How to Calibrate a Monitor
With an i1Display 2

Part 5 - Calibrate Contrast & White Point

Calibrate Contrast

The software asks you to set the screen contrast to 100% however the vast majority of LCD panels do not have true contrast controls (unlike CRT screens). Although you may be able to find a control labeled 'contrast' it probably only adjusts the signal coming into the monitor (rather than changing the monitor’s response to the signal). Instead of adjusting this pseudo contrast control, it is better to reset the monitor to its factory settings via the control panel and use whatever contrast setting it gives you.

Now click the ‘Start’ button in the Eye One Match software. 

Calibrate Contrast

The software will constantly sample the monitor’s contrast. If your default contrast is too low or high, the black marker line will be left or right of centre. Only in this scenario should you make an adjustment, via the contrast control. Make small adjustments at a time and wait for the black indicator to settle. Provided the marker is within the green shaded area your monitor contrast is acceptable. When the contrast is set correctly Click the ‘Stop’ button.

Contrast Indicator
Fig A - The contrast needs increasing
Contrast Indicator
Fig B - The contrast is now set properly.

Calibrate the Red, Green and Blue colour channels

Calibrate RGB

Not all LCD panels have separate Red Green and Blue output controls but if they do it’s worth trying to use them.  Even on cheaper panels this can be successful.  Sometimes however, it gives poor results and you need to re-calibrate using the RGB presets option instead. If you only have RGB preset options on your monitor or no options at all, tick the ‘RGB presets’ box.  

If you selected RGB Controls

Press the ‘Start’ button. Various colour patches will appear on the screen one at a time followed by a window like the one you see below. The aim is to adjust the colour channels on your monitor until you get all three indicators in the middle.  At which point the correct White Point will be achieved.  As long as the pointers are within the green bands and the White Point is within about 200 Kelvin; that is sufficient.  If you can get all 3 in the middle like this so much the better.
First adjust, the colour channel that is out by the most, rather than doing the adjustments in order, since adjusting one channel will slightly effect the other 2. When you are finished adjusting the RGB controls, click the 'Stop' button and click the right arrow to continue.

RGB Controls

If you selected RGB Presets

Assuming this is your first calibration; you will have reset the monitor to it's factory default settings at the start of the process. This is often the best setting for the White Point. Click the 'Start' button in the software. Various colour patches will appear one at a time followed by a window like the one below. The window shows the actual White Point of the monitor in it's current state. If you get 6500k you can press the 'Stop' button. If your monitor is adrift from 6500k you can cycle through any White Point presets available in the monitor's control panel, to see if any of those are a closer match. The fluorescent backlights used in LCD panels tend to give a Native White Point within about 300k of 6500k so you should be able to find a setting that is close. Don’t worry if none of your presets give you exactly 6500k, because the profile we are about to make will aim to correct this. Once you have set the monitors White Point as close to 6500k as you can, click the ‘Stop’ button and click the right arrow to continue.

White Point