Articles: Monitors

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Pressing any of four buttons (<, >, +, -), you get into the typical onscreen menu of NEC/Mitsubishi monitors that allows setting any parameter up. The menu isn’t very user-friendly and does not differ from the menu of many other NEC/Mitsubishi monitors of that generation (it looks much different in newer models, like in the above-described NEC LCD2170NX).

But the UX21LCD differs fundamentally from many other monitors in having a second menu which can be accessed by powering the monitor off with the Power button and then turning it on again with the Select button depressed.

This enhanced menu looks even less appealing than the main one, but it offers you the opportunity to fine-tune an astonishing number of parameters. Besides items you can find in the main menu, it offers:

  • Manual or automatic setup of the level of black
  • Signal distortion compensation setup if a long cable or an analog connection is in use; this setup is performed for each of the three basic colors independently
  • Video-amplifier bandwidth selection (this option can also be useful if you use different cables)
  • Switching between auto-adjustment modes
  • Choosing a gamma compensation curve (I’ll talk about this option shortly)

Of course, you can also use the enclosed NaviSet utility to control the monitor. This program offers some highly interesting options, too, like color temperature adjustment from 3000K to 9600K stepping 100K or color reproduction adjustment by six coordinates.

Separately from NaviSet, you receive the GammaComp utility that communicates with the monitor across the DDC/CI interface and allows you to set up the gamma compensation curve (it is much easier than doing the same from the monitor’s enhanced menu). Unfortunately, GammaComp refused to work on my system with the UX21LCD saying DDC/CI wasn’t supported (on digital connection) or that there were no supported monitors (on analog connection). So, the next screenshot was taken on the NEC LCD1980SX. The interface and functionality of the utility remains the same on the UX21LCD:

That is, GammaComp allows you to select a standard gamma curve (with an exponent from 0.7 to 4.4), an S-shaped DICOM curve (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine; it is used in medical imaging), or to set up your own custom curve. In the latter case you can choose the points for each of the three basic colors manually – GammaComp cannot work with a hardware calibrator.

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