OSD Setup And Calibration
The E271i, unlike other HP monitors we’ve reviewed, has a full user menu with a typical set of calibration adjustments. There is only one picture mode, but settings do vary by input. You’ll need to calibrate each one you plan to use.
From the main menu, you can adjust brightness and contrast. The default settings correspond to around 280 cd/m2 of light output. Contrast is good at its default of 80, but you can increase it to 91 before any loss of information (clipping) occurs. This improves the E271i’s contrast ratio greatly, as you’ll see in our tests.
The Color menu has the temperature presets. Standard is very close to the correct 6500K white point. If you plan to calibrate, Custom mode matches the 6500K preset, making it a good starting point.
Here are the RGB sliders for setting the white point. They begin at their maximum settings, which is only slightly inconvenient. It's easier to calibrate when the sliders start at their midpoint, giving you more flexibility in dialing in a precise color temperature.
There is a Sharpness adjustment in the Image Control menu, which isn't very common on computer monitors. We would typically set it to zero, but in this case, that actually softens the image. We returned it to its default setting of four. Higher settings caused obvious ringing and edge enhancement in the picture. This is most easily seen as white outlines around black objects. Black Stretch simply raises the minimum black level as you turn it up (there are three settings, plus Off). We got the best gamma results with that control set on Low. Video Overdrive reduces the screen draw time, so it’s best to max it out at 100. Dynamic Contrast plays havoc with gamma and brightness, and not in a good way. In the rapidly shifting content common to movies and games, you can see light levels shift as the image changes. Although this feature is a great way to pump up a contrast ratio measurement, it has no performance benefit in actual use. It’s turned off by default and we recommend leaving it that way.
These are the typical controls for the OSD found on most monitors. If you plan to measure at the center of the screen, you can move the menu to a corner, getting it out of the way of your test patterns. It’s also helpful to max the timeout so the menu stays visible as you're making your adjustments. If you want to leave the E271i in portrait mode, you can rotate the OSD as well, since it won't turn with the monitor's physical orientation.
The Management menu contains everything else not already addressed in the other menus. Power Saver is either on or off, and shuts down the monitor when no signal is detected. Power-On Recall (on by default) restores settings every time you power up. Obviously, you don’t want to turn that one off! Mode Display toggles the signal information that pops up when you change resolutions or refresh rates. Monitor Status tells the E271i where to display the info window that appears at start-up. DDC/CI stands for Display Data Channel/Command Interface, and it allows your video card to change image parameters. This should be left on to allow calibration adjustments, rotate commands, and other instructions to come from your computer. If you want to turn the power LED off, you can do that as well. And Sleep Timer shuts down the panel after a user-specified time period.
This is the E271i’s signal information screen. A similar window pops up when you power on or change inputs.
You can change inputs manually through the menu, too. Auto-Switch is on by default, and the feature didn't have any trouble detecting the sources we used. Or, you can lock a single input as the default. And Hot-Plug Detection senses a video signal when you plug into an input. You can set this to Low Power or Always On. For us, the Low Power mode worked fine.
Calibration was pretty easy on the E271i. The RGB sliders required very little adjustment to dial in a white point with a Delta E error under one. In fact, the only thing we missed was a gamma control (which, it turns out, is sorely needed). We hoped that Black Stretch might improve the below-average gamma measurements we observed, but it didn’t. Here are the settings we ended up using:
|HP E271i Calibration Settings|
|RGB||Red 255 / Green 234 / Blue 234|