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Part Two: Calibrating the Monitor

Reproducing correct colours on the monitor is critical within a digital workflow, the checking of images on a monitor is becoming more common. When doing this, it is obviously important for the monitor to be able to correctly reproduce colours.

The monitors themselves must have excellent colour reproduction, smooth colour gradation, and correct colour temperature, brightness and hue. Moreover, it is essential that monitors used in the workflow always maintain these properties.

Monitors Should Be Calibrated Periodically

To get the most out of your monitor, calibration is essential. When a monitor is first used, it does not always exhibit the correct properties. It first must be calibrated to meet the requirements of the user environment and the subject matter it is to be used for. When a monitor is used for lengthy periods, its colour display can alter over time. A monitor that had correct colour reproduction initially can gradually lose these properties. To compensate for these changes, it is recommended that calibration be performed periodically. When a new monitor is introduced into the workflow, calibration is required about once a week until the display stabilizes. Afterwards, calibration once a month is appropriate.

Because of the strict colour requirements, it is important to employ a management system that maintains a good display environment.

Software Calibration

Software calibration is when you measure the monitor's properties and make changes inside the computer based on the results of these measurements so that by adjusting the output, the monitor's colour display is corrected. This is the method generally employed by calibration software. When this method is used, the gradations of each color are limited to 256 levels. Data to meet the target color must be selected from these 256 levels, so the amount of color gradations available for display is reduced. However, the merit of this method is that any monitor can be calibrated, not just monitors that support hardware calibration.

Hardware Calibration

Hardware calibration is the method of adjusting colour directly by adjusting the settings inside the monitor. ColorNavigator software, which is included with ColorEdge monitors, employs this method. By using this method, the output of the graphics card is not affected, so there is no reduction in colour gradation, making it possible to maximize the monitor's capabilities to achieve very precise calibration. A monitor that is equipped with a look-up table of 10 bits or larger for each colour is required for hardware calibration.

Megatech Integrated Services Ltd.

351 Steelcase Rd. West, Unit 8
Markham, ON L3R 4H9
T: (905) 470-8183

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