Intel’s WiGig technology and Color Profiling don’t mix?

I’ve recently changed my primary computer from a Thinkpad W520 to a Dell Latitude E5470. I wanted to retain the quad core Intel processing that I had grown accustomed to, as well as the ability to have 32gb RAM, but the 6 pound laptop with the one pound power adapter was getting to me: I needed to downsize. I sacrificed an inch of screen real estate, the built-in Huey colorimeter, and the classic style keyboard. But, I also ditched three pounds. And by purchasing in the Dell outlet, I spent half what I did in 2011. In the end, I’d call that a win.

Over the last few years, Intel has been developing Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) cards and receivers that manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Lenovo have implemented to create “wireless docking” for laptops. The only thing that isn’t wireless is charging: you still need to plug in the laptop for that. But, the laptop wouldn’t necessarily have to be on my desk to connect to the dock, and that frees up space in my cluttered world. So, I thought I would give it a try. And the short of it is that it works. My Drobo and other USB 3 hard drives were connected to the dock, along with my monitors, and I figured I was set. The long of it is that I can’t get my monitor to calibrate and profile correctly using the dock. A monitor connected to a WiGig dock does not simply pass through to the laptop the way that it would on a mechanical dock: it appears to influence the way colors are displayed.

First, for reference, this is the equipment and software versions I have:

  • Latitude E5470 running Windows 10 Pro
  • Dell WLD 15 Wigig Dock
  • Intel Wireless Dock Manager v.
  • Intel Tri-Band 18260
  • Intel Proset drivers v. 19.0.1621.3340

I am calibrating and profiling my monitors with an X-Rite colorimeter and, in my case, HP’s Advanced Profiling Solution software that came with my DesignJet Z3200 photo printer and it pairs well with my HP LP2475w monitor to help me achieve a color temperature of 6500 K, gamma 2.2, and a brightness around 90 lumens.  While profiling my monitors connected to the WiGig dock yesterday I was getting some strange results: really poor profiles with high ΔE values.

Aside: a quick and dirty explanation is that ΔE is a measurement of the difference between a standardized color and the measurement of the color the monitor is displaying.  As such, the lower that value, the closer the monitor is displaying “true” colors.

dE of HP Monitor profile when connected to the WiGig dock's HDMI port.
dE of HP Monitor profile when connected to the WiGig dock’s HDMI port.
dE of HP Monitor profile when connected directly to the laptop's HDMI port.
dE of HP Monitor profile when connected directly to the laptop’s HDMI port.

Using the exact same hardware settings for brightness, contrast, and R, G, and B values, I produced two entirely different profiles when the monitor was connected (via HDMI) to the dock vs. directly to the HDMI port on my Latitude E5470.  When plugged into the dock, Delta E averages 3.05.  This is a hugely different number from the 0.48 achieved when plugged straight into the Latitude.

I can also visually demonstrate the differences in the ICC profiles that are generated during this process.  I used my girlfriend’s Mac to load the two profiles into ColorSync and plotted the profiles against Adobe RGB colorspace (the white wireframe).  Here, you can see that the monitor, when plugged in directly to the HDMI port on the Latitude, covers a lot of Adobe RGB’s color space.  Not all of it, to be sure, but enough of it that it has worked for me for the past few years.  I’ve been thinking about upgrading to a monitor that displays 100% of the Adobe RGB colorspace, but that’s neither here nor there.

Direct-to-laptop monitor profile (color) compared to the Adobe RGB colorspace (white wireframe)
Direct-to-laptop monitor profile (color) compared to the Adobe RGB colorspace (white wireframe)

Now, this is where things get weird.  Below is the profile for the monitor when plugged into the WiGig dock.  Note that the monitor profile (the colorful part) goes deeply out of bounds of the visible spectrum:

Dock-connected monitor profile (color) compared to the Adobe RGB colorspace (white wireframe)
Dock-connected monitor profile (color) compared to the Adobe RGB colorspace (white wireframe)

The only conclusion I have been able to draw is that, unlike traditional docking, where the ports on the dock pass through directly to the computer, with a WiGig dock, there’s more happening than meets the eye.  Somehow, in broadcasting the signal from the laptop to the monitor, it changes.  Not in a noticeable way for most users, but for photographers and videographers, the change is problematic.

Tigers vs. Sooners Women’s Basketball & The X-Rite Color-checker Passport

Missouri women's basketball forward Jessra Johnson, left, fails to prevent Oklahoma's center, Abi Olajuwon, from making a two point shot on Wednesday, 20 Jan. 2010 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.
Missouri women’s basketball forward Jessra Johnson, left, fails to prevent Oklahoma’s center, Abi Olajuwon, from making a two point shot on Wednesday, 20 Jan. 2010 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. Olajuwon wears the same number as her father, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, from his college career. The Tigers lost 61-62 to the Sooners. | Canon 1D IIn and 50mm f/1.4 lens; exposed 1/1250 sec. @ f/1.4, ISO 800. | Color corrected with X-Rite Color-checker Passport.

The Set-up

Last Wednesday I found myself sitting on the court at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. with two different camera bodies and three different lenses.  So, what’s the problem?  The 7D and the 1D Mark IIn see colors differently.  Add to the equation that the glass in a lens affects the color rendered in the final photograph.  For newspaper photography, usually captured in JPEG instead of RAW, this is just something you would normally “live with.”

Maybe you’d just take two identical bodies and figure no one will notice the difference once its printed on Charmin, any ways.  But online, the differences can be stark.  Take, for instance, this Columbia Missourian slideshow where I was using my 7D and a 1D Mark III on loan from CPS, but my colleague Chris Dunn was using an older D2Xs body at the football game between MU and Kansas State.  This is an extreme example, but it is amusing to watch Kansas State’s jerseys suddenly jump from purple to blue depending on which camera was used.  Hint: Nikon didn’t figure out what purple “looked” like until the D3 and D300 came out.

Article continues!

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Follow-up: Apple Cinema 24″ versus HP LP2475w 24″

Apple LED Cinema versus the Hewlett-Packard LP2475w
Apple LED Cinema versus the Hewlett-Packard LP2475w – Part Two

After posting my brief comparison of the color gamut displayed by the Apple 24″ LED Cinema Display and the Hewlett-Packard 24″ LP2475w, I was asked if the comparison was fair as the computers used to build the profiles of the two monitors were different.  While the only piece of hardware that truly matters when comparing the profiles built is the display adapter (video card), this component was, indeed, different between the HP laptop and the MacBook Pro.

In addition to comparing the color gamut of the monitors to the Adobe RGB color space, which is used by many digital SLR cameras, I was also asked what ramification viewable gamut had on printing using Epson 4000 and Epson 4800 print engines.  I compare the gamut viewable by the monitors with Epson’s ICC profiles (for both printers) of Enhanced Matte Photo Paper and Premium Luster Photo Paper, both of which now have strange names: Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte and Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster.


The equipment used for this comparison was  a MacBook Pro v3.1 (with a DVI connection) with an nVidia GeForce 8600M GT video card, an Intel Core2Duo 2.2 GHz processor and 2GB RAM running OS X 10.5.8.  The calibration unit remained the same as in the previous comparison: a Gretag-Macbeth / X-Rite Eye One Pro spectrophotometer.

Unlike the laptop used for the previous comparison, the DVI connector meant that there was no obvious way to connect the MacBook Pro to the new Apple 24″ LED Cinema Display, which has only a “Mini DisplayPort” connector.  To overcome this problem, an Atlona AT-DP200 Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter bridged the gap between the monitor and the laptop.  So long as an older style MacBook is plugged into the monitor with this adapter–and the USB cable from the monitor is also plugged into the laptop–the user has complete control over resolution and brightness.  There are no color controls, unlike the HP monitor, but this has been true of all cinema displays from Apple over the past few years, and that did not stop many a PC user to purchase an Apple screen.

The ICC color profiles created by the Eye One Match 3 software were then compared using a trial version of Gamutvision 1.3.7 with a rendering intent of “None” on a two-dimensional XY Chromaticity (saturation map) projection.

Results after the jump!

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Apple Cinema 24″ versus HP LP2475w 24″

Apple LED Cinema versus the Hewlett-Packard LP2475w


I really don’t review many products except those that I own and use.  However, an opportunity arose at the University of Missouri to compare, side-by-side, the Apple Cinema LED monitor (selling for $860) with what has been my workhorse monitor over the past year, the Hewlett-Packard LP 2475w (selling for $550).  (You can read my earlier review of that monitor here.) Physically, there are a lot of differences between these two monitors, and one of those differences might actually play a role in performance.

First and foremost, the “looks” category goes to the Apple display.  That said, the Apple LED display comes only in a glossy screen.  Eek!  Everything about its design was appealing up to that point.  The HP monitor is very straightforward, no-frills, and with lots of buttons for accessing its menu, switching to different inputs (it can accept VGA, DVI, Component Video, HDMI, DisplayPort, etc., etc.), and, of course, switching it “off.”

The Apple monitor has no buttons, and can only connect via “Mini DisplayPort,” which is currently found only on the latest Mac products.  I can only surmise that Apple and its shareholders were sick and tired of the entire world of photographers on budgets buying their screens, and making money for the company.  </satire>  Furthermore, the lack of a menu in which one can control brightness, contrast, and the red, green, and blue outputs is sorely lacking.

As this is a short review, I’ll get to the meat of the comparison (after the jump!):

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Hewlett-Packard LP2475w Monitor: 24″ and displays Adobe RGB


As of August 2009, this monitor has fallen in price to a very attractive $555.00 at Amazon.  I mention this because this remains one of my most popular reviews, and if you decide to purchase this monitor, and found this review critical to your decision-making process, I would greatly appreciate it if you would click on my link to complete the saleAlternatively, the monitor is available at B&H.  Thank you!

HP 2475w monitor - official HP product image
HP 2475w monitor – official HP product image


I rarely review products–people who know me well are the ones who might ask my opinion of equipment I’ve used, but I often refer people to DP Review or The Luminous Landscape for more in-depth analysis than I can provide.  About two years ago, a somewhat cursory, but authoritative, review of the Hewlett-Packard LP2465 monitor by E.J. Peiker in the forums at led that product to become something of a sensation among nature photographers looking for an affordable 24″ monitor of good quality.  (The primary audience for NatureScapes is nature photographers.)

More after the jump…
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