Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Conference paper

On the color calibration of liquid crystal displays


For more than a decade the Image Applications department at IBM's Watson Research Center has been involved in cultural and commercial imaging projects that demand high-fidelity color reproduction of precious objects like paintings, illuminated manuscripts or jewelry. Our primary display media have been high-resolution cathode ray tubes (CRT), but for the last three years our customers have been replacing them with liquid crystal displays (LCD). The color calibration model we have been using for the CRT is the one described in the literature. It assumes that the chromas of the primaries are independent of intensity, that the colors produced from them are additive and that the intensity of black is almost zero. We measured several models of LCDs and observed that they poorly satisfied these assumptions at medium to low intensities. This becomes noticeable if the image has dark areas or if the display is viewed under a weak ambient light. In this paper, we use a modified version of the CRT model to calibrate the LCD. First we measure four sets of red, green, blue and gray patches. Then we determine the correction factors needed to make, at each level, the sum of the primaries equal to the corresponding gray. Finally, we use these factors to modify the data of red, green and blue.