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Screen - What to Know
article contains information about calibrating your screen, explaining the
target values and explaining what ICC profiles are:
There are two steps to these forms
1) Obtaining the optimum
starting point at a hardware level - this involves setting the OSD settings
to the recommended levels for brightness, contrast, RGB, gamma, colour
temperature etc. During a calibration process the device/software will often guide you to
reaching this optimum starting point before more finite corrections are made
through the creation of the profile at the graphics card level. Getting to the
best hardware setting first can help ensure the profiling needs to do "less
work" to correct your settings, and ensure tonal values are preserved. Use the
recommended OSD settings as a starting point which will be a good start
2) Profiling the screen at a
graphics card level - after the optimum hardware starting point has been
achieved, the rest of the process is usually automated, while the device makes
more accurate corrections to improve the gamma, white point and colour accuracy
of the screen. These corrections are made through the creation of the ICC
profile at a graphics card level. Once finished, the profile is activated and
combined with the OSD settings in step 1, should give you a good set-up. You can
use the ICC profiles available to offer that extra level of correction and
they can be easily activated, or removed if you do not see benefit or they do
not work on your screen.
Settings and ICC Profiles Database Caveats
contains information and profiles to help calibrate your monitor and hopefully
get things looking better. In the table above you will find some recommended OSD settings for
various models, along with an ICC profile which has been produced, and saved,
using a hardware calibration device. These have been collated from our various
reviews, as well as any which have been gathered from various sources and those
sent to us by readers.
There are some
very important things to consider however, so please take the following as some
are recommended and related to the calibration process which produces the ICC
profile. You may or may not find them useful on their own. Combining them with
the attached ICC profile is recommended
are created using various colorimeter devices, and so quality and accuracy
will vary. The device and software used is provided where possible
You need to
have the same version screen as the one which generated the profile.
Manufacturers sometimes switch the panels in their screens, so bear this in
mind. Revisions of the screen may also cause differences
Bear in mind
all these settings are related to the individual's screen, software, operating
system and PC hardware. Their relevance and effectiveness on your system may
only designed to hopefully help you get your screen looking and feeling
better. They may or may not improve actual colour rendering ability in real
terms, this will vary depending on setup and reasons listed above
accuracy, gamma, luminance and colour temperature may be improved when using
these settings and/or ICC profiles. Do not be alarmed if they do not work on
your screen and system. If they do not work, just remove the ICC profile and
restore your settings. It is totally reversible!
truly accurate results, you would need to use a calibration device on your own screen
and system and profile the screen with it yourself.
don't rely on these settings and profiles working magic on your screen! They
should hopefully help improve things for many users, but performance will vary
as explained above.
Install and Activate an ICC Profile
Please follow the below steps which should
guide you through setting your ICC profile in various operating systems.
If needed, this
DisplayProfile tool might be
useful. It is a small program which allows you to quickly and easily switch
between saved profiles, or activate a profile if it is not loaded.
With Windows 7
Save your ICC profile in the following location:
You can change your computer's color management
settings by opening "Color Management" in Control Panel.
the "use my settings for this device" check box
"add" at the bottom and locate the relevant profile. You may
need to choose "browse" from the profiles pop-up to find the
profiles you have added in the relevant folder.
profile will appear in the middle pane. If more than one is
visible you can select the default using the "set as default"
will also need to enable the profiles gamma correction.
into the advanced tab. You need to select "use Windows display
calibration" but it is greyed out initially.
"change system defaults" and a new window pops up which looks
the same as the previous one
on "advanced" tab and you should be able to tick "use Windows
display calibration" from there. You should see a change in the
screens gamma as the corrections from the profile are loaded.
Microsoft FAQ might also be useful
DisplayProfile tool might be useful. It is a small program which
allows you to quickly and easily switch between saved profiles, or
activate a profile if it is not loaded.
With Windows XP
Download and install the
Microsoft utility for color management
Download and save one of our ICC profiles from
Paste it into the following folder:
Go into control panel where you should see a
program for WinColor
Open the 'profiles' tab and load the saved ICC
Place the saved ICC profile in:
Right click your desktop
> display parameters > advanced parameters > color management tab
Check 'use my parameters for this
Chose 'Add', select the saved ICC
profile, and set it to default.
Click on the 'Advanced' tab in
the peripheral profile, select the saved ICC profile, click 'OK'
Location of ICC Profiles on Other Operating
Windows 2000 and NT
Windows ME and 98:
Mac OS X
/Library/Colorsync/Profiles (System wide)
~/Library/Colorsync/Profiles (User folder)
Profiles with Games and Movies
Calibrated profiles are generally
used to provide you with accurate gamma, white point and colours for your normal
every day uses, viewing photos and colour critical applications. However many
users prefer other settings when playing games or watching movies and often
prefer more saturated colours which look bright and vivid, not to mention a
generally brighter display. These may not be accurate as such, but it's
more about getting an image which looks and feels more attractive for those
uses. Obviously this is without going to the extremes of producing unrealistic
colours, skin tones etc. In fact this is one area where some users prefer wide
gamut screens for their more vivid and saturated native colours.
In general when you load up a game
or movie your graphics card will abandon the calibrated ICC profile anyway and
revert to some default settings, gamma ramps and the likes. Not a problem for
most people for the aforementioned reasons, but a pain for those who actually
want to retain the calibrated profile and settings from their colorimeter / ICC
profile. One way around this is to have a screen where you are able to calibrate
the hardware LUT itself (within the monitor). In such cases the profile is
stored in the monitor and so is retained no matter what the use is. These
screens are generally expensive and hardware calibration is reserved for high
end displays so isn't a viable option for most. There have been other methods
explored to try and retain ICC profiles for games and movies at a graphics card
level. You may wish to
here for more information.
Send Us Your Settings and
to share your ICC profiles and OSD settings and I will add them to the database!
Monitor Calibration Guide
Digitalversus ICC Profile Database
Digitalversus - Do Our Calibration Profiles Work for All Monitors?