REVIEW: NEC PA301W-BK Part 21
In the section about the very good results for the software calibration, we already remarked that no significant improvement is to be expected with the hardware calibration. The colorimetric values listed prove the truth of this assessment. The simple and fast workflow in particular speaks in favour of using SpectraView II, especially when colour space emulation is used in different ways. In addition, hardware calibration offers the advantage that all changes and optimisations made within the scope of the calibration are maintained in the monitor LUT, even for games. Changes in the graphics card LUT, on the other hand, would be discarded without further measures when the game was started. However, these changes only have a slight effect on the NEC PA301W.
Use of a colorimeter with SpectraView II
In the USA, NEC offers a bundle consisting of the EyeOne Display2 and the SpectraView II in the form of the "SpectraViewII Kit, which is advertised especially for models with extended colour spaces. To this end, a further correction matrix will probably have been implemented internally for monitors with WCG-CCFL backlights, which becomes active when such an NEC monitor is connected.
The use of a different colorimeter, on the other hand, leads to a sometimes considerable absolute measurement error (see "Generic correction for colorimeters in Quato iColor Display"), since NEC does not make any corrections available in SpectraView II for the supported colorimeters.
The "Factory Measurement" option in the settings is not a solution here. Thus, SpectraView II only uses the primary colours measured in the factory settings (considering the white point). The white point is adjusted as per the current measurements and therefore deviates accordingly strongly depending on the colorimeter. From a colorimetric point of view, the process is not target-oriented, or it quickly proves counterproductive.
Settings in SpectraView II
The table below shows that no corrections are implemented in SpectraView II for the colorimeters supported:
* Measurement with EyeOne Pro / ** CCT reference
Thus, three alternatives remain for the user: the use of a spectral photometer (the EyeOne Pro from X-Rite is very suitable), the aforementioned NEC bundle with the EyeOne Display2 or the use of the Silver Haze Pro Bundle from Quato (iColor Display + X-Rite DTP94). Naturally, in the last case, hardware calibration is no longer possible. In light of the excellent results within the scope of the software calibration, however, this is generally tolerable.
The NEC PA301W has a sophisticated scaling solution. In terms of quality, such implementations exceed simple point sampling, which is still used in some monitors for scaling regardless of the source aspect ratio, to a considerable extent. In the meantime, however, the trend has clearly been moving towards the use of more intelligent solutions. Thus, for playback via PC, the user is not fundamentally dependent on leaving the scaling to the graphics card.
The pictures below give a rough impression of the quality of the scaling. The camera is always an identical distance from the screen and scaling is always to full screen. The sharpness regulation remains in the neutral setting.
Left: resolution 2.560 x 1.600 and right: resolution 1.920 x 1.200.
Left: resolution 1.680 x 1.050 and right: resolution 1.024 x 768.
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