Eve Spectrum Prototype Tester | nkyadav

Hello, Eve Community!

My name is Niraj, and I was one of the lucky members here that was selected to be involved as an Eve Spectrum Prototype Tester!

Many of you have probably seen me in recent months lurking around in the community, posting on various topics, offering my opinions, support, or just generally posting my thoughts on the Spectrum (and some other devices / proposed devices). I am completely honored that I was chosen to be a tester, and I have a lot of things to take a look at and cover in the following days.

A little bit about me: I’ve been working in IT since before it was called IT, having been the general ‘go-to’ guy that family and friends asked computer related questions to since before I was an adult. I’ve worked at a variety of places and in a variety of capacities, from end user support and Tier I / II / III (Support specialist) at companies as large as IBM Global Services to as small as global startup Given Imaging and even smaller, local startups with friends. IT is in my blood, and it is my bread and butter.

Along the way, I’ve made tons of good friends all over the world in various manners - forums, SoMed, meeting in RL, and more. And this community, all of you here, have not disappointed one bit - you’ve been as welcoming as any group I’ve dealt with, and I want to thank each and every one of you, whether I’ve had a chance to interact with you or not. Why? Because you’re here. Because this company was founded on a pretty simple (yet, in a way, completely radical) concept - “Developed in the crowd”. And that’s why we’re all here - because of the next big thing, one that I’m personally excited about, and one that I’ve got in my hands (OK, on my desk :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ), is almost here.

The Eve Spectrum family of monitors.

I’ve pre-ordered a pair of the Spectrum Model 3 (4K ) monitors, and when The Community Team opened up the chance to test prototypes, I offered my own submission, which you can read here.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in to some initial pics of the unboxing, shall we?

My prototype arrived at my front door on the morning of 14 May 2021. I was not expecting it until the 17th or 18th, so that was truly a bonus.

After removing all the external packing material, I got an idea of what the final packaging will look like. The Stand is packaged in its own box rather cleverly, and is easy to remove from packaging, but you’ll notice that it looks super clean and nice in full light:



The base, too, looks awesome.

And assembling it is a snap:


The Spectrum the real star of the show, though, is no slouch when it comes to packaging either.

Just take a look at these lines:


As Tom (ReignDespair) showed in his pic, the cables are packaged in their own box, and are cleverly removed from their ‘holster’ if you will:


And then, lo, and behold! My wish came true! The split in the protective fabric is on the back, allowing me to slid the stand / monitor arm right in!

And the joystick in the prototype is removable and replaceable (NOTE: I have 100% confirmation that the final product will be this way, too!!!):


(Apologies for the last 2 shots - I zoomed in from a tripod mount to capture that).

And there she is, in all her glory:

And while I’m not using the stand with my own setup, it still fits her well, doesn’t it!

OK, so that covers the Phase I: Unboxing.

Stay tuned for more Phases as I continue to test and shoot both pictures and video, including all of the different scenarios I mentioned in my tester application!

(All pictures above were taken using a Google Pixel 4 XL running Android 12/S Developer Preview 3, stock Google Camera app, using a Metal Phone Tripod Mount with Cold Shoe mounted on a Solidex VT-86HQ tripod.)

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One of the things I did in preparation for this testing was to grab an i1Display Pro Plus from X-Rite. I’ve been reading up on how to use the device, and I think I’m ready to tackle both my existing Po…er, old monitor as well as the Spectrum.

I’ll be spending the weekend doing this to make sure it is done correctly, so wish me luck!

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So, in the interim this morning, I’ve been playing around with ClickMonitorDDC, and it’s a bit wonky. But the good news is that, so far, for the ESM3 (Eve Spectrum Model 3, in my shorthand), I was able to successfully change the contrast, brightness, and headphone jack volume through the program (by simply rolling the mouse wheel while hovering each value). I verified that this was changing on the monitor itself, too, watching the contrast change, the brightness change, and I’m planning on bringing my AstroGaming A40s back from the ‘dead’ to test the audio and volume from the headphone jack.

I’m now looking at the settings to try to hone it down to exactly what I need and want it to do, so I’ve set it up as follows:

If you have any other suggestions for settings, let me know, I’m completely new to the program and will take any and all help I can get :smiley:

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I’ve also given Monitorian (link to Microsoft Store) (there is also a non UWP version at GitHub) a shot, and it does do brightness OOB. In reading this Reddit thread, I also found Free Monitor Manager, which was actually last updated this year, and the update changelog shows the following:

  • [+] Perform user defined actions on applications activation. For example, automatically adjust monitor’s brightness when you start watching a movie.
  • [*] Greatly improved work in multi-monitor configurations.
  • [*] DDC/CI support is no longer required.

So, more fun stuff to play with :smiley:

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Hey,
any updates? Your Pros and Cons you might wanna share?
Are you recommending the monitor and why?

I can say that I love this monitor even in this prototype form. There has been a lot of testing performed with several FW versions and even the USB Hub FW update. We’ve had a lot of good results, and even an instance of a not so good result that forced me, at least, to revert to an older firmware.

As I’ve never used anything above 1080p before, and because the ones I have at that res are old AF, the difference in quality of imagery and usage both are almost incomparable. I have found 0 reasons that I would pick my older monitor(s) over the Spectrum I am evaluating. And that is with an older GPU (GTX 970) driving the Spectrum, so no HDR, and only 60 Hz driving it.

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I’ve done a bunch of small time testing with a few different utilities out there for controlling a monitor via DDC.

Monitorian does what it says it will, allowing you to adjust the brightness of the monitor.

ClickMonitorDDC allows you to tune quite a bit more: Saturation, Contrast, Brightness, and Volume - and allows you to reset the monitor to factory defaults, but I’ve had issues with it when trying to change video signal input - it sticks to whatever is selected and will not change 90% of the time. Also, before the 095 version of the Monitor FirmWare (FW) it was able to power off the monitor (as written in CMDDC - it actually just put the monitor in standby). It should work perfectly fine on the production models as well, but with the older PCB we have in the prototypes the newer FW doesn’t allow the prototype to sleep anymore, so CMDDC is unable to perform that function. However, the PCB does allow the monitor to go to sleep when the PC is actually powered off (or the cable is physically disconnected). Rest assured, it will perform as it is supposed to with the updated PCBs on the monitors that are shipped to customers.

If you or anyone else has seen / knows where to get a hold of the source code for CMDDC, that would be super, a great step moving forward for such an app for Eve. The possibility of software developed in-house has already been brought to the table (hence the desire to find the source for CMDDC - no need to reinvent the wheel, eh?), and starting something like this from scratch would be a larger endeavor than pre-existing SC that could be used to develop such an app, particularly to make it work across multiple OSs.

I’ve also looked at a few other apps that had limited functionality, like brightness / contrast control, mostly from GitHub, so we do have a few starting points - but CMDDC is so inclusive in what it can do that it would be the best starting point of any I’ve seen thus far.

I’m particularly interested in some of the settings that are Spectrum specific - like adjusting the LED light colors and mode, as well as setting up keyboard shortcuts for various functions - like picking user profiles, enabling / disabling the crosshair and panel frequency OSD, etc.

So, if anyone has any ideas on this, please, feel free to comment or PM me!

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If this is the final packaging idea, I absolutely love it! I hate having to slide the monitor out of the box with all the cables going everywhere and taking up a large amount of room to get it out. Just opening the box like that and having the cables in their own compartments and the monitor ready to go. Is there extra room for other cables to be packed, like an HDMI, DP, USB-C, etc.?

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DDC is a pretty simple protocol, there are numerous libraries, some even cross-platform, that can do what CMDDC can do. For simplicity you can also experiment with commandline programs that allow you to just set any register to any value. You don’t really need the CMDDC source since you’d want to start fresh on the UI anyway, which is the main significant part of the program to begin with.

Well, a start would probably be making a list/matrix of features that you want, features the hardware supports, comparing CMDDC to these other apps, as well as linking them to each specific DDC register/config. Most programs are only missing support for a given feature because they lack the UX elements/interface, which is trivial enough as long as the underlying commands and data can be sent.

I’m still hoping to see some sort of confirmation from the firmware or product side that there’s some commitment to DDC providing a supported feature set rather than it just being something that’s been tested and just happens to work. And of course still hoping for input switching to be in there at some point :stuck_out_tongue:

(signed as someone who has written a couple DDC programs/libraries and also happens to be an embedded firmware dev)

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Yeah, there is still room to get cables in there, for sure.

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That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, I’ve found more than a few libraries to be used in code for various languages, as well as a couple of smaller apps that have partial functionality of CMDDC, akin to like Monitorian. But you make an excellent point about not really needing the CMDDC source. Since it is an established protocol, what we really need is confirmation from the team as to what FW settings can (and cannot) be manipulated via DDC protocol, right?

But, the Spectrums also have functions like the LED customizability that we also need to verify with the FW team that are going to be accessible via DDC. Ideally, I’d love to have every single function of the OSD available via DDC, that would be the best for the end user, versus partial usability. The main things work (or work partially) - for example, Marat pointed out to me that contrast adjustment does not completely work, going only down to 25, with no visible effects on our prototypes when setting CMDDC contrast value to 24 or lower (from 25).

Truly bonus would also be able to use the software to manually assign the quick-actions of the joystick (Up / Down / Right / Left - or, for those who prefer compass points, N / S / E / W) as well.

And if it could be used to also flash FW updates? Superbonus!

Ohhh! I just read that tiny footnote you wrote…

So, ideally, since you’ve already done this sort of thing, in your opinion, how easy (or complicated) would it be to make an app that would be both cross-platform (although I shudder to think about using JAVA as a method to achieve cross-platform support) and support whatever the team says can be accessed via DDC?

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It would definitely be great to be able to control everything with DDC/CI, particularly video and USB hub sources. I for one haven’t been able to find any good DDC cross platform libraries in any languages, the most I could find is for 2 out of the 3 OSes Windows/Linux/Mac.

It would also be interesting to see the monitor controls implemented over USB, though I doubt whether that would be possible with the Spectrum’s existing hardware. This might enable the monitor be to controlled from Chrome OS, Android, and other operating systems where applications can access USB HID but not DDC/CI. It seems that some manufacturers have implemented proprietary USB controls, but apparently a few monitors have supported the “USB Monitor Control Class Specification”. Example utility.

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HDMI CEC would also be nice, since from what I understand the game consoles use it to control connected displays. But since they couldn’t add EARC, they probably wouldn’t be able to add it either.

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Having used the Spectrum Model 3 for a month, I can say the colors are fantastic. Using my i1Display to calibrate, I’ve got a minute change to the settings to give me very accurate color results (compared to my old 1080p monitors, it’s not even close - like in another galaxy close.


Spectrum versus old 1080p


My full setup

Color accuracy on the Spectrum at extreme angles is much, much better than older monitor as well:

For daily use, Windows likes to throw curveballs at me with the DPI Scaling, in that some programs respond well to the recommended 150% scaling, while a few programs show odd results. One notable app I use, KeepassXC, has issues with scaling on context menus, regardless of whether I am displaying on the old monitor (where the menus are scaled too much, even with scaling for that monitor turned off) and on the spectrum, where the scaling doesn’t match the main window (which I refer to as under-scaled). But all of that is Windows causing issues, and individual applications can be excluded from scaling to make them work better (as I noted with IrfanView and image display in full screen with scaling on - I had to make IrfanView ignore scaling to show images correctly, otherwise it was displaying multiple images simultaneously:

I’ve got quite a few games that I have installed, and at native resolutions they look really good, too. But most of the games I have are older games, with the exception of a couple of Remastered releases from the past few months. I’ve had no time to play really anything, but I do have a plan to throw in some comparisons on NSF Hot Pursuit (original) versus the remastered, which can run natively at 4K, as well as Mass Effect trilogy (originals) versus the Remastered trilogy (also, again ,can run natively at 4K).

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Another item that we’ve run into with these prototypes is that, with a different PCB than the final product, newer firmware written specifically for the newer PCBs has caused a small issue with the prototype PCBs.

Specifically, the newer firmware has introduced a minor bug in that, as long as the video connection is active, even if you have the device it is connected to in standby, the monitor will only blank the screen and not power off.


And if you leave it alone and the computer is in sleep, it still happens.

This is caused by the older PCB we have in these prototypes, and the only recourse is to either

  1. Disconnect the video cable(s), or
  2. Power off the device(s).

I’ve had to resort to powering off the monitor as I don’t turn my computers off, only let the laptops sleep (and the desktop stays active, though sends the power off signal to the monitors).

However, I’m happy to report that with my Desktop using a GTX 970 GPU and a DP 1.2 cable and a DP 1.4 cable, I still get full 60 Hz refresh rates across everything I’ve tried on the monitor.

Admittedly, I’ve used very cheap cables - from Monoprice. But they are working, so no complaints on that end here at all.

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Thanks for the awesome review, I’m so freaking excited to get mine as it will be my first 4K monitor. Keep up the great work Team Eve

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There is more.

Apparently, I overlooked one very important part of testing. I had the older 1080p monitor connected via HDMI → DVI cable (built in adapter) and the Spectrum via DP (both 1.2 and 1.4 cables). On the older monitors, the DP connected monitor allowed me to have better color control so that was typically the main monitor and the HDMI to DVI was used for my secondary monitor.

Thanks to Tom asking about my above reports on the lack of sleep on these prototypes, I realized I had not tried HDMI on the spectrum. Even though the GTX 970 I have only does HDMI 2.0, at this point it was worth a shot since he had 0 issue with the monitor going to sleep.

First, my video card specs: https://www.evga.com/products/specs/gpu.aspx?pn=D2307A93-F04B-4EF3-92F6-EB7008F53188

Second, I’m happy to report 3 new developments.

  1. After going into Windows Settings, with the Spectrum on HDMI 2.0, I’m able to select HDR for the first time:

  1. I can also select 120 Hz refresh (but that disables HDR, as others have reported in their testing on older devices):

And the monitor doesn’t mind actually going into standby anymore!

Kudos to @ReignDespair for giving me the gumption to swap cable types.

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On HDMI, confirmed that there are no issues with the Spectrum prototype going to sleep with Windows’ Turn off monitor setting.

Not only does the monitor go to standby, it powers off (no LED) after an extended lack of use of the computer, exactly as it is supposed to.

Using ClickMonitorDDC, however, to force a power off is iffy it will power it off, but getting it back on is tricky. I suspect this may be due to input source for the Spectrum set to ‘Select automatically’.

CMDDC is a great app, don’t get me wrong - but its interactions with the Spectrum do leave a bit to be desired. Basic things like some contrast, brightness and audio output adjustment are there, but power off testing for the Spectrum (and even my older monitor) work for the power off function, but not for powering back on.

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thanks a lot for your insights!

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