Thursday, March 11, 2010

JVC monitor calibration software

Whilst at Channel Five recently I got to play with JVC's new monitor calibration software - it's for their DTV-series LCD panels and works using one of those little USB colourimeters (it supports several of the £150-gadget Tottenham Court Road specials). You use a DVI o/p from a PC to feed the monitor and hang the USB detector on the panel and via an RS232-USB connector the software models the monitor and uploads a 1D-LUT that makes the panel conform to a flat D6500 colour-space. Just the job for TV use.
There are a few caveats I can see;

  • The JVC monitors don't switch in a different colour matrix when you go between 601 and 709 working (i.e. SD and HD signal) - the monitor assumes you'll be wanting reliable colour at HD and any SD work is just for content. Previous posts on this here.
  • You calibrate the greys and whites using DVI (hence an RGB source) which only exacerbates my first point.
  • Those little USB gagdets are a couple of hundred quid against a proper colourimetry probe which is a few thousand and a photo-spectrometer which is many thousand. Given how sensitive your eye is (particularly in the blacks) I'm not sure I'd place a lot of faith in something you'd buy in the high street.
  • The software seems to do all it's modeling at 120Cd/m-sq - much hotter than you'd set the monitor for TV use and maybe twice as bright as if you were setting up a film grading display. This isn't as bad as HP's DreamColour range which start at 300Cd/m-sq!
Aside from those quibbles it looked quite good. I like the idea of being able to keep the LUTs for all your monitors and the fact that the software is looking to bring the display into compliance rather than "making it look good"(!)

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