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Phantasma
24th Jun 2007, 17:22
Hello,

For several years I've used LG Flatron ez T710PH. But, I've noticed a problem when using SyncMaster monitors. I have used three SyncMaster's and all of them seem to have intense illumination. Currently, I have SyncMaster LCD 940NW monitor, and when I compare Thief III (or other sequels) graphics to the one on the LG monitor, the difference is hard to describe. It looks like Samsung monitors produce more intense illumination and that completely degrades ambient of games such as Thief III, or any other games that have darker ambient. I can describe that illumination effect like intensed gamma, but I've looked up ALL of the avaliable controls on that monitor(s) and I just cannot change that effect.

Has anybody had similar experiance with SyncMaster monitors? Is that kind illumination normal and can it be reduced?

Under normal conditions (windows, etc.), I don't have problem with it, but it bothers me when playing games like Thief.


Than you in advance!

Komag
24th Jun 2007, 18:10
It's hard to imagine a monitor you can't adjust the brightness and gamma, and if that's the case there then it sucks.

Phantasma
25th Jun 2007, 17:36
It's hard to imagine a monitor you can't adjust the brightness and gamma, and if that's the case there then it sucks.

I've mailed inquiry to Samsung Support about this problem. I'm aware that it's not a real issue, just a monitor factory setting, but Thief looks really bad on every Samsung monitor I used in last several years!!

Those models have more intense "brightning" levels that usual and it completely destroys Thief's dark atmosphere. Frankly, it looks like something is "glowing" in inside of them and it cannot be reduced. Weird, huh? :-)

Does anybody here have same experience regarding Samsung monitors? Certainly, I will get my answer only from those who switched several monitors in the past from different vendors.

Thank you for answering!

Peter_Smith
26th Jun 2007, 00:59
You didn't say what graphics card you had. With Nvidia cards and using fairly recent drivers (like 84.21) there is a way to make a preset configuration of gamma, brightness, and contrast and to store the settings by name, e.g., "Thief". I imagine ATI drivers, or some 3rd party tools, have the same feature. With that, you simply recall the settings before starting the game. It's three clicks using a system tray icon.

I have the opposite problem with an old CRT. I need to add gamma to make it look decent. You will probably want to subtract gamma, making the line curve the other way.

I am not an expert at LCD monitors, but I think that monitors do not have a gamma adjustment. So far as I know, monitors have a brightness and contrast adjustment. Those two adjustments are not sufficient to control the spacing of brightness intervals, which need to be non-linear to get exactly the effect you want. So far as I know, monitors have an intrinsic gamma curve, and you need some other software such as the Nvidia drivers to adjust the curve if it is not ideal. Try Googling "gamma" and "monitor calibration". Check out this for example:

http://www.cgsd.com/papers/gamma.html

http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html

Another factor that bothers many purists when it comes to LCD's is back lighting. That can result in a persistent glow, that is, blacks cannot be made really black. That is usually observed in pitch dark rooms, in which some people like to play Thief. Not me -- I like some ambient light in my room. If you have any ambient lighting in your room, such as day time or an electric light, that should not bother you. Anyway, only a few monitors have backlight adjustment. I am not sure about Samsung. If yours has that control, try changing backlight intensity.

With proper calibration and correction, and perhaps avoiding a pitch dark room, your Samsung should work. That brand is certainly well regarded. Let us know what you end up doing and how it works.

Phantasma
26th Jun 2007, 14:00
You didn't say what graphics card you had. With Nvidia cards and using fairly recent drivers (like 84.21) there is a way to make a preset configuration of gamma, brightness, and contrast and to store the settings by name, e.g., "Thief". I imagine ATI drivers, or some 3rd party tools, have the same feature. With that, you simply recall the settings before starting the game. It's three clicks using a system tray icon.

I have the opposite problem with an old CRT. I need to add gamma to make it look decent. You will probably want to subtract gamma, making the line curve the other way.

I am not an expert at LCD monitors, but I think that monitors do not have a gamma adjustment. So far as I know, monitors have a brightness and contrast adjustment. Those two adjustments are not sufficient to control the spacing of brightness intervals, which need to be non-linear to get exactly the effect you want. So far as I know, monitors have an intrinsic gamma curve, and you need some other software such as the Nvidia drivers to adjust the curve if it is not ideal. Try Googling "gamma" and "monitor calibration". Check out this for example:

http://www.cgsd.com/papers/gamma.html

http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html

Another factor that bothers many purists when it comes to LCD's is back lighting. That can result in a persistent glow, that is, blacks cannot be made really black. That is usually observed in pitch dark rooms, in which some people like to play Thief. Not me -- I like some ambient light in my room. If you have any ambient lighting in your room, such as day time or an electric light, that should not bother you. Anyway, only a few monitors have backlight adjustment. I am not sure about Samsung. If yours has that control, try changing backlight intensity.

With proper calibration and correction, and perhaps avoiding a pitch dark room, your Samsung should work. That brand is certainly well regarded. Let us know what you end up doing and how it works.

Hello,

First, I must thank you for giving such a detailed answer on this topic. Sorry I haven't stated model of my video adapter. I have Sapphire X1950 XT 512MB card.

I use ATI Catalyst Control Panel to adjust video settings. I've noticed that Thief III is completely immune to gamma/brightness/etc. software adjustments. First, I tried to tweak Desktop and 3D brightness/gamma/contrast levels in ATI CCC and it seems that Thief III is not responding to the changes at all. Then I tried using QuickGamma 2.0 tool to do the same, but no use. Thief still keeps to ignore the changes. Only thing that lowers brightness levels is "Brightness" option in the game itself.

As I can recall, Thief and Thief II had gamma option so the levels could actually be changed during the gameplay. Also, I was able to lower these levels in ATI control panel. But the thing that confuses me the most is that only Desktop brightness/gamma/contrast settings seemed to effect the "In-game" visual impression. 3D settings in ATI CCC did no change to Thief I & II.

The thing you mentioned earlier: "Another factor that bothers many purists when it comes to LCD's is back lighting. That can result in a persistent glow, that is, blacks cannot be made really black."

That is exactly my problem. When I played the game in darker ambient, I noticed that black colors are significantly illuminated. But, the problem was the same on other two CRT SyncMaster monitors I had before. On the other hand, LG model hasn't got that kind of issues.

Controls on my monitor support: Contrast & Brightness settings, Gamma settings: Warm, Cool, Normal & Custom (normal is the darkest), RGB Controls (minimum levels make no significant difference), MagicColor option that has ability to change color impression - and that's everything that has something to do with this topic.

I'm going to install Deus Ex and then I'll try to lower levels in ATI CCC. Maybe there will be some difference, but I'm almost sure that monitor will continue to degrade black color.

Peter_Smith
27th Jun 2007, 05:22
I just checked. My Nvidia card definitely has video presets that stay set, either when I start T3 or go back to desktop and resume (using CTRL-ALT-DEL and selecting task manager). So it is not T3 that is at fault. It is ATI.

I had an ATI 1650 XT a while back and returned it to Newegg because it did not respond correctly to in-game gamma settings in T1 and T2. I didn't try it in T3. Some discussion of that is here:

http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111407

I found that CCC was worthless, IMO, so I deinstalled it, leaving behind only the basic drivers. I installed and used ATI Tray Tools instead. ATI Tray Tools was better. It has named video presets but it had some issues, too. The gamma problem could be solved with come extra manipulations each time I returned from destkop, but that and a fog issue were so annoying to me that I sent the ATI card back. Again, I did not try T3, but I suggest you download ATT and give it a shot.

If that does not work and if your monitor does not reduce gamma enough, and if you cannot adjust back light to suit you, then I guess you ought to use an LG monitor or one that has backlight adjustment. What more can I say?

Phantasma
28th Jun 2007, 10:58
I just checked. My Nvidia card definitely has video presets that stay set, either when I start T3 or go back to desktop and resume (using CTRL-ALT-DEL and selecting task manager). So it is not T3 that is at fault. It is ATI.

I had an ATI 1650 XT a while back and returned it to Newegg because it did not respond correctly to in-game gamma settings in T1 and T2. I didn't try it in T3. Some discussion of that is here:

http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111407

I found that CCC was worthless, IMO, so I deinstalled it, leaving behind only the basic drivers. I installed and used ATI Tray Tools instead. ATI Tray Tools was better. It has named video presets but it had some issues, too. The gamma problem could be solved with come extra manipulations each time I returned from destkop, but that and a fog issue were so annoying to me that I sent the ATI card back. Again, I did not try T3, but I suggest you download ATT and give it a shot.

If that does not work and if your monitor does not reduce gamma enough, and if you cannot adjust back light to suit you, then I guess you ought to use an LG monitor or one that has backlight adjustment. What more can I say?

Hello,

I've created several different profiles in ATI CCC: Dark, Standared & Test profile. I've also assigned specific shortcut to every profile. "Test" profile is the one with the most dark ambience, and the "Dark" profile is used when playing games like Thief.

When I was playing Thief III I tried to use shortcut for "Test" profile. At first, game rejected the settings and returned standard Thief brightness settings. After several tries, it finally worked - but it looked like a disaster!

Game seemed to be darker, but monitor was still "glowing" so the whole impression was terrible.

I think, after numerous tries to set the gamma, that this is the problem that is related only to the monitor itself! It has this constant glow, like it's some kind of integrated setting... I haven't found a way to change this by using ordinary controls, either software or hardware ones. I guess that I'll have to use LG monitor if I want the Thief to look decent. I'm tired already by looking that fog. :scratch:

Samsung support told me to contact them by telephone, because the issue is very specific...

They are the ones who made the damn device after all. :nut: