Originally Posted by QuantumPion
Hmm that is interesting, although I'm not totally convinced. Early professional reviews of the monitor praised it for having an accurate 2.2 sRBG gamma calibration, and many owners say the gamma calibration is just fine. Did they suddenly change the design at some point?
I've never heard of the BT.1886 standard until now. Regardless, that default, uncalibrated, low gamma of these Swifts looks like utter garbage. You don't have to worry about crushing blacks because with a gamma that low, there aren't any blacks or shadows anyway. Everything is super bright, washed out, and unnatural looking. I have a very hard time believing that this is intended.
question - is there something you have to do on the software/driver/OS side to accommodate a BT.1886 gamma curve? Maybe this is why I was having very bad black crush/loss of dark detail with my Swift when I adjusted the gamma back to 2.2.
Here is a good explination of BT.1886
from SpectraCAL. Notice how shades near black are much brighter for BT.1886 in their example?
Also here is a measurement of the gamma on my Swift (contrast set to 49) which I think has a washed out look relative to a display calibrated with some black crush (using a 2.2 pure power gamma) or a display with a lower black level but I also know it is close to correct for a BT.1886 like 2.2 gamma curve on a display with this black level. I think Asus really should have used real BT.1886 (2.4) as that would look better to most and that is the spec but I bet they wanted the reports of "perfect 2.2" instead of reviewers needing to explain why it measured average 2.4. Also movies (bluray) reference a 2.4 (now at least) but games still target who knows what.
Cyan is the average gamma (what reviews report - a near perfect 2.22), Yellow is the measured gamma, and Gray is the reference.
It is possible your displays have been bad in some way but I think it is much more likely you don't like the BT.1886 like 2.2 gamma as it does look washed out compared to a pure power gamma. You can "see in the dark" better in games where that helps which I believe is why Asus used it. The black crush is expected if you use a pure power as well. I noticed it calibrating my Swift to pure power, even calibrating to a real BT.1886 2.4 caused slight black crush.
Do you have the brightness set above ~35? If you need it that high it might be part of the issue, I believe ~25 is a sweet spot for brightness on the Swift as the calibration is better near there but the screen isn't very bright (~130 cd/m²).
Edit: You have to have black crush calibrating the Swift to pure power 2.2 using a profile. You can only send 255 shades of gray to the monitor from the video card. If sending the monitor RGB(1,1,1) causes it to display a gray that you want to be displayed when the GPU receives (10,10,10) every value below (10,10,10) will be black. You cannot tell the monitor to display a gray between what it displays at (0,0,0) and (1,1,1) or 1s and 2s, etc. The only way to make the grays at 10-50 darker is to "steal" steps below them. This is also why you usually get some banding with a profile, you can do spacial and/or temporal dithering to prevent banding but you cannot do anything about black crush. Asus could calibrate to something else in the factory where they have a lot more steps to use but we are limited by the 8-bit per color communication between the GPU and the monitor.Edited by Asmodian - 1/11/15 at 12:33am