calibrating color on two screens

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Ron Smith, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Ron Smith

    Ron Smith TPF Noob!

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    So I'm wondering why two screens (a notebook, and a desktop screen) that have been color calibrated look totally different and if that is normal expectation? It is disturbing! A brief search on the web tells me - and I paraphrase: "this is to be expected - they are different manufacturers and they will never look the same." Really? I thought color calibration was meant to remove some of the variables to get some consistency...

    I don't do a lot of printing, but saw a lot of variation when I edited on my notebook screen and did send to printers (pros not mine). I do want to have some reference to know I'm providing a product with some consistency if my customer wants to print even though most of my work ends up on the web. Now if I use my notebook screen at all even after calibration, I don't think I can expect reliable results. Just thought the calibration would make the two screens look similar at least.


    The facts:
    Screen one: Asus N550JV notebook with a 1024 IPS screen - really nice screen as good as my MacBook pro.

    Screen two: Dell P2715Q desktop with a 4K resolution, brand new. Good reviews and 100% sRGB coverage

    Spyder Pro 5 - used per instructions (new to me) and repeated several times to check

    Datacolor says they are both spot on with the calibration, but the Dell is clearly warmer than the Asus, by a LOT.

    The web "experts" also say just ignore your crappy notebook screen and use the desktop for your reference and put your menus on the notebook.... what do you guys think?


     
  2. Ron Smith

    Ron Smith TPF Noob!

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    BTW the Dell is an IPS technology also.
     
  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your answer is right there in the specs you listed for the two displays. One is an Asus laptop. Like the MacBook Pro it is likely a TN LCD screen.

    The Dell is an IPS class display with 100% sRGB coverage. Plainly put, the Dell is physically capable of displaying colors that the laptop can not physically display. Calibrating the laptop screen does not give it the physical abilities that it lacks. Odds are your Asus laptop is maybe only 65% sRGB capable.

    My favorite analogy: You can get serious about playing the guitar and buy a Ramirez guitar. It will still need to be tuned. Or if your not too serious about playing the guitar you can go to BestBuy and get a _____ guitar. It will still need to be tuned. Once they're both tuned they still won't sound the same.

    Joe
     
  4. Ron Smith

    Ron Smith TPF Noob!

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    Actually the Asus is an IPS and Datacolor says it is covering 98% sRGB... that is what is weirding me out. If I had one screen that was clearly junk, his would b easier to accept. However I like your explanation... maybe the Asus (if that is the one off) is still not able to create the last 2% or so of sRGB, it may make that big a difference. I do a lot of color work for product design, so I understand how incredibly subtle our perception of color is VS measurements...

    This is really a problem because I have two monitors - so the parable could be: A man with one watch know what time it is. A man with two watches never knows what time it is!
     
  5. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I made an assumption about the Asus being a laptop. If it is an IPS panel and managing 98% sRGB then I find your discrepancy more troubling. 2% isn't a big deal and they should calibrate to be very close to each other. There's another possibility which is the degree of access to the laptop video driver that the DataColor software achieves. This can vary hardware to hardware. The Datacolor software for example may be able to adjust the Dell on your desktop at the single RGB channel level but not on the laptop. In that case the software tries to compensate in the profile.

    See if there's the same level of difference looking at a browser image versus looking at an image loaded in PS or LR.

    Joe
     
  6. Ron Smith

    Ron Smith TPF Noob!

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    OK - I realize now that I was not clear. I'm running the Dell external display off of the Asus notebook. Spyder refers to external displays as "desktops", but I'm not using two computers, just the notebook.

    BUT - I did start looking into the graphics card based on your comment on drivers. It is a Nvidia Gforce 750M. Datacolor tells me on their website, for Windows machines, to color match two monitors, you have to have TWO "Lookup Tables" (LUT) support for your graphics card. Did not find the answer for my card on the web, so I've contacted Nvidia with that question. As usual with computers, you have to learn way more than you bargained for to make things work!


    Sharing this for others who may find this thread later....This is from the Datacolor site on calibrating two monitors on one machine:

    I have two (or more) monitors attached to my Windows computer and both are calibrated, but they still don't look the same, why?

    Here is some technical information about using two (or more) separate displays on one single graphics card on a Windows computer system:
    Each ICC profile has got two parts. One part will be used by the color management of Windows and it's applications, the other second part will be loaded into the Lookup-Table (LUT) of your graphics card. This is what the SpyderUtility does on boot-time. See the LUT as a kind of translation table for creating the right colors.

    To calibrate and use two displays on one and the same Windows computer, you need a graphics card with two separate Lookup Tables (LUT).
    But this exists only on newer and high quality graphics cards or if you have two separate graphic adapters in your system.

    Several graphics cards offer two or more display connectors, but they only have one LUT on the corresponding Chip-Set. Therefore it's impossible to use two separate correction curves for these two connected screens. But you can still calibrate your primary display and use the second one (uncalibrated) for tools and pallets.

    From the outside, you can't see if your graphics card has got one or multiple LUTs. To be sure about your graphics cards technical LUT specifications, please directly get in touch with the tech support of your graphics cards manufacturer directly.

    Most Windows laptops use standard video cards with one single LUT!

    If you use multiple displays connected to the same computer and have got separate LUTs for each display, use StudioMatch and SpyderTUNE (both available in Spyder4ELITE) in order to match the different luminance levels of these displays and to visually match the different light spectrum in case these displays use different backlight technologies (e.g. CCFL, LED...).
     
  7. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sounds like you may have uncovered the problem. Again I was assuming two computers. I see now that you're trying to do something like place the image on one display and then use the 2nd for the software dialogs etc. In that case the monitor that displays the photo is critical and the 2nd monitor is less so. I'd then do the calibration of the critical monitor last in the sequence.

    Joe
     
  8. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    FYI...MPB's have had IPS displays since 2012.
     
  9. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The retina displays are IPS, the non-retina displays are not.

    Joe
     
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  10. Ron Smith

    Ron Smith TPF Noob!

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    Well I heard back from Nvidia, in 12 hours, but got a stock useless reply. I've written back restating my same question - in a different way to see if I get a more exact answer - that is will the Nvidia Gforce 750M support two LUT at the SAME time for the internal screen (Asus IPS) and the Dell 4K also IPS run off of the same GPU. Stay tuned.
     

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