Mac vs PC for projection

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JEBPEN, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. JEBPEN macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    This is my first post to MacRumors so I hope I have placed this in the correct location

    I understand that the Mac does not suffer from the same problem that PC’s have when connected to a projector in not showing the same colour calibration at the same time on the monitor and the projection screen. I understand why there is a problem with a pc as in simple terms it can only read one profile at a time.

    Why is it that a Mac does not have this problem? A simple answer would be appreciated as I am not technical.

    Thank you

  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    You can easily have two monitors connected to a Mac that are not calibrated and therefore will show colors differently. The way to solve that is to use a color calibration tool such as a Color Munki or Spyder.

    Having a Mac or Macbook connected to an external projector is the same basic concept as using two monitors on a Mac. If both are to portray accurate colors, both need to be calibrated. The Mac can never know how good or bad a job the projector is doing without a calibration tool (hardware and software) to test and correct.
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    If you want color accuracy, you will definitely a hardware calibration tool. Not all hardware calibration tools are compatible with projectors, so pay attention to that. As MCAsan correctly pointed out, a projector is no different for the Mac than a second monitor. I don't know whether Windows can handle different color profiles for different screens.
  4. sergioarista, Jan 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014

    sergioarista macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2010
    They suffer form the same proble

    although you can individually calibrate; the problem with projectors is that they REFLECT color from the surface the image is being projected, thus altering the color properties, also in projectors there is no true black since the image usually is projected to a white reflective surface.
  5. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010

    I'm not sure that is entirely true. The issue is that the calibration values typically get stored in a Color Look Up Table (CLUT) on the video card. So if you have two monitors plugged into a single card it can only store the CLUT for one of them. Likewise, if you have two cards in a PC you can calibrate two monitors.

    Now if you are talking about a Mac laptop there might be two "cards" in use. If the Macbook has a discrete video card it is possible that the external video is driven by that card and the on screen display is using the Intel video built on the CPU die.

    I don't know the specifics on how the Mac is handling that. I built my desktop for Photoshop and use separate cards for any monitor that needs to be calibrated.

    Another possibility is to crate the two profiles required and then switch between them as needed. So have one calibration file for the projector and one for everyday use.

    Hope this helps.
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    What are you using the projector for? Even a calibrated cheap projector will look poor against a cheap screen. Most projectors are not bright enough or have a good enough colour reproduction anyway. You have to spend ££££'s to get a good one.
  7. JEBPEN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Projector/Computer calibration

    Thank you all for your replies.

    As I said I think I understand the need and value of calibration. I am a member of a camera club so my specific interest is in photography and the making of Audio Visual sequences mainly for projection. I am fortunate in owning and having access to a club projector both of quite high quality though both only sRGB.

    My interest comes from the constant issue that is raised by some people who on seeing both the PC monitor and the projected image together don’t understand why there is generally a difference in colour. Also many people will claim that what they see on the projector screen or even the PC monitor being used is not how they recall the colours being produced on their own monitor at home. This is a constant battle to get people to understand the need to calibrate their equipment and use the correct colour space for projection or printing.

    In recent time I have been trying to get my own (non technical) head around the issue so that I am better placed to explain it to others of a similar level of understanding. As the club use a PC laptop and I both a PC and a MBP I need to find out about the different ways in which this is handled. I now know that the only way a PC can show two profiles simultaneously is if it has two graphics cards.

    During my enquiries I kept seeing references to the MAC not having a problem with simultaneous use of profiles. If what Laird Knox is saying is the case then it suggests that this applies only to Intel based MAC’s such as my MBP. This sounds extremely plausible and good enough for me. However in a discussion with a MAC service support engineer by telephone yesterday who confessed not to being fully briefed claimed that MAC’s were always able to produce multiple calibrated output to monitors/projectors as this was built into the operating system from the start and not treated as an add on! Perhaps he is guilty of believing too much political company hype? I certainly don’t know.


  8. MCAsan, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Get someone to do a presentation to the club on color management and demo how to calibrate a monitor and a printer. As part of the demo, calibrate the laptop screen and then use the projector's controls to match the laptop as closely as possible. Ideally do this in advance of the meeting so you know just how far out off to have the projector and know how to fix it quickly at the meeting.

    If there are nearby large photo shops, especially any that are club sponsors, they may be willing to provide the speaker for the topic. If not, contact X-write company ( colormunki) or Datacolor company (Spyder products) to see if they will provide the speaker(s) and demo(s).

    The more everyone knows about color management the better.
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Please don't listen to people who have no idea what they are talking about. Macintosh color management is branded ColorSync. ColorSync manages the color from input (scanners, cameras, etc.) to output (monitors, projectors, printers, etc.) and everything in between. It was integrated into the Macintosh operating system in 1993, nearly 21 years ago. System 7.1 was the Macintosh operating system extant. Back then, the Mac was still based on the Motorola 680x0 processor. Every PPC-based Mac included ColorSync.

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