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Dual monitor calibration

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rklepper, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    I just ordered two 24" wide monitors. I would like to buy a new calibration device. What do people use to calibrate 2 monitors. Is it possible to create two color profiles. I am using a Mac Pro, but just ordered 2 non Mac monitors.

    Thank you
  2. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
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    I use dual monitors on windows. The OS should not make much difference with the hardware calibrator. I use a Spyder 4 express. The software with this unit only allows one monitor to be calibrated, but that can be worked around by renaming the file before calibrating the 2nd monitor. Even though I have both calibrated, I only ever use one monitor for editing and therefore the 2nd calibration setting is rather superfluous.

    Maybe it is best to set one monitor for editing and the other other purposes such as document viewing / reading etc. I will change my set up shortly to reflect this. I experimented with different set ups and am still not convinced that dual is the best for me. Both in landscape mode definitely did not work, as the set up was too wide. I have settled on one landscape and one portrait. This works the best for my needs.

    Until windows 10 (I still run 8.1) dual monitor operations and scaling was poor. I use a program called display fusion to manage resolutions, window opening and placement and window controls. Mac may be better in this regard. I also use a combination of Logitech trackball and Logitech trackpad so that I can alternate between peripheral inputs. The pic above shows display fusion managing different desktop wallpapers (one image split) across separate monitor with different PPI. Landscape (27 inch) and portrait (23 inch) both running HD.

    Display fusion also enables windows / programs / apps to open in the same position each time at a specified window size. This makes a huge difference in dual monitor set ups. The top bar on the left monitor shows the shortcuts for programs that are set to open in specific positions across the dual monitors. If there is a program available for Macs that manage this, I would highly recommend it.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  3. felipegeek

    felipegeek Mu-43 Enthusiast Subscribing Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    Miami, FL
    @rklepper@rklepper I have the Spyder 4 Pro on a Windows 8 PC. Initially I had two HP LP2065 20" IPS CFL backlit displays. The software with the Pro version allows for dual display calibration and their loader utility will load the profiles in to each display shortly after login. It does work reasonably well however I could not get both displays to match up properly. Both displays already had some difference in color temperature between them at the factory and at modified but identical settings on the displays control panel. The Spyder got them a bit closer to each other but it was still noticable. I recently replaced one of those two displays with an HP ZR2440w which is an 24" LED backlit display. It got a little less pixel density so it's not quite as sharp looking for text but it certainly has more real estate. I definitely had more difficulty getting the two displays to get near each other in calibration given the different backlight methods and a small difference in their color gamuts relative to each other.

    What I'm trying to say is that calibrators in the consumer/prosumer class are a useful tool but don't expect it to work miracles in getting both displays to look identical. It's more likely to do so if the displays also look identical while displaying the same content using the same interface (not mixed VGA and DVI or DP) at the default factory settings.
  4. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I use a Spyder 4 Elite, by memory the hardware is identical to the other editions (pro/express) and it's just the software which changes.

    It had no problem with windows 7 calibrating multiple displays on different computers however windows 10 has proven challenging as it requires administrator access to calibrate when using full screen (the calibration can drop out when applications toggle between full screen and windowed, because windows 7 didn't require administrator access there were lots of work arounds). I'm sure windows 10 support will improve once it's been on the market longer, it's only a problem with some video programs (full screen windowed is not an issue).

    It's always worked pretty well, one small trick is to tilt the screen backwards when calibrating so it sits nice and flat and you can ignore it while it does it's thing. It only takes a few moments as rechecking/recalibrating is very fast once the initial calibration is done.

    I've also worked with X-Rite products and while their colour calibration targets are fantastic (almost certainly the best) their ColorMunki calibration system is complete garbage compared to the Spyder in real world usage. I found it very finicky on Windows and it didn't handle permissions very well at all, I've heard from other people that it worked well on Apple systems (I personally do not use them). Their print profiling offering does what's on the box, it's kinda slow but still better than canned profiles.
  5. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I currently have a Dell 2413 and an HP Z24, I used to have the Spyder 4 that both could be calibrated with but I was never happy with the results, I could never get the 2 monitors matched, far from it so used the Dell as a reference and manually adjusted the HP.
    I eventually bought the I1 Pro which is recommended by Dell as you can calibrate it using the LUT, this produced far better results and when I calibrated the HP with it the 2 monitors are as close as you can possibly expect.

    • Informative Informative x 1
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