Sunday, March 2, 2008

PC and Mac Brightness

On my previous post I mentioned something in passing about PC brightness versus Mac brightness. Hache asked if the PC/Mac brightness was a Machinima specific thing (in the comments.)

The PC brightness versus the Mac brightness is a general display difference (at least in the default settings.) I first came across this back in the days of the "Browser Wars". Web pages that looked great on a Mac would be way to dark on a PC.

I still find this to be the case that the PC displays things (with the default monitor settings) much more darkly than the Mac does. This is true on both of my XP boxes, a laptop and a desktop.

CGSD has an article about how to adjust gamma for web images images to look good on both PC and Mac. It also points to a few other resources on gamma and explains why the difference exists.

Interestingly the article implies it is an issue of graphics cards but with Macs moving to Intel, and there being PC/Mac cross compatible graphics cards I wonder if it is more a backwards compatibility reason now. You don't want the gamma on everything to suddenly shift if you are on the same platform.

Obviously you can calibrate the monitors differently but most users are going to go with the default calibration, so it is good to know what the differences are. It would be cool if there was an easy way to set up monitor calibration files for both the "mac" view and the "pc" view and swap between them if you are developing graphics and video for the web so you don't need to test it on two machines.

Actually I would be surprised if information on how to set up the two calibration settings didn't exist, but having never looked extensively into calibration (and not having success on a quick Google) I don't know where one would find the settings (other than creating them yourself.) Anyone out there have experience working with the PC/Mac gamma compatibility?


Hache said...

¡THANKS! ... I'll search a bit about the gamma Pc / Mac topic .. if anything comes up, I'll let you know.

andypiper said...

Hey Goldie... I kinda haven't been much on the video Seesmic / Viddler for a while, sorry about that.

I think you're right that it's to do with gamma... there are also differences between the ways in which the two platforms handle colour (ICC) profiles in images, too, which I've written about before.