Results: Calibrated Brightness And Contrast
Since we consider 200 cd/m2 to be an ideal average for peak output, we calibrate all of our test monitors to that value. In a room with some ambient light (like an office), this brightness level provides a sharp, punchy image with maximum detail and minimum eye fatigue. It's also the sweet spot for gamma and grayscale tracking, which we'll look at on pages five and six.
This comparison normally includes a full grayscale calibration. Since the HP has no adjustments in that area, we simply set the brightness as close to 200 cd/m2 as possible.
Both the HP and the DoubleSight have fine resolution on their image adjustments. A single click of the brightness (HP) or contrast (DoubleSight) represents around 2 cd/m2 of output. This allows for a very precise setting of the user’s preferred light level.
Calibration can either raise or lower the black level.
The ZR30w’s black level drops by about 30 percent in this test. Remember that all we can do here is lower the brightness control. There is no grayscale calibration possible with this monitor. The DS-309W benefits from adjustment with a 10 percent reduction in black level.
We recommend calibrating any monitor regardless of price point or intended use. Here are the final contrast ratio numbers for our two screens.
The HP maintains its high value of nearly 1000:1. DoubleSight's DS-309W, however, loses about 26 percent contrast from its default state. This is a fair result and the gain in color accuracy is more than worth the reduction in contrast.