Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Recently I have reported on products I have tested and used. If a product works for me I will recommend it as I assume if I can make it work, others should also be able to do so. This may involve hardware and software used together, one being supported by the other, and may include additional products designed to be used with the primary product. Some of these products are designed to be proprietary, to work only with the recommended additions as advertised. I am usually strict and limited about my recommendations and do not include options for substitutions.

Some readers, wanting to save money have chosen to use older products with the primary new product, and have written to me criticizing me for not recommending such savings shortcuts. The reason I don’t recommend them is I have no evidence the results I have obtained that I base my recommendation upon will be achieved using some substituted product the reader already owns. I can only recommend what I know works and works as the manufacturer intended.

A very short time ago I reported I had purchased a new large color gamut Eizo Flexscan LCD display. It replaced an older standard, smaller color gamut LCD display. So I used software that is current and up to date to adjust, calibrate and profile this new Flexscan. The colorimeter I used to work with the software is one I have used reliably for several years and has achieved good high quality calibration and profiles with several older displays I own as well as some newer models I have tested. But with this newest Eizo LCD display was different with the result of the calibration and profiling that seemed a little off even though the profile file checked out as being OK.

So I asked DataColor the company that made the Spyder3 colorimeter I used if I could purchase a newer more recent model to replace my old sensor. I received a new colorimeter yesterday. I saved my old calibration and profile, and then made another set with the new colorimeter. I then used Chromix Color Think to compare the two and found the profile made with the older sensitometer was skewed quite noticeably, and it was also irregular compared to profiles made with my older, lower color gamut LCD displays.

This test experience confirmed the information I obtained from a color management designer, not long ago, that the new wider color gamut displays require using a sensitometer with a matching sensitivity range and different filtering for measuring the light from these new displays. And from my own tests I have found that LCD displays made by different manufacturers, although the color gamut size is similar may include differences in the chromatic attributes of that range of color reproduced. So, there is more than product exclusivity in some maker’s proprietary policies that is based on assuring a greater accuracy of color matched results and the calibration and profile quality created and used by users.

The bottom line is that as performance is extended in more refined products, the demand for adjustment, calibration and profiling accuracy becomes more critical. So, the bottom line is reduced by any economic saving from using older color management tools designed for lower performing LCD displays. In other words I cannot justifiably support economic savings when a user makes an investment in a higher performance LCD display if it is not accompanied by matching color measurement and calibration/profiling support, because you will only be getting part of the potential advantage of that higher performance display.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


No this is not an article about politics, the Progressives against the party of NO!, both confronted by those apparently drinking something stronger than “tea” that want to blow up, destroy, or whatever to everything governmental. The computer world is beginning to also be a tangle of conflicting paths going in different directions with a mystery goal no one is talking about.

I started following this meandering and increasingly complicated issue because many digital photographers want to make digital slideshows and show them on their TV, or send the slideshow to relatives and friends to show on their TV’s. Initially photographers had to get software to create slide-shows in 1080 resolution video format so they would play with a DVD player through a TV. But since then both Microsoft with Windows 7 and Apple with their Snow Leopard OS 10.6 have basic support. But with Windows you have to download the photo-video software from the Microsoft web site and install it. With Apple to obtain application support you will need to add iLife 09 at a very modest cost, and install it.

In the interim, I suggested just getting an HDMI cable one end to connect to the HD TV set and a DVI plug on the other end that can be connected to a computer, either Mac or PC, and show your computer’s screen image on and HD TV and play slideshows directly from a folder of image files. Apparently few liked that idea, although I spent a little change and tried it and found these easy slide shows are rather spectacular.

Many who have broad-band internet connection use a router that is WiFi so you have a wireless connection to run the internet to any computer anywhere in your home. This fact has been understood and in a 2009 model Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-Ray player WiFi is built into the player, so you can connect your TV to some internet sites like Hulu or NetFlix and get downloaded video content on your TV. Soon to be delivered is a LG Electronics Blu Ray player model LG BD570 with advertised greater support for more internet video sites and purported live video feeds from a computer with WiFi internet connectivity. Even though it is being sold, but I’ve not heard delivered as yet, I am not going to drop close to $300 to find out if it works.

The WiFi Bu-Ray players made me curious if there might be another way to use WiFi to connect a computer to an HD TV. There are several companies, which look like they are European, that have less costly WiFi receiver/sender units with USB connection to a Windows computer and an interface like HDMI for an HD TV. One company is Cable Unlimited Wireless and another Warpia Wireless both with kits between $100 and $150 and available on I’d give this a go but I don’t have a PC although I do run Windows on one of my Macs.

During the same time-span there has been a hot debate involving the FCC about the proposed Comcast buyout of NBC/MSNBC, that would merge content provision with TV’s largest cable provider. There is much opposition to this kind of extension towards monopoly. But American corporations seem intent on getting bigger and charging ordinary citizens ever more for services. On the other hand the government’s Stimulus Bill has provisions to try to expand the provision of broadband for more people affordably, but maybe that is too European and “socialist” to some, so may not materialize.That could be just as well, in my estimation, as cable TV has more and more channels chalk full of mostly advertising and a little, mindlessly bad entertainment.

So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I may soon be able to access what I want to watch on my TV over the Internet - but don’t tell my cable provider as they provide connection to my modem supplying my broadband connection!

Of course there is more to this as the slideshow issue illustrated. To me it is unfortunate photographers have to convert a selection of images and program them into a video to be able to show a series of slides on an LCD HD TV. Easier and more effective options should be available. In addition, a more generally supported cross platform interface between TV and computers could make the two better partners in educational and communications functions that could benefit many people. This should be supported rather than hindered purely for corporate profit interests, because much good is gained by these services being more accessible and affordable to a wider part of the population. Some of the help I try to provide my Shutterbug readers could be improved and made more useful to many more to make use of digital computer photography more easily and be more rewarding. I have researched I am sure just a little of this, and I am sure there are others who can contribute additional information, so let’s hear from you, so write me an e-mail at