Configuring and Calibrating An IPS Monitor


Setting Up Your IPS Monitor

Having an IPS monitor is probably one of the most popular upgrades that every PC enthusiast can get for themselves. However, many consumers tend to forget that having an IPS panel is not as simple as plug and play. Did you know that you still need to do some setting configuration to set up your IPS monitor properly? Setting up your IPS monitor properly will allow you to fully enjoy the benefits of having an IPS monitor. Calibrating your monitor will bring out the best colors possible for your display especially when you need the best monitor for photo editing.

But before we go any further and you do any changes, I would like you to look and take note of this image.
Done?

With that aside, here are the things you must do before you can fully enjoy your brand new IPS monitor.

In-Plane Switching Monitor Configuration

Here are some steps to follow on how to configure your IPS monitor:

  1. Change the color output.
    • Nvidia Graphics Card

       

      • Open the Nvidia Control Panel
      • Go to Change Resolution Panel
      • Check “Use Nvidia Color Settings
      • Make sure that you have set all four options as listed below:
        • Desktop Color Depth: Highest
        • Output Color Depth: Highest number you can see
        • Output Color Format: RGB
        • Output Dynamic Range: Full
    • AMD Graphics Card

       

      • Open Catalyst Control Center
      • Proceed to My Digital Flat Panels
      • Click Pixel Format
      • Select “RGB 4:4:4 Pixel Format PC Standard (Full RGB)
  2. Install the respective Color Profile file provided by the manufacturer of your monitor for that specific model.
    • Example, an LG 23MP68VQ.
      • Go to the respective product page of the monitor by visiting the website of the manufacturer. In this case, http://www.lg.com/hk_en/support/support-product/lg-23MP68VQ-P
      • Proceed to the product support page of the page where you can download the firmware and software of your monitor.
      • Download the driver or color profile provided by the manufacturer for that specific model. In this case, http://www.lg.com/hk_en/support/support-product/lg-23MP68VQ-P#
      • Unzip the file if it is compressed then make sure that it contains the ICC file.
      • Open Color Management through windows search or via control panel.
      • On the Color Mangement panel, click ADD then Browse.
      • Search for the color profile settings that we downloaded earlier then add it.
      • On the Color Management panel, click the newly added color profile and then click Set as Default Profile. You should be able to see the color difference by now if you have done the steps properly.

Testing Your IPS Monitor

Most of us would probably have different preferences on IPS display color reproduction. So here are some things you can do to see if your IPS is properly configured. (Images is provided by http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/)

  1. Check the following images to test your IPS monitor.
    • The White Test

      The image above are 12 light grey checkerboard patterns on a white background. Each of them should be distinguishable from the background, which has value 255. This image is best viewed from some distance. The contrast and gamma settings are likely to affect this.
    • The Black Test
      The image above shows 20 grey squares on a black background. All of them should be distinguishable, even the very dark first row of squares. The black background should be as dark as possible. The square labeled ‘255’ is the brightest possible value, which can help to subjectively judge the contrast ratio. It is essential that the environment is dark for this test and in full-screen mode.
    • The Two Tone Test
      You should see two shades of “white” to the left, and two shades of “black” to the right. If you don’t see two shades for each side, your monitor is likely to be misconfigured.
    • The Color Shade Test
      The image shown above show scales of linearly increasing RGB values. Ideally, you should see roughly equal steps in brightness over the full range from 1 to 32, and in all colors. Bar 1 should be visible.A IPS monitor that is not properly configured will not show the differences for each step and will show a relatively large jump between numbers 31 and 32.

Color Profile Database

There is a website called tftcentral that has a database of perfectly configured color profile settings that you can download for free. However, it does not contain all the ideal color profile for every monitor on the market. If that is that case for you and you can’t find your monitor model, try to look for the older model of your monitors series. Example, the site doesn’t have any color profile for LG 23MP68 but it has a color profile for LG 23MP55 which will work on the much more updated 23MP68.

Final Thoughts…

Now that you’ve made changes and configure your system to work and use an IPS monitor properly. Tell me in the comment section how does this image look for you now after making the changes.

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