Color Correct CRT Monitors?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by aricher, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

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    Chi-il
    #1
    My boss wants me to look into the costs of a good color correct CRT monitor for proofing Illustrator and Photoshop files. I told her that these can get pretty pricey and she said that doesn't really matter. Any suggestions?
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    Although you can go the CRT route, with something like a LaCie, I'd suggest moving to an LCD display. Not only do these tend to last longer, they are also significantly brighter, which will give you a better match to your reflective copy (proofs, press runs, product, whatever).

    I believe LaCie still provides their own calibration software, but others are available, and you'll need them for LCDs. These include OptixPro XR from Monaco (X-Rite), EyeOne Match from GretagMacbeth, ColorEyes Display from ICS. Each of them will require either a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer for measuring the screen color values. A spectro will do the job faster, but accuracy is fairly similar between the two types of devices. All of the packages above have a bundle option that includes a colorimeter.

    Probably the best color-accurate LCD for any sort of reasonable cost is the Eizo series (in the $4K - $5K range). Otherwise, the Apple Cinema Displays are also very good.

    Note that in general, CRTs are not more accurate than a comparable LCD (i.e., an LCD designed for good color like the Apple or Eizo). Additionally, the CRT are susceptible to EM influence (put a speaker next to a CRT and watch your color shift. Also, if you move a CRT, you can influence the color; not so with an LCD. Finally, CRTs are much more susceptible to burn in - which is a physical result of firing electrons at the screen.
     
  3. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #3
    LaCie ElectronBlue line. Great color-accurate CRT monitors at a reasonable price. For color-critical work, I still prefer CRTs, though LCDs continue to improve in quality. Sure it'll start to wear out in a couple of years, but that's true with LCDs as well, and the price difference would allow you to buy two or three CRTs for the price of one same-sized LCD. Unless space is really a critical issue, CRT is the way to go...for now, at least.
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #4
    Can't agree on the pricing. The 22" (20" viewable) LaCie CRT runs $800, which is only $500 less than the 20" ACD (or the 20" LaCie LCD).

    The biggest difference in my mind is the brightness of the LCDs, which run about 250 or more cd/m2. Most CRTs run about 160-180, although even LaCie doesn't publish their CRT candela numbers. And CRTs lose brightness at a much higher rate.

    Of course, that comes with a bit of a price - you can't get as deep a black point on an LCD, since the lamps are always on when the display is on, and as a result it impacts the darkness of the blacks.

    Weight is also potentially an issue - the CRT weights over 50 lbs more than the ACD.
     
  5. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    Apr 11, 2003
    #5
    For the most accurate color, LCDs still can't match CRTs. Go for the Lacie Electron blue 22". It be nice.
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    CRTs are definitely good devices, and if you are willing to deal with the size, relative dimness, and the need to recalibrate them more often, then it is a good solution. But I don't agree that LCDs are less color-accurate than CRTs with current technology.

    All monitor-based proofing systems for the graphic arts based on LCD monitors, which is a good indication of their stability and accuracy.

    There are pros and cons to each technology, but in the end, I think that LCDs provide the best case for color accurate use due to their brightness and accuracy over time.

    You do need to be careful with viewing angle on LCDs, which is a definite limitation, but you don't need to recalibrate them often, and they are unaffected by many environmental variables (speakers - magnets, movement, etc.).
     
  7. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #7
    That's my biggest complaint with LCDs. I'm a stickler for contrast and true blacks (to the point where I'll go around in Good Guys adjusting all the monitors' black points :) ). And I find CRTs plenty bright compared to LCDs. 5-year-old ones, no, but for at least the first couple years they are bright enough. I'm not disagreeing with you, you can certainly do color-critical work on the better LCDs, but for my money I'd still go the other way. In two years I'll probably say the opposite.
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #8

    Price no prob?

    Try these.
     
  9. jaromski macrumors regular

    jaromski

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    #9
    Not to be too pedantic, but LCD's outlast CRT's by a longshot. CRT's suffer greatly from burn-in, LCD's do not. CRT's are susceptible to EM interference, LCD's not so much. Granted the lifespan of all electronic equipment trends towards death at some point, my argument is LCD technology is much more reliable than CRT in this regard. So your up-front cost with LCD is higher, but over time you pay less. Maybe I am up in the night on this one...I had to justify dropping 3.5k for a 23" ACD when it first came out...

    I do agree the color is better on CRT equipment, but who wants one of those big bastards on your desk when you can have the sweet succulence of an ACD or similiar LCD loveliness?

    JaromSki :) :) :)
     
  10. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #10
    Yeah, I find myself wanting to go calibrate all the monitors at Circuit City since they all look different! Man I'm a geek.
     
  11. aricher thread starter macrumors 68020

    aricher

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    #11
    Thanks so much for all the input. I'm going to have to do some spec. research on all of this before submitting my final reccomendation. While I'd love to have a new ACD I'm just not 100% sold on color accuracy of an LCD as of yet. I'd hate to have my head on the chopping block the first time an expensive proof comes back being way off. Maybe the thing to do would be to buy an ACD and run some test strip proofs with it. I don't know, my head's spinning on this one.
     
  12. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    Apr 11, 2003
    #12
    I'm not even sure what he means by this- Proofs better be printed and in my hands or not at all. But I stand by what I said- LCDs will be the future, but for color accuracy, they're not there yet.
     
  13. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #13
    That's too bad. Monitor-based proofs can save you a bundle in terms of cost and time, and according to the only current proofing certification organization, SWOP, monitor-based proofing systems are at least as accurate as their printed counterparts.

    In fact, you're probably more likely to get a consistent result from a monitor than from a printed proofing system, especially if you happen to get proofs from all over the country (or world) and need to reconcile them on press.

    Note that Time, Inc. has publicly stated that they want to move all proofing for ads and editorial to soft-proofing, and are currently testing the use of monitor-based proofing systems in the pressroom.

    So soft-proofing is here, and the technology is valid and currently in use by a large number of high-end clients, including ad agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi.
     
  14. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    Apr 11, 2003
    #14
    Well like I said - if it's not printed and in my hand it is useless to me, so no, it's not really 'too bad', but thanks for your concern. I fail to see how monitor proofing could save ME time or money, and like most agencies, printing isn't done under our roof. No worries, this conversation is silly- let's end it.
     
  15. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #15
    Sorry we got OT on the soft-proofing thing. Sort of related, but that discussion doesn't necessarily help you out here.

    When using any display, LCD or CRT, for color accurate viewing, just make sure your settings are correct.

    - Profile (calibrate) the monitor with a solid application like EyeOne Match, Monaco Optix, or something like that and make sure it is set up as your system display profile.

    - Obtain an appropriate profile of the output condition you are targeting, which in your case may be that of the high-end proof rather than a press. Your service provider should be able to provide this. Put this profile somewhere on your system, but it's easier if it's in the Profiles folder in your ColorSync folder.

    - In Photoshop, while you have your image open on your color-managed display, assign the appropriate source profile (this may be either an RGB or CMYK profile). Then use View > Proof Colors > Custom and choose the proof/press profile in the previous step as your target (see the screen grab).

    Regardless of if you are looking at a CRT or LCD display, it is important to look at a bunch of representative images after applying profiles to make sure it does what you need.

    I know this may not be much in the way of assurance, but we have high-end cataloguers using display-based viewing as their sole method of proofing prior to sending a final Kodak Approval to the press.

    Good luck!
     

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  16. aricher thread starter macrumors 68020

    aricher

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    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #16
    emw - Thanks for your great advice. That's basically the same system I'm using now except for the addition of a decent monitor. In my last job we had top notch gear - this job, 3-4 year old ViewSonics. I have grown so accustomed to these old monitors that I can nearly eyeball/guestimate how my proofs will turn out. I'd still feel more comfortable with a mid-high end color correct monitor though - still leaning towards CRT for now though.
     
  17. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #17
    The best monitor is the one you're comfortable with and gives you the results you want. Everything else is just noise.

    My apologies for the ramblings - color management is my job, so I get a little hyped up sometimes.
     

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