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A Billion Colors: HP's DreamColor Monitor

A Billion Colors: HP's DreamColor Monitor
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Spend too much time thinking about color, and you might start to wax philosophical: Does your eye perceive that shade of blue exactly the same as my eye?

But professionals in the graphic design, film, and advertising industries consider the question a little more pragmatically: Does your monitor render that shade of blue exactly the same as my monitor?

Often times, the answer is an obvious “no,” as monitors, projectors and print-outs display what’s supposed to be the same color as a myriad of hues, causing uncertainty about how a finished product will look.

The state of the art in color-matching technologies used to be CRT, but no cutting-edge creative firm wants to stick with those big honking monitors when consumers and non-design firm professionals get to place slim LCDs on their desks. Big-budgeted firms can afford to invest in extremely high-end color-calibrated monitors (which often cost up to 5 digits), but most can’t. And so they deal with mismatching colors with somewhat useful software solutions and a lot of patience.

But one firm, DreamWorks Animation, decided it didn’t want to put up with any of the above scenarios, and so enlisted its technology partner Hewlett-Packard to come up with a lower-budgeted color-accurate monitor that it could deploy across 200 different corporate departments. Nearly two years later HP’s offering - the billion-color boasting, 24" DreamColor LP2480zx - debuts for $3,499.

This price means the monitor won’t end up on any consumer desktops other than the most committed amateur photographers, film-makers, and Web designers. But it may bring relief from color-rendering anxiety to “pro-sumers” — the breed of tech enthusiast who tries to earn some cash on the side for her hobby — and small to mid-sized companies. And eventually, HP insists, some of the monitor’s capabilities may trickle down into consumer-friendly products.

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  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2008 4:38 PM
    So they have more colors than the rainbow - nice. Can they do anything about the world's ugliest bases for their displays? I had an HP 2015 - beautiful picture - had to buy a wall mount because of the horrid looking base. It looks like a footprint from bigfoot. AARGH!
  • 0 Hide
    avenvy , June 10, 2008 5:31 PM
    Could you shed a little more light on the ATI card used for the demo? Is the card from ATI's consumer Radeon lineup or their professional FireGL line? What interconnect was used between the video card and monitor (DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI?) Are you aware of any Nvidia cards that support 10-bit color output? Is 10-bit color supported in Windows Vista (were they running vista for this demo?) and/or by the ATI drivers so that, assuming I have a 10-bit capable video card, display, and am using the proper interconnect, do I now get a 30-bit color option in Catalyst Control Center? Sorry for the bombardment of questions! I've recently been researching this exact topic but am still unclear on exactly what is required to get 10-bit color out of Vista (or if it is even possible).
  • 0 Hide
    duxducis , June 11, 2008 3:21 AM
    Most likely ATI FireGL V8600

    "The second peculiarity is the support of 10-bit color instead of the standard 8-bit. This expansion of color space is used primarily in medical applications that lack gray gradients for tomography and x-ray visualizations. For these particular cases AMD offers 10-bit color representation and 1024 gray gradients instead of the standard 256."

    i didn't knew it did anything for color tho.
    as stated the demo that was shown was about Gray colors
  • 0 Hide
    duxducis , June 11, 2008 3:21 AM
    Most likely ATI FireGL V8600

    "The second peculiarity is the support of 10-bit color instead of the standard 8-bit. This expansion of color space is used primarily in medical applications that lack gray gradients for tomography and x-ray visualizations. For these particular cases AMD offers 10-bit color representation and 1024 gray gradients instead of the standard 256."

    i didn't knew it did anything for color tho.
    as stated the demo that was shown was about Gray colors
  • 0 Hide
    duxducis , June 11, 2008 3:21 AM
    Most likely ATI FireGL V8600

    "The second peculiarity is the support of 10-bit color instead of the standard 8-bit. This expansion of color space is used primarily in medical applications that lack gray gradients for tomography and x-ray visualizations. For these particular cases AMD offers 10-bit color representation and 1024 gray gradients instead of the standard 256."

    i didn't knew it did anything for color tho.
    as stated the demo that was shown was about Gray colors
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 21, 2008 8:35 PM
    Does anyone know what system and software is running in the photo on page 1 (with the panda)?
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , October 22, 2008 12:35 AM
    wonderful monitor connected to a POS system. makes no sense to me. APPLE needs to buy the patent for this one and connected to their system :)  just imagine how sweet it would be to have a 30 inch cinema display with this technology, wow.
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