[Tig] Display Calibration (was end of wysiwyg)

Thomas Lianza TLianza at xrite.com
Tue Mar 11 12:52:23 GMT 2008

Hi to all,

I designed my first monitor calibrator in 1989 when I founded Sequel
Imaging. I would argue that there is a real need for quality control in
viewing.  I think a lot work done on reference monitors is more "wishful
thinking" than wysiwyg. That acronym came out of the graphic arts market
place and I don't think it was ever applicable to this group.  We sell
hundreds of thousands of display calibration devices in the Graphic Arts
and still photography Market and almost none in the video and motion
picture markets.  As new displays come into the market, this will
change.  Especially with displays that have tunable colorspaces and
gamuts that approach or encompass Digital Cinema P3. 

You work to a set of standards, good, bad, or indifferent.   There are
three confounding issues which tend to make today's workflows in video
and motion picture almost anachronisms:  Display Luminance, Display
Contrast Ratio, and  Display Gamut. We are in a long transition period
that is not going to settle down anytime soon.  There is no question
that videographers and cinematographers are working too dark, with
compressed gamut, and with too much contrast ratio, to represent the
viewing conditions that their consumers are immersed in.  On the other
hand, the controlled viewing environment does allow for consistent,
albeit, illogical grading of the art.  This means that much of the work
has to be re-graded for release to DVD which I guess is a good thing for
the colorist. 

I would argue that this market will be pushing more towards "simulation"
rather than "wysiwyg".  The consumer looks at the art on Plasma, LCD,
Front projection, or Rear Projection (downward spiral), with display
luminances between 200 and 400 cd/m2 for emissive displays and 50-150
cd/m2 with a simultaneous contrast ratio rarely exceeding 1000 to one.
Theatrical grading is specified at 48 cd/m2 with a contrast ratio
greater than 2000:1 in a darkened room.  At some point, we will develop
a high luminance standard. 

As we look at the motion market (within X-rite) we see that we can't
just throw Graphic Arts / Still photography products into the workflow.
You have very specific needs which we are still trying to access and
address.  This is complicated by the transitions in the display market
place and consumer preferences.  You will see products in the near
future that address this issue of simulation and you will see
calibration devices attached to them. The question to be answered is:
"Will the colorists embrace these products?".  I'm always interested
your thoughts on these matters.... 

Tom Lianza
Director R&D Video & Motion Picture
X-Rite, Incorporated
100 Ames Pond Drive
Suite 200
Tewksbury, MA 01876 USA

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