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LCD vs. CRT, Part 2

Mar 1, 2005 12:00 AM

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LaCie’s (Hillsboro, OR) 321 LCD monitor features:

  • SA-Superfine 21.3-inch TFT panel.
  • 10-bit gamma correction for smooth color gradients.
  • Brilliant contrast ratio of 500:1.
  • Broad CRT-grade color gamut at 72 percent NTSC.

LaCie also offers Blue Eye Pro, a single-click hardware calibration and ICC profiling solution. After directly adjusting the 321 monitor to the user’s target colorimetric settings, Blue Eye Pro creates and activates an advanced ICC profile. It’s easy to set a monitor’s white-point temperature, gamma and luminance. See

Eizo Nanao Technologies’ (Cypress, CA) 22.2-inch ColorEdge CG220 LCD monitor supports the Adobe RGB color space. The monitor reportedly offers improved rendering of dark grayscale tones, emulation of the color characteristics of other monitors, and black-level adjustment.

The ColorEdge CG220 can display almost all the colors in an ISO-coated color space, including a broad range of emerald greens and cyans. The screen has a 1,200 x 1,920 native resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. The wide screen enables the full display of two A4 pages of an application such as Adobe(r) Photoshop and its tool palette without any overlap.

Eizo has upgraded its ColorNavigator calibration software. Features include:

  • White point (color temperature) is adjustable in 100K increments from 4,000K to 10,000K and gamma values in increments from 0.1 to 1.0 to 2.6.
  • Emulation of the color characteristics of another monitor either through its ICC profile or by inputting values manually.
  • Post-calibration adjustment of white balance, brightness, black level, and gamma for further fine-tuning of color.
  • Delta E indicator for white point that shows changes over time between the target point and the monitor’s current point.
  • Calibration reminder screen that appears after a user-specified number of hours.


Apple (Cupertino, CA) offers 20-, 23- and 30-inch flat-panel Cinema Display monitors. Unveiled in 2004, the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD is a wide-format active-matrix LCD with 2,560 x 1,600-pixel resolution, reportedly the largest high resolution display ever created. The displays feature built-in dual FireWire and USB 2.0 ports and use the industry standard DVI interface for connecting with Power Mac/PowerBooks as well as PCs with a DVI connector. Two 30-inch Cinema Displays can be driven side-by-side for a desktop of 8 million pixels.

The 20-inch display offers a 1,680 x 1,050-pixel resolution-users can edit images with all of the palettes on-screen.

With a broad color gamut that stays consistent edge-to-edge, Apple flat panel displays are SWOP-certified for use with ICS and KPG soft proofing systems. See

Barco’s (Kortrijk, Belgium) 21-inch Reference Calibrator V uses the vendor’s Color-WAVE ASIC, which generates digital waveforms said to control and correct CRT imperfections and deviations by adjusting, focus, convergence and color. The monitor is bundled with Barco’s Optisense V calibration device, reportedly the only calibration device matched to each individual picture tube serial number during production of the display.

Barco’s hardware and software use special color calibration circuits that link the graphics board with the calibration chain. Unlike other software packages that modify the color Look-Up Tables (LUTs), Barco’s calibration technique leaves the full color range of the LUTs, reportedly preventing unwanted colorizations between displays, banding and other color anomalies. The Reference Calibrator V supports ICC profiles and Apple’s Color Sync technology. See

The 21-inch NEC MultiSync LCD2180UX flat-panel monitor offers a graphical user interface to adjust display settings via mouse and keyboard, while GammaComp internal circuitry automatically converts data from the PC to produce smooth, accurate color tones. Other features include an ultra-thin-frame design, crystal-clear 1,200 x 1,600 resolution and automatic black level adjustment.

NEC-Mitsubishi (Tokyo) also offers the 22-inch Mitsubishi Diamondtron RDF225WG ultrawide color gamut CRT monitor. Achieving 97.6 percent of the Adobe RGB color space, this model is designed to deliver quality, clarity and accurate color.

This spring, NEC-Mitsubishi plans to announce displays that integrate NEC’s Advanced flat-panel technology with LED backlight technology designed to deliver a standardized color space for color matching across all digital platforms and devices. The forthcoming products are geared to meet the most demanding needs of professional users in the printing and color-proofing industries. See

On the CRT side, ViewSonic (Walnut, CA) offers the G220f and G220fb 21-inch monitors. An ultra-fine 0.21-mm horizontal (0.25-mm diagonal) dot pitch reportedly enables the monitors to render precise edge-to-edge images with sharp focus and crisp text.

ViewSonic also features the wide-screen VP231wb 23-inch LCD monitor with 176-degree "XtremeView" wide viewing angles and 1,200 x 1,920 (2.3-megapixel) native resolution. The VP231wb meets the full EBU and ITU709-4 color gamut requirements, and offers advanced RGB color controls. See

The eyes have it
Specifications and test results are emerging to support both sides of the CRT vs. LCD match-up, but both sides agree that human perception of color and detail is the true measure of a monitor. Here’s what some color experts had to say.

"Although a CRT offers the potential of a wider gamut of colors, those colors cannot be reproduced on a press. For hours of prolonged use, I recommend an LCD." —Michael Kleper, publisher, "Kleper Report on Digital Publishing"

"I prefer LCDs because they are easier on the eyes and have much improved stability, with more on the way. They are also smaller and easier to manage." —Taz Tally, consultant and president, Taz Tally Seminars

"In terms of consistency across the display, my testing shows that top-of-the-line CRTs exhibit less variation and that obtaining matches across multiple monitors easy is easier with CRTs. On the flip side, LCDs are much less susceptible to problems posed by changes in ambient lighting." —David Hunter, principal, Pilot Marketing Group

"I prefer to use both. I use my Apple 20-inch Cinema display to evaluate sharpness and image detail, but I prefer my Sony Artisan for color evaluation. I think it has the best color fidelity and contrast range for soft proofing." —Patti Russotti, associate professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

"As someone who routinely puts in long hours in front of a monitor, I’ve always been bothered by the flicker of the screen. My eyes don’t get as tired in front of the LCD flat panel, and during times of intense production effort, that little bit of difference helps me to do a better job." —MK Timme, Internet & Buyers Guide Manager, Interior Design Magazine

"No proof is perfect; the purists are fighting a losing battle. I have many clients who will swear by soft proofing; others who decrie it as the devil incarnate. Color, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder." —Thad McIlroy, president, Arcadia House


AMERICAN PRINTER will team with IPA (Edina, MN) and consultant Hal Hinderliter to offer a special webinar on soft proofing in March. See for complete details.

Part 1 | Part 2