Then I use the ATI Catalyst utility to adjust brightness, color saturation, contrast, and hue from there.  Go to the graphics menu, then "desktops and displays" and then right click on the bottom row of displays (not the top row with identifying numbers in the center) and choose "configure."  Choose color.. and then put up a test image and adjust by eye.  You'll find you can get it very close.. but some color will be out no matter how close you get it.  With mine it's the reds.. the reds aren't quite right.. so once I get it the best I can there.. then I go to the tv to the "white balance" settings and tweak the reds to be as close as possible.

There is also a maintenance menu on all these sets and there are professionals out there who make a mint color calibrating television panels.. their gear is expensive... and designed for a television gamut and not a computer gamut.. so while high end home theater owners find them a worthwhile value.. they're not much use to us.

Each input needs to be calibrated separately to the device connected to that input, be it a computer or a dvd player or a cable box..  At least on good sets.  Cheaper sets won't let you individually adjust each input.

If anyone finds a software/hardware package that lets them profile their panel for sRGB I'd sure like to know.. but so far computer monitor pucks/software.. while you can get them to produce a profile.. it's unusable..

I hope this helps



Reposted from a forum who will remain nameless because they prefer it that way.. ;o)

The Question and background information:

Anyone have any advice or suggestions for high resolution monitors in Bkk? I recently bought a Samsung SyncMaster 2343 but it was killing my eyes, I was getting migraines, face burning up etc - moved onto my Dell Latitude 1920x1200 laptop and all the eye problems disappeared so I think it's a resolution issue...

Actually, if anyone has any advice regarding the eye issues I was having [I pretty much live in front of my monitor]....I'd be very grateful...been thinking about getting some anti-glare glasses or something but I'm not convinced it's not simply a resolution issue...

Firstly, thank you thank you! I mean, I've spoken to my ophthalmologist and whilst he's quite competent, I got the distinct impression he didn't know a great deal about CRT v LCD and hertz and refresh rates and all that [and neither do I for that matter - obv].

 I'm a writer [of debatable / questionable ability] but all the same, I spent probably up to 15 hrs a day staring straight into the screen. I have some issues with focus where I have *too* much focus [if that even makes sense], and this is a problem because no matter what I try, I can't seem to do all the eye exercises recommended, the hourly breaks, hel_l I forget to put in eye-drops for 6-8 hrs at times. And I've never needed to do any of this, despite pretty much doing what I do for many years now. But - and this might be retarded - the only *variable* changed that I'm able to isolate was this new Samsung monitor with [relatively] low resolution.

I've always had super high res screens on my laptops and widescreens at home. And literally a day or two after I thought to myself it could be this new Samsung low res monitor - and swapped over to my old laptop [15.4" UltraSharp WUXGA (1920x1200) Display with Wide Viewing Angle] that a month or two of excruciating and worsening eye soreness / burning almost disappeared.

So I'm thinking - and please tell me if this is illogical - that if I get a Dell UltraSharp 27" with 2560x1440 resolution, I'll be laughing? For what it's worth my last two monitors [which I never had eye problems with] were a Samsung T216 1900x1200 22" and a ViewSonic 24" 1900x1200 I think.

It's got to be this SyncMaster 2343 with low res right?

If you're wondering why I don't just stick with the laptop, it's because the screen is too small and I find myself bending forward in very unergonomic positioning for long periods of time - and I *know* that will end up badly sooner or later.

In terms of what my uses are: I really just need crystal clear definition I think - I don't watch TV or DVDs with it, mostly just endless writing and reading small text. For 15 hrs a day. On programs like mostly Chrome with Google Docs and Office I guess - lots of forums, um yea that's pretty much my 'requirements' for it....

Eye strain is my main concern - so things like refresh rate and video cards I need to learn about. I think I have all the latest specs in terms of video drivers and whatnot, but refresh rate is 60 hertz max on the Samsung - does that even make sense? lolz - I remember reading online that it should be 80 or higher?

Thanks again - you're an eye-saver!


The Response

S -

We should start out with the caveat that 'your' answer could be one or several different things, and that on-line like this we're doing a lot of guessing and supposing. With that said I've carefully read what you've written and given it some thought and I find several areas of what you've given me supporting information pointing towards the same areas. First, let me start out with some general information to set the background:

I also spend a fair amount of time in front of a computer screen, perhaps not as many as you, but with imaging we're looking at very fine details, differences in shades of colors, and subtle nuances that in the end can really strain the eye. I'd guess 4 hours spent doing serious imaging work equals 8 hours of general writing..

The most important thing for imaging professionals for both accuracy of their work and eye comfort is to set up a viewing area that places the user at an optimum distance from the screen so they can see the entire screen without eye strain, and without turning the neck. By eye movement only you should be able to easily view your entire display area. This remains the same for a dual monitor setup. The viewing area (work area) should ideally always be the same brightness, and ideally in a slightly dim room with no bright (read sunlight or bright interior lights) competing with your eyes against the display panel. So, a set and repeatable distance from the screen where eye movement only covers the entire display, a slightly dim room, and the monitor being the brightest light source in the room...

The current trend for monitors is the "glossy" high contrast look, similar to HDTV, because computer users overwhelmingly are playing games and viewing different types of media more than they're doing imaging or writing.. so most monitors have the "HDTV Look", and by that I mean a glossy highly reflective screen with a very bright very high contrast unit. People tend to think that because they're bigger and brighter and higher contrast.. then the "dim room" requirement is no longer necessary because now they can see the screen in brighter light.. even outdoors.. and they can. But think of how powerful the light levels are as they hit your eyes.. a tremendous amount of light. This is okay for younger healthy eyes, and shorter periods of time, but as you grow older and your eyes become less 'new', these bright conditions can severely reduce the amount of time you can spent in front of the display without discomfort.

Now think about your Samsung 2324 giving you issues.. but not your laptop. Your Samsung is the newer brighter high contrast glossy type of monitor and it allowed you to use it in a brighter room.. which you might have initially thought was great. Laptops put out much less light, even if they do have the glossy look, and pretty much force you to use them in a dimmer room.. thereby extending the amount of time you can use your monitor without eye strain. You might be cussing it for forcing you to work indoors or in a dim room.. but it's really working for you in the long run. As an example, a desktop glossy high contrast monitor is often recommended to be set at a luminance value of 190cdm's.. a laptop at 90. When I say recommended, I'm taking about a combination hardware/software profiling package that optimizes your display for both color and luminance. Quite the difference eh?

Then there is the fact that cheaper display panels really are "less sharp" than better ones, requiring you further crank up the luminance to clearly see the display. You can actually crank up the luminance so far that it blurs the characters/pixels.

Another fact is that if you have a 25.5 inch (using my own displays for an example) 1920x1200 screen.. and compare it to a 17 inch 1920x1200 screen.. it's obvious the actual pixels on the larger display are physically much larger than the smaller display. This means the larger display needs to be of a very high quality to sharply render each pixel.. an analogy would be a 42" HDTV looking sharper than a 60" HDTV.. for the 60" HDTV to 'appear' as sharp, it needs to be of a much higher quality.

There are different panels which are better suited for different tasks. A TN panel is the cheaper type and they're fine for office work and even game playing. An S-IPS panel usually has a 178degree viewing angle which makes them ideal for viewing at more severe angles.. which makes several people viewing the screen comfortably possible.. but S-IPS panels are usually slower to render so some motion blurring in fast moving sports and gaming becomes an issue.. perfect for imaging, imperfect for anything moving fast. This is why HDTV LCD and Plasma panels are touting 400mhz features to help with that motion blurring. The differences in panels is quite an in-depth subject, but if you're sitting in front of the monitor and you're just writing.. then really any type of panel is okay for your uses.. so let’s leave it at that for now.

Because you're not doing imaging where shades of colors are important you really have no need for an expensive imaging monitor, or calibration devices. However, your requirements are just as specific and you will need to properly adjust your monitor. I attached a test file to help you with this.

I would look for the best quality 23-27" monitor you can afford which has a matte surface. The monitor should have and OSD (on screen menu display) allowing you to adjust brightness, contrast, and colors (red green and blue). A "sharpness" control is what you'll find on a HDTV, not a quality computer monitor.. so if you see a sharpness control be wary of its quality.. they're just not common on quality computer monitors. You'll want to set up the monitor in a somewhat dim room perpendicular to your line of sight (eyes).

Once set up, bring up the attached image in any picture/image viewing program and make it full screen. Notice the two gray bar areas labeled 0-100? One is below the red divot in the upper right corner, and the other is larger and along the bottom left.  A quality monitor properly set up should show clearly defined different shades of gray/white squares in each block. If the last blocks on either end run together, then your monitor for sure needs adjustment. Simply adjust your contrast and brightness for the most clearly defined blocks. Jockey the contrast and brightness back and forth for the best defined blocks. Now.. adjust your RGB (red green blue) controls for the most pleasing skin tones and most realistic looking veggies and fruit.. and then you might need to set the brightness/contrast again. You want to use the minimum amount of contrast and brightness to clearly see the different blocks and to see the colors rendered properly.

As an example, your Samsung is rated at 1000:1 contrast. Most consumers think "Wow, that's great, the more contrast the better.." Well, in a bright room and for playing games sure.. but not for a workstation used many hours a day. My own workstation which is professionally calibrated is capable of much more than 1000:1 (my HDTV touts 100,000:1), but when properly calibrated it's only set at approximately 300:1. When set to match my printer it profiles out at 101:1, for imaging 247:1, and for the very bright internet websites 486:1.. (see attached information panels for each type of setting)..

An imaging professional needs 4-5 different settings depending on what they do.. for a writer and what you do, I'd recommend a 6500k (kelvin) whitepoint, a gamma of 2.2, and a luminance value of 110-140 depending on the light level in your viewing room. You'll notice that when setting those gray/white blocks of 0-100... that once set to see them, if you crank up the light level in your viewing room the readings will change.. so a consistent level of light in your viewing room is very important.. especially considering the hours of the day you use your computer, and your eye issues.

It might even be worth it to invest in an inexpensive hardware/software profiling device.. or a good used one. I can make some recommendations if you like. Though, if you use the provided chart and my instructions you should be fine.

By now you can start to put the pieces together why the laptop was better for your eyes.. it was forcing you into a certain type of viewing environment. And why the inexpensive Samsung was an issue.. it was allowing you to work outside that environment. Making sense now?

The more pixels on the screen aren't necessarily better.. there's nothing wrong with 1920x1200.. I just recently bought a pair of the best monitors for my eyes and use.. and they're 1920x1200's.. NEC LCD2690uxi2's which took over three months to arrive through NEC Thailand at a cost of over 50,000 each. While they're certainly overkill for you, I'm also certain they'd serve you very well. The question is.. can you get away for your needs for less money. I think you can.

The inexpensive Dell U2411 (24 inch 1920x1200 S-IPS) might be a good choice.. it's a matte screen, and generally profiles well. The U2711 (27 inch 2560x1440 S-IPS) is okay if you need that much screen.. and initially you'll find the text on your menus, browser, etc, to be very small.. but you can adjust this with your Windows or OSx DPI (dots per inch) setting.. you can customize it to your needs. Remember what I said about the monitor needing to be a very precise distance from your eyes so you can see the entire screen without turning your head? Once set at that distance, then increase your DPI until you can comfortably read the text.. and don't forgot, Cntl+ increases your browsers zoom, Cntrl- decreases it..

We've covered a lot.. way more than the average guy needs to know.. but your issues dictate you know more than the average guy. There is 10-20x more to know if you're a photographer.. even more if you're a photographer who prints an scans.. it's a complex area of study. I make a fair bit of living visiting professional photographers homes and properly calibrating and profiling their systems.. so you can imagine if pros are paying for these services they can be a bit difficult to understand and accomplish..

I hope I've been of some help..

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