Today’s Question: I’ve been interested in display calibration and have a question. Does the monitor have to have a way to change the settings? Does it have to be a special monitor? I have an LG monitor and it has no knobs to adjust.
Tim’s Quick Answer: In general, you can calibrate any monitor display using a device such as the Calibrite ColorChecker Display (https://timgrey.me/calibrite), even if the display doesn’t have any direct adjustments. However, note that sometimes those adjustments are somewhat “hidden” on a more general menu for the display.
More Detail: You can generally calibrate and profile any monitor display, including displays without physical adjustment controls and displays that have their own built-in calibration hardware. The ability to adjust brightness and contrast directly on the display can be helpful for the initial calibration process, but it isn’t required with current display calibration tools.
For example, part of the calibration process involves adjusting the overall brightness levels for the display to ensure it falls within a target range of values. However, if your display doesn’t include options for making adjustments to brightness levels this adjustment can still be applied through software as part of the profiling process.
It is worth noting, however, that even when a display doesn’t appear to have any buttons or knobs related to a brightness or contrast adjustment, those adjustments are often found on a menu system for the display. For example, a number of monitors only have basic menu function buttons that will bring up an on-screen menu you can navigate through. That type of menu often includes adjustments for the overall brightness and contrast, as well as for the color temperature control.
So, I would check to be sure whether there are adjustment controls for your display, but regardless you can calibrate the display using tools such as the Calibrite ColorChecker Display (https://timgrey.me/calibrite) that I recommend.