Monitor calibration software?

By Dawn1113 ยท 9 replies
Oct 19, 2012
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  1. Can you guys suggest good monitor calibration software? I would of course prefer freeware -- or else something that isn't too expensive.

    Also, I know there are actually some sites that offer free calibrating guides -- basic stuff, of course -- but supposedly good enough to permit reasonably accurate colors. I've tried a few already, but none have proved sufficient.

    Have you guys had any success calibrating your monitors using online utilities? If so, which one do you think is the best?

    The default and "AUTO" settings on my monitor are clearly out of kilter. So I have been trying -- quite unsuccessfully -- to calibrate my monitor using both the software provided by its manufacturer and Windows' calibration utility. I always end up with images that are tinted with too much green, too much red, or too much blue.

    I have a Samsung S24B300HL -- which I have running at its native resolution of 1920x1080 at 60Hz. Not the best, I know, but I think I should be able to at least get average color quality from it.

    I'd like another attempt at better color quality on this monitor before I start thinking about sending it back for a replacement.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I know you said free, but I have never had good luck going that route (except a couple of times using the Windows Media Center calibration). Your best bet is looking for people who have the same monitor as you online and seeing how they have theirs calibrated, but be prepared to do this many times as lots of people have their own preferences as well as each monitor being slightly different (even if model is the same.) I've pretty much given up and use something like this - - but not that model exactly. These things are not too expensive but make the image calibration process so much easier.
    Dawn1113 likes this.
  3. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    Yeah, I know what you mean. The free calibration applications I've come across so far either leave too much to one's perception or are very difficult to use. My eyes aren't that good to begin with. I may as well make the investment. I do check artwork and graphics at work so I'm thinking hardware such as that which you have recommended should be a must for me.

    Thanks, LNCPapa! I'll give it a try.
  4. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Dawn1113 likes this.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    Good call LNCpapa :) These tools were the rage when WYSIWYG desktop publishing was growing up.
    Getting the screen to look excatly like the paper and matching a color palette was deemed a mandatory step.
  6. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TS Evangelist Posts: 787   +58

    Perhaps take a look at this:

    Download and burn to a DVD/BD-R then play the disc. And calibrate the monitor. The PDF file will show and explain the various test patterns the disc contains. I haven't done this test on a computer monitor, only an old HDTV my parents had. The brightness and contrast were a bit off. Color too. Was able to tweak those to where they should be.
    Dawn1113 likes this.
  7. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    Hey, guys, thanks for the advice and inputs.

    I've already placed an order for one of these. Should arrive in a few days. I will nevertheless give the sites you've suggested a try. I will then re-calibrate with the hardware when it arrives just to check if further adjustments are necessary.

    I'm hoping the problems I'm experiencing with my monitor can be solved by tweaking. I've always had good luck with Samsung monitors. But if it turns out this particular monitor's defects are irremediable, then I'll have to see about having it returned and replaced. (That's going to be a pain the ***, I'm sure, as I have already given my old monitor to my next door neighbors.)

    Anyways, thank you for taking the time to help me out. Much appreciated.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I bought a pair of Acer 21.5" monitors a couple years ago on a big newegg deal. Out of the box they were absolutely the worst color I've ever seen on a monitor, even with their presets. I had some 20.1 Benq's before but they were 1680x1050 and I really wanted 1920x1080 at the time.. Still like the 1920, but the 16:9 vs 16:10 was an unfortunate tradeoff... Anyway back to the story the Benq's color reproduction out of the box was far superior. I've now gotten these Acer's to an acceptable level, but I have only used software calibration, so I made it "good enough". I don't do any real work with photos so I didn't need something perfect, just needed something that looked ok to me. Holy crap these Acers looked bad out of the box though.
  9. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    I was thinking about getting a BenQ. I've heard good things about them. My brother has one and the presets on it work fine, too. In the end, however, I decided to stick with Samsung -- mostly because my old Samsung proved itself such a good piece of hardware. This new one, however, was out of whack right out the box. I'd never given display calibration that much thought before and I have to admit that, at first, I didn't think correcting my monitor's problem would be so frustrating.

    Looks a bit better now, though. I used the mcw10 tool from simtel to calibrate then corrected against the patterns from avsforum. Not perfect, but a lot better. I don't think the problem is beyond corrective tweaking, after all. I'll know for sure when the hardware arrives.

    I was up two nights in a row trying to fix this. Spent hours staring at patterns that were just a little too much on the greenish side of "neutral" grey. :D And, yeah, I was close to tears at one point. :D So glad I seem closer to a solution now.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I'm sure you'll get it sorted. I wasn't off to sell Benq monitors, just figured I'd toss a few coins in to the pot since it didn't seem like it would hurt anything.
    Dawn1113 likes this.

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