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-   -   GUIDE: Display control via Windows! Brightness, contrast, etc. (DDC/CI) (https://www.overclock.net/forum/44-monitors-displays/1262322-guide-display-control-via-windows-brightness-contrast-etc-ddc-ci.html)

HothBase 05-27-2012 06:47 AM

Ever wanted to have laptop-like control over your desktop monitor from inside the OS? This might be the guide for you.

A lot of monitors out there today support a really neat feature called DDC/CI, but not many people have ever heard of it, let alone know what it's for.
DDC/CI stands for Display Data Channel Command Interface and basically allows monitor control via the graphics card.
This is not like the software methods in your GPU control panel that just darken/brighten the image. With this approach, you're actually communicating with your monitor.
Wikipedia has a few lines DDC/CI it, I'll just leave it at that.

Please note that this guide will only work on DDC/CI enabled monitors. Most monitors do support this, but not all of them.

How to use it:
The reason why you've probably never heard of DDC/CI, even though your monitor is fully compatible, seems to be that manufacturers* are simply too lazy to develop the software for it. Fortunately the Internet is at our disposal here, though there isn't a lot to choose from and most apps feel outdated, clunky or just too complicated.

ScreenBright is according to my experience the best alternative out there. It's free, less than 1MB in size, and it's what I'll be using for this guide.
Edit: Site has been taken down, so here's an alternative download source: [Softpedia] ScreenBright

It's a really simple application that might not look like much, but let's not pass judgment just yet.

Taking full advantage of the features:
The graphical user interface is pretty straightforward. At a glance, it probably doesn't seem to be better than simply pressing the buttons on your monitor.

Hang on, here comes the good part; it supports command line arguments!
What that means, is that you can create custom one-click "profile" shortcuts that can be stuck to your taskbar or bound to a keyboard macro, etc!

For those who don't know how to add custom toolbars to the taskbar, check this guide.

I'm one of those people that always lowers screen brightness to minimum during the night, or it hurts my eyes, and then sets it back to normal in the morning.
With DDC/CI control, I don't have to get out of bed to do this (I usually watch a series or something on my PC before I fall asleep).

Command line arguments:
WARNING: You can turn your screen completely black if you use wrong command line arguments! (all colours to 0, etc.)
This can usually be fixed easily by doing a factory reset on your monitor, but still.

Start off by creating a shortcut to ScreenBright.exe, then right-click the shortcut and go to Properties. Find the field labeled Target; this is where you want to add your desired command(s), after the closing citation mark.

There are two types of commands for ScreenBright: -get < setting > and -set < setting > < value >

With < setting > being one of the following:
  • brightness
  • contrast
  • red
  • green
  • blue
  • screen
And < value > ranging from 0-100, except for the screen argument, where it ranges from 1 to your # of active displays.

Note that, for the -set command, you can combine several settings in a single argument.

Example of a command line that sets brightness to minimum and contrast to 75%:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\ScreenBright\ScreenBright.exe" -set brightness 0 contrast 75

Multiple monitors are supported:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\ScreenBright\ScreenBright.exe" -set screen 1 brightness 45 screen 2 brightness 60

The -get argument simply shows the current value and interval of the setting.

Once you have added your commands to the Target field, press OK and you're done. I recommend renaming the shortcut to something descriptive and placing it somewhere handy.

Note: ScreenBright must be closed before running it with command line arguments.

Last words:
Thanks for looking, I hope that someone finds this as useful as I do!
This is my first guide, feel free to comment and ask questions. thumb.gif

*It seems that Samsung actually have their own DDC/CI app, MagicTune. Thanks to dragonxwas for the tip. thumb.gif

itskerby 05-27-2012 06:54 AM

Very cool, will have to check this out later. I'm currently using f.lux to do this for me, but this may be the lightweight solution I've been looking for.

HothBase 05-27-2012 07:00 AM

Thanks! smile.gif I really love how light ScreenBright is, it doesn't even need installing. Just unzip and run.

Disturbed117 05-27-2012 02:03 PM

Excellent. Rep+.

drbaltazar 05-27-2012 06:33 PM

sadly we re mostly o e-ddc and going to display port 1.2 so that thing is good for older screen

HothBase 05-28-2012 01:27 AM

drbaltazar, even the very latest monitors from Dell, BenQ, Samsung and HP among others still support DDC/CI.

dragonxwas 05-28-2012 01:29 AM

Samsung Has MagicTune.. Its amazing..

cool guide...thumb.gif

HothBase 05-28-2012 01:31 AM

Thanks, glad you like it. smile.gif

MagicTune looks nice, it seems Samsung actually bothered to develop a DDC/CI application for their monitors then. I'll add that as a note in the OP.

isamu 07-05-2012 10:12 PM

I've tried both screen bright and Display Tuner and neither of them work for me. I get an error saying that there's no compatible monitor recognized. I have two displays....a BenQ W6000 HD projector and a smaller Hitachi CRT monitor that is very old(bought in 1999). Could it be that both of my displays are not Benq W6000 DDC/CI compatible?

If so, is there an alternative software program out there that allows me to setup and adjust select different brightness and contrast profiles via nVidia control panel? Please let me know.

HothBase 07-06-2012 12:02 AM

Sorry to hear that it's not working for you. I'm not surprised that the old CRT isn't compatible, but it could have worked with the projector. I looked at the manual for the W6000, unfortunately I couldn't find anything on DDC/CI in there so I think you're out of luck on that front. Didn't the projector come with a remote?

As for creating brightness/contrast profiles for nVidia Control Panel, I don't think I've heard of any software that does that.

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