In the Forums...
Posted: August 8, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Color temperature refers to the monitor's value of white. And since every other color in the spectrum is derived from white, this can be a very important setting. On most monitors, 9600K is as close to natural white as you are going to find (this is also called "cold" white, because on some older monitors this setting gave the screen a light blue tinge). The other standard setting for white, although you see it less often, is 6500K, or warm white (this is because of the slight reddish cast that this setting gives everything). If you wanted to compare this to color photographs, the color of 9600K is like the pictures that come out of a 35 mm camera - the colors are as close as possible to natural. On the other hand, the color of 6500K is more like the picture that comes out of a Polaroid camera, giving everything a slight warm glow (Polaroid film is designed to be more sensitive to red light, giving it a slightly warmer feelů). Personally I recommend 9600K, but if you are on an older monitor, you may get a "better" white from the 6500K setting.
Degaussing and other Monitor Options
Degaussing is essentially the same process that the monitor goes through during startup, except that the monitor is fully operational during the process. If you are having problems with your monitor after extended use (greater than usual flickering, discoloration of some areas, misc. offset pixels, etc.), degaussing your monitor might just fix it for you. Note: There is basically no reason to degauss your monitor daily, or probably even weekly. Don't degauss too often!
Moire is in reference to certain kinds of distortion that should only ever effect improperly shielded monitors. If you are having problems with it and your monitor is fairly new, you should probably move, because you probably have a high voltage wire running through your house creating EM interference. Seriously though, moire patterns are created by the misalignment of the cathode ray onto the filaments that create the image. If you are having trouble with wavy lines on the screen, or a particularly fuzzy image (particularly at high resolutions), you may find it to your benefit to tweak these settings a bit. Most people can probably leave them alone though. These patterns can also be removed by using the sharpness setting (on less expensive monitors).
Recall, as you might have guessed, simply resets the monitor to its defaults. 'Nuff said.
There are some programs out that will help you automatically tweak most of these settings (Adobe Photoshop comes with one built in, and so do many driver packages as well). However, I have found that Displaymate is one of the best ones, because as far as I have been able to tell, it doesn't require you to run any special programs during startup (Adobe adds a profile to your startup, as do many of the other packages). Its website also has some great tips on certain, less common features (generally found on large, expensive monitors that I don't have access to), as well as some other information about puttering around with your display.
Well, I hope this has helped the visual quality of your monitor. If you are still having trouble with relatively ugly visuals, I'm not exactly sure what else to tell you. It is a possibility that you need a new monitor, video card, or both. Replacing those parts would definitely be the 'ultimate' tweak but it can get quite costly to buy a new video card or monitor. As always, feel free to email me with your comments and questions.
Click here for a printer friendly version.