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CALIBRATIONANDOPERATIONOF PANASONICPLASMAMONITORS JULY2009 Overview Plasmavideomonitorsprovidehighresolutionimageswithexcellentcontrastanddynamic range,lowblacklevels,andsaturatedcolorsoververywideviewingangles.Theperformanceof acalibratedplasmamonitorisveryclosetothatofacalibratedreferenceCRTmonitor. However,plasmamonitorsperformbestaftercalibration,asopposedtosimplybeingusedwith theirfactorysettings.Theusermenuprovidesseveraltoolstoeffectcalibration,eachofwhich willbediscussedinthispaperaspartofastepbystepcalibrationprocess. Plasmaimagingtechnology Toobtainthebestresultsfromaplasmamonitor,itsusefultounderstandtheunderlying processthatproduceselectronicimages.Plasmadisplaypanels(PDPs)containthousandsoftiny pixels,eachofwhichcontainsared,green,orbluecolorphosphorcoating. Electrodesonthefrontandbackofeachpixelareusedtodischargeelectricitythroughthepixel.

epixel. Amixtureofneonandxenongaswithinthepixelisstimulatedbythisdischarge,andemitsa broadspectrumofelectromagneticenergy,includingaburstofultraviolet(UV)light. Initially,ahighvoltagechargeprimesthepixelstobeaddressed,followedbylowervoltage pulsesthataddresspixels,linebyline.Athird,higherdischargevoltagethensustainsallpixels turnedonduringtheseconddischargecycle.

Figure1.Crosssectionofaplasmapixel.

Becausetheresponseofthepixelisbinary,i.e.onoroff,grayscaleimagesofvaryingintensity canonlybecreatedbyusingrapidonoffcycling,withthegrayscalevaluederivedfromtheratio ofontooffcycleswithinaspecifictimeinterval.Thehumaneyeintegratestheserapidpulses intolighterordarkershadesofgrayandcolor.

Thistechniqueisknownaspulsewidthmodulation,andwhileitcanbeconsideredadigital imagingprocess,theresponseofthecolorphosphorstoUVstimulationisverymuchanalogin nature. Asyoumightexpect,thecontinuouscharge/dischargecyclecreatesheatwithinthepixels. Plasmatechnologyhascomealongwayinpowerefficiencysincethefirstcolorplasmamonitors wereintroducedin1993,andtodaysplasmamonitorsaremuchmoreefficientandruncooler thanevenmodelsfromtenyearsago. Still,plasmatechnology(likeCRTs)employscurrentlimitingcircuitrytominimizeheatand prematureagingofthecolorphosphors.Asaresult,peakbrightnessreadingsonplasma monitorswillvaryconsiderablybetweenthosetakenwithasmallwhiteareatestpatternanda fullwhitescreen.Fullscreenreadingswillalwaysbemuchlowerthansmallareareadings becauseofthisfeature,whichisincorporatedintoeveryplasmamonitorbyallplasma manufacturerstolimitpowerconsumption. MonitorCalibrationReadings Tocalibrateaplasmamonitor,youwillneed(attheleast)acolorimeter,eithercontactornon contacttypes.(Handheldmeterscanalsobeusedwithcontactsensors.)Moreadvancedcolor sensingdevicessuchasspectraradiometersandphotometerscanbeused,althoughtheseare commonlyusedforextremelyprecisemeasurementsofnarrowbandsinglecolorintensityand huevaluesfromelectronicdisplays. Therearenumerousbistimulusandtristimuluscolorimetersavailableforreasonableprices. ThesesystemsusuallyconsistofasensorheadthatconnectstoanotebookordesktopPCvia USBconnections,plusapplicationssoftwaretologandinterpretthereadings.

Figure2.AnotebookPCbasedcolorimeterwithcontactsensor.(PhotocourtesyDatacolor)

Thereadingsandcompileddatapointsshouldincludemonochromatic(white)luminancevalues (eitherincandelaspersquaremeter(metric)orfootLamberts(English),colorluminanceand huevalues,alsoexpressedasx,ycoordinatesonthe1931and1976CIEcharts,andcolor temperaturevalues,expressedinKelvins.

Itisalsoextremelyhelpfultohavethecolorimeterssoftwareplothistogramsforluminance responsevs.drivingvoltage(gamma),colortemperaturetrackingatdifferentluminancevalues, andtrackingofred,green,andbluelevelsatdifferentluminancevalues.Theseplotsare essentialtodeterminetheplasmamonitorsgammaresponsebeforeandaftercalibration. Thecalibrationsoftwareshouldalsogenerateacolorgamutchartforthedisplay.Thischartwill showtheoperatingcolorgamutoftheplasmamonitor,comparedtoastandardgamutsuchas theITUBT.709standardcolorspacefordigitalTV.Suchachartisessentialforfinetuninghue andluminancevaluesforprimarycolorstoconformtodifferentstandardcolorspaces(where suchfinetuningcontrolsareavailable). MonitorCalibrationTestPatterns Yourcalibrationwillalsorequireaprecisiontestpatterngeneratorwiththeappropriateanalog ordigitalsignalinterface,suchascomponentYPbPr,RGB,HDMI,DVI,orSDI/HDSDI.This generatorshouldcontaintestpatternsfor: (1) Grayscaleadjustments(fullblackandwhite,50/50blackwhitefields,smallarea windowsinstepsofatleast10IRE,andcheckerboardblack/whitetestpatterns) (2) Coloradjustments(fullandsmallarea100%red,100%green,and100%blue,pluscyan, yellow,andmagenta) (3) Pixelclockandimagepositionadjustments(crosshatchandover/underscanpatterns, finetextpatterns) Youmayalsofindadditionaltestpatternstobeuseful,includingluminanceandchrominance multiburstpatternstoshowfrequencyresponseoftheplasmamonitorandanyassociated imageprocessing/switchingelectronics.

Figure3.Allowa1hourwarmupcycleforanynewplasmamonitorbeforecalibration.

CalibrationSteps A250hourpreagingcycleisstronglyrecommendedforallnewPanasonicplasmamonitors. ThispreagingcycleisbuiltintoSeries11andlatermodels,andisaccessiblefromthemenu. Afterthepanelhasbeenaged,thefirststepistoturnonyourplasmamonitorandletitwarm up.Thisbriefidlingperiodwillstabilizethemonitorandresultinamoreaccuratecalibration.A fullscreen,50%whitetestpatternshouldbeusedduringthisidlingperiod.Donotusea100% whitetestpattern. Beforecalibration,youshouldselectStandardorCinemamodesfromthelistoffactoryimage presets.TheDynamicpresetwillpresentthebrightestimages,butthegammaresponseofthe displayisverynonlinearinthismode,typicallyresemblinganScurve.Thismeansthedisplay comesslowlyoutofblack,thenrisestooquicklytowardswhitebeforeclippingthehighestlevels ofwhite.Chooseagammasettingof2.2forinitialcalibration. DisableanyimageenhancementssuchasdynamicgammaandAGCmodes.Thesewillhavea negativeimpactongammaperformance. TheonlysignificantdifferencebetweenStandardandCinemamodeswillbethestartingpoint forcolortemperatureadjustments.InStandardmode,thecolorofgrayissetbythefactoryto 7500K,whileinCinemamode,itismuchlower,rangingfrom5800Kto6000K.Thereisenough rangeintheRed/Green/Bluehighandlowadjustmentstoraiseorlowerthemeasuredcolor temperaturetothenormal6500Ktargetforvideoimaging. OnesuggestionistocalibratebothpresetsanduseStandardasavideo(2.2gamma)viewing mode,whileCinema(2.5)gammacanbeusedtopreviewcontentmasteredfordigitalcinema projection.Athirdfactorypresetmode(Monitor)presentsimagesthataremuchdimmer,but aresupposedtoemulateSMPTEtheaterbrightnesslevelsapproximately14ftL,or50cd/m2.

Figure4.Asmallarea100%whitewindow,usedforpeakbrightnesscalibration.

AdjustingDynamicRangeWhiteLevel Whileplasmamonitorsarecapableofveryhighluminancereadingsfromsmallarea100%white windows(over180cd/m2or52ftL),theirgammaperformanceisnotstableatsuchhigh brightnesslevels. Agoodtargetisapeaksmallareabrightnessreadingof100cd/m2,whichisequivalentto29.23 ftL.Thecolorimeterissettotakeasimpleluminancereading,andasmallarea100%whitetest patternisusedtosetpeakbrightness.NotethatthemonitorsPicture(Contrast)adjustmentis usedhere,nottheBrightness(blacklevel)adjustment. Although100cd/m2isausefullevel,plasmamonitorsarecapableofhigherpeakbrightness levelswhilemaintainingstablegammaperformance.Inpractice,amaximumbrightnessvalueof 120to130cd/m2canbeused(35to38ftL)beforegammaperformancebeginstosuffer. However,thispeakbrightnesslevelismuchhigherthanthatrecommendedforprofessional videomonitorsbystandardsorganizationssuchasSMPTE.

Figure5.PLUGEpattern,showinglogarithmicgrayscale(right)and5%whitebar(left).

AdjustingDynamicRangeBlackLevel Thenextstepistosetthedisplaysblacklevel.ThisisdonewiththeBrightness(blacklevel) adjustmentandasuitabletestpatternthatconformstotheblacksetuplevelofthecontent beingdisplayed.Blackcanbeseteitherat0IRE(0ona0255RGBscale),or7.5IRE(16ona0 255RGBscale). APLUGEtestpatternisgenerallyusedtosetblacklevel.Thispatternconsistsofafourstep logarithmicgrayscaleontheright,andtwoblackbarsthatrepresentlevelsaboveblackthat measure2.5and5%,respectively,whengeneratedfromanRGBvideocard. Whenoriginatingfromatruevideopatterngenerator,the2.5%barisactuallybelowblack,as thevalueofvideoblackis7.5IRE.Sotheblacksettingonyourplasmamonitorisdependenton yourvideo/RGBsourceandthevalueofblacksetup.

Notethatthewhite(contrast)settingisnottouchedduringthispartofthecalibration.What youaredoingissettingtheupperandlowerlimitsofthemonitorsdynamicrange,i.e.the lowestlevelofblackandthehighestlevelofwhite.Makesurethatanyimageenhancements areturnedOFFintheimageadjustmentmenu,suchasdynamiccontrastandpictureAGC.These willcausethelevelsofblackandwhitetovarydynamicallywithcontent. MeasuringDynamicRangeAndGamma Atthispoint,itsagoodideatomeasurethedynamicrangeandgammaoftheplasmamonitor. Thiscanbedonein10IREstepswithsoftwarethatplotstheresultinggammacurves automatically.Theresultingplotwillshowthelowestluminancelevel(black),thehighestlevel (white),andhowthedisplaycomesoutofblack.SoftwaresuchasColorFactswillhavewizard applicationstoruntheemeasurementsautomatically. ThegoalisemulatetheperformanceofCRTsandcomeascloselyaspossibletostandard gammacurves,suchas2.2forvideoand2.6fordigitalcinema.Althoughindividualgamma correctionforred,green,andbluechannelsisnotincludedinthestandardpicturemenu, adjustingtheblacklevelsettingincombinationwithoneofthegammapresetswillresultina slightlysteeperorshallowerclimboutofblack.

Figure6.LuminancehistogramforaTH42PF11UK,aftercalibration.Gammacalculatesto2.22.

Theresultinggammacurvesshouldarccorrectlytowardswhitewithnoevidenceofclippingor whitecrush.Ifeitherisseen,thecontractcontrolmustbeturnedbacktoreducepeak brightness.Then,runagrayscalestepmeasurementseriesagaintoverifyconsistentgamma performance. Onceasatisfactorygammacurve(orcurves)hasbeenachieved,thenextstepistoadjustthe colorofwhite.

CalibrationOfColorTemperature OnCRTmonitors,thereareusuallytwosetsofcontrolsforadjustingcolortemperature.Oneset controlsindividualgain(contrast)forthered,green,andbluechannels,whiletheotherset controlsbias(cut)forred,green,andblue.Gain(orHigh)isusedtomakeadjustmentsinthe upperendofthegrayscale(40100IRE),whilebias(orLow)isusedbelow40IRE. Becauseplasmausesapulsewidthswitchingmodetocreateimages,therereallyarentany gainandbiascontrolsperse.Instead,thereareHighandLowsettingsforeachprimarycolor. Pictureinformationisreproducedonaplasmadisplaybytheuseofsubfieldaddressing,even thoughthevoltagesintheprimingcharge,addressing,sustain,andclearingcyclesremain constant. Asaresult,theLowadjustmenthasmuchlessofaneffectthantheHighadjustmentforeach primarycolor.Evenso,itsstillpossibletogetconsistenttrackingofaspecificcolortemperature justaboveblacktofullwhite,withavariationof250Kelvinfrom20IREto100IREnotunusual. ThisperformanceisconsistentwithevaluationgradeCRTmonitors.

Figure7.Smallareawindowsat20IRE(left)and80IRE(right).

SettingHighColorTemperatureValues Tostart,selectanearwhitesmallareawindow,suchasa70or80IREpattern.Attachthe sensortothescreensoitiscenteredinthewindow.Next,launchthecolorimetersoftwarethat readsoutx,ycoordinatesforthecolorofwhite,using6500Kasthetargetvalue.Setthecolor temperatureontheplasmamonitortoNormalasastartingpointthiswillrunalittleonthe coldside,above7000Kelvin. Watchingasthecolortemperaturereadingupdatescontinuously,adjusttheHighcontrolsfor red,green,andblueindividuallytocomeascloseaspossibletothedesiredlocusof.313xand .329y.Therewillbesomeinteractionbetweenthesedriveadjustments. ItsalsoveryhelpfultorunanRGBlevelhistogramsimultaneouslywhilemakingthese adjustments.Thehistogramwillshowthelevelsofred,green,andbluechangeasyoumake adjustmentstothewhitepoint.Thismakestheprocessmoreintuitive.

Figure8.ColortemperaturehistogramforaTH42PF11UK,showingRGBlevelsacrossthegrayscale.

SettingLowColorTemperatureValues OnceyouhavecalibratedtheHighsettings,switchtoa20or30IREsmallareawindowand repeattheprocess,thistimeusingtheLowadjustcontrolsforred,green,andblue.Notethat youwilllikelyseemuchwiderswingsincolortemperaturewithincrementaladjustmentsto eachcolorchannel.Thisisnormal.YoumaynotbeabletogetasclosetoD6500inLowmodes asyoucanwithHighsettings. Onceagain,anRGBlevelshistogramwillmovethisprocessalongmuchmorequickly.Itwillalso preventyoufrommakingerroneous,grosscorrectionstooneormorecolorchannelsasyou worktowardsaneutralgrayvalue.Also,thetwosetsofcontrolswillinteractwitheachother, andyouwillprobablyseethatyourHighsettingswillneedtobeadjustedagainafteryouhave calibratedtheRGBLowsettings. MeasuringColorTemperature(Grayscale)Tracking Afteryouhavecompletedyouradjustments,runagrayscaletrackingwizardtoseejusthow closelyyourplasmamonitortracksto6500K.Youcanalsodothisstepbystep,startingatblack (typically7.5IREonmostgenerators)andmovingto10IRE,thenupto100IREin10IREsteps. Someprogramswillplotgamma,colortemperaturetracks,andRGBhistogramsforyou,allat thesametime. Ifyouaresatisfiedwiththeresults,youcanmovetoanotherimagepresetmodethatyoud calibratedforadifferentgammacurve,andrepeattheHighLowRGBadjustmentprocess.Dont besurprisedtoseelargeshiftsincolortemperatureatbothendsofthegrayscale,asyouselect differentgammasettings. Saveyoursettingsaftercompletion.Theywillberetainedinmemoryevenafterthedisplayis powereddown.Itsalsoagoodideatowritedownyoursettingsandkeepthemwiththe ownersmanual.Ifyourcolorimeterchartscanbeprintedout,makeacolorcopyandkeep thoseonhandforreferencewhendoingfuturecalibrations.

Figure9.Acolortemperaturehistogram(white)foraTH42PF11UK,overlaidonthedesired6500Ktargetline.

CalibrationForVideoInputs ThiscalibrationinvolvessettingcolorsaturationandhueforSDandHDinputsignals.Nitethat hueadjustmentsmaynotbepossiblewithdigitalinputs,suchasSDI,HDSDI,andDVI/HDMI. Youwillneedacolorbartestpatterntomakethisadjustment.Connectthetestpattern generatortotheinputyouwanttouse,inthesameanalogordigitalsignalformat.Also,match theresolutionoftestpatterngeneratortothatoftheinputsignalsyouwillbeconnectingtothis input. Bringupthecolorbartestpattern.Lookingthroughabluefilter,adjusttheplasmamonitors colorsaturationcontroluntilthelongandshortwhiteandbluebarsegmentsexhibituniform intensityfromtoptobottom.Next,adjustthehuecontroluntiltheshortandlongmagentaand cyanbarsegmentsareequalinintensity. Atthispoint,thesaturationandhuelevelsaresetcorrectly.Notethatthesearedifferent adjustmentsthanthosemadeforcolortemperatureandwhitebalance.

Figure10.Fullcolorbarpattern(left)andcolorsaturationandhueadjustmentbarshighlighted(right).

Figure11.Outlinedareasshowbarstoadjustforcolorsaturation(left)andhue(right).Whensetcorrectly,the saturationandhuebarswillhavethesameintensityfromtoptobottom.

AdditionalMeasurementsAndCalibrations Contrast:Usingacheckerboardpattern,youcantakeanANSI(average)contrastreadingand calculatearealisticintrascenecontrastratio.Logtheeightwhitesquarereadings;addthem, andthentaketheaverage.Repeatthisprocessfortheeightblacksquares.Notethattheblack readingswilltakelonger,duetothelowersensitivityofthemeasuringinstrument. Now,dividetheaverageblackreadingintotheaveragewhitereadingtodeterminetheANSI contrastratio.Youcanalsocalculateapeakintrascenecontrastratiobydividingthelowest blackreadingintothehighestwhitereading. Ifa50/50white/blacktestpatternisavailable,youcancalculatepeakcontrastthatway.Takea measurementnearthecenteronthewhiteside,andthenrepeatontheblackside.Dividethe blackintothewhitefortheresults.Sequentialcontrastreadingsinvolvemeasuringaquiescent screen(poweredon,butnosignalpresent)andthena100%white,smallareawindow.Divide theblackreadingintothewhitereadingtogetasequentialcontrastcalculation.

Figure10.A16blockcheckerboardcontrasttestpattern,showingmeasuringpoints.

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Tip:Whenmeasuringlevelsofblackandalsowhenrunningagrayscalewizardseriesto determinegammaperformance,RGBhistogram,andgrayscaletracking,makesurethatambient lightiskeptawayfromthesensorasmuchaspossible.Onewaytodothisistodrapethefront ofscreenwithlightabsorbent,largelyopaquematerial,suchasthickvelvetstipplefabric.Cover theentirescreenandthecolorimetersensor,thentakeyourreadings. FrequencyResponse:Youcanusealuminancemultiburstpatterntocheckfrequencyresponse upto1920x1080pixels.Thiswillusuallyinvolveapatternwithafrequencyabove30MHz.It mayalsobeoneofanytestpatternsthatstartatlowerfrequenciesandmoveupwards.Thefine delineationsbetweentheblackandwhitetransitionsshouldbevisibleatthisfrequency, particularlywhenusingadigitalvideosignalinterface(SDI,DVI,HDMI). Tip:Makesuretheplasmamonitorisinpixelbypixel(1:1)modebeforecheckingfrequency responsewitha1920x1080testsignal.Otherwise,themultibursttestpatternwillnotappear correctly.

Figure11.Luminancemultiburstpatterns,showingfullfrequencyresponse(top)andhighfrequencyrolloff(bottom).

BrightnessAndColorTemperatureUniformity:Youcanmeasuretheconsistencyofboth brightnessandcolortemperatureacrossyourscreenwithacolorimeter.Takemeasurements withafullwhitetestpattern,allowingaboutfiveminutesforanyAGCcircuitrytosettle.Divide thescreenintonineimaginarysectionsandtakeacombinedluminanceandcolortemperature readingineach. Addthereadingsanddeterminetheaverageofall.Dividethatbythebrightestreading,whichis usuallythecenterreading.Theresultwillbeafraction(lessthan1),typicallyinthehigh90% range. Nowsubtractthelowestcolortemperaturereadingfromthehighesttomeasurethetotalshift acrossafullwhitescreen.Thisshiftshouldmeasurelessthan250Kelvin.Eachtimeyou recalibratethemonitor,runanotherseriesofninecombinedbrightnessandcolortemperature uniformityreadingstocheckforexcessivedifferentialagingofthephosphors.Whenoperatedat normalbrightnesslevels,thephosphorsshouldageataconsistentrateacrossthescreen. Tip:Itisnormalformanyimageadjustmentstointeractwitheachother.Thiseffectismost pronouncedwhenadjustingred,green,andblueHighandLowsettings,butyoumayalsosee interactionbetweencontrastandbrightnessadjustments,particularlywhensettingblacklevels andmeasuringgammacurves.

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