Wednesday, September 10, 2008

D6500K And Why It Is So Important

When you purchased your new TV [plasma, LCD etc], was it on display among many different sets? Did you choose it because it produced the brightest image in the room amongst the sets on display?
Did you really think it was the best of the bunch?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then sorry, but your most likely not getting the quality picture you have just paid for.

FACT: All video is mastered at a specific colour temperature known as D6500K. Unless your set is running at this colour temp, your not seeing the images as they were meant to be seen. YOU WILL NEED TO GET IT CALIBRATED.

CIE Diagram

In order to make a set unique and stand out, set manufactures increase the colour temperature. This may seem to make the set appear brighter, but it also makes the images look more blue. To understand what this means, you need to understand that a video display is colour temperature related similar to the filament of a light bulb. If we apply a steadily increasing voltage to a light globe, first it glows red, then orange, yellow and eventually white. If we keep increasing the voltage, the metal will actually glow blue just before it pops. So in essence, blue is the hottest colour. Our video displays work exactly the same.

If we take a look at the above images, you will clearly see a colour shift between the two. The second image is the original [after the camera was white balanced first], and the one above is too hot [made this way with photo edit where all I have done is to increase the colour temp]. As the colour temp is shifted up, the image becomes more blue. The Blue image is similar to what a video display [TV ] set to about or above 7500K would look like. Any hotter [more blue] and the manufacture would have to add a red push to make skin [in this case the fruit] tones look believable.

I have marked the D6500K point on the CIE diagram with a red dot. Typically, most new TVs out of the box are going to measure about 9300K which you can find by following the arc to the left. If you choose to leave your display set this colour temperature, then 2 things could happen -

1. All of your images will look blue [the bananas don't look ripe in the top image].
2. You could actually shorten the life of your new display.

The only way to see video the way it was intended is to have your video display calibrated to D6500K.

There's no grey quite like 6500K :)



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