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I am in the market for a new screen, one that offers a wide gamut, better brightness uniformity, and a hardware LUT. The NEC PA271W 27" screen is currently the front runner, with a couple from Eizo coming in a close second and third. The newer Eizo screens seem to come with a built-in calibration device, and self-calibrate. They cost an unholy fortune, though, so that convenience will probably not find its way onto my desk.

The NEC PA series also has a hardware LUT, and seems to make use of SpecraView II software to do calibration. I have not been able to find any solid information about which calibration devices work with it...it seems SpectraView supports a variety, but I have been unable to find a list of explicitly supported colorimeters and spectrophotometers. I own a DataColor Spyder3 Elite, which has the ability to program LUTs with its own software. It seems you can't use third-party software with the PA series, only SpectraView. I would love to know whether NEC's PA series or SpectraView II support that specific colorimeter, so I can avoid buying another.

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I can't give you anything definitive, but folks over at the Luminous Landscape forums seem to be doing okay with the SpectraView II and Spyder3 combination. Whether the resulting calibration is implemented in software or hardware isn't addressed; by my reading the monitor is doing a sort of health and sanity self-check against the calibrated settings, so it must be aware of the Spyder-generated LUT somehow. –  user2719 Nov 2 '12 at 18:16
    
I'll check out LL forums...forgot about those guys over there, but I'm sure they have some pretty extensive discussions on the topic. :) –  jrista Nov 2 '12 at 19:49
    
When I was doing some reading on the same topic, one source of confusion was that people use the term "Spyder" to refer to two different things: either to refer to the old first-generation device (pre-Spyder2), or to refer to the whole family of products (including Spyder2, Spyder3, etc.). Some remarks of Spyder's poor support of wide-gamut displays seems to be specific to the first-generation device. –  Jukka Suomela Nov 3 '12 at 12:50
    
@JukkaSuomela: In my reading, it seems even the latest device, Spyder4, still does not calibrate well enough to eliminate some posterization. It is a better device than the 2 or 3, but it was really more designed to do software (ICC) based profiling rather than hardware LUT profiling. Since the NEC screen is dependent on a hardware LUT, and I am interested in getting the full benefit of the screen I buy, I think I am going to forgo DataColor devices, and just get the official bundled package that includes a calibrator. –  jrista Nov 3 '12 at 16:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

First, yours won't work well. From the NEC FAQ:

Why are the Spyder color sensors not recommended for use with wide color gamut displays such as the LCD2690WUXi, LCD2690WUXi2, LCD3090WQXi, P221W, PA241W, PA271W and PA301W models?

Our evaluation of these devices has determined that the accuracy of measurements when used with wide color gamut displays could lead to large color errors. Therefore we do not recommend using this device on wide color gamut displays.

Other than that, support depends on the operating system:

For Linux its:

  • X -Rite/GretagMacbeth Eye-One Display V2.
  • X-Rite iOne Display Pro
  • NEC MDSVSENSOR
  • NEC SpectraSensor Pro

For Windows its:

  • NEC MDSVSENSOR
  • NEC SpectraSensor Pro
  • X-Rite/GretagMacbeth iOne Pro and iOne Monitor
  • X-Rite iOne Pro2
  • X-Rite/GretagMacbeth iOne Display V1 and V2
  • X-Rite DTP94 / MonacoOPTIX-XR
  • X-Rite ColorMunki
  • X-Rite iOne Display Pro
  • ColorVision/Datacolor Spyder2
  • Datacolor Spyder3
  • Datacolor Spyder4
  • BasICColor Discus

For Mac:

  • NEC MDSVSENSOR
  • NEC SpectraSensor Pro
  • X-Rite/GretagMacbeth iOne Pro and iOne Monitor
  • X-Rite iOne Pro2
  • X-Rite/GretagMacbeth iOne Display V1 and V2
  • X-Rite DTP94 / MonacoOPTIX-XR
  • X-Rite ColorMunki
  • X-Rite iOne Display Pro
  • ColorVision/Datacolor Spyder2
  • Datacolor Spyder3
  • Datacolor Spyder4
  • BasICColor Discus

So, yours is supported but should not be used on a wide-gamut display. I use NEC's software and device and it works very well. I save money by only buying it once to calibrate all 3 NEC displays here, so it comes to $100 per monitor :)

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1  
Just a note here: users (knowledgable users who make their living from fine art prints) have reported larger average Delta-E with the NEC unit than with the Spyder3. Of course NEC is going to plug their unit—I wouldn't expect otherwise—but one does have to take such things with a grain of salt. –  user2719 Nov 2 '12 at 18:57
2  
@StanRogers: Do you have any links to anyone discussing their use of a Spyder3 (or even a Spyder4) with the NEC? I can understand NEC plugging their own unit, but I'm curious why they call out just the Spyder units, and not X-Rite units. I think some of the X-Rite units used to be spectrophotometers at one point, but I believe all the consumer-grade calibrators these days from both X-Rite and DataColor are Colorimeters now, which have long been known to have slight variations between individual calibrations, but high accuracy otherwise. –  jrista Nov 2 '12 at 19:11
    
Also note that only consider them off for use with wide-gamut displays. If they didn't want those third-party involved they would simply not support them. It would be much less work! –  Itai Nov 2 '12 at 19:29
1  
@jrista -- I seem to be having some major DNS issues here at the moment, but I'd suggest looking at the calibration subforum threads over at Luminous Landscape. I'll try to get more substantive links later, but I can't reach LL right now (or Facebook, or Hacker News, or...) and my glasses are steaming up. –  user2719 Nov 2 '12 at 19:37
1  
From what I've read in the LL forums, it does seem like DataColor Spyder colorimeters do have some problems. It is subtle, and in most cases it sounds like it wouldn't really be noticeable, but it does cause some banding, particularly in grayscale gradients, where as the official SpectraView II X-Rite does not. It also seems that the DataColor has some problems calibrating deeper shades and a deeper black level. Sounds like I'm going to be picking up the screen+calibration package to get the results I want. Thanks guys! –  jrista Nov 2 '12 at 21:10

I had also the same problem and tried following sensors: Spyder 4: spectraview profiler detectet also for calibration the Spyder 4 and did the job with an inconsistent result and with a high difference of Delta values. And, some times the calibration failed. i1 Display pro: After that I used a i1 Diplay pro and get the best and constant results for Deltas, because the standard NEC Tool is i1 Display pro.

ColorMunki Photo: I tried also the calibration with ColorMunki Pro. The calibration results are also good, but the Deltas are some times higher than i1 Display pro.

I used always SpectraView Profiler 5 with above mentioned sensors.

BR, Ramin

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