Friday, November 11, 2011

REVIEW: NEC SpectraSensor Pro (powered by X-Rite)

NEC SpectraSensor Pro
NEC SpectraSensor Pro

The NEC SpectraSensor Pro is a specialized version of the i1Display Pro that was built in conjunction with NEC to calibrate their wide gamut displays (like the PA Series 24, 27 and 30” models). You can actually use this, a ColorMunki Photo, ColorMunki Display, i1Display Pro or other wide gamut calibration devices to calibrate your NEC monitors, but this is the new NEC version that was tested to work specifically with NEC monitors.

It is important to note that some monitors like the NEC PA Series have what is called a LUT (look up table) where the calibration information is stored. As a result you MUST use the NEC SpectraView II software to calibrate this display, as that is the only calibration software that can program the LUT in this display. Click here to learn more.

This is a replacement for the older calibration devices by NEC which also supported wide gamut color and could program the LUT, but was less accurate than this newer device. If you old the device or other supported devices, then you only need to make sure that you have the latest version of SpectraView II (recently updated to support Lion).

Use with SpectraView II


When using this sensor with the latest SpectraView II,
Choose XRite iOne Display Pro (I1D3) as your sensor type

If you are using SpectraView II then you should go to the NEC web site an install the latest version. Once you do, you’ll need to choose the new sensor type called “XRite iOne Display Pro (i1D3)”.

Recommendation for new NEC display buyers

If you are buying a new NEC display and don’t have a calibration device, then I recommend you get this or a ColorMunki Photo (a spectrophotometer for print soft proofing). I DO NOT recommend that you get the discontinued bundle that features the older NEC calibration device.

UPDATE: NEC tells me that going forward, all SpectraView bundles will contain the new sensor (even if web sites show the old sensor on their photos). If you should end up with an old sensor at this point, I wouldn’t worry too much. The old ones will work fine and feel more substantial than the new ones, so all you really lose is compactness from what I can tell.

More NEC Related Content

Disclosure

I was given an evaluation copy of this device to test with my NEC PA241W. My display was purchased from B&H at full market prices (i.e., no discount) BEFORE I had established any marketing contact with NEC.

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11 comments:

Bronx Prof. said...

Unfortunately, your review of the Nec Spectra Sensor Pro came out a week after I had ordered the bundle from Mac Mall. I had no idea that it had been discontinued. Should I spend the extra $200 for the new calibrator rather than use the discontinued one which came with the monitor? How much of a difference is there in accuracy?

Ron Martinsen said...

Hi Bronx Prof,

I updated the article to address your concern. I can't tell any difference in performance - only in compactness. If anything, I'd say the old ones seem to be more sturdy.

Gianluca said...

Hi.

1) Which difference is there between Nec SpectraSensor Pro and X-Rite i1 Display Pro (no branded version)? Is the same for calibrating NEC PA Series?

2) Does Nec Spectrasensor have plastic support to calibrate projector?

3) Is branded Nec version compatible with X-Rite software i1 Profiler as a standard i1 Display Pro? Do they have same firmware?

Ron Martinsen said...

Gianluca,

You should contact NEC for the final word, but it's my understanding that to the operating system this unit and the i1 Display Pro are identical.

2 - I'm not sure what you are asking here. From what came in my boxes they are identical.

3 - In theory they should be interchangible, but it could be "unsupported". You should only use NEC Specatraview software to calibrate your NEC display. See my choosing a calibration device article (link in the top right of my blog).

Ron

Gianluca said...

I red your article. So did you have better DeltaE with X-Rite Display Pro than Spectra Sensor Pro with Spectraview II and PA 241W?

What a surprise!!

Ron Martinsen said...

Gianluca,

Honestly they were close enough between the two it could have just been an issue with the monitor being warmer for one than the other, or just a standard manufacturing variance. I use whichever one is closer to me at the time I need to calibrate, so I wouldn't say one is better or worse than the other.

X-Rite makes them both.

Gianluca said...

I calibrate my NEC PA 271W with Colormunki Photo (spectro) and Spectraview II software. I have similar DeltaE in White Point Panel you had with ColorMunki and PA 241W. Can you tell me your Delta E94 of Grayscale in Spectraview II (max, average, including dark values) with X-Rite Display Pro?
Ii seems new X-Rite Display is better just about reading dark patches.

Ron Martinsen said...

Gianluca, I think you'll find this article helpful:

http://www.ronmartblog.com/2012/01/choosing-right-display-calibration.html

I don't have any other screen shots of any Delta E values beyond those, and I'm not able to generate them for you at this time.

Gianluca said...

I bought new X-Rite i1 Display Pro.

I have NEC PA271W. With BasicColor Display 5 I have better DeltaE than Spectraview II, but Basiccolor does a hard/soft calibration and doesn't have access to internal LUT 3D as Spectraview II. Which one do you think is better?

Spectraview II

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/8490/20120626012032.jpg

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/7157/20120626012046.jpg

BasicColor Display 5

http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/5935/20120626192444.jpg

Ron Martinsen said...

Sadly, the only product that can program NEC's LUT's is SpectraView II, so if you want a proper calibration it's your only choice.

I've heard of some calibrating the NEC display and then "double-calibrating" by using a ICC calibration product (like BasicColor Display 5) and being happy with the results, but I don't recommend it.

I only do hardware calibration on my displays that support it, and sadly NEC SpectraView II is the only game in town if you want to do that.

This is one area where Eizo has an edge because they have a public API so third party companies like X-Rite can program their LUT directly.

Gianluca said...

Ok Thanks. I will do as you said me.

I tried to set Colorcomp at minimum ( I had at maximum) and I obtained better DeltaE in grayscale and better black level