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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ColorBars Are Next To Useless On LCD's

What might of worked so well for NTSC / PAL years ago just doesn't fly these days with LCD panels. The beloved bars will only give you the most basic go / no go idea of if a monitor is even in the ball park. Unless you have super calibrated eyes there are so many things that change with LCD's it isn't funny. They very often have non-linear gamma compared to CRT's, and can have color shifts as well, never mind maybe a screen might have different R,G and B curves.

The price of the panel may have no bearing on how good it is, to whit :

a $500 Asus P246Q 10bit panel is just plain red, and has a brighter then linear top end as shown by the Spyder3 Elite ( another piece of highly probablamatic gear). I have been messing with this panel now for a month with no love.

a $150 Vizio 17" monitor from costco was near perfect. Go figure this one out - dead on color and when running the MXO2 eyeball calibration routine, it showed all gray steps from black to white right out of the box. It required the most minimal of adjustments, and would of been fine as is. I'd recommend this as a location monitor if you want something cheap you don't have to worry about, and need something pretty accurate.

Eventually I'll get the Asus calibrated to the point I can trust it, or I may just spend a lot of cash on a couple of apple 27" monitors. They have great images, are IPS panels, but have one major flaw - glossy screens that make using them in most normal environments a problem, hence the reason I went with the Asus that had great reviews for 1/2 the price. Time will tell whether I should of taken my own advice and bought it right ( read more expensive ) the first time around. Given that you never really know what you get when you buy a panel, sometimes the cheap ones are great, and the expensive ones not so great. I'm not splurging on a Flanders this year.


color bars