I just added an external 4k Seiki SE39UY04 3840x2160 monitor to an early 2013 Mac Book Retina Pro laptop and got the DataColor Spyder4Pro calibration tool. After running a full calibration, I see some oddities (although things do look better now.) In particular, when I view a text editor displayed via Real VNC Viewer of some bluish text upon a light gray background, each of the blueish letters appears to have a white halo effect which is particularly pronounced on capital S characters. Also, when viewing white on a Chrome web page, such as this one, the white looks a tiny bit yellowish in hue. Based upon the calibration, the screen itself is set to Normal temperature, 50% Contrast, and 7% Brightness.

Am I just seeing limitations of this monitor or have I got a bad configuration? Are there any steps I can take to mitigate these symptoms?


I resolved the issue by lowering the backlight setting that is added in the firmware update version from August 28, 2013. However, Seiki's directions on that download page are incorrect, instead, this is how you may update the firmware:

  1. Download the .zip file and extract the install.img file to a freshly formatted (FAT32) USB thumbdrive. (On a Mac, be sure the OS has not overzealously also expand the install.img file too.)
  2. Put the thumb drive into USB port 1 (the port on the back, not the side of the monitor).
  3. Turn the TV on.
  4. On your remote control press the menu button.
  5. Then on your remote press 0 four times, that will take you into the service menu.
  6. In the service menu choose the software upgrade option.
  7. Screen will display upgrade animation.
  8. Wait for the upgrade to complete.
  9. Turn off the TV when finished.
  10. Disconnect the thumb drive.

Once updated, I now had the option to change the backlight setting in the options menu which was previously invisibly set to 100% which is why I had needed to have 7% brightness to get proper light levels. I updated the backlight to now be 71% and after calibration found the brightness only needed to be 42% and with that the display looks vastly superior and actually has proper colors after calibration using the Spyder4Pro.

To fix the halo effect I was seeing, I had to lower the sharpness that defaulted to 100% down to 0% and with that change, the halo effect is now completely gone.

Note that the firmware upgrade also fixed the flakiness of the monitor not reliably syncing with the HDMI signal coming from the laptop as evidenced by it displaying the Not Support error message and having to disconnect and reconnect several times before it would finally sync.

All in all, I am very happy with the monitor after the firmware upgrade, as it was very inexpensive and for the price offers what I consider to be very adequate color reproduction to meet my needs. The Spyder4Pro report states it gives 100% of sRGB and 77% of adobeRGB with a contrast ratio of 2120 to 1. Here is the not very good Tone response report relative to gamma 1.8 or 2.2:

Spyder4Pro report of Tone Response relative to gamma

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    I have one of these monitors at work. Updating the firmware is the best thing I've done to it. The service menu is a lot of fun as well. The default sharpness setting is awful! – Phil Feb 20 '14 at 23:49

As explained in this question, the monitor you are using is not good at all for photo editing and can not be properly calibrated due to the way it is made. That said, if you are at 7% brightness then you almost certainly have some serious problems with the way you did the calibration as well.

You should probably be able to get a better result than you currently have, but you are not going to get a meaningful benefit from calibration since the screen itself does not have consistent color.

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Probably one of the worst monitor choices out there today.
See the review and buyer beware This display is not meant for high end video editing or image editing. The gamut is poor at best and the upconversion algorithm is whats causing the halos. Brightness needs to be at least 100 cd/m2 although I prefer brighter. So I doubt that you are even using the full amount of this small gamut display at that brightness.

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Your specific problem is OS related in CLEARTYPE settings, not monitor related. The Seiki uses BGR pixel alignment, not the usual RGB order found in PC monitors, unfortunately i dont know how to adjust cleartype settings on Macs, but on windows there is both a setting inside windows control panel and a cleartype utility that you can run from microsoft website.

As the seiki is a TV, one must pay close attention to the kind of color signal the VGA is outputting, either sRGB or YCbCr 4:4:4:. Everytime a seiki users reports banding or poor black levels or low sRGB coverage, turns out the PC is outputting the wrong ( YCbCr 4:4:4) signal to the TV. This is a 12bit VA panel, it should pass all black levels tests and the service menu allows for individual hardware calibration of each color channel, something unheard of in monitors twice the price.

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