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NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

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  #1  
Old 07-18-2012, 03:19 AM
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NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

My old monitor is gone . Going to repair centre to hear the news. I had quick look the forum and it seems NEC PA241 24" is a very good option to go. Just not sure if here in UK I will get software advantage as in US I think it is spectraview one and European dealers give profiler option. Correct me I am wrong. I would also need a calibrating hardware too. I am trying to find bundles no luck at the moment.
Then I saw PA231 red review on tfcentral it a little brother made of PA series with few things not included as in bigger ones. Do you think £250 difference justifies it? Is it better to buy PA231 and spent more money on a calibrating tool software?
Anyone in UK knows reputable dealers?
What is the standard warranty for this monitor?
Any advice of what to be aware when buying this kind of monitor?
Thanks Tomas

Last edited by nebulaoperator; 07-18-2012 at 03:27 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:45 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

Tomas the 241 is a better spec monitor covering (I believe!) 98% of Adobe RGB whereas the 231 covers 75%. This may be important to you if you output to a device that can make use of the wider gamut. There are of course other spec. differences that you may feel important.

I doubt that you will go far wrong with either as NEC are IMO a very respectable manufacturer that generelly provide good product.

I do not know the current position regarding Spectraview software in the UK as in the past this was not available to UK customers.
This may have changed with profiler 5. Have a look at the website and see if you can download and register Here
I suspect that this may be an option that will have a cost associated!

ColorConfidence have been around in the UK for a while and suggest that they would be in a good position to advise you on the software as well Here

EDIT: When deciding on your calibration package make sure that it is capable of accurately reading the wide gamut of your monitor. The Spyder 2 (now obsolete) was reported by NEC:
  • The ColorVision Spyder2 color sensor has been tested with the the NEC LCD2690WUXi and LCD2180WG-LED displays and found to cause inaccurate measurements when measuring the color primaries. This is due to the wide color gamut aspect of these displays. This may result in an inaccurate calibration and ICC Profiles to be generated. At the moment using this color sensor is not recommended with these displays.
If I was making the choice and it fitted within my budget I would go for the 241 and the Spectraview profiler as this controls the monitor functions directly rather than rely on third party offerings. At the budget end of calibrators you have either the Spyder 4 or ColorMunki, I suspect both should be capable of dealing with wide gamut displays

Last edited by Tony W; 07-18-2012 at 08:23 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:24 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

The UK is considerably different from the US in pricing and setup. The non spectraview models there are firmware locked as in they can't use hardware calibration which in your region is provided by an oemed version of basicolor. Basicolor is a very good application, so it's not like you're being ripped off. Considering that pricing is so close there, you should also look at Eizo, specifically the CG243w (CG245w has self calibration if you want that) as they're roughly the same as NEC pricing there. In the US there's a massive price gap between the two, which is one of the reasons NEC is so popular here (costs so much less). Eizos come with Color Navigator software and a hood standard. For the wider gamut displays I'd suggest either an i1 display pro or a spectrophotometer for calibration (not a colormunki, a real one if you go that route, it's more that if you have one around for testing prints, it would work). Otherwise it can be a pain in the ass to get neutral grey tones on any Adobe RGB display (usually comes out slightly green).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
If I was making the choice and it fitted within my budget I would go for the 241 and the Spectraview profiler as this controls the monitor functions directly rather than rely on third party offerings. At the budget end of calibrators you have either the Spyder 4 or ColorMunki, I suspect both should be capable of dealing with wide gamut displays
I hate Spyder. In my experience they drift or break quickly. They picked up popularity as the budget option when X-rite was falling behind for several years. There are two things with the ColorMunki label. One is a low end spectrophotometer, and it's not that great of a device. The other is the ColorMunki display colorimeter which is really cheap, but X-rite doesn't have an SDK for it, so you're stuck with the worst version of their software. You have no access to the real calibration features of the NEC or whatever other brand in this case. You're back to profiling only. Software like spectraview will only support the i1 display pro version of the colorimeter, so if you see colormunki, they mean the spectrophotometer, and that thing sucks (a real spectrophotometer will run you over $1k).

Last edited by kav; 07-18-2012 at 05:30 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2012, 06:07 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

Quote:
Originally Posted by kav View Post
... The non spectraview models there are firmware locked as in they can't use hardware calibration which in your region is provided by an oemed version of basicolor. Basicolor is a very good application, so it's not like you're being ripped of...
Kav, interesting comments however I have a different understanding of the situation.
I am not aware of any 'firmware' locking on the non SpectraView models including the many Multisync models - where did you get this info?

Most of the Multisync such as the LCD2090 can use the hardware calibration provided by the NEC SpectraView II in additon the Spectraview 'certified' monitors can also use either the Spectraview Profiler (now v5) or SpectraView II.

I have always been under the impression that any version of Spectraview software has been designed and produced for NEC by the Basicolor team and although rebadged is from them as NEC are not application programmers.

What you need to understand is that the SpectraView II software is not sold in Europe therefore is not supported. AFAIK the only way to get hardware calibration is to use SpectraView so in the UK you have a choice buy the Spectraview monitors that now come bundled with the profiler or if you have American friends and want to use Spectraview II then the answer is clear. If you want to buy the cheaper Multisync then I know that SVII will work to hardware calibrate

Quote:
I hate Spyder. In my experience they drift or break quickly. They picked up popularity as the budget option when X-rite was falling behind for several years.
I do not share the hate sentiment or the drift or breaking you have experienced. I have been using the much older Spyder II for a good number of years without any issues and certainly found it adequate for the job in hand - although this is using the SVII app not datacolors own.

Yes it is a low budget option but this may be what the OP is looking for.

While I would have some worries about the earlier Spyder models ability to deal with wide gamut displays this may have been addressed with Spyder 4 but I do not have any personal yardstick with which to judge
Quote:
There are two things with the ColorMunki label. One is a low end spectrophotometer, and it's not that great of a device. The other is the ColorMunki display colorimeter which is really cheap, but X-rite doesn't have an SDK for it, so you're stuck with the worst version of their software. You have no access to the real calibration features of the NEC or whatever other brand in this case. You're back to profiling only. Software like spectraview will only support the i1 display pro version of the colorimeter, so if you see colormunki, they mean the spectrophotometer, and that thing sucks (a real spectrophotometer will run you over $1k).
This is incorrect the ColorMunki Photo and Design range is supported in SV, the Create version is not.

While I can appreciate working with top of the range (and expensive!) equipment gives you at least some confidence in accurate or at least predictable results there is the danger that we start to become perhaps a little to anal in the technical specs and superiority of one system vs another and loose sight of the purpose of all this which is the end result.
Unless you are working in a very specialised field perhaps the accuracy of the higher cost equipment is not so easily justified. After all the most accurate instrument should be your own Mark I eyeball on the finished output medium. As long as your calibration system can yield consistent and predictable result relating to your output then it matters less how much you have spent on the device. In fact looking at some high end images there are times when I wonder if they had gone through a color managed system
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:04 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
Kav, interesting comments however I have a different understanding of the situation.
I am not aware of any 'firmware' locking on the non SpectraView models including the many Multisync models - where did you get this info?

Most of the Multisync such as the LCD2090 can use the hardware calibration provided by the NEC SpectraView II in additon the Spectraview 'certified' monitors can also use either the Spectraview Profiler (now v5) or SpectraView II.

I have always been under the impression that any version of Spectraview software has been designed and produced for NEC by the Basicolor team and although rebadged is from them as NEC are not application programmers.
The 2090 is a very old display (and it wasn't one of their better ones). Regarding Spectraview, it's a totally different application in the US vs UK with the same name. As per firmware locking, check out this link on a different NEC display. The US version of the software may be difficult to order in the UK. I'm not sure. I remember the UK spectraview displays cost more, and Eizo costs less there. Since they're roughly the same price, I mentioned to look at both options.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/.../nec_p241w.htm

Quote:
As with the other P series screens NEC do not advertise this model as being hardware programmable in the UK. They normally restrict this function via the firmware so that they can sell their more expensive and advanced "SpectraView" or "reference" versions of the screen later on. In fact when you load up NEC's UK SpectraView profiler software there is no option for hardware level calibration or even the combined soft- and hardware calibration on this model. Using third party calibration software such as LaCie's Blue Eye Pro also does not allow hardware level calibration which we had achieved when testing the NEC SpectraView Reference 271 screen (which did not have the firmware restriction). The screens OSD menu does offer a 'programmable' preset and all is not lost since you can hardware calibrate this display using NEC's USA version of the software, the SpectraView II package. We will look at this a little later on.
Now regarding colorimeters, here is the one I suggested shown against some others in testing.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/C...nHardware.html

It's $250~ in the US. So far in my experience, you can get very nice greyscale tones on Adobe RGB displays. It's the best cheap colorimeter I've found. The colormunki display lacked an SDK unless something changed meaning third parties didn't have any development tools to support it. The other colormunki was a cheap spectrophotometer. It's $450~. I haven't seen many nice reviews on its print measurements, so I haven't suggested it. Overall the one I suggested is in my experience thus far and in every review I've seen, a very capable colorimeter. If you want to argue it's just one link in the chain, I'm willing to agree with you there. I find it annoying when Adobe rgb displays calibrate with slightly (visually) greenish greys. While you should be trying to match a print reference, that tendency is annoying.

I hope that clears up a few details.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:59 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

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Originally Posted by kav View Post
Regarding Spectraview, it's a totally different application in the US vs UK with the same name.
Yes that is what I said SpectraView II in the US and SpectraView Profiler 5 (I think) in the UK and yes again they are different applications.

Quote:
As per firmware locking, check out this link on a different NEC display. The US version of the software may be difficult to order in the UK. I'm not sure. I remember the UK spectraview displays cost more, and Eizo costs less there. Since they're roughly the same price, I mentioned to look at both options.
Not sure where in the article the firmware locking is but I believe all the the monitors mentioned by the OP and me are compatible with SVII. I did say that SVII was not available in Europe and I believe it cannot be ordered from someone residing in Europe hence the suggestion that for anyone with links to friends in the US it could be purchased - of course you will not get any support from NEC!

Quote:
Now regarding colorimeters, here is the one I suggested shown against some others in testing.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/C...nHardware.html
Looks good at around £200 but depends on OP's budget - ColorMunki £139 or Spyder 4 Elite £100 and discard the software and use SVII (US) or SV Profiler (UK).

Quote:
...The colormunki display lacked an SDK unless something changed meaning third parties didn't have any development tools to support it.
The lack of SDK for colormunki does not seem to have caused any problems to NEC. The only issue that I am aware of with this unit and SpectraView http://support.colourconfidence.com/...barticleid=217

Hope that clarifies things

EDIT:
Quote:
The 2090 is a very old display (and it wasn't one of their better ones)
Oy you cheeky b****r do you mind .
OK, fair point but remember at its introduction for a smallish screen size the colour performance and the relatively affordable price makes it a good choice for entry-level colour proofing.

Last edited by Tony W; 07-19-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:05 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

Thank you kav and tony....
It took me a while to get back anyway at the moment I have to hold on the calibrating hardware I should get it in next couple of months. I have stretched my budget far enough for now. From what I red at tftcentral reviewer offering pressets for the all modes srgb adobe rgb and ,,full,, mode. He also mentions that each monitor differs but taken into account pre factory calibration is not perfect would it be an option to use those calibrations profiles for a time being?
I would also like to ask a few questions at setting up monitor parameters:
What ideal cd/m2 would be for this monitor?
I work most with srgb does this mean I should choose srgb mode for my monitor? Or lets say ,,full,, mode or just shift from mode to mode depending on the colour space I work on?
By the way I got this monitor in black for £778 though white and silver modes were 20-30 pounds cheaper. I found my eyes accustomed to dark monitor frame.Quiet happy just wait to see whqt a difference will be compare to my previously uses HP LP2475W though.
Thanks Tomas
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:43 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

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Originally Posted by nebulaoperator View Post
....
What ideal cd/m2 would be for this monitor?
I work most with srgb does this mean I should choose srgb mode for my monitor? Or lets say ,,full,, mode or just shift from mode to mode depending on the colour space I work on?
Thanks Tomas
Hi Tomas, congratulations on your new purchase.

I do not think that anyone can quote you meaningful figures for any settings for your monitor. Assuming you are looking to match screen to print as closely as possible or of even more importance the final viewing conditions of the print (I assume that you will not be hanging the print next to the monitor all the time ) the ideal settings will be the ones that produces a satisfactory result. The settings are very dependent on your viewing editing conditions etc.

For instance my viewing conditions far from ideal as I do not get consistent ambient light so things vary day to day and evening to day. I have reached a satisfactory compromise for now and can get predictable print results in most conditions.

These are my settings which I must stress are applicable only to me under the conditions in which I find myself - your own final settings may vary wildly from mine.
White Point: D65
Gamma: 2.20
Intensity: 120 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: Monitor Default
Color Gamut: Native (Full)

Personally I would want to work on my monitor at its optimum values reducing this to sRGB may defeat the purpose of buying such a monitor in the first place particularly if your output is directed to a device which can reproduce your monitor colour gamut. Correctly set up soft proofing should help you predict the differences between what you see on screen and your printer output which may be wider than sRGB.

Last edited by Tony W; 07-19-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:34 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

Thanks Tony,

I am not sure what monitor you use just remember from tftcentral AmbriBright ambient light sensor when on it says it does a job( if you meant ambient light in your working enviroment)
At the moment work I do is not that much screen proof demanding and i am not super fussy) .I would like to get most and best features from my new monitor.
Do you know any good link about soft proofing?
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: NEC PA231W 23" or PA241W 24"

AFAIK AmbiBright refers to the sensor in the monitor which measures the ambient light in your work area and adjusts the monitors backlight brightness to compensate for changes. So for instance it may increase the screen brightness when you find yourself in the room with bright daylight streaming in and reduce the level when you are in evening light or even no ambient light.

There is an ambient light sensor in my monitor - it is turned off.
I do not have first hand experience of this model, but am a little sceptical if it can work well within a colour managed workflow. What happens relating to your carefully set up calibration when the screen dims or brightens? It may be the greatest thing since sliced bread but...

Soft proofing tons of articles on the net incl:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...proofing.shtml
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...t-proofing.htm

If you get serious about color management IMO the definitive work is Color-Management for Photographers by Andrew Rodney. It really is a very comprehensive book with a huge amount of information. Andrew occassionally posts here
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Color-Manage.../dp/0240806492

As you are considering which calibrating equipment some reviews on the ones mentioned in this thread from a professional photographer in the UK:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/r...pyder4pro.html.
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/r...i_display.html
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/r...splay_pro.html

Last edited by Tony W; 07-19-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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