ColorEyes Display Pro
Simon Baker, 4 March 2010


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It's been a while since we took a look at any monitor calibration devices but in the past we have reviewed software and packages from LaCie, X-rite and popular models from the Pantone and Spyder series. We've also taken a look at some specific calibration software such as Samsung's Natural Color Expert and NEC's SpectraView II. This time around we wanted to take a look at a piece of calibration software from Integrated Color Corporation which has been talked about a fair bit across the net, that being ColorEyes Display Pro.

While ColorEyes can be provided with a hardware device in a package, the software is aimed at anyone who has a mainstream colorimeter already, simply being a piece of software for calibrating your screen and even testing colour accuracy and results. The software works with most colorimeters and spectrophotometers on the market today, meaning users can simply upgrade their current software rather than purchasing additional hardware. And, with the addition of support for Apple monitors, ColorEyes Display Pro fits into virtually any workflow. We wanted to see what this software package had to offer and how effective it was in producing decent results in practice.

Their website states: "Created by ICS, the makers of Remote Director, the industry’s most sophisticated remote proofing system, in cooperation with Integrated Color, ColorEyes Display Pro continues to be on the cutting edge of the science of monitor calibration."


Package Contents

The ColorEyes software itself is a simple download of about 30.5Mb and they even offer a full 10-day trial for free via the website. If you like the software you can purchase a key and simply activate your installaiton. Nice to see they have some faith in their product and are willing to offer a free trial with no obligation. Thankfully the software is also not full of adverts or pop-ups, just a genuine fully working version for 10 days.

You can purchase the software from their online store at a cost of $175 USD for the download of $185 for a disc hard copy. They also offer bundled packages with a hardware colorimeter with options available to include the X-rite DTP-94 or Spyder3 device at an extra cost as shown below (prices correct as of time of publishing)

Software Download

Disc Software

Bundle with DTP-94

Bundle wth Spyder3

DTP-94 Device only

Spyder3 Device only


Calibration Methods

The aim of this review is really to discover how effective the ColorEyes Display Pro software is at calibrating monitors. We will be pairing the device with the X-rite i1 Display 2 hardware colorimeter (as provided with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro package) so we know the hardware is of a very high standard. Results may vary if used with a different device, but we are looking at the potential of the software here and its standard.

We shall use the highly regarded and effective LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package as a control in these tests. This will allow us to verify and compare the results of the calibration process. I will use the reporting feature of LaCie's software, which will show us several things, including luminance, gamma and colour temperature values reached by calibration. Perhaps most importantly, it will also show us the DeltaE (dE94) values for 16 colour shades, helping to show us how accurate the colours shown on the screen are. While the ColorEyes software does include its own test and report feature, we will use LaCie's as well for comparative purposes.


Initial Control Tests

The calibration process and tests will be conducted on the Dell 2405FPW display, and we will use the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software as a control. First of all, I calibrated the screen with LaCie's device and software to get an idea of what was achievable with this screen and their package. The calibrated results are shown below:


Dell 2405FPW - Calibrated Results



LaCie Blue Eye Pro Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


During the calibration process, the RGB settings in the OSD were altered to 14, 34 and 28 respectively, and brightness / contrast were set at 35% and 50% respectively. The automatic calibration process alters values at a graphics card Look Up Table (LUT) level and produces the above report to validate the results. On the left hand side the CIE diagram shows a triangle representing the monitors colour space, its gamut. In this case the Dell 2405FPW covers pretty much the sRGB colour space and represents a coverage of about 72% of the NTSC colour space. Most modern displays offer enhanced W-CCFL backlighting capable of offering a larger colour space, typically covering 92% or more of the NTSC gamut.

Below the CIE diagram the gamma, colour temperature and luminance of the screen are shown in turn. We aim for a gamma value of 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors, and the standard for the Windows operating system and the Internet-standard sRGB colour space. After calibration, the screen matches this within 1% deviation. The colour temperature we aspire to is 6500k, the temperature of 'day light'. The screen is correctly calibrated to 6517k, less than 1% variation from the desired value. Lastly we aim for a luminance of 120 cd/m2 which is the recommended luminance for an LCD display in normal lighting conditions. Again, the screen is corrected within 1% of this luminance, and is calibrated to 119 cd/m2. Black depth was also recorded at a decent level of 0.18 cd/m2 and this gave a static contrast ratio of 661:1.

The graph on the right shows the DeltaE (dE94) values for colours tested by the LaCie Blue Eye Pro. This shows us how accurate the colour shown on the screen is, compared with the colour being requested. As a reminder, the lower these bars down the Y-axis, the better, in terms of colour accuracy. For reference, LaCie describe the DeltaE readings as:

  • If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer.

  • If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable.

  • If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.

After calibration, the Dell 2405FPW showed very good colour accuracy with an average DeltaE of only 0.4, and a maximum of 1.0. LaCie would consider the colour fidelity to be excellent.


So the above shows what the screen is capable of with correct calibration. I then returned the screen and graphics card to their default settings and tested again. The RGB levels in the 'user' menu of the OSD colour control were now all set at 50, and the ICC profile created during our initial calibration was discarded. Brightness in the OSD was also now back at a level of 50%.

Dell 2405FPW -
Default Settings


Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


At default settings, the performance of the screen was far from ideal! Gamma was poorly adjusted to 1.7, colour temperature was recorded as 4958k and luminance was too high at 202 cd/m2. With a black depth of 0.20 cd/m2, this gave a contrast ratio of 1010:1 at least, which was even a little over the specified 1000:1 for this display.

The DeltaE graph shows that colour accuracy was now very poor, with an average dE of 6.3 and a maximum of 9.9. Clearly the screen is capable of so much more, but this goes to show you need correct calibration to achieve it. Let's see how successful calibration with the ColorEyes software is.


Options and Settings

When you first load the software up you are presented with the options to buy, activate or run the demo. The free demo lasts 10 days and is fully functional. You need to purchase a key from their online store if you want to activate the product.

The software takes around 15 seconds to load up while it checks compatibility and various monitor options as shown above.

When the software loads up you are presented with a settings panel down the left hand side as shown here (left). Clicking on each of the blue links takes you to a settings window where you can change relevant options.

You can select which sensor you want to use with the software, and as you can see we are using the EyeOne Display2 device here. Other options are available via the drop down box (below).

Once you have selected the hardware device you are using, you can enter into all the other settings and targets which we will talk through briefly below.

Within the application set-up section there are several options available which you can either progress through them one by one as shown above, or use the built in "guided tour" function which gives you some background information and guidance as you go through.

You can select some more advanced features such as whether you want to use an ICC profile v2 or v4, and whether you want to create a LUT calibration (of the graphics card, at 16-bit accuracy) or of the matrix itself if the monitor supports hardware calibration.

Within the hardware set-up section you need to define your target settings for calibration and validation. This includes colour temperature, luminance, gamma and black point. You can export these settings if you want for use on multiple machines or just to back them up.

Within the profile evaluation the program tells you which profile is currently active (if any) and provides you options to validate (which we will come onto in a bit). There is also a tracking section which allows you to track luminance and colour accuracy results over a given time period if you want.

All in all there seemed to be a decent amount of settings available, but not as many as some very detailed packages like BasICColor offer. There was certainly enough to carry out (hopefully) accurate calibration and define your settings. It was also good to see a validation function within the software to test the results and provide dE information. That's not something available in every bit of software.


The Calibration Process

Following the 'profile now' option takes you into the automated calibration process. It should be noted that at no point does it ask you or guide you to make any changes within the OSD menu. For this process the settings of the screen itself were still at default and the calibration would carry out all testing and profiling at a graphics card LUT level. You might want to consider altering your screens OSD brightness setting to a 'sensible' figure as a starting point though, since if you have it set high the backlight intensity is at a higher setting resulting in more heat output and power consumption.

You're asked to place the colorimeter on the screen over the profiling area which looks like the above image. The diagrams on the right show the currently active gamma curves associated with the graphics card LUT and the monitor LUT. In this example, only the graphics card LUT can be adjusted but it is first restored to a default setting before anything happens (mine was already at default from our previous test).

The software then automatically progresses with the colour area changing between various shades of grey, before then showing a red, blue and green colour. The whole process takes a reasonably long time of about 7 minutes in total.


Testing The Success Of The Calibration

After the automated calibration is complete it produces the below validation report:

At the end, the verification program launches to confirm the results which are shown above. A dE figure is given as an average and maximum. A graph provides a nice visual validation as well, along with the detailed values for each colour patch if you want to see it.

If you go into the 'current system profile' section you are also given some details about the ICC profile which the process creates for you and it confirmed the target points reached for colour temperature, gamma, luminance and black point. This confirms black point at 0.211 cd/m2 which was the only setting we didn't 'define' as such at the starting point, merely specifying 'minimum' as a target. In this result, contrast ratio would be 569:1. For those who want to try the profile out, we have saved our ColorEyes calibrated Dell 2405FPW profile in our ICC profile database (usual caveats apply if you use it).

This result was quite pleasing really, with ColourEyes software stating that it has successfully reduced average dE down to 0.68 and maximum is only 2.0. Overall, colour fidelity would be classified as excellent by LaCie. Let's see how our control test with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software looks. I left everything as it was, but simply used LaCie's report and test function to validate the success from a control point of view:

Dell 2405FPW - ColorEyes Calibrated Results


ColorEyes Display Pro Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


The result was again pretty impressive. Gamma was slightly off at 2.1, but still within 4% of the target setting. Colour temperature and luminance were corrected nicely, and this was without any OSD adjustments as well. Black depth was 0.21 as a result giving a contrast ratio of 567:1. Colour accuracy was also vastly improved compared with default screen settings, with the ColorEyes calibration reducing average dE from 6.3 to 1.0 and the max from 9.9 to 1.7. LaCie would classify the colour fidelity to be very good here and a great improvement over default settings.

The results were pleasing, although the colour accuracy was not quite as good as when calibrated with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software (dE average 0.4, maximum 1.0).



Overall the software was pretty effective and certainly very easy to set up and operate. There was a decent amount of settings and options to chose from, and the 'guided tour' was useful for those who need a bit of explanation of each area if they are new to calibration. I felt the actual profiling was a little lacking as it would have been useful if it was able to guide you through optimal OSD settings as a starting point, particularly for brightness control. You certainly wouldn't want to leave a screen at 100% brightness for instance which is how many are set up as default. The process also took a little too long for my liking but at least it's automated and you can leave it to it.

The results were actually very good, with a decent correction of gamma, luminance and colour temperature. Colour accuracy was also corrected very nicely, although not quite to the degree of some other high end software. Still, more than enough for most users I'm sure. The test and report feature is also useful to validate the calibration and something which is not always included in calibration software. Remember that this test was carried out with a high end hardware device, so if using it with something of a lower quality like the Spyder3, you may find results are not as good.

In regards to price, the $175 for just the software seemed a little steep to me, although the 10-day trial was nice to see and very generous. Packaged with the Spyder3 for $299 it was approx $50 more expensive than DataColor's Spyder3Elite package which seemed reasonable, but it would have been nice to have seen a package with the EyeOne Display 2 as well perhaps.




Easy to follow and set up

No guidance on OSD adjustments offered

Good correction of gamma, luminance, colour temp and colour accuracy

Calibration process takes a considerable amount of time

Automated profiling and reported

Slightly less accurate results than some other software packages



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