SpectraCal Launches ‘CalMAN’ Color Calibration Software

The need to calibrate reference monitors has become more acute with the demise of the CRT
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The need to calibrate reference monitors has become more acute with the demise of the CRT

SpectraCal Inc., a Seattle-based software developer, issued its CalMAN Studio display calibration software, which is device-independent software designed for broadcast, production, and post-production professionals who view color critical motion picture and television content on reference studio and professional monitors.

With the demise of the CRT reference monitors that were once ubiquitous in studios, the need to calibrate reference monitors has become more acute, according to SpectraCal.

Supporting the need to calibrate monitors is Charles Poynton, a consultant to the industry and author of the color science textbooks. “A diversity of mastering displays are in use today, and it seems to me that no single display technology will dominate the future like the CRT did,” Poynton says.

Professionals in California who are using an liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor and sending work to a colleague in New York who is using a plasma monitor, need those monitors to be calibrated to the same standard, Poynton adds.

CalMAN Studio characterizes a display in exacting detail and creates a characterization cube, also known as a 3D look-up table (LUT), which corrects a video signal to compensate for a monitor’s deviations from a reference standard, SpectraCal says. By correcting the signal, video professionals can be sure they are seeing exactly the same image on all monitors, according to the company.

Video professionals who are making creative decisions based on what is displayed on a monitor, must have complete confidence that the monitor is providing the same color reference to all the monitors in use on a project, says Kevin Shaw, lead instructor with the International Colorist Academy (ICA).

The CalMAN Studio is based on technology original developed in SpectraCal’s CalMAN, the display calibration solution used by many professional calibrators.

Several technological advances have led SpectraCal to claim that CalMAN Studio provides more accurate monitor characterization than any software previously available. “Previous generations of software used a brute force method with very little intelligence,” said Derek Smith, SpectraCal’s chief technology officer.

“CalMAN Studio uses adaptive intelligence to infer interpolated interior points in the cube,” Smith said. That saves time, adding significant efficiencies during the review cycle, he adds. CalMAN Studio goes back and checks each reference point iteratively, as many times as necessary, until we achieve complete accuracy, he says.


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