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Why all monitors are either: too dark/bright?

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Posted · Original PosterOP


i had couple monitors either VA, or TN panel. They had gamma levels like 1.8/2.0/2.2/2.4 and nothing in-between. Colors are either way to dark, or too bright. I used usually brightest gamma and elevated black levels for gaming, but than when i wanted to watch TV. I noticed that colors are too bright and there is this white glare over the picture. This is even when i am gaming, but there i don't care. I don't have on my current monitor: what level of gamma i am using, only like: gamma 1, gamma 2. When i switch to darker gamma, colors are more natural. But than picture is too dark. Because tv shows are filmed in limited color spectrum and luma information gets cut off. So picture appears too dark on full color mode. I increased gamma in media player, usually this cause visible pixellation, but luckily madvr is great renderer and there is no pixelation when i do that. Either way picture is too bright and colors are less natural, or it is way too dark. There is no middle ground. It is something i noticed on every monitor i had. I never had IPS, but i don't care that much to get new monitor. I just wonder why is that.


I used to just play on gamma 1.8 and cranked monitor to 100% brightness, i don't know how i played on that btw :D Because it didn't have black levels adjustment. I also noticed, that if you change black levels even +5 above default 50, colors are unnatural and brighter. So this is not good setting to change to make picture more brighter, even i don't really care in games. And increasing monitor brightness won't help you in case of TV shows, because cut out luma information. So only thing that helps is changing gamma, or black levels. But with gamma there is no middle ground, as i said it is either too dark, or too bright. And black levels are same... And if you watch on limited range, it will be even worse, everything will be too bright, it looks terrible compared to full color range!


All that aside, i don't really like my gamma options on my TN monitor AOC G2590fx, gamma 1 too bright and colors look weird, like there is some taint. Gamma 2: too bright and colors looks little unnatural. Gamma 3: colors look great, but picture is way too dark, that ironically makes colors look bad, but they are more saturated or something. Again TN panels are just for gaming and gamers really don't care, but va panel was same and i never had IPS. So why is that? Are IPS any better just wondering... And why gamma setting is so narrow, that you can switch only by 0.2 ?

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TN is bad for anything color related. its really that simple. if you are about colors, then go IPS, if you want good contrast, get VA. also, it could just be that the monitors you are getting are not calibrated and don't have a good tuning option. cheap monitors generally have terrible OSDs and don't let you change much. 


if you really really care about colors but dont want to get an IPS monitor, get a color calibrator and fix it yourself. but, those cost US$80 ++ so pick your poison

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Yeah i don't really care, i just wonder. Madvr can change gamma about 0.05 even. And i think i might had different gamma setting in it, than on my monitor. Now it looks natural, which is little bit surprising, because i have black levels on 60%. I was either too dark, or too bright always. I have new monitor and i didn't really tested each setting... Tho on desktop, or in games it is little bright and colors are less natural. But i don't really care in games, that much, it is not big deal. And looks still good.

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If you're changing brightness using a gamma setting, you're doing it wrong. Gamma is a global curve that affects not only the brightness, but also the saturation of all colors. Open an image in Photoshop and pull a curves adjustment up and down and see what it does to the image. It's not simply making it brighter or darker.


You should instead be using the contrast setting to make sure that blacks and whites are not crushed, and then the brightness setting to set your backlight to an appropriate level for your viewing environment. Beyond that, you will need to calibrate with a colorimeter if you require color accuracy.


Your comment about TV shows is complete nonsense. Even if something is captured at 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, it doesn't affect the exposure of a shot in any way.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

That's something i read long time ago, anyways it was luma not chroma. Tv shows are supposedly filmed in limited color range, that's why if you switch to full color spectrum they look so dark, because there is no information missing, but it expects full range.


Contrast ? I can't change contrast, anything above or less 50% looks like total garbage. And brightness has no effect on colors. There is no other way, than change gamma. Even with calibration tool, because if you watch in full color spectrum, colors will be very dark, instead if you watch in limited range. I don't think calibration is problem. Anyway it looks good enough, i was just wondering why all monitors have either too dark, or bright colors. But that are probably just TN panels in general, i don't need perfect colors.


Yeah it will be definitely it, i opened ncis and it is much darker. I don't know what color range yuv and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling have. But as it is 10bit, it will have probably full color range. While older tv shows were release for tv, which had limited color range. That's why on pc it looked way too dark on full color range. Or too bright, if viewed in limited color range.

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