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Pantone Huey Pro Calibration unit Display Device Review

Pantone Huey Pro Calibration unit Display Device Review - With a name like Pantone, the huey Pro is opening itself up to all sorts of shampoo jokes and Matt Grayson has sworn not to come up with any. So in a bid to halt all that, he's just going to scan and go... Damn.

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Category : Display Devices
Product : Pantone Huey Pro Calibration unit
Price : £100
Rating :
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Pantone Huey Pro It's easy to think that your screen is correctly calibrated, but the colours can be incorrect meaning that if you are treating your images, they could have a slightly different cast to what the original is. The Pantone Huey Pro claims to be able to solve this dilemma.

From start to finish
The box includes the sensor, software, a screen cleaner and microfibre pad to dry it with. Once the software is installed, the sensor must be plugged in and the system rebooted.

Opening the program brings up a flashy, futuristic looking first screen which is asking for a selection of the type of screen between LCD and CRT. Choosing the option and clicking next gives a step by step instruction on setting up the hardware. The LED's on the sensor must be facing out away from the cradle so it can perform automatic adjustments of the room lighting. The sensor will perform an automatic calibration and ask if three rings can be seen on the left and two on the right. If not, the screen contrast and brightness need to be altered. On the manual screen, it will ask to set the contrast or brightness to 100% with the other at 50%, then the adjustment be made until the bottom matches the top of the display target. Be aware that the two parts of the target do not need to match at once, as this will give drastically incorrect results. The bottom half needs to look like the top half does when the adjustment is started as altering the brightness or contrast will change both halves. This certainly takes a degree of human precision which I thought was not the general idea using this system.

pantone huey Pro sensor If the screen has automatically changed then the sensor is placed on it using the suction cups and the program will start to calibrate. This only takes a minute or so and you will be shown a before and after preview once it is complete. The program will then ask you to set the white point and Gamma settings. For double monitor users, this will set the same for both screens. Gamma is the reading of the monitor's input and the brightness of the image on display. The nearest to true life on a greyscale and the industry standard is 2.2 Gamma but this can be changed if that is what you want to do. A full list of the effects that each setting will achieve is available on the User guide. The guide can be accessed on the main screen when the system is reopened after first calibration by clicking on the question mark to open the hints box and scrolling down to where it asks if you have any further questions. Should you be a new user to this, the guide will explain what Gamma and White point is and what it does. Ideally, I would like to see this on an easier to use menu system. There is plenty of space on the front screen for adding a menu button.

The Huey Pro can also use the sensor to automatically adjust the screen depending on the room light which is a great feature. After this is all done, the program will know if you are using more than one monitor and will inform you to slide the Huey Pro over onto the next screen where it will automatically start over again.

The Preferences screen allows changes to the room lighting monitor frequency where the sensor can check the room lighting more or less frequently to a slowest time of once every minute. The settings screen allows changes to the colour temperature and Gamma setting and also shows the corrected and uncorrected colours. The final screen changes the frequency of reminders for when the screen needs recalibrating.

Pantone huey Pro calibration process Verdict
Despite being a pro version, the program is very easy to use and so is acceptable for anyone. It is classed as a pro version because it is dual screen enabled with the ability to select the colour settings for White point and Gamma whereas standard Huey lets the colour temperature and Gamma be changed by selecting the action you are going to perform.

This is certainly something I would consider using as the colour difference when I used it the first time was phenomenal. As a dual screen user, I also found out quite how different in colour my two monitors were and the sensor will continuously scan the ambient light and adjust the monitor(s) to compensate.

Performance

Ease of use

Overall

Because of the excellent and continued performance and the easy step by step instructions, the Pantone huey Pro calibration receives our coveted Highly recommended award.

Pantone huey Pro costs around £99.95 and is available from the colour confidence website here.

 

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Comments


bulldozer 8 100 England
22 Aug 2007 3:15PM
Helpful review. I've been thinking about getting one of these myself so it was quite timely.

Can someone tell me if you need to remove Adobe Gamma before using the Huey or does it just overwrite any sttings it has made to the screen before using the Huey? Hope that makes sense.

John

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MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
22 Aug 2007 3:25PM
Hi bulldozer, any calibration settings have to be removed before using the huey Pro.
stevekhart 8 4.5k 3 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2007 3:45PM
Do you know if the results are any better than the standard Huey?
YoBellzaa e2
7 224 England
24 Aug 2007 4:52PM
Hi, just tried this on my computers at home and work and i gotta say its a cracking peice of kit.
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
27 Aug 2007 8:50AM
Steve, I think the results will be better as it's the extra stuff that comes with the Pro version that sets it apart. For instance the multiple screen option and the White point and Gamma adjustment settings.
dathersmith 7 550 12 England
28 Aug 2007 7:56AM
Hi, can this unit be used on a laptop?
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
28 Aug 2007 10:07AM
Hi dathersmith,
The system can be used on a laptop, just make sure you choose the screen option for laptops when first starting it up. Smile
31 Aug 2007 11:25AM
Hi,
where can I find the gamma and temp calibration?

I have bought it and used it, but find no such options in the "preferences" panel.

I am in Vista, using version 1.05...

tia
luis
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
31 Aug 2007 4:01PM
Hi, the gamma and white point changes are made after the renaming of the settings during the calibration process. Smile
31 Aug 2007 8:06PM
sorry... but I cant see any such step...

during the process what I see is
1) measure the ambient light
2) set the sensor on the screen - while the colours change
3) set it back to the cradle
4) huey asks if I would like it to react to light changes
5) I can choose among several pre-defined settings e.g. "web browsing and photo", "warm medium contrast", etc...

In the tray, when I start the preferences menu that is also what I can do i.e. adjust for room light changes and the periodicity, and one of the pre-defined settings..

are you also on Vista and using 1.05?

could you please tell me exactly where it shows up?

many thanks for your help
luis
Pete e2
13 18.5k 96 England
31 Aug 2007 8:18PM
It shows on mine, but I'm using XP. Anyone else using this with Vista?
bulldozer 8 100 England
1 Sep 2007 6:55PM
Tahnks for the info Matt. My Huey pro arrived yesterday and I've just set it up on my desktop PC with an LCD screen. I removed the Adobe Gamma profile as per the instructions on Pantone's support pages and ran the calibration.

Got to say that on first impressions, I'm very impressed and it seems to have made quite a difference. It's certainly given me a bit more added reassurance that the colours are displaying correctly as they should be.

Will be interesting to see how things pan out over the long term.

John
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
2 Sep 2007 1:54AM
Isimoes, are you sure it is the Pro version? If I remember correctly, the Standard Huey changes the Gamma as preset options for certain types of projects similar to what you describe in step 5 and therefore, the Gamma and white point will be altered. If it is the Pro version you have, it should give you the options in numbers so may be worth contacting Pantone. Smile

Excellent news John!
8 Sep 2007 12:06AM
(sorry for the delayed response --- travelling)

yes... it is Pro: the stick says Pro (as the box).

I downloaded the latest version 1.05 from Huey site.

Do you have your version in Vista?
Also: I am using the DVI input ---- and I think that perhaps some of the parameters cant be changed with DVI?

tia
luis
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
9 Sep 2007 11:06PM
No, I'm on XP like some kind of caveman. Smile

I'll try to find something out for you.
10 Sep 2007 6:28PM
MY APOLOGIES to everyone and thanks to MattGrayson

I had installed HueyPro..
the CD says version 1.0
I went to Pantone and downloaded version 1.05..
installed...

the thing is
- version 1.05 is huey and NOT huey Pro
- so my BAD... really stuipd...

Pantone has V1.0 in the CD BUT inside the SW is 1.5!

in any case: my bad and all is ok now!
thanks again
luis
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
10 Sep 2007 8:32PM
No problem luis, just glad everything is ok.
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
18 Sep 2007 8:59AM
***REVIEW UPDATE***
On our sample, the cradle that holds the sensor has snapped from it's base. Be careful when using this as the plastic is weak. This kind of thing can only be found through constant use.
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
13 Nov 2007 4:58PM
***REVIEW UPDATE***
After consistent use of the sensor, the casing has started to prise apart due to the tension between pulling it off the screen and the suckers wanting to keep it there.
wamp 8 276 8 England
10 Dec 2007 2:10PM
Are you still using it? And would you buy it?

Cheers, Sean
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
10 Dec 2007 2:15PM
hi wamp,
unfortunately, there are 10 people in the office and one unit with everyone wanting to use it, so no I'm not. I would buy it if I could use it constantly, but calibrating once and taking off the sensor didn't help.
wamp 8 276 8 England
10 Dec 2007 2:22PM
Thanks Matt for the quick reply, looks like I might give it a whirl Smile

Cheers, Sean

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