Basic Monitor Calibration
When using your computer, chances are extremely high that you are being fed an image is coming out from your monitor. Therefore, time should be taken to adjust your monitor to its optimal settings — your eyes will thank you! Here are a few tips & tricks in making those adjustments.
Change your Windows Desktop video resolution to match your LCD’s native resolution. Text, graphics, and everything else looks best when displayed in your LCD’s native resolution. Why? Because running at anything less, your LCD needs to interpolate the pixels and ‘stretch’ the smaller pixels over multiple cells. This will cause the image quality to degrade significantly.
To alter your monitor’s resolution, go to Start > Control Panel > Display > Settings Tab, then change it to the following (note: these are to be used as guidelines – consult your LCD’s user manual)
- 15" : 1024 x 768
- 17 & 19" : 1280 x 1024
- 20 & 21" : 1600 x 1200
In general, CRTs do not exhibit this degredation in quality, because the Cathode-Ray Tube is "spraying" its image onto the back of a glass tube. The key setting to watch out for if you are still using one of these monsters is the refresh rate. Refresh rate is measured in Hertz (Hz) and means exactly what the name says – the number of times to screen refreshes per second. So a 72Hz refresh rate means the screen is essentially flickering 72 times per second.
Many people do not know this, but headaches and eyestrains from CRT-usage are often a result of too-low a refresh rate setting. In general: a) a higher refresh rate is less likely to generate the afore-mentioned symptoms; b) as your monitor resolution goes up, the refresh rate limit is likely to decrease. I recommend a minimum of 72Hz rate, with 85Hz and up more desirable. 60Hz is just a big no-no.
To change this setting, go to display control panel and click to the Settings tab. From there, click the Advanced button and go to the Monitor tab. From there, you can adjust your screen refresh rate.
Note: if your computer screen goes haywire, panic not — wait 15 seconds and Windows will automagically return you to the previous setting that worked!
Experiment with the refresh rate that works best for you, as people have different sensitivity levels to different refresh rate settings. (Refresh rates do not apply to LCDs)