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Picture Mode

As the first step in display calibration, you should investigate the effects of the various picture viewing modes provided by the display. Each of the provided viewing mode selections contains a unique combination of picture and operational characteristics. You want to select one or more of the available picture modes as a starting point(s) for the calibration. Depending upon the display model, some modes may be less suitable or totally unsuitable for calibration.

Generally, the display’s out of the box default mode is intended for use in a retail showroom. It may be named something like “Dynamic” or “Vivid”, as it is adjusted to produce a unique, competitive, high brightness look that attracts the eye of shoppers. User adjustments are generally not saved in this mode, making it unsuitable for calibration. You’ll want to identify one or more other viewing modes that are suitable for calibration.

Following are the picture adjustments and operational characteristics that typically define the various picture viewing modes supplied by various manufacturers.

Picture Adjustments:

Operational Characteristics:

  • Adjustable or locked picture adjustments
  • Availability of calibration adjustments (i.e. 2pt/10pt white balance, CMS)
  • Lighting environment modes (e.g. day/night)
  • Lockable calibration modes (e.g. Expert1, Expert2 modes)
  • Pre-calibrated modes (e.g. THX mode)

Viewing Mode Quick Pick

For a quick pick of a viewing mode that is likely to be closest to the BT.709 calibration you want to accomplish, and enables maximum calibration capability, look for a Movie, Theater, or Cinema mode. Modes with any of these names typically default to fairly accurate picture adjustments, usually disable automatic picture functions such as Auto Black or Dynamic Contrast, and usually provide maximum calibration capability. The downside is that the Movie, Theater, or Cinema mode will not be lockable. A lockable calibration mode or a pair of calibration modes labeled for lighting compensation (e.g. ISF Day, ISF Night) may be a better selection.

Viewing Mode Selection

To provide the best starting point for video display calibration, you should select a video display picture viewing mode that:
  • Enables adjustment of the Brightness and Contrast controls.
  • Produces colors of Red, Green, and Blue as close as possible to the RGB targets on the Gamut CIE chart, but preferably not inside the reference gamut triangle.
  • Sets the color of white fairly close to the white reference target (usually D65).

Automatic Picture Functions

Any automatic picture functions, which alter aspects of the colorspace based on the content being processed, need to be disabled for calibration. These will change the way test patterns and content are displayed in ways that will cause calibration to be inaccurate or fail. These vary by model but are generally include the words “Dynamic… “, “… Enhancer”, “Smart… “, but also may be located under “Eco Power”, “Energy Savings”, or “Power” settings.

Lighting Environment Modes:

  • For Night mode, select an ISF1, ISF Night, Expert1, Custom, or User mode to enable calibration control, or select the Movie/Cinema/Theater mode.
  • For Day mode, select an ISF2, ISF Day, or Expert2 mode (if available), or another mode (Standard, Natural, Sports, etc.) that provides the most calibration control.
  • For viewing sports in a brightly lighted environment, Sports mode is often desirable, although this mode often offers limited adjustment capability.