Monitor color setting

Posted on 2004-11-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hi Experts !

I have both a Philips 190B Flat panel and a 17" IBM CRT monitor.
I know that both screen will not display exactly the same colors but I get HUGE differences even when trying to change the settings.
One of my screen has its colors closer to my CMYK paper print color reference.
Since I'm working on those monitors to create graphics, I would really appreciate finding a solution to this problem.

So my questions are :
- How do I know that my monitor is setup correctly and displays the correct colors ?
- What is the best way to set them up correctly ? any Benchmarks ?
- I'm mainly doing art for web and digital paintings, not really for print, but should I calibrate my screen to make it look closer to my CMYK reference book ? is it a good ref ?

Question by:faz0222
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Hi faz0222,

    It sounds like the settings on the actual monitor are incorrect for one of them. The best thing to do would be to enter the monitors on-screen menu and check the color settings there, compare them with each other, and see if they differ at all.
    Then try the CMYK reference book.

    Hope this helps,
    LVL 45

    Expert Comment

    There are systems available for measuring and autocorrecting screen colours. However they are relatively expensive.

    I believe you should adjust the screen to whatever you find acceptable. The point here is that the colour of the screen does not affect the underlying digital colour definition. Your on-screen colour perception depends on many factors which are completely independant of the screen itself. For example the colour of the ambient lighting, the colour of the walls or surrounding, the possible tint of your glasses (if you wear them), your own colour vision and how consistent that is with the norm, the age of the monitor and how long you have had it switched on - and so on.

    From a practical point of view it is better to set up your monitor so that it matches a test card for example. Having done that. you then need to carry out the printer colour calibration via the software colour balancing tools provided by many graphics packages. However having done all of that you are at the mercy of how consistently your printer reproduces colour. If it's an ink jet then is each colour cartridge the same?

    You have entered a complex area in which you can spend huge sums of money and yet still not be too happy with the result. Simply the more you spend the higher your expectations. My advice is to spend as little as possible and to tackle it very pragmatically. Take each element and standardize your approach to it. So match your monitor to a test card. Always use the same type of ink jet cartridges (if that's what you use). Set up your colour correction system in your graphics package to ensure you get what what you see on the monitor. Last but not least be consistent in your use of paper type.

    There are many aspects to colour printing, however consistency of approach will at least ensure you know what to expect.

    And last but not least do not be taken in by the nonsense spouted by the Apple brigade who claim that if you use their products instead of a pc that all your colour printing problems will be over. It is complete and utter drivel - to put it bluntly. Just to drive the point home. Apple monitors use the same technology as pc monitors so they have the same problems. The graphics cards used by Apple are made by the same people as those that make pc graphics cards (NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 - for example) - and they use the same technology. The printers are the same for both systems and use the same technologies. The software is the same and just run on different platforms. Adobe for Apple or pc's - for example. There's nothing special in the Apple edition of the software that makes colour more reproducible. The cpu's make no difference as they are effectively only number crunching units. So why bother with Apple machines - it's a bit like a religion, the followers believe and for them that's enough! And they do look good! The G5 tower is stunning!

    Hope that helps a bit.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    I can accept that there will always be a small color difference between some Mon., but the difference is way to big this time.
    I was working yesterday on both of them, my CRT was displaying a dark red as a dark red, close enough to my CMYK ref.
    But my Flat panel was showing bright red colors !!
    Is that a problem with flat panel mon. ?
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    Usually TFT panels has a different saturation and gamma then standart CRT monitors, this is mainly because they use
    a different working pixeldot matrix then the CRT ones.
    The best bet is to first use a gamma/saturation tool from you graphicsprogram, i.e Photoshop gammaldr.exe for the older versions, this sets a standard CMYK or RGB reference as a software solution on your system, then simply change the contrast/brightness/saturation on your monitors and compare them against each other,
    hope this helps,
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    check here for some configuration info:

    and try PowerStrip too

    and don't forget that your target audience probably won't have played with **their** display settings too much too!
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks to everyone !!
    The adobe Gamma tool did the trick. Changing my pc to a flat panel messed-up my config, now it's all good.
    Also this config article helped and I'll be checking closely this powerstrip asap.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    btw, I though powerstrip was simply for increasing performance of the videocard, i.e overclock it?
    Glad that the Gamma tool helped, it is a trusted friend ;)
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Bjorn, re Powerstrip yep you're mostly right, but it also has "sophisticated color correction tools" as per the site above, so I thought it might be handy.

    faz0222, cheers for the assist.

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