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Author Topic: NEC PA242, PA272, PA302 questions  (Read 5850 times)
MirekElsner
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« on: November 05, 2013, 11:21:26 AM »
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I am contemplating getting a new monitor for photo editing. It will be used along with an MBP with Mavericks and Iris Pro/GT 750M video. I don't want to break a bank, but would really like to have reliable color, no artifacts and wide gamut this time. The NEC PA2** monitors seem to be highly regarded, but I don't follow the development very closely and would like to clarify several things:

  • Is there anything in the EIZO CG line that I will miss if I get a NEC PA2**?
  • Are there any differences between PA242, 272 and 302 models besides the size?
  • Will this system (PA2*2 display + MBP with Iris Pro/GT 750M + Mavericks + Adobe apps) be able to take advantage of the 10-bit pipeline supported by the monitors (but not previous Macs)?

Any comments welcome. Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 09:05:48 AM by MirekElsner » Logged
nemophoto
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 11:51:21 AM »
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Get the NEC PA series. HUGE bang for the buck. I have two PA241 (24") monitors. Best investment I've made on monitors in a very long time. Additionally, when used with the i1 or Datacolor Spyder and NEC's SpectrView II software, the easiest, quickest, most accurate calibration I've ever done. The difference between the PA241 (98% aRGB) and PA242 (99% aRGB), for your purposes, may be somewhat minimal - a 1% improvement in aRGB gamut. As for the other differences, size: 272 = 27" (with 97% aRGB), 302 = 30" (with 99% aRGB). Personally, I'd go with 2 -24" over one 30", but that's me.

Any of the NEC monitors would suffice for your needs and at a cost much lower than the EIZO.

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Czornyj
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 01:53:59 PM »
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New PAxx2 series have:
- approx. 1-2dE better uniformity than former PAxx1 series
- satin diffuser vs matte difuser in PAxx1 - the image is cleaner, with less sparkling/clouding effect and more punch
- lower minimal luminance - PA241 goes down to ~90cd/m^2 while PA242 achieves ~40cd/m^2 natively
- slightly larger gamut than PAxx1
- lower power consumption
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MirekElsner
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 05:42:54 PM »
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Thank you gentlemen. Anyone have first hand experience/comparison with EIZO CG? I don't think I am ready to pay for the premium, but I am curious if there is any practical advantage.
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Czornyj
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 06:21:25 PM »
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EIZO CX240/CG246 has less black silvering thanks to use of optical retardation film - on the other hand it has a noisy fan.

CX270/CG276  is not really much different than SX2762W/CG275 or NEC PA271W
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MirekElsner
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 09:34:22 PM »
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Thanks!
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camner
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 11:38:43 PM »
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Can I presume that if I would want to purchase two 24" NEC models (the ones discussed here) that only one of them would need to be purchased the the Spectraview puck (i.e. the puck could be used to calibrate both monitors)?

Thank you.
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Schewe
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 12:40:34 AM »
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Can I presume that if I would want to purchase two 24" NEC models (the ones discussed here) that only one of them would need to be purchased the the Spectraview puck (i.e. the puck could be used to calibrate both monitors)?

Correct...I'm running a pair of 30" and a 27" NEC displays and I only need a single SpectraView serial # and a single puck to profile all three displays...
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 09:28:36 AM »
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New PAxx2 series have:
- approx. 1-2dE better uniformity than former PAxx1 series
- satin diffuser vs matte difuser in PAxx1 - the image is cleaner, with less sparkling/clouding effect and more punch
- lower minimal luminance - PA241 goes down to ~90cd/m^2 while PA242 achieves ~40cd/m^2 natively
- slightly larger gamut than PAxx1
- lower power consumption
After using a PA272W a few weeks, I'm even happier with it than the earlier gen which I still have and use. According to my contact at NEC, a few more items to add to the list:

- The backlight sensor also monitors whitepoint in addition to luminance
- GB-R LED allows more precise control of whitepoint (vs. CCFL)
- LED backlight and luminance sensor = almost instant on & stable (this is great if your screen saver goes off).
- Improved long term stability.
- Mini DisplayPort and HDMI inputs.

The power consumption is much lower according to KillAWatt. The older unit is using about 3X more electricity, the newer unit runs much cooler of course. I'll see if I can dig up the exact figures, I had them somewhere but if memory serves me, the PA271W used 150W, the PA272W about 50W. As someone that spend a few bucks building a net zero home that run's 100% on electricity thanks to a solar tracker system, I'll take all the efficiency as I can.
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Andrew Rodney
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Czornyj
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 06:36:03 AM »
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- The backlight sensor also monitors whitepoint in addition to luminance
- GB-R LED allows more precise control of whitepoint (vs. CCFL)
- LED backlight and luminance sensor = almost instant on & stable (this is great if your screen saver goes off).
- Improved long term stability.
- Mini DisplayPort and HDMI inputs.

The power consumption is much lower according to KillAWatt. The older unit is using about 3X more electricity, the newer unit runs much cooler of course. I'll see if I can dig up the exact figures, I had them somewhere but if memory serves me, the PA271W used 150W, the PA272W about 50W. As someone that spend a few bucks building a net zero home that run's 100% on electricity thanks to a solar tracker system, I'll take all the efficiency as I can.

Andrew, thanks a lot for sharing all those interesting informations!
Could you (or WillH?) elaborate on GBr LED more precise control of wtpt? The GBr backlight contains of green and blue LED units, that are covered with red phosphor - so I was quite sure it's not possible to change the native wtpt like in NEC 2180WG, where you could change brightness of red, green and blue power LED independently.
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MirekElsner
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 10:08:11 PM »
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Could anybody help me understand the different types of NEC PA monitors sold in the US and EU? I mean, for example PA272. There are two US models, with and without SV software and hardware. The displays are identical, correct? Now, in Europe I noticed three different versions. PA272, priced similarly to the US PA272, SpectraView 272 priced more or less like the highest end EIZO model and SpectraView Reference, even more expensive. How these differ?
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afx
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 05:41:58 AM »
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Could anybody help me understand the different types of NEC PA monitors sold in the US and EU?
 ...
How these differ?
It is all the same panels and electronics.

US:
PA: Can be hardware calibrated with optional SV-II software
SV: Can be hardware calibrated with the bundled SV-II software

EU:
PA: Officially no HW calibration possible, but works with US software (need US credit card to buy)
SV: Can be hardware calibrated with bundled BasiCColor software
SV Reference: hand selected version of the SV.

I think the SVs also come with a hood.
Not sure which SVs come with a colorimeter.
Warranty is also different between PA and SV.

cheers
afx
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WillH
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 07:01:47 PM »
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Could you (or WillH?) elaborate on GBr LED more precise control of wtpt? The GBr backlight contains of green and blue LED units, that are covered with red phosphor - so I was quite sure it's not possible to change the native wtpt like in NEC 2180WG, where you could change brightness of red, green and blue power LED independently.

With CCFL and White LED backlights you have no direct control over the white point. Only the luminance can be changed. In effect you have a 1 dimensional (intensity) control over the backlight in colorspace. Changes to the white point must be done within the LCD panel by scaling the R, G and B video. So there is potential for color banding unless the adjustment is done to a high bit depth within the display. This is how the NEC LCD80, LCD90 and PAxx1 series worked.

With separate R, G and B LED backlights (such as the NEC LCD2180WG-LED), the white point can be changed by varying the relative intensity of the LEDs. Here you have 3 dimensional control over the backlight in colorspace. There is no need to scale the R, G and B video.

With GB-R LED backlights, only the intensities of the blue and green LEDs can be controlled. Red is generated indirectly by the output of the LEDs using phosphors. Here you have 2 dimensional control over the backlight in colorspace. So the white point can be adjusted, but only in certain directions as you look at it on a CIE chart - however you of course need to adjust in 3 dimensions in order to achieve different white points. The control for the 3rd dimension is done by scaling one color of the video signal. This adjustment is a lot smaller compared to when using CCFL or White LEDs. On the new NEC PAxx2 series of displays, the panels are 10 bit native so the effects of video scaling are unnoticeable.

Therefore you can get better control of the white point without having to sacrifice video levels.
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Will Hollingworth
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NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc.
digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 07:36:45 PM »
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With GB-R LED backlights, only the intensities of the blue and green LEDs can be controlled. Red is generated indirectly by the output of the LEDs using phosphors.
Had to read this a few times but I get it, clever.
I also found this:
http://pcmonitors.info/articles/the-evolution-of-led-backlights
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Andrew Rodney
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Czornyj
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 03:53:07 AM »
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With GB-R LED backlights, only the intensities of the blue and green LEDs can be controlled. Red is generated indirectly by the output of the LEDs using phosphors. Here you have 2 dimensional control over the backlight in colorspace. So the white point can be adjusted, but only in certain directions as you look at it on a CIE chart - however you of course need to adjust in 3 dimensions in order to achieve different white points. The control for the 3rd dimension is done by scaling one color of the video signal. This adjustment is a lot smaller compared to when using CCFL or White LEDs. On the new NEC PAxx2 series of displays, the panels are 10 bit native so the effects of video scaling are unnoticeable.
Excellent news Will, it's even better than I imagined!

If I'm not mistaken, the native x,y coordinates of this backlight (100%G, 100%B) is somewhere near D65, so most wtpt calibration targets useful in GA an photography should be within the range of such 2D control. Maybe some extremely high OBA loaded papers are out of the limit, but considering that 24 and 27 panels become natively 10bit it doesn't really matter.

Thanks a lot for all the insightful informations!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 05:27:06 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Czornyj
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2014, 05:00:30 AM »
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Could anybody help me understand the different types of NEC PA monitors sold in the US and EU? I mean, for example PA272. There are two US models, with and without SV software and hardware. The displays are identical, correct? Now, in Europe I noticed three different versions. PA272, priced similarly to the US PA272, SpectraView 272 priced more or less like the highest end EIZO model and SpectraView Reference, even more expensive. How these differ?

EU Spectraview panels come with SpectraView Profiler (a.k.a. basICColor display) license key loaded into the monitor firmware, so that it activates the profiling software that supports full hardware calibration.

Spectraview Reference has additionally 2 years of warranty, 6 month warranty for bad pixels, hood, book and nice, colourful box. There's no sensor included in any version. It also comes with certificate of individual measurement with i1pro sensor, which seems to be a bad joke, as all new PA/SV/SVR xx2 series panels come with individual factory Calibration and Verification Report, where lab grade, 100x more accurate Konica Minolta CA-2000 was used to evaluate the displays uniformity, so I don't have a freaking clue what's the point of making another measurement with i1pro device, which is toy-like by a comparison to CA-2000, specifically designed for display uniformity measurements.

Normal PA can be calibrated with Spectraview Profiler a.k.a. basICColor display with hardware-software process. In the past it was calibrating PA brightness and wtpt colour internally, and then it was linearising display TRC using 8bit LUT of the video card, so it was less precise than full hardware calibration, now it doesn't create any correction, so frankly I don't really know what's the difference (if there's any).

So or so I don't like this software - it calibrates NEC PA/SV/SVR backlight to 160cd/m^2, so if any lower luminance target is selected the display is dimmed with internal LUT, so the CR is unintentionally lowered as a side effect result. It also doesn't work with useful NEC Multiprofiler as well as its US counterpart.
Unfortunately US Spectraview II software is not available in EU. But if you're on Windows, you can use NEC Gamma Comp MD QA as a substitute, it supports full hardware calibration in PA series and it seems to be using Spectraview II DNA.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 05:29:41 AM by Czornyj » Logged

MirekElsner
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2014, 06:21:50 PM »
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Thanks. So the only difference between regular PA and SpectraView is a license for BasICColor?
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D Fosse
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2014, 05:41:38 AM »
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Yes, but the point is that with the regular PA edition, Spectraview/BasICColor is permanently locked out from the high-bit monitor LUT. So if you buy it separately later on, it will only calibrate through low-bit video card LUT. It's a one-way street and you can't go back.
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MirekElsner
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 12:22:05 PM »
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Yes, but the point is that with the regular PA edition, Spectraview/BasICColor is permanently locked out from the high-bit monitor LUT. So if you buy it separately later on, it will only calibrate through low-bit video card LUT. It's a one-way street and you can't go back.

Does that apply to the American models as well? I.e. if I get the PA model sans calibrator and purchase SpectraViewII separately later, will it calibrate through monitor LUTs? And will the SpectaView II use monitor LUTs with the base European model?
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digitaldog
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 12:25:14 PM »
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Does that apply to the American models as well? I.e. if I get the PA model sans calibrator and purchase SpectraViewII separately later, will it calibrate through monitor LUTs?
No, SpectraView will provide full functionality which is why you should purchase SpectraView to drive an instrument or use MultiProfiler.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
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