I recently purchased the VG236he (amazing so far). I was just wondering, I want to get the most out of the monitor, is it fine to just run the monitor out of the box or should I download some type of calibration tool or are there any other little tips or tricks that anyone could suggest to get the most out of this awesome display. Any tips/suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
Running a monitor out of the box will often give acceptable quality, but you can almost always do better by calibrating with a colorimeter - see http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/content/viewsonic_vp2365wb.htm#comparison
You try to use the following website to manually adjust the monitor if you do not want to spend money:
The lagom site isn't bad, but it doesn't really address the issue of excessive brightness. The recommended brightness for an lcd monitor, as I understand it, is about 120 cd/m2, yet on my Gateway XHD3000, whites don't really look white to me if I set the brightness below about 85% (at least at native resolution, where only brightness is adjustable on the OSD; more controls are available at non-native resolutions on this monitor), and at 85% on this monitor, the brightness may be around 339 cd/m2, so I'm worried that it's bad for my eyes. I went ahead and ordered a LaCie Blue Eye Pro for myself so I can check the ambient light and let it adjust my video card settings if necessary for proper brightness, though being able to calibrate my family's other monitors as well mitigates the cost. If apie172 lives alone and only has one monitor, it may not seem worth it.
anytime you lower the brightness of a display the colors and whites will look a darker shade than normal. you can not dim a display while keeping all the colors and whites as bright and vibrant as they were before dimming.
brightness is a bit subjective, some people, like those of us with blue eyes, are more affected by bright lights than others. if you use the monitor in a dark room you will want lower brightness levels. if you use the monitor with decent ambient lighting then you can get away with brighter levels. so in the end there really is not a standard number that is good for every person all the time.
as for the OP, often video card software disks include calibration software. if not, check your video card (ati catalyst, nvidia nview) program menu and there is normally some sort of calibration included. if not, search google for monitor calibration website (and dead pixel test while you are at it) and you will come up with more than enough results.