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ViewSonic VP3881 38" Curved HDR Monitor Review: Professional sRGB

OSD Setup & Calibration

The VP3881 has a myriad of calibration options and a long feature list, tackling nearly all professional needs while also addressing general use and gaming. 

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Pressing any key brings up a quick menu giving you access to color modes, luminance sliders and inputs. The fourth button summons the full OSD, which is divided into six sections, beginning with the input selector. The Auto Detect function works quickly to lock onto the first active signal it finds. Audio Adjust controls volume and mute and can select a source too. In addition to the analog input, you can hear sound over both DisplayPort and HDMI connections.

ViewMode should not be confused with the color presets; they are separate. The modes are task-specific, some with sub-options for different game types, or photography environments. If you want to take advantage of the factory-calibrated color, this option should be left off.

Color Adjust contains a large array of calibration controls. After the standard contrast and brightness sliders, you can choose either RGB or YUV color formats along with full or limited dynamic range. This makes the VP3881 compatible with every kind of signal from computers and AV sources alike.

Standard Color is where you’ll find gamut-specific modes. We tested sRGB and Rec.709 along with the fully-adjustable Custom option. You also get EBU, SMPTE-C (the current color standard for broadcasting in America) and DICOM-SIM (appropriate for displaying medical images) support. These modes cannot be altered, but you’ll find them extremely accurate right out of the box.

In the Custom section, you can alter every aspect of the image. There are five color temp presets, plus a user mode that includes both gain and bias sliders. You can tweak color with hue and saturation controls. Five gamma presets offer excellent tracking at their indicated levels. The different color modes utilize various gamma standards, which we’ll show you on page four. If you use ViewSonic’s Colorbration package, you can save your adjustments to one of three memories.

Manual Image Adjust has the remaining picture options like aspect, sharpness, overscan and gaming options. Even on the highest response setting and with low input lag engaged, the VP3881 is no gaming monitor. It won’t replace a fast-refresh screen.

Uniformity compensation is available for the preset color modes but not in Custom. It cuts both output and contrast by about half. The monitor measured well enough without it, so we left it off during the review. HDR10 must be engaged manually when the proper signal is present.

The Setup menu delivers all remaining options and OSD controls. You get a long list of languages, timeout and transparency. The multi-picture sub-menu has PIP and PBP for viewing multiple video sources. All Recall will return all settings to their factory defaults. Signal info shows only resolution and refresh information; it would be nice to see the color mode and, more importantly, HDR status.

Calibration

Although calibrating the VP3881 is unnecessary, there are multiple ways to do it. The easiest option is to select a factory color mode. They are all extremely accurate and will allow brightness adjustments once uniformity compensation is turned off. To tweak in the OSD, select Custom. You’ll be locked into the sRGB color gamut but have full control of color temperature and gamma. We managed a few tiny gains with our adjustments, but they satisfy ego more than anything else.

Here are the settings we came up with:

ViewSonic VP3881 Calibration Settings
Picture ModeCustom
Brightness 200 nits60
Brightness 120 nits30
Brightness 100 nits22
Brightness 80 nits14
Brightness 50 nits4
Contrast70
Gamma2.2
Color Temp UserRed 100, Green 98, Blue 95

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Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.