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Spyder 2 Express with ATI Video cards

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I have a dual headed ATI video card (Looks like an ATI Radeon X600) in my PC at

work. I have a Spyder2Express that I've used to create profiles for each

monitor independently and renamed them based on instructions found here:



When I boot, the ColorvisionStartup app gives me confirmation that the correct

profile is loading on each monitor, however the monitors definitely do not match.


If I go into the Advanced settings for my main monitor (A Dell Ultrasharp LCD)

and click on the ATI Color tab, I instantly see a change in the display and it

looks much closer (though still not a perfect match) to the other monitor.

What's happening when I click the color tab that changes the color?


The monitors are actually close enough for the work that I'm doing here, but it

would be nice if I didn't have to open up the advanced properties and click on

color every time I boot.



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Try replacing Colorvision's LUT loader with a shortcut to wincolor.exe /L loader in the startup folder. It does the same thing and it is definitely multiple-monitors aware - maybe it will do a better job. There are more details on that page about it.
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Now, one thing with Spyder2Express - it only calibrates LCDs to theit native white point. Which is good for image quality but not good for color matching. Essentially it just measures the factory default white point (it is usually close to 6500K - 0.314, 0.324 CIExy).


That means that if your monitors have different native white points (which is normal) you can profile both but you can't achieve the same colors on them.


As a side note:


Ideally for matching two LCDs you'd need software that lets you set CIExy targets, like Spyder2 Pro (to match one monitor to the Native WP of the other). However you can try setting a standard known target like 6500K or D65 that is close to most monitors native white point.


In case of Spyder2Express (I don't have one right now to test) you could pretend it's a CRT. It will set 6500K as a target and prompt you to adjust monitor buttons (I suppose). Adjusting LCD RGB buttons is not recommended for image quality reasons but it's the only way to match colors on LCDs that don't have DDC.

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Walter - I haven't tried that yet. I'm not sure how the IT guys feel about me mucking around with drivers. If I can't find another solution, I'll try that. :)


Thanks Serge. I tried using wincolor /L in the startup folder... I got a dialog box upon booting that says:

/L to load the video LUTs with the default display profiles

/uninstall to uninstall

/install to install


Is that what it's supposed to do?


I'm less concerned with exact color matching - I'm pretty happy with what I have, just confused as to why the colors change when I visit the ATI Color tab in my advanced properties. I may re-calibrate after re-setting that control panel to default again just to see what happens.

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I haven't encountered the problem you have described. Are correct profiles assigned to the monitors in the Color Control Applet?


If you calibrated your displays prior to installing the applet then it may not be aware of the profiles yet. So you go to it's Devices tab, Install appropriate profiles for each monitor, make them Default and Apply. Then run yhe LUT loader.


Let me know how it works - that article is partially based on emails I've sent Keith Cooper to let PC users benefit from the workaround he describes (he's a mac guy), so maybe I need to write a more detailed article and ask him to add some corrections.

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Oh... I think I got it.


Right click on wincolor.exe shortcut, go to properties. Look into the target field. Most likely you've omitted the space before the forward slash or something to that extent. When you try to run a program with an unknown switch it tells you what switches are availavle. If it works I'll ask Keith to make a note on this.


The Target field should look exactly like this, slashes, quotation marks and spaces included:


"C:\Program Files\Pro Imaging Powertoys\Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP\WinColor.exe" /L

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I do recommend Spyder2Express.


It uses the same colorimeter as Spyder2 Pro, bundled with dumbed-down software.


You don't have a choice of targets and no validation option... And no options to speak of in the first place. But 6500K, 2.2 (default Spyder2Express for CRT) is a very reasonable CRT target.


Plus, no matter what, when your monitor output is measured you can approach color management on a higher level.

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I guess ATI loads it's own LUTs or sets the monitor to the default windows state - no LUTs loaded... Since you are using Express there's no way to just measure and see what gets displayed unfortunately. You can try and visually compare what the states of your monitors look like compared to other states... Your eyesite is not a good calibration tool but it's not a bad validation tool sometimes. Do the colors loaded on startup match the colors achieved right after calibration? If yes then the LUT loader is working correctly.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the same problem with my Radeon 9500 Pro video card. When I go to the ATI Color tab in Advaced settings the screen becomes much darker - even if I then select Cancel.


I have used GMB Eye-One colorimeter (bundled with an HP 7850 printer) to calibrate my monitor on six occasions now. But this last time it has required the red, green and blue Bias and Gain settings to be set to very high levels to get the "sliders" anywhere near the centres. This is with brightness at 72%! The result is that black is about a 75% grey. The supplied diagnostics software gives the Eye-One a clean bill of health. What is going on? If I reset the monitor to its devalue settings the screen image is very nice with plenty of contrast.


Looking in the Radeon settings I confirmed that the Eye-One profile just created was set as default. I then set the profile I had been using before as the default. The screen did not change. Nor did it for any other old profile. Clearly the screen appearance is set during the calibration process. If so what information is in the ICM profile created and what is it used by and for?

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I assume you are using XP. The following does not apply to the Mac.


First - Windows does not have an LUT loader. At all. Even if correct profile is selected the LUTs don't get loaded by themselves.


LUT loader is a program that changes the monitor colors via the videocard.


The calibration software changes the colors during calibration using videocard LUTs (among several other things). (This is a lossy procedure BTW, in the perfect world it shouldn't be done).


But then on startup there has to be a program that loads those LUT changes again so the colors on the monitor match the colors achieved during calibration. Each calibration software comes with it's own loader that gets launched via the shortcut in the Startup folder. XP color applet (that you may want to install if you work with color) has an optional loader too, you may try it when your software's loader does not function correctly.


When you go to ATI control panel it clears the LUT so it can load it's own adjustments. (As you may know you should not adjust colors in the videocard control panel and generally not use it for calibration purposes.) The LUT may get cleared for some other reason as well - some people report it after exiting Standby.


To load correct LUTs again make sure correct profiles are assigned in the XP color control panel applet and click apply. If you don't have the applet just run your software's loader in the Startup folder again (Start/All Programs/Startup/Logo Calibration Loader in your case).


Now, the issue with RGB sliders is a different issue. I would need to know what targets you set for white point, gamma and luminance, what monitor you are using. But first - try calibrate your monitor to it's Native settings, at least for White Point (if your software lets you - try the latest Match 3 from GMB). See what it reports in the end. If it's close to 6500K and 2.2 maybe just leave it that way.

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The Eye-One Match s/w seems to be at fault. It wants the contrast setting at 100% which is OK. But also wants the brightness set to 63% which is not ok. This setting results in an absence of black - the darkest shade being a near mid-brown. These are the settings with which I could not get the Red, Green and Blue sliders near the central positions.


I reduced the brightness to 15% - giving a rich black and then was able to get the Green and Blue sliders to the centre. Red was still rather well left of centre even though both Bias and Gain are set to 100.


Any thoughts?

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