OSD Setup & Calibration
The OSD sticks to Dell’s tried-and-true layout with submenus for luminance, source selection, color adjustments, screen geometry, energy management, menu options, and button personalization. Each screen shows the resolution and refresh info along the bottom with an energy use bar across the top. That will change with backlight level, although even at its brightest the P2418HT only consumes 52W.
First up are the brightness and contrast sliders. Max output is right at 250cd/m2, so most users will likely have the backlight slider close to the top. Contrast defaults to 75%, but we had to lower it slightly to dial in the brightest whites to D65. That has an adverse effect on gamma as you’ll see below.
To change video sources you can use the OSD or program that function to one of the bezel keys. In Auto mode, the P2418HT will lock onto the first signal it receives.
The Color menu offers eight picture modes. Standard is the default and is reasonably accurate, though we found better performance by calibrating the Custom Color mode, which is the only one that allows grayscale adjustments. That is also the only tweak available; there are no gamma or color management controls. You can also specify an input signal format of RGB or YPbPr. If you get lost while making adjustments, a reset color option is provided.
The Display sub-menu has options for analog image geometry, which are enabled through the VGA port. You can also adjust sharpness, aspect ratio, and overdrive. We were able to use the Fast mode with minimal ghosting and a nice reduction in motion blur.
The only energy saving feature is to turn off the power LED, which likely saves less than a watt. There is no eco mode for the backlight, but you can save power by running the P2418HT at a lower output level.
The OSD is available in multiple languages, can be made more transparent, and can remain on the screen for up to 60 seconds. You can also lock it out, preventing others from making changes.
Two of the bezel keys are programmable for the functions shown in the photo. They provide easy access to commonly-used things like picture modes, luminance, and source selection.
The final menu lets you enable or disable DDC/CI, run an LCD conditioning routine, or return the P2418HT to its factory default settings. You can also check the firmware version here.
The P2418HT isn’t quite good enough to make our “doesn’t need calibration” list. The Standard picture mode runs a little blue with errors just above the visible point. Fortunately, a precise set of RGB sliders appear in the Custom Color mode. Adjusting them brought color accuracy to a high level. Our only complaint was in gamma tracking, which runs slightly dark. There are no presets so we had to tweak the contrast slider to fix an issue at 100% brightness. It was something of a compromise, but in the end we arrived at a solid picture with good contrast and natural, saturated color. Please try our settings below when setting up your P2418HT.
|Dell P2418HT Calibration Settings|
|Color Temp||Red 98, Green 100, Blue 95|