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The only way of solving this problem is the use of a color profile. The color profile can correct the color on separate stretches of the dynamic range independently. The current versions of MS Windows support such profiles, while a number of professional image-processing suites can use them (for example, Adobe Photoshop comes with a special utility for that specific purpose aka Adobe Gamma Loader). So, the problem is reduced to getting the right profile for your display.

The most reliable tool for creating a profile is a color calibrator. Such a device will measure the characteristics of the display with the help of its photo-sensors and will generate a color profile that brings the characteristics to the norm. Unfortunately, even the cheapest calibrators cost over $250; such devices are rare even among people who professionally work with images.

There is a simpler method: to calibrate “by the eye”. There are many utilities; Colorific is one of the most widespread. This program is often included with the display by the manufacturer (for example, Samsung and LG do so). After the installation, the utility asks if you want to have your display calibrated right away. For a precise result, the utility comes with a plate of a definite color – you should compare its color to the color of the screen. Such calibration takes a lot of time and effort and yields poorer results than in case you use a hardware calibrator. Still, it is quite acceptable for a home user.

The third method is the simplest of all. You can use the ready-made profile usually offered on the CD enclosed with the display. The disadvantages of this method are obvious. The profile is prepared for an “average” display of this model and for particular brightness and contrast settings (color rendition may depend on the brightness!). So, this calibration may not be effective in some cases. Nevertheless, if you cannot use the other methods of calibration, I recommend you use ready-made profiles. It is especially important for LCD panels that often have serious color rendition defects.

I perform hardware calibration for every display in my tests, since it is necessary for measuring the screen brightness. Thus, after the tests, I have a color profile for the tested display on my hands. From this roundup on, I will offer the color profiles made with the help of the hardware calibrator for you to use. Note that they are all made under the default display settings.

Strictly speaking, the big divergence from the power relation in color rendition is not the only problem of LCD panels. Lately, fast 16ms matrixes became popular among 17” models, like the NEC LCD1760NX. The substantial drawback of such matrixes is their 18-bit color encoding. That is, every primary color is only represented by 6bit (it takes values from 0 to 63) instead of 8bit (0…255), as usual. As you know, the transitions between the colors of a color gradient are too sharp even during 8-bit encoding and on a good display. So, the four-times-worse color representation is simply depressing – smooth gradients have stripes or graininess, depending on the method used for regaining the missing tones. Unfortunately, this is a hardware flaw, which cannot be amended by any calibration.

But then, enough of preliminaries, let’s get to business.

 
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