Spectrum Q&A session

Hi Folks!

We are working on the webpage for spectrum to summarize project status and specs so far. I think an FAQ would be a great addition to have from the start.

Post up your questions here and we will get them answered next Thursday on 4th of July. Cheers!


Update: 04.07

Spectrum Q&A will start today (July 4th) at 6:30 pm Helsinki time (EEST)


Update: 04.07

We’ve seen many good questions coming in. Where possible, they’ve been answered. Some questions will have to wait until we discuss what’s possible with our suppliers, or will need to be explored further before we can commit to an answer.

A summary of the Q&A is included below in this post. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question!

Update: Some popular questions answered

Image quality

Is Spectrum using the same panel as the newly released 1 ms nano IPS LG 27GL850?

Yes, we can unveil at this point that our monitor is using same panel as the recently announced LG 27GL850 monitor and will enjoy the same super fast response time of 1 ms. The only difference in the panel itself is that we are using a brighter backlight of 400 nits instead of LG’s 350 nits.

Is a Delta E calibration of <1 possible off the assembly line?

Yes, but we are evaluating the additional cost and the time it will take. Currently, most monitors are calibrated for white point only.

Will Spectrum be able to store a 3D lookup table (3D LUT) calibration profile?

This is something we’ll have to discuss with our suppliers.

Does VESA DisplayHDR400 certification add to the cost or not? What does it really mean?

The key requirements for this certification are 400 nits brightness and covering 95% of the DCI-P3 color space. It’s not the same HDR experience that some TVs offer today with 1000 nits brightness, and it doesn’t offer OLED’s contrast ratio. But in return for a relatively small one-time certification fee, customers can be assured that our monitor offers at least this level of image quality.

Will the monitor support pixel-perfect integer-ratio upscaling with no blur by pixel duplication (doubling)?

Yes, it will be possible to enable this in OTS!

Background information

The point of this upscaling method is that scaling ratio is always integer and there is no quality loss because each logical pixel is represented as a perfect square group of integer number of physical pixels such as 2×2 or 3×3 and there is no interpixel diffusion at all.

For example:

  • 1280×720 (16:9) to 2560×1440 with 2×2 pixels;
  • 640×480 (4:3) to 1920×1440 with 3×3 pixels and 320+320 black bars to the left/right from the scaled image;
  • 800×600 (4:3) to 1600×1200 with 2×2 pixels and 480+480 left/right bars and 120+120 top/bottom bars.

This is important for:

  • getting higher performance in modern games;
  • preventing unreasonable quality loss when playing games that don’t upscale their user interface, so a more performant GPU can’t help;
  • maintaining the pixelated image nature in old and pixel-art games.

All existing monitors and graphics drivers blindly use blurry bilinear upscaling regardless of whether scaling ratio is integer (2.0, 3.0, etc.) or fractional (1.75, 2.5, etc.), though blur is solely inevitable at fractional ratios.

Specs & features

I prefer spec X over spec Y, can we still change that?

At this time, a number of basics including the panel we want to use are already locked down. This means that some specifications can no longer be changed. We’re not at the finish line yet though, and we are still looking to decide some of the specifications and features.

Refer to this table for specs that have been locked and specs still up for discussion
Project Spectrum
Panel
Size 27 inches
Resolution 2560 x 1440 ‘Quad-HD’
Brightness 400 cd/m²
HDR HDR10 Media Profile (VESA DisplayHDR400)
Color depth 1.07 Billion colors (8-bit + A-FRC)
Refresh rate up to 165 Hz (*TBD)
Color gamut DCI-P3 98%
Response time 1 ms
Ports
HDMI 1x
DisplayPort 1x
USB-C 1x w/ USB PowerDelivery up to 100 W
1x (*TBD)
USB-A 2x
Stand
Height adjust Yes
Portrait rotation Maybe (*TBD)
Horizontal rotation Maybe (*TBD)
Connector to the monitor VESA
Other Features
Adaptive sync FreeSync 2
G-SYNC Compatible (*TBD)
Speakers No
Open firmware Yes (*TBD)
VESA compatible Yes

Will Spectrum be G-SYNC Compatible and what FreeSync version will be used?

Spectrum will use the FreeSync 2 standard. NVIDIA has recently enabled adaptive sync support for non-G-SYNC monitors on their 10-series graphics cards and newer. This means that we you’ll be able to get some adaptive sync features regardless of whether you have an NVIDIA or an AMD graphics card.

And Yes spectrum will be G-Synch certified based on previous polls!

What is the frequency range for adaptive sync?

Both FreeSync 2 and G-SYNC will kick in over 10 Hz, meaning that the frequency range will be 10 Hz through 165 Hz.

Will Spectrum support variable overdrive?

Yes.

Will the monitor run 165 Hz natively?

Great Question! The panel supports a 165 Hz native refresh rate, but the scalar we want to use (think of it as the processor that drives the display) only supports up to 144 Hz. It can be overclocked to 165 Hz. We have previously discussed that it is posible to use a more expensive scalar (60usd more cost) that would allow to go to 165H but community found this feature not so valuable so we will allow people to overcklock to 165hz.

Can the customer select different overdrive profiles?

Yes, please specify profiles you are interested in

Will Eve call on external monitor experts like TFT Central or RTINGS for tuning advice?

Totally. We will ask them to test prototypes and ask for feedback about tuning and changes.

Will Spectrum support HDMI 2.1?

Unfortunately not, as there are no scalars that support it on the market yet.

VESA just announced DisplayPort 2.0. Can Spectrum support this?

We hadn’t planned for it, but we will ask the manufacturer to see if it’s possible.

Can Spectrum have a second DisplayPort, either for a secondary source or for pass-through to a secondary monitor?

We will look into that to see if it’s possible and what the added cost would be.

Will there be a pen- or touch-enabled version of Spectrum?

We would love to, but after investigating it we realized it would increase the cost substantially. So we will keep it in mind as a possible future product. Anything is possible!

Design

How thick will Spectrum’s bezels be?

We will share design concepts soon. But we are using a panel with extremely slim borders (apart from the bottom where some space is needed).

I already have a monitor arm, will that work?

We are planning to sell the monitor and its stand separately. That way, people who want to use a VESA monitor arm to mount their monitor don’t have to pay for a part they don’t need.

Of course, a stand will be available at a fair price for those who need one, supporting at least height adjustment for a more ergonomic user experience.

Will Spectrum feature edge-to-edge cover glass?

We don’t know it yet. Using glass cover on top of the display will increase the price, but it allows for a seamless bezel, is easier to keep clean, and looks great. We are looking into it with the supplier as it could help or hinder image quality.

Logistics & timelines

When will Spectrum shipping?

We aim to ship by the end of this year. More details will come when the design is locked down!

What will Spectrum’s price be?

We will announce the price in advance once we lock the industrial design and the quality standard (we will discuss it here with you folks). Worry not, the price will be fair!

Where will I be able to buy Spectrum?

The main point of sales for will be our own web store. That said, we will also look into sales partners such as Amazon as we have done for the V.

Will there be a crowdfunding campaign for Spectrum?

We haven’t decided yet. When we launched the V, IndieGoGo was used because our own web store wasn’t ready yet. Though we do not have that problem now, a crowdfunding campaign can still offer great visibility for our product launches and increase sales significantly.

What has been done to ensure setbacks from previous projects won’t affect Spectrum?

We’ve changed our business model and the way sales are handled, to avoid a number of issues that have plagued us in the past. More details about what changed can be found in this post.

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There were setbacks on the first EVE project, something about PayPal not being cooperative or something like that. How can everyone be sure that something such as that wont happen again?

Something else was the incredible demand for the EVE, where you all could not supply everything. I know you are using LG for the panels now and they are a trusted supplier, but there is a possibility that demand might exceed supply once again. What will you do if that happens again?

And finally a lot of the ‘mainstream’ tech blogs and youtubers will talk about these issues when reviewing the monitor, which will probably might make a bunch of potential customers wary. How will you build up the trust again?

Thank you for having this Q&A by the way, I know that there will be plenty of great questions.

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  • sRGB. Windows does not know how to approach wide color gamut screens. Will Spectrum have proper sRGB profile?
  • will Spectrum have variable overdrive?
  • will you ask for support any of the well known monitor-related sites, like tftcentral, rtings etc?
  • how thick will the bezels end up being?
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Gentle reminder:

This Q&A is about Project: Spectrum only. Any questions unrelated to this project will be considered off-topic and removed.

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The thing I’m mostly interested in is:
How much will it cost, when can I pay it, and when will it arrive on my doorstep?
(I won’t be joining the live stream due to travel)

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Is it a bit too early to talk about the possible price? even just estimates? Given that LG’s new monitor with nearly the same spec and same panel as this one is selling theirs at 500 usd, is it safe to assume that this will be cheaper or at the very least the same price since this was developed with affordability in mind?

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Are you considering creating a touch/pen enabled version, or will that be split off into a separate project?

Have you looked into the cost of adding different types of digitizers? (eg. N-Trig/MPP, Wacom AES, and Wacom EMR, or even combination with Chinese OEMs: Huion, UC Logic, UGEE)

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Hi there,

thanks a lot for your work so far at this monitor. I am really intrested in this.

Currently VEGA announced a new Standard with DisplayPort 2.0 ( https://vesa.org/press/vesa-publishes-displayport-2-0-video-standard-enabling-support-for-beyond-8k-resolutions-higher-refresh-rates-for-4k-hdr-and-virtual-reality-applications/ ). Would it be possible to extent the current Port with the new DP2.0?

Or at least in a second ( or third ) hardware-update?

Kind regards,
cvantum

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Hello, I am very interested in this project, I have been looking for a monitor that I can use for both gaming with a high refresh rate and for creative work with good colors and brightness but those are very hard to find and very expensive, this one hits all the right marks, do you have an estimate of the price yet?

Where will you sell it, I read that you will ship worldwide but what sellers will there be in the US? Will you sell through Amazon? IMO selling on Amazon will help you a lot because many people trust them and their buyer protection.

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Not to repeat myself.

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I am not sure but I think that would depend on the panel and they have already chosen one

At this time, a number of basics including the panel we want to use are already locked down. So sorry to say, yes, a bit late…

16:10 was the most popular aspect ratio behind 16:9 back when we polled for the display’s basic specs. As someone who also uses a 16:10 screen, I agree that the extra vertical space is a great addition.

Sadly, not many seem to be sharing our views worldwide, as the demand seems to be for ever-wider aspect ratios, and that’s what the manufacturers are looking to provide… Looking at the product roadmaps for a number of display makers, it seems that 16:10 display panels are few and far between, and they rarely if ever have a focus on broad color gamut, high refresh rate, and the like…

That said, going from 1920x1200 to 2560x1440, I’d consider it winning yet another 240 vertical lines, and a lot more horizontal!

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A very valid question @TheColdTurtle!

It’s true that we have had challenges in the past. We have learned a lot along the way. Mostly, they were caused by the business model we selected, which we haven’t spoken about before.

Before

Originally, we wanted to be a small team in Helsinki focusing on crowd-development, design and hardware development while letting “professionals” focus on the manufacturing, sales and after-sales service. Because of this, we decided to create the V with a licensing business model in mind. We would develop and design a product with you guys, create all the necessary tools and processes for production, and licence it to sales partners in various regions. Our Helsinki team and company would invest funds into the R&D, design, brand, and marketing of the brand itself while sales partner would be able to use it for a fraction of the cost by paying us a licence fee per unit sold, taking care of manufacturing, shipping, replacements and so on.

This licensing business model is very common. For example, when you buy a Porsche notebook, Angry Birds toy or Starbucks instant coffee in a supermarket those brands didn’t make it nor did they sell it to you: they just licensed the brand, and in some cases the design etc. The scope of these agreements varies.

We decided to start by making a 2-3 year licensing deal with a few key partners around the world that would license our product and brand. So when the V was ready for production, we found few partners like Shenker in Germany, partners in China selling the V on JD and TaoBao, and others. Originally everything was going smoothly, but later problems started happening. First with one partner in the supply chain, then later in finances with PayPal funds, then with refunds and so on. Since the contract was fixed for 3 years we couldn’t walk away from it and so we could not handle sales directly nor impact the issues. Licensing revenue to our team also dropped as partners struggling with frozen funds couldn’t pay the licence fee to us.

In the meantime, we were trying to find new partners but problems with people not getting devices affected that. We were caught in a pretty ugly situation. We couldn’t just walk away from that sales partner: Not only did we have a fixed contract, but customers had trusted the Eve brand and would be left without recourse if we did.

We didn’t mention this previously as our contract had a pretty strick NDA and we respect those plus it would look like us rolling the blame, and we didn’t want to make the relationship with struggling sales partner any worse. To summarise what happened, had to rely on a sales partner who we did not have control of other than contractual.

From now on

We are taking a more traditional approach with Spectrum and Muse. We will handle sales ourselves with a newly established business structure, and PCH International will provide the supply chain financing needed to make sure we don’t run into issues. This time around we won’t be depending on anyone else when it comes to handling sales. Our original business model was great in theory, but this is much safer way to do business. Right now, people who are waiting for a refund or unit have purchased a device from our sales partner that is struggling. While that sales partner is doing the best they can to handle their obligations, we will make sure to help people out from sales revenue of Spectrum and Muse, as well as V’s successor once that comes, or a good funding round.

Phew! That was a long one :slight_smile:

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Yeah…thought so. It’s really a shame that 16:10 is such an underestimated ratio. After using it once i don’t wanna ever miss it again. But as you said…they are rarely offered and if than they are mostly offered with bad specs and no Freesync. It’s really a shame :frowning_face:

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As for the doorstep part :). Spectrum will be shipping end of this year. We will announce the price in advance once we lock the Industrial design and the quality standard (we will discuss it here with you folks)

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sRGB. Windows does not know how to approach wide color gamut screens. Will Spectrum have proper sRGB profile?

Could you clarify a bit? I want to ask it straight from the manufacturer! Or do you mean that not all apps accept the monitor native calibration?

will Spectrum have variable overdrive?

Yes

will you ask for support any of the well known monitor-related sites, like tftcentral, rtings etc?

Totally. Brilliant idea. We will ask them to test protos out and feedback to us for tuning/changes

how thick will the bezels end up being?

Will share the concepts soon. But this is a panel with extremely slim borders apart from the bottom where some space is needed. How would you like them to be?

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Thanks for these clarifications, really feel good to know the story from your side. Looking forward to the Spectrum and Muse.

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The less bezels the better … Ideally they would be eliminated entirely, but I know that’s not possible.

Sure!
Using https://imagescience.com.au/knowledge/using-wide-gamut-monitors and https://www.reddit.com/r/Monitors/comments/al9ulj/95_dcip3_vs_srgb_100_xv272u_vs_vg271u/ and quoting from both:

let’s talk about the difference between the two color-spaces, sRGB and DCI-P3. What matters most is the color space used in the development of the game. EVERY PC game since the mid- to- late-90s has used sRGB. That means that you want 100% sRGB coverage in order to adequately represent what the game’s artists were trying to convey. And you can really go 98-102% as most people cannot tell the difference from being 2% off. Modern IPS panels are typically ~99-100%.

Going noticeably above 100% is NOT a good thing, contrary to what marketing departments want you to think. This leads to over-saturation and inaccurate color representation. Going below 100% can lead to grossly under-saturated content.

As Spectrum can display ~135% of sRGB, it will lead to over saturated colors in many cases where content is not color-corrected by software. Because of this, sRGB emulation mode would be super useful : )

The LG 34GK950 F has a native DCI-P3 mode and an emulated sRGB mode and the quality of that mode is a lottery. The TFTCentral unit achieved ~97% sRGB coverage, which is acceptable but not great. The PCMonitors review unit was ~91%, which is pretty bad.

As we can see, the quality of that mode is not easy to get right. For normal Windows user, I would say that having properly working sRGB mode is more important that <1 color delta in most cases.

All in all, I would love to have proper sRGB mode that’s accurate.

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I’m partial to LG design language, when it comes to front monitors. Bottom bezel that’s a dark rectangle is okay, especially if it’s designed in stealth mode and without any logos, leds etc : )

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