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ControlSync & Calibration With SpectraView II
We’ve reviewed many NEC monitors and all include the ControlSync feature. We’ve talked about it in the past, but never actually had the opportunity to try it out. ControlSync allows the connection of up to five additional monitors to a single master. They are then able to share settings that update in real time. Individual panels can still be calibrated without affecting the others, but things like picture mode, relative brightness, speaker volume, and many other options are shared, making setup and adjustment very easy.
NEC sent us two identical EA275WMis, so we connected them using a single DisplayPort output from our test system and selected the MST option in the OSD. ControlSync is enabled with an included cable. You simply hook up the output of the master panel to the input of the subordinate one. Additional monitors can be daisy-chained. You’ll know it’s working when you see a small link icon in the upper left of the subordinate screen’s OSD.
In addition to many of the picture settings, nearly all OSD options, timers, and sensor configurations are also shared. Once you have ControlSync properly configured, the connected panels will always match in both color and output level. To create an even better match between panels, we tried NEC’s SpectraView calibration software and the included meter which is based on an X-Rite i1 Display Pro.
Calibration With SpectraView II
We’ve sampled several different manufacturers’ software calibration solutions and none is as thorough and intuitive as NEC’s SpectraView. It’s an extra-cost option on EA and PA-series monitors, but frankly, once you’ve tried it, you won’t care. It works that well. The package NEC sent us retails for $299 and includes the software on a USB thumb drive and a meter.
The startup screen is a small dialog box, but it has every option you need for basic calibration. You can specify a filename to save your settings before beginning. You can also calibrate all the displays connected to your video card. In our case it’s two EA275WMis. To alter the parameters, click on the tool icon next to the Target Settings dropdown.
Here you can specify a white point either by color temp or by filling in your own x/y coordinates. The output level can be set in cd/m2 or footLamberts, and you can even specify a target contrast ratio. On the right half, choose your preferred gamma. Our color gamut choice was grayed out because the EA275WMi is an sRGB-native panel. Wide gamut models include options for Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 and Rec.2020 when appropriate.
When you have all the parameters to your liking, go back to the first dialog and click calibrate. Hang the meter on the target and walk away. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete. We set up both monitors and finished up with a perfectly-matched pair. Brightness and color temp were visually identical. The color settings are written to a table in the monitor’s firmware and accessed by choosing the P (Programmable) color mode. Honestly, we can’t think of an easier way to set up a multi-screen desktop.
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.
That's a sweet little monitor you got there. I run four 23 in Lenovo LCD monitors here on my trading station. Looking to do a server upgrade next spring and go with 32 or 36 in monitors. Getting old. Sometimes, the pips are hard to see...lo!Reply
NEC monitors are always a beauty. Nice matte black, not the shiny piano black we see everywhere. These always go toe to toe against the Dells that cost more.Reply
"NEC’s much vaunted build quality"Reply
Both of my EA231wmi monitors died just after the 3 year warranty expired.
Love my NEC PA27W - its still going strong after several years of use. NOT cheap, but it should last through several system upgrades.Reply
and despite what the gaming sites say, its great for games and movies, general use..and the occasional photo
what is uc on uc off in the contrast page?Reply
I'm so fed up with these 27" monitors. Why can't they make something a little larger. 32-40. My 30" 2560x1600 monitor is almost a decade old but I'm yet to see anything that tempts me to upgrade. I'm probably going to have to hold out until 8k becomes mainstream and we get 8k 40" panels.Reply
18845567 said:I'm so fed up with these 27" monitors. Why can't they make something a little larger. 32-40. My 30" 2560x1600 monitor is almost a decade old but I'm yet to see anything that tempts me to upgrade. I'm probably going to have to hold out until 8k becomes mainstream and we get 8k 40" panels.
It may not be the best monitor, but its a 40 inch 4k monitor.
Honestly Im toying with the idea of a 2 monitor setup myself, something massive for every day use, 40-50 inch 4k, especially if i can get 10 bit and a fantastic contrast ratio, and then something for more demanding things like gaming
also, 8k is never going to be a thing, at least till its so trivial to make the panels it just out right replaces 4k for the same price. 4k looks amazing in a store, when you are up close, you see the crispness, but then put the 50-60 inch tv 7-10 feet away from you and that 1080p tv right next to it looks the same for far less money., the same will be true for 8k, on a computer, there is a practical benefit for photographers, artists, people who work with video, but for the normal person they ui scale their crap up the monitor looks the same as the old one maybe a bit crisper in areas, but it takes 4 times the hardware to run it even idle.
the next thing that will push monitors forward is oled, possibly quantum dot if they emit their own light, don't know enough to make a call there. Not sure if you know this, but contrast is the number 1 thing that determines how good a monitor looks ot normal people, nothing else matters so long as its at least tn quality, but contrast is king. its funny to me how much manufactures lie on boxes for this too, had an argument with someone who claimed his 3000:1 monitor was worse then his apple 5k, and i had to dig up a review for his monitor where they did the contrast test and not just put out a press release, turns out that his monitor was actually about 800:1 and apple is around 1250:1
contrast ratio is what will push sales of tvs and monitors next, and it will be oled or qd that do it. and you want the normal people to adopt things enmass, just because that drives the price down faster.
Yeah, I know about the 40" 4K one. I've thought about it numberous times but it doesn't really feel like enough of an upgrade - it's about the same DPI as my 30". I'd like a bigger size with more pixels and a higher resolution too. 5k at 40 would be perfect. I'm using two 20" 1600x1200 monitors in portrait mode either side of my 30" and I'd ideally like a larger monitor that I feel can replace the whole lot. If they'd made 32" 5k monitors instead of 27", I would have bought one years ago.Reply