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Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

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  #1  
Old 03-27-2014, 11:18 PM
dondean dondean is offline
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Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

I'm trying to display 1.1 billion colors on my system.
I just purchased a Dell UltraSharp U2413 monitor.
When used with a full 10-bit workflow and compatible 10-bit graphics card, it is supposed to display 1.1 billion out of 4.4 trillion total colors.

I have an HP Pavilion HPE h8-1234 Desktop PC that came with a AMD Radeon 7450 graphics card. The card has two connections on it:
1. HDMI 1.4a with max resolution 1920x1200 with Deep Color and xvYCC wide gamut support and also a
2. Dual-link DVI with HDCP max resolution 2560x1600

I bought a High Speed HDMI Cable to support Deep Color and connected this to the monitor and the graphics card and set the monitor input as HDMI.
I have Windows 7 Professional, using the 64-bit system, with 24 Gig of RAM
I disabled the Windows 7 Aero Desktop by selecting a Basic Windows Desktop.

To test things, I opened PaintShop Pro X6 and created two test files.
A 16-bit RGB color image at 900px wide and 400px high .
Then used the 'Gradient' tool to fill it with a gray scale gradient going from RGB 64/64/64 to RGB 96/96/96 (left to right).
I saved the image as a 16-bit TIFF file.
I repeated this and created an 8-bit TIFF file.
I then reopened both images in PSP X6 to compare them.

They both displayed 33 distinguishable vertical bands of gray across the image. I was expecting the 16-bit TIFF image to display as a smooth gradient rather than as bands.

Is there an error in my thinking or my process?
Is there something else I need to do?
Any suggestion?
Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:35 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

You can't see a billion colors or anything like that. Don't waste you time with silly marketing spec's. It's just simple math, how one divides up possible 'colors' (quotes on purpose) by using a higher bit depth. If you can't see a 'color', well it's not a color. Further, unless you're on Windows with the correct video card, display and software, the path isn't fully high bit anyway. IOW, the display may be capable, using the math to divide up the numbers within a billion values which again you can't see, but if the application or OS or video card doesn't also support that bit depth, a lower bit depth is used (think of this as downsampling) then somewhere it's upsampled again. You gain nothing.

Depending on who's values you look at, human's may be able to see something in the neighborhood of 6-7 million colors. Some suggest less. You're getting caught up in a lot of marketing BS rather than reality, forget about it.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:16 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

I am pretty sure AMD only supports such features on specific firepro cards. Even then I don't know if Paintshop supports it. Beyond that did you sample the data at all? Also if you're viewing at something other than 100%, it's being resampled. Last thing is that deep color has nothing to do with paintshop. You might want to read up on where it applies. The same goes for XVYCC. You aren't using it as a television, so you're quoting unrelated features. I don't know of any graphics cards that support 10 bit paths using DL-DVI or HDMI 1.4a. They may exist, but you generally want to verify everything before such a purchase. Last thing is that even if all of this is supported, it's still just a reported spec. The display may be better or worse overall when compared to the next one regardless of what features it claims. You can't just go by marketing as Andrew mentioned.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:38 PM
dondean dondean is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

Thanks for taking the time to respond, Andrew

I know the human eye can't see a billion colors. My test was to see if my monitor actually does display a billion colors, by viewing the gradient images.

I didn't buy this monitor solely because Dell stated that it could display 1.07 billion colors. It had many other features that I liked. The "billion colors" was kind of like a nice "add on".

It might not be TOP of the LINE PRO, but for what I paid, it was a good deal and is a great monitor.

Dell isn't the only company that has DEEP color monitors. NEC, ASUS and Eizo also have them, and there are probably others. So I suspect we will continue to see more of this spec, in more monitors, by more companies.

As I said earlier, my graphics card supports DEEP color, although I need to find whether PaintShop Pro supports it. So I am simply trying to find where my "weak link in the display chain" might be.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:52 PM
dondean dondean is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

Thanks for the info Klev.

I was directed to online spec data by an AMD email, concerning their Radeon 7450 graphics card and their data said the HDMI 1.4a connection does support Deep Color.

Yes, I understand that " deep color has nothing to do with paintshop". Which is something I need to check into, to see if PaintShop can work with it and display it.

I don't keep up with the latest hardware data, so I didn't know what XVYCC meant. I just included it because it was in the spec data. I'm simply trying to test my "display" chain to see if I actually can display DEEP color on my monitor.
I didn't buy the monitor because of this feature.

I'm not sure what you meant by "did you sample the data"?
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:34 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by dondean View Post
I know the human eye can't see a billion colors. My test was to see if my monitor actually does display a billion colors, by viewing the gradient images.
No! And if you can't see it, it's not a color. It's a pile of marketing BS and hype. Color, is a perceptual property. So if you can't see it it's not a color. Color is not a particular wavelength of light. It is a cognitive perception, the excitation of photoreceptors followed by retinal processing and ending in the our visual cortex, within our brains. As such, colors are defined based on perceptual experiments.

What is a "DEEP" color monitor? You mean wide gamut? That too has nothing to do with numbers of colors (gamut and encoding are not the same).
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:23 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
What is a "DEEP" color monitor? You mean wide gamut? That too has nothing to do with numbers of colors (gamut and encoding are not the same).
They are in fact different terms and not well described. The wiki does an okay job, but as a general rule I wouldn't pay attention to features that aren't fully supported across the hardware/software chain.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:02 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

Quote:
Deep color is a gamut comprising a billion or more colors.
That's what I read then moved on, it's hogwash.
Gamut and bit depth (number of colors) isn't the same so WTF are they suggesting?

A Granger Rainbow in ProPhoto RGB has a color fixed gamut, 24 bit or 48 bit. More bits don't make more gamut.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:03 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Suggestions on displaying 1.1 Billion Colors

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
That's what I read then moved on, it's hogwash.
Gamut and bit depth (number of colors) isn't the same so WTF are they suggesting?

A Granger Rainbow in ProPhoto RGB has a color fixed gamut, 24 bit or 48 bit. More bits don't make more gamut.
Yeah they're somewhat ambiguous. My suspicion is that they left out necessary information in the description. If it's a matter of a trademarked phrase tied to a set of specifications, it could be that there are enumeration requirements over a given set of gamut boundaries. As you point out bit depth is merely an issue of enumeration. If you identified 2^16 integer values with the same distribution rules, they would simply have a lower maximum distance between frame buffer values that may or may not be measurably different in terms of the emitted color. To clarify that I'm saying that you could digitize as many bits as you want as long as the registers can hold them, regardless of whether the underlying hardware is capable of further differentiation.

Anyway I don't think wider gamut displays provide that much of an advantage in existing workflows, regardless of bit depth. Their most helpful aspect is that they sometimes make it easier to visually spot where a red might encounter clipping issues prior to taking a measurement. Display manufacturers just like to market all of these things, because they sound nice on paper.
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