Spectrum 4K - Stellar with problems

I received my Spectrum 4K a few days ago and have been using it a fair bit, so I would like to make a short follow up on the product I actually received.

My workstation has the following specs:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5950X
GPU: ASUS RTX 3080 TUF OC
RAM: 64gb G.Skill DDR4 3200
Boot drive: 1GB Samsung 980 Pro NWME
Motherboard: MSI X570 Carbon Pro Wi-Fi
Power supply: ASUS ROG STRIX 850G

The computer should fall well within the ideal use case for a monitor such as the EVE Spectrum, I’m driving the monitor at 4K144hz with HDR using the included HDMI 2.1 cable Microsoft provides with the Xbox Series X.

I have manually adjusted the response time overdrive to 15 following the advice from Hardware Unboxed, seem to work extremely well.

The good
The monitor is quite frankly exceptional, it gets really bright with accurate color reproduction and feels really responsive, it’s a really nice product to use immediately after unpacking and updating it.

Games look stunning in 4K at high frame rates on this monitor and the responsiveness easily feels on par with my old ASUS PG279Q that uses a dedicated G-Sync module, it’s a great performer for gaming and SDR content in general. The monitor might not be fantastic for high contrast content due to the limited amount of dimming zones, but it’s still not terrible at its worst, just some backlight bleeding like what you would often see on modern non-OLED based TV’s.

The color accuracy feels good out of the box and it can totally be used without tinkering too much with it, it’s certainly among the better experiences I have had with a display being used as is. I will color calibrate it using a colorimeter after Christmas to ensure it’s as correct as possible, but for now it’s pretty good.

The best part of the monitor is hands down the design of both the monitor and stand, it’s a beautiful and well designed piece of hardware that avoids using attention seeking lights, colors and weird shapes everywhere, it’s the type of design every monitor maker should offer high end panels with and EVE Devices nailed it.

The quality of the materials also feels in line with the high-end pricing, the plastics feel good and the stand feels like something the devices team at Microsoft would have developed, the money on materials compared to the asking price seems totally justified. My only nitpick about the design is the lack of swivel in the base of the stand, but it’s not something I really need for my setup and it’s an optional accessory after all.

The packaging of the product was exceptionally well done, the cardboard used felt to be of high quality and minimal amounts of plastic was used, whoever worked on that side of the project did a fantastic job putting together such a well thought out packaging solution.

The bad
HDR simply does not work with this monitor on Windows 11, it’s a mess that will always result in the monitor getting stuck in some weird state where the image will always be discolored or monochrome after some time.

This is a problem i have seen a lot of people report and it’s still not fixed after the monitor has been shipping to customers for half a year now. When it works, the HDR experience is alright for bright scenes and you can see detail in high luminosity areas, darker areas less so.

I have also been experiencing a problem where the monitor will randomly blink to black for a few seconds before coming back, Windows does not register this as the monitor disconnecting. I’m unsure if this is a cable issue or what is going on, will be keeping an eye on this issue.

The OSD continues the trend of monitors adhering to obscure navigation concepts, it’s not intuitive that selecting items is continuing to click right and clicking the button down hides the OSD, there is no sense of selecting items when the right button has multiple functions and navigating to the left will close the OSD when it hits the root of the hierarchy, this seems like a really strange choice that no UX designer looked at.

The end
In conclusion i think the Spectrum 4K is a great monitor that is ruined by its abysmal HDR performance on Windows and other minor kinks like the OSD being unintuitive to navigate. I would not recommend this monitor to anyone unless they can fix the HDR issues on windows, buy it on shelves at a local retailer and EVE Devices significantly fix their customer services, I have little faith in the company being able to handle things like repairs in a timely manner after how I and other customers have been treated with delivery and related service inquiries over the last few months.

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Quick followup after having used firmware 105 for a few days, it’s a pretty significant change.

The HDR issues have not surfaced on 105 at all for me, it’s always a clear and crisp image with correct color information being fed to the screen, the HDR performance has been pretty good overall but still subpar when it comes to the extremely limited black levels and customization.

For whatever reason the monitor disables all adjustment options in HDR mode on 105, brightness, contrast and other settings important for image quality cannot be changed when running in HDR mode.

Using a colorimeter I am able to create a color profile for my monitor that replicates colors accurately, it’s suddenly a great monitor to use outside of an SDR only context. The calibration makes a huge difference in image quality, without it the image appears rather washed out and lacking in contrast, It’s a pretty large difference to be honest.

This also highlights a pretty big issue with the HDR performance in 105, the limited adjustment options. While it’s possible for anyone to create a color profile in windows and do most of it through software, it’s a little concerning that the hardware does not allow for fine adjustment in HDR mode, it makes it harder for users to reach the full potential of their product.

The dips to black have also disappeared and gaming undisturbed at 4K in HDR at 144hz is now possible, the monitor finally lives up to the expectations I had from it and it performs great overall.

While I dislike a lot about the business side of the product, the product itself is fantastic.

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you can adjust the brightness via windows Display under HDR section when in hdr mode. There is a brightness slider within. that’s if you are a windows person. nvidia control panel you can change the brightness on there as well. Are you able to change the contrast in Nvidia control panel?

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Yeah, know about the brightness thing, it just seems strange that these changes need to be done through software and not hardware, wouldn’t this essentially mean that people playing on consoles are not able to fine-tune their experience?

The brightness wasn’t my main concern, primarily what I saw was that it had a large disparity in contrast when switching to HDR, pretty sure both my LG and Samsung TV’s allows for this type of control on the hardware level when working with Dolby Vision/HDR-10 signals.

It’s a non-issue for me since my use of the monitor means I can get the most of my purchase, but I can definitely see scenarios where this might be an issue.

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Those that play on consoles will have to go into their console settings and do a hdr calibration. i know xbox one x has a hdr calibration setting. i don’t own a series x or ps5 so l don’t know what the hdr calibration experience is like on them. yes, it would be nice to be able to adjust the brightness and contrast on the fly in hdr mode through spectrum OSD.

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