There are two methods for calibrating monitors: software calibration and hardware calibration.
Software calibration is conducted using a general-purpose calibration kit and the monitor's standard colour-adjustment function. Users adjust monitor colour themselves, following the instructions of the program included in the kit. An ICC profile is generated automatically.
Hardware calibration is carried out using specialised software and sensors. Hardware calibration is conducted by controlling a monitor directly via a calibration function.
Here are some of the advantages and drawbacks os using each method:
As there are many calibration kits available on the market, software calibration is very well suited to general monitor use. Also, software calibration allows users to improve colour with the adjustment of white points, luminance, and gamma curves. Since software calibration can be used to create profiles for the monitors users currently use, it's also an effective means of ongoing color management.
Since monitor adjustment is conducted by the user, problems with precision can occur, with minor variations occurring each time calibration is conducted. It can also take a while to gain a grasp on how the software works making it time-consuming until the process is completed a few times. In addition, some calibration kits offer only low precision in adjustment and rougher profiles.
When conducting software calibration, gradation deviations, tinting, and other gradation damage can also occur. These deviations and effects can make it impossible to display minor colour differences or may affect gradation display overall. As a result, care must be taken when using software calibration.
As this method controls the monitor hardware directly it offers high precision and good gradation characteristics. This process is also easy to do, particularly as some monitors can be set up to calibrate automatically.
Since calibration monitors are specially designed, they cost more than ordinary monitors.
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