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Author Topic: PA271W or Spectraview Reference 271  (Read 6460 times)
Athena
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« on: February 02, 2011, 02:22:22 PM »
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Please help.  I am looking at the above two monitors trying to decide if I really need the Spectraview version.  The price difference is significant, so this is an important decision. If I need the spectraview, I may need to get the 24" model.

I have read lots of pages about these monitors, but with my not being technology inclined and with the difference between the US and European versions of these monitors I am just very confused.  Could someone explain in very simple terms to me what the difference is?

Right now I have a 22" monitor that I am calibrating with a Spyder2.  It is a few years old, in need of replacement, so I'd like to move up into something larger and more accurate.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me understand what I need.

~A

ps:  this is the price difference for me here in Switzerland:  http://www.jmsinfo.com/liste-produit-2-11-7-Moniteurs-LCD--LED-26.html?af=1&marque%5B%5D=NEC
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 02:39:01 PM »
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Please see this thread on the same subject:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=50685.0

One way or another you need something to calibrate and profile your display. It's pointless buying a high quality expensive piece of equipment like this and not using it properly. So the issue for you is whether you pay for Spectraview, or whether you buy something else. My understanding of the European situation is that the version of Spectraview being sold there with the display is a rebranded version of BasicColor 4.1, which is an excellent piece of calibration and profiling software. You also need a colorimeter adapted to the wide gamut of this display. A Spyder 2 will not do. The NEC i1 Display 2 will be much more satisfactory.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Czornyj
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 03:38:02 PM »
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AFAIK european Spectraview version is heated, calibrated and carefully verified at the factory. You get basICColor display aka Spectraview profiler calibration software that can make a hardware calibration of the display, a hood, certificate with validation results and homogenity measurements, cleaning set, 6 months zero pixel defects warranty - all in a cool, shiny colorful box.

The regular european PA series display can't be hardware calibrated with basICColor display, it's not individually heated, checked and calibrated, there's no hood nor profiling software, not to mention a certificate or a cleaning set, and comes in an ordinary, grey box.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 03:45:55 PM by Czornyj » Logged

Marcin Kałuża
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 06:47:24 PM »
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Does anyone know why NEC can't sell the same product worldwide?

Is it something to do with software licenses?

I'm based in the UK, and I'm in the market for a quality monitor. I'm interested in NEC, but stories of European buyers entreating their American friends to smuggle them copies of Spectraview software have really put me off. (Also comments on an email list about going through 6 NEC monitors to find one without a left/right colour shift. I've been there and done that with Apples, Dells, HPs etc. Isn't the whole point of spending the extra money on a display to get colour and brightness uniformity, top, bottom, left and right?)

Currently looking at the offerings from Eizo and Quato.

What is NEC's problem?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 07:16:53 PM »
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Does anyone know why NEC can't sell the same product worldwide?

Is it something to do with software licenses?

I'm based in the UK, and I'm in the market for a quality monitor. I'm interested in NEC, but stories of European buyers entreating their American friends to smuggle them copies of Spectraview software have really put me off. (Also comments on an email list about going through 6 NEC monitors to find one without a left/right colour shift. I've been there and done that with Apples, Dells, HPs etc. Isn't the whole point of spending the extra money on a display to get colour and brightness uniformity, top, bottom, left and right?)

Currently looking at the offerings from Eizo and Quato.

What is NEC's problem?

My understanding is that it all relates to their perception of what packaging markets better in various geographic areas. There's no reason to smuggle Spectraview software between Europe and the US. In fact if anything the European version may well be preferable, depending on the extent of non-linearity of the panel. I don't believe the vast majority of users have issues with left-right colour shift. Be careful what you read - how many monitors of all sold does such a report (going through 6 panels) represent, and was that poster realistic in terms of the extent of the consistency expected? Every company produces lemons and we'll always hear about those first, but these are good displays by most accounts I've heard, and on the whole I'm really pleased with mine. Check the price difference between the Eizo and the NEC for roughly the same specs. Bells and whistles differ, but so do the prices - considerably. Many people, me included, find the NEC comparatively good value for money. My main complaints, as fsr as I know unique to people on Mac, is that Mac OSX DOES NOT support 10-bit display rendition and Apple's mini-DisplayPort is a huge connectivity PITA, which NEC and Apple have so far not been capable of fully resolving. Why Apple insisted on equipping these large MacPros with video cards especially configured for Mac with its buggy mini-DisplayPort instead of standard DisplayPort connector is beyond me. NEC is trying to be helpful on the cabling issue, but Apple is obtuse on both issues, simply not-responding.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 02:34:01 AM »
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You also need a colorimeter adapted to the wide gamut of this display. A Spyder 2 will not do. The NEC i1 Display 2 will be much more satisfactory.
The NEC puck is only available in the same markets as Spectraview II software, so it's not available in Europe.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 02:35:33 AM »
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The regular european PA series display can't be hardware calibrated with basICColor display,
Not my experience. Basicolor 4.1.22 offers hardware and software calibration of my PA271.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 02:51:46 AM »
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I'm based in the UK, and I'm in the market for a quality monitor. I'm interested in NEC, but stories of European buyers entreating their American friends to smuggle them copies of Spectraview software have really put me off. (Also comments on an email list about going through 6 NEC monitors to find one without a left/right colour shift. I've been there and done that with Apples, Dells, HPs etc. Isn't the whole point of spending the extra money on a display to get colour and brightness uniformity, top, bottom, left and right?)

Currently looking at the offerings from Eizo and Quato.
I understand the dilema. A lot will depend on what hardware you already own to calibrate the monitor with and what your budget is.
Dismissing the NEC monitors on the basis of one, possibly over fussy, user report on a web forum is just daft. There are a lot of very satisfied users of the PA series monitors, both here and elsewhere.

One of the main assets of the PA series is that they arrive is a very, very good state and even just a simple software profile will bring the monitor to a very high standard of calibration. The internal hardware calibrations are just the icing on the cake that a lot of users wouldn't miss.

Also, in my experience NEC have brilliant after sales service in the UK. When my last Spectraview 1980 developed a fault after 10 months one call had a replacement couriered to me the next day under warranty. Any brand will have some failures, so do check what you can expect from other brands if the unlikely does happen.

Paul
in the UK
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Czornyj
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 03:24:55 AM »
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Not my experience. Basicolor 4.1.22 offers hardware and software calibration of my PA271.


I must admit it's amazing. I've read that before and tried the trick with a couple of PA271s, both on PC and Mac - but no luck. It's officially not supported by basICColor, either. I belive the profiler checks the S/N of the display and doesn't support full hardware calibration when an EU S/N is detected. By any chance - didn't you get your unit from US market?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 03:48:12 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Marcin Kałuża
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 03:35:01 AM »
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I'm based in the UK, and I'm in the market for a quality monitor. I'm interested in NEC, but stories of European buyers entreating their American friends to smuggle them copies of Spectraview software have really put me off. (Also comments on an email list about going through 6 NEC monitors to find one without a left/right colour shift. I've been there and done that with Apples, Dells, HPs etc. Isn't the whole point of spending the extra money on a display to get colour and brightness uniformity, top, bottom, left and right?)

Currently looking at the offerings from Eizo and Quato.

What is NEC's problem?
You still can buy a Spectraview - it's a decent display, and it has the profiler included, so there's no need to smuggle anything.

I saw a lot of NEC PA displays, and when the electronic uniformity compensation is enabled, they're all as even, as a wide gamut display can only be, EIZO CG is not any better in this respect IMHO (don't know how are Quatographics products, they're not very common here). And there's also a new version of basICColor display/Spectraview profiler coming soon, it's supposed to have a lot of new, useful functions...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 03:37:43 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Marcin Kałuża
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 03:40:43 AM »
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By any chance - didn't you get your unit from US market?
Bought from a UK dealer, but I guess it's possible the unit may have been sourced from the US originally.

The other possibility is that my copy of Basicolor 4.1.22 is an upgrade from Spectraview profiler originally supplied with a Spectraview monitor(1980). Maybe the upgrade process has retained the ability to hardware calibrate the PA ?
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Czornyj
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 04:18:09 AM »
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Bought from a UK dealer, but I guess it's possible the unit may have been sourced from the US originally.

The other possibility is that my copy of Basicolor 4.1.22 is an upgrade from Spectraview profiler originally supplied with a Spectraview monitor(1980). Maybe the upgrade process has retained the ability to hardware calibrate the PA ?

It's easy to check - just install basICColor 4.1.22 14 day trial on other computer and see if the "Hardware calibration (monitor LUTs)" function is still active there.

I really wish NEC would cut that nonsense. EIZO is introducing new EasyPix2 package, that's supposed to make hardware calibration in S/SX series - so maybe NEC EU will change his hardware calibration support policy.
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Marcin Kałuża
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 04:34:35 AM »
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It's easy to check - just install basICColor 4.1.22 14 day trial on other computer.......
"Easy" for you to write, but time consuming and difficult to actually do here.
Quote
I really wish NEC would cut that nonsense. EIZO is introducing new EasyPix2 package, that's supposed to make hardware calibration in S/SX series - so maybe NEC EU will change his hardware calibration support policy.
I agree with the sentiment, but I'm sure it only seems a problem to anyone on forums who discovers the global differences in markets. In local isolation it all makes sense to NEC.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 06:39:15 AM »
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The NEC puck is only available in the same markets as Spectraview II software, so it's not available in Europe.

Am I correct to assume you can by an X-Rite i1 Display 2 in Europe?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 06:42:27 AM »
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Not my experience. Basicolor 4.1.22 offers hardware and software calibration of my PA271.


I agree. I do hardware calibration on mine using BasicColor 4.1.22 - here in Canada.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 06:44:52 AM »
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Am I correct to assume you can by an X-Rite i1 Display 2 in Europe?
Yes.
Probably the best of the colorimeter choices, but from what I've read not exactly the same as the NEC puck.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 06:47:54 AM »
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I understand the dilema. A lot will depend on what hardware you already own to calibrate the monitor with and what your budget is.
Dismissing the NEC monitors on the basis of one, possibly over fussy, user report on a web forum is just daft. There are a lot of very satisfied users of the PA series monitors, both here and elsewhere.

One of the main assets of the PA series is that they arrive is a very, very good state and even just a simple software profile will bring the monitor to a very high standard of calibration. The internal hardware calibrations are just the icing on the cake that a lot of users wouldn't miss.

Also, in my experience NEC have brilliant after sales service in the UK. When my last Spectraview 1980 developed a fault after 10 months one call had a replacement couriered to me the next day under warranty. Any brand will have some failures, so do check what you can expect from other brands if the unlikely does happen.

Paul
in the UK

I agree. Unlike Apple Computer Inc, NEC has been very co-operative in trying to get the mini-DisplayPort disaster dealt with. We're not completely there yet, but they are working on it. I'm being very patient about it because I'm fine hooked-up with DVI to DVI. It's limited to 8 bit display pixel rendition, but so is OSX, so nothing really lost yet, but it is incorrect and needs to be fixed in anticipation of the day that Mac OS becomes 10-bit capable.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 06:55:43 AM »
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"Easy" for you to write, but time consuming and difficult to actually do here.I agree with the sentiment, but I'm sure it only seems a problem to anyone on forums who discovers the global differences in markets. In local isolation it all makes sense to NEC.

Of course as you know, nothing is isolated any longer. Look at us here!

And if what makes sense to NEC doesn't make sense to customers and the customers migrate elsewhere, what makes sense to both would eventually converge - but all big companies need time to assess the overall picture, take into account their current commitments and legal arrangements and make their decisions accordingly. In principle, from a customer perspective I think it makes the most sense - in a high end display market - to offer both the matrix and LUT-based profile options, make sure hardware calibration is possible on every display of the same model sold in any country, and assure that every one would be able to access an instrument capable of measuring the display gamut. Otherwise what's the point. 
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Athena
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 07:17:10 AM »
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So, if I understand correctly,

1.  Here in Europe my most accurate option is to buy the Spectraview Reference 241 which comes with a hood and a rebranded version of BasicColor 4.1 (CHF1998).  And also buy a new, wide gamut colorimeter.  Nec iOne Display 2 ideally (US$199 plus shipping and import duties).  24 monitor totaling around US$2250.


2.  My cheaper option is to buy the PA271W (non spectraview) for CHF1545, a new wide gamut colorimeter and US Spectraview II software (bundled for US$299 from the NEC store), which can calibrate the hardware, but not as well as the option 1 above.  27 monitor at US$1920.

What would be the largest difference for me (aside from cost) in choosing the cheaper option?

Also, Im working with a Mac Pro, can my graphics card handle these monitors?  Or am I going to also have to replace that?

(ps:  the Swiss franc is pretty much equal with the US dollar, that's why I just left the mixed currencies.)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 07:39:22 AM »
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So, if I understand correctly,

1.  Here in Europe my most accurate option is to buy the Spectraview Reference 241 which comes with a hood and a rebranded version of BasicColor 4.1 (CHF1998).  And also buy a new, wide gamut colorimeter.  Nec iOne Display 2 ideally (US$199 plus shipping and import duties).  24 monitor totaling around US$2250.


2.  My cheaper option is to buy the PA271W (non spectraview) for CHF1545, a new wide gamut colorimeter and US Spectraview II software (bundled for US$299 from the NEC store), which can calibrate the hardware, but not as well as the option 1 above.  27 monitor at US$1920.

What would be the largest difference for me (aside from cost) in choosing the cheaper option?

Also, Im working with a Mac Pro, can my graphics card handle these monitors?  Or am I going to also have to replace that?

(ps:  the Swiss franc is pretty much equal with the US dollar, that's why I just left the mixed currencies.)

You are comparing a 241 with a 271. The 241 is a smaller display and that accounts for most of the price difference.

As for the profiling options - between the US version Spectraview II and stand-alone BasicColor 4.1.22 - there is debate. Some people think the Spectraview solution is perfectly adequate, others prefer the BasicColor solution - including me. I have no experience with the NEC branded version of Spectraview (re-branded BasicColor) sold in Europe, so others would have to help you on that one.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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