What could be better for viewing my dSLR photos than a new monitor? After some research I decided on the HP LP2475W 24” widescreen monitor.
There are detailed reviews of the HP LP2475W on the Internet such as the one at TFT central so I won’t cover all of the technical aspects of the monitor. Breifly though, here are some highlights:
- High quality S-IPS panel
- 1000:1 contrast ratio
- 1920×1200 max resolution
- 92% color gamut, excellent colour once calibrated
- Excellent black depth
- 25ms average input lag
- Refresh response 6 ms (grey to grey); 12 ms (on/off)
- Connectivity: DVI-I, component, S-video, composite, DisplayPort, HDMI x 2, 6 port USB hub
I’m still trying to get used to having this huge screen on my desk. When I tested an anime video I couldn’t watch it in full-screen mode it was that big! Time to see back away from my desk.
After some calibration with my Spyder 3 Elite the colours are now accurate and contrast/brightness at better levels than the factory default. Viewing landscape pictures is fantastic! A 10 megapixel image still requites you to zoom in for a 100% view but the amount of detail in fit-to-screen is amazing. The stand allows you to rotate the screen 90 degrees which will be ideal for post-processing portrait photos. I can’t wait to try that out, too.
I’ve tried the monitor briefly with Left 4 Dead. Strangely the screen didn’t seem to big when playing a game but my CPU/graphics card is really struggling with wide screen resolutions. An upgrade will be required by summer.
Hook Me Up
This monitor is incredible as far as inputs are concerned. If I had a TV tuner card and digital box for my TV I could in theory do away with my LCD TV. For example I could plug in HD consoles via HDMI and plug in my Wii using the component connectors. Still, there’s something to be said for having a separate TV with built in freeview. It’s larger (26”) for a start, even if it doesn’t have such a high native resolution as my new monitor.
I’m also looking forward to watching DVDs, HD video files, and once I get a player, Blu Ray discs. Did somebody say 1080p? =)
What’s the buzz?
My only real complaint is that the monitor emits and audible buzz. Strangely as you cycle from 0% to 100% brightness you can hear the monitor cycle about three times from being almost silent to emitting a loud buzz. Powering a 24” screen obviously uses more power than my smaller Dell screen and the top of the new monitor is noticeably warm, though much cooler now I’ve lowered the brightness.
In actual fact my new monitor has has joined my UltraSharp Dell monitor for dual-screen usage and considerable number of total pixels! I am already using the old screen for mail or using a file manager whilst working in other applications on the LP2475W. Nice.
Before the monitor arrived I’d measured out the listed dimensions and moved all of my shelves up and having a good old clear out at the same time. All told this took at least 3-4 hours. So it was with some shock that once I placed the new monitor on my desk at it’s lowest height it was the same height as my old monitor! HP must have listed the average height or something (it’s adjustable). To work in portrait mode I’ll have to pull the monitor out slightly as the shelves would still be in the way.
Along with my 26” LCD TV my room is starting to look like the Nebakaneza from the Matrix! Well, maybe that’s going a little far. One day!
Over the last few days I’ve been battling with colour calibration. When using my dual monitor setup I noticed that even though both monitors had been calibrated, the colours in each seemed to vary quite drastically. More accurately, the HP LP2475W appeared more contrasty and made colours in standard sRGB JPEGs appear more saturated.
Part of the issue appears to stem from the fact that the LP2475W is a ‘wide gamut’ monitor which can output far more colours than other monitors. Apparently the Windows XP GUI doesn’t work so well with colour profiles. I can live with that as long as photos have accurate colour.
Using the downloadable ‘Color control panel‘ from Microsoft you can setup different profiles on different monitors. So everything is fixed…right?
My thinking was that dragging a photo from one desktop to the other (in this setup the two monitors act as one large desktop) should result in very similar colours considering that both monitors have been hardware colour calibrated. Ignoring contrast and brightness this seemed fairly logical.
However, the flaw to this thinking is the colour management employed by each piece of software. If an image viewer does support monitor profiling then you’ll get the colours originally intended. However, if you drag that window to another screen which has a different panel and colour profile it’s unlikely that the software will switch between profiles. That’s logical right?
There are many confusing aspects to colour calibration and using two monitors in the way I’d wanted may not be possible. Two identical monitors would give a much better result but I’m not about to buy a second 24 inch display just yet!
Reading around, many people complain about saturated colours on wide gamut monitors. It’s argued that if you are only working in sRGB that you’re better off with an sRGB colour gamut in the first place. I’ll give it some more time before deciding my final verdict.