With our change to CalMAN, we will also now be evaluating displays for their grayscale and gamma point. Previously we only targeted a gamma of 2.2 in calibrations but never measured it in the end. Now we will be choosing two targets in our reviews. For light output of 200 cd/m², we will target the same gamma of 2.2 right now. 2.2 gamma is still a de-facto standard, and is the standard for Apple computers and devices as well as video content. For our second calibration we target 80 cd/m² with an sRGB gamma curve. Both of these are specified in the sRGB standard, so those doing professional print or computer graphics work would likely want this.

Hopefully a display will be able to handle both of these tests, and we will also check for the grayscale quality on its own by checking 21 points, just like we do with our tablet and smartphone reviews. This will provide you with more data, as well as consistent data for the different devices.

  Pre-Calibration 200 cd/m² Target 80 cd/m² Target
White Level 201.5 198.4 80.1
Black Level 0.1689 0.1644 0.067
Contrast Ratio 1193:1 1207:1 1197:1
Average CCT 6545 6537 6599
Gamma 2.1648 2.2128 2.4109
Average dE2000 2.3847 0.535 0.6238

Looking at the RGB Balance for the data, the pre-calibration data starts out a bit too-blue, then develops a red tint, before finally winding up with a lack of green at the top of the grayscale. The average CCT remains close to 6503K overall, but the RGB balance shows that there is a lack of correct balance in there. Looking at the post-calibrations numbers for 200 and 80 cd/m², we see almost no deviation at all in the RGB balance, which is much better. The 80 cd/m² results have a bit too much blue perhaps, but overall they're acceptable.

The pre-calibration gamma point is very close to the 2.20 target, but looking at the chart we see some issues. The gamma point rises and falls across the grayscale, which will leads to midtones and highlights not having the correct level of light output, and will lead to a less dynamic image. The overall number is good, but the chart shows that it’s not quite right. The 2.20 target for our 200 cd/m² calibration is much better, with a very linear 2.20 gamma across the whole grayscale. There are a couple small bumps in there, but nothing that would be visible in daily use.

The sRGB target is different, as the gamma isn’t linear across the whole grayscale. Instead the shadows start at 1, and it ramps up as you leave the shadows, which results in an average gamma across the grayscale of 2.40 in the end. Because of this it’s far more important to look at the actual graph than the final number, and here the LG 29EA93 does very well at tracking the target. Once calibrated, the gamma curve for the LG is very good with either sRGB or Power Law targets.

The grayscale dE2000 values takes all of this data into account. Pre-calibration, the dE2000 starts out well in the shadows, but by the end of the grayscale we have dE2000 values above 3, indicating a visible grayscale error that we can see even in motion. The average error is pretty low, but by the end it’s higher than we would like. Post-calibration, both grayscales are free of all visible error. There isn’t a single point that is above 2.0, and no one should be able to see any errors in real world use. In the end, the grayscale is basically perfect for these displays after calibration.

Pre-calibration, the LG 29EA93 is good, but not great. Post-calibration, it’s virtually perfect and will be basically free of visible errors when being used.

Intro, Brightness and Contrast Color Performance
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  • SithSolo1 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Does the Dell UltraSharp U2913WM use this panel? I noticed Dell has pulled the product page and I'm wondering if maybe they are updating it with the new panel. Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Both revisions of LG use the exact same panel, it's the QC and firmware that have been updated. I don't believe any electronics changed, but there is a possibility, but the panel is the exact same thing. It's a good reason why you can't look at two displays, see they use the same panel, and assume they'll be anything alike. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    This is a very good point, something I wish more people would realize; end-result quality isn't just based just on the panel technology (though of course that is a major influence). Reply
  • moep - Sunday, February 17, 2013 - link

    So they essentially cherry-picked a panel, customized the firmware for it and flew in an engineer to hand it to you?

    Where does that leave the customers who buy their units in retail?
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    They didn't re-engineer a panel for me, they went back and redid the firmware for everyone and then provided a new model once that was complete. Anyone can buy the same version that I received, and anyone with an older revision of firmware can contact LG to get an upgrade to version 1.25 from them. Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    They have?
    http://www.dell.com/ed/business/p/dell-u2913wm/pd
    Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    I love to see someone, anyone pushing the state of the computer display industry. I'll pay a premium for anything that gives me more than 1080p which was a step back when it came out. If I recall this monitor doesn't rotate into portrait mode which is my only remaining wish. Of course, given it's dimensions, I might not want it to rotate, any thoughts on this? Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    The included stand doesn't rotate, but it does have VESA mounting screws to do that. If it was rotated, it would be very, very tall on a desk. It really depends on what you'd want to do with the space for how well that works, but our field of view is typically much wider than tall, so to me, that layout might not work quite as well. Reply
  • Miqunator - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    I'm not that interested in Ultra Widescreen monitors (16:10 person) but the response from LG after the initial review certainly improved my opinion of them. A cheap TV I randomly picked up before turned out to be the best I've ever used so they already had a rather high standing and it seems that one wasn't just a fluke. Reply
  • Gambit2K - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    First comment ever on anand woopwoop! ;)

    Im extremly interested in this monitor and I have the finger on the trigger but my question is will there be 2 version floating around? Will LG release the monitor with a visible "version 1.25" in the description or is it a total lottery if you get the new version or the old?
    Reply

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