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VA monitor smearing? Fixed with a driver/colour profile!

Mussels

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TL;DR: Colour profile from LG monitor fixed VA monitor smearing on three different brand monitors.
Skip to the very bottom for an install guide for the colour profile.

This specific LG .icc file is attached to the post, but not the whole driver.




So I had a fun situation here, one particular website with neon magenta on grey caused a total nightmare for smearing on my "LG HDR 4K" monitor.
(Actual model of 32UN550)
Upon checking, my secondary display also had this issue - and it's got good odds of having the same display, their specs are so similar.
Upon further checking, so did my totally unrelated 1440p 165Hz Gigabyte G32QC


The link is here and some example text is here
1678004836925.png


Recording a 4k60 video and then pausing it to get a photo of the blur was... trifficult. The shots that showed the example best, also tended to look really really baaaaad.
You can see the "shadow" above the magenta text but not the orange
(You can see an issue with that looks like V-sync tearing, that's a recording/pausing issue)
1678004946672.png




Heres the thing: After investigating every single setting on the display i found a "6 colour" that let me adjust "magenta tint"that altered the colour visually, but solved the issue - and then i thought to look for a firmware update.
LG Software, Firmware & Driver Downloads | LG Australia

Instead, I found a 2 KB driver and a 1KB colour profile
1678005113349.png



And it instantly fixed the issue. HOORAY.
Unlike the manual setting, this didnt seem to have any visual negative - It must have fixed the specific shade of magenta that caused the issue, not brute-force changing all of them
1678005327285.png


Oh but i run a mismatched dual monitor setup, both being 4k 60Hz VA panels
This second display has matching specs and size, but less OSD controls
1678005201451.png


So what if i disguised that LG driver as my own cooking and presented it to superintendent Kogan?
1678005445124.png


Is that an LG HDR 4K driver and colour profile localised entirely in my Kogan display? Yes!
Can you see it? Unlike the simpsons Steamed ham meme, also yes.
1678005464046.png

1678005486679.png
1678005481454.png




Driver installed, colour profile loaded and magenta smearing completely gone like they're both entirely new displays

Again with "screenshot from a video" garbage quality but the shadow-smearing is totally gone on both displays
In person the colour shift isn't as drastic, but their secret sauce was to simply lighten magenta (and possibly others!) out of the smear range for the panel
1678005708764.png


I then tested this on my 32" 1440p 165Hz display, which was a lot harder to photograph - it had the same effect but faded much faster
And also looked FAR worse on camera.
1440p on the left, 4k on the right. Never let anyone tell you the quality difference is small, even when its a single frame from a video.
1678007943311.png
1678008171251.png

So what if i install just the colour profile, and not the whole driver?
Totally gone.
1678008008857.png




How to install the colour profile:

Follow the red squares in number order, or grey squares if you are colourblind.
Simply browse to the .icc file of your choice at step 4 - don't forget to unzip the file
1678007549328.png
 

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I have seen similar on other VA panels before where colours are F'd until you load the driver and ICC profile.
My Viewsonic VA panel was like that too then grabbed Viewsonics driver / ICC profile installed it and oh look at that picture suddenly looks way better. I thought my eyes were going fubar but even putting my glasses on didn't help it
I think it's the windows base monitor driver and srgb icc profile that are rubbish because they're made to work on all monitors so basically jack of all but master of none sort of thing
 

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I've been lucky enough that normally it's not visible, or changing the overdrive setting was enough to minimise it drastically
This is the first time i've seen a method that outright removes it without compromising colour accuracy, thanks to finding a 100% reproducible way to display the problem.
It's a pity the fix can't be used on anything else, but i suppose no other platform (consoles, chromecast etc) is going to do web browsing with small text in weird colours.


I had a weird issue playing DRG where it felt like the frame rate had dropped when it hadn't in one level (They're randomly generated) and it was gone the next mission, now i know why.
I'd formatted the PC and lost the colour profile, and the true enemy attacked: Magenta. That whole biome is all the flavours of purple.
Various lighting effects must have had an 'afterglow' messing with me.
(This is where my avatar came from, he's a plushy of one of these + googly eyes)
1678012403825.png
 
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I haven't logged in here for quite some time now till I see your post here. My problem is the usual VA smearing it's very noticeable when gaming. The color profile your posted works unbelievably well, I use it with conjunction with Black Boost to reduce the smearing significantly. I barely can play Metro Exodus before till just now especially at night moving behind cover.
 
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Did a similar thing here, interesting to see this post, hope mine also helps.
 

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Mussels

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Did a similar thing here, interesting to see this post, hope mine also helps.
Ah yep, yours isn't so helpful without an AMD GPU
No matter what brightness/contrast/gamma i set, it wouldnt reduce the magenta smearing here - but i was well aware of using black stabiliser to compensate for black itself smearing in some displays
I haven't logged in here for quite some time now till I see your post here. My problem is the usual VA smearing it's very noticeable when gaming. The color profile your posted works unbelievably well, I use it with conjunction with Black Boost to reduce the smearing significantly. I barely can play Metro Exodus before till just now especially at night moving behind cover.
I've never found anything that worked this well before either, LG must have known and released the profile as a fix for their monitors - and since they sell a lot of VA panels to other brands, it's simply going to work on a lot of displays

Because this is blocking the colours with the worst delays/smearing, it's making the display feel a lot faster in certain situations - text feels basically the same here on TPU, but games that showed a lot of purple and neon colours feel like i'm on my 144Hz display
 
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I think my 144hz 32" 1080P Microboard LCD (Korea special, Circa 2016) uses a VA. Might give this a try. Thanks!
 

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I think my 144hz 32" 1080P Microboard LCD (Korea special, Circa 2016) uses a VA. Might give this a try. Thanks!
Let us know - and see if you can get any before/after photos, since its tricky to get them i could use some better examples
 
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TLDR always install manufacturer drivers. I install monitor drivers with included color profile the moment I install them and I have never experience weird VA smearing. The standard VA smearing still applies.

Only if manufacturer drivers do not work or cause a big issue with your daily use of your system, then you should revert back to Windows preinstalled/Windows update drivers.
 
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It's not a "fix", you're just using generic ICM profile from LG that doesn't match your display settings. Your black levels are lowered as a result and this is what leads to (near)black to light transitions not being as bad as they were before.
 
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@Mussels, fair enough I don't follow Nvidia, not since they failed at making motherboard chips, I understand their need to be the best and higher pricing, AMD get revenue elsewhere.
With my AOC it was mostly black smearing, the solution being to try and keep the LEDS on, but emitting low light (more grey than black), improving response time.

So far that's the only issue I have with AOC AGON VA, I don't need any sync technology (at least so far) even at 40 FPS and 120Hz.
I have never liked the overdrive feature built into the monitor, it causes overshoot, and I don't need it.
 

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TLDR always install manufacturer drivers. I install monitor drivers with included color profile the moment I install them and I have never experience weird VA smearing. The standard VA smearing still applies.

Only if manufacturer drivers do not work or cause a big issue with your daily use of your system, then you should revert back to Windows preinstalled/Windows update drivers.
Most monitors don't have drivers available, or colour profiles

@Mussels, fair enough I don't follow Nvidia, not since they failed at making motherboard chips, I understand their need to be the best and higher pricing, AMD get revenue elsewhere.
With my AOC it was mostly black smearing, the solution being to try and keep the LEDS on, but emitting low light (more grey than black), improving response time.

So far that's the only issue I have with AOC AGON VA, I don't need any sync technology (at least so far) even at 40 FPS and 120Hz.
I have never liked the overdrive feature built into the monitor, it causes overshoot, and I don't need it.
This part is unrelated to the fix i found regarding colour smearing, but relevant to VA smearing in general

AMD's method there in their overdrive settings is riskier as its sending different signals trying to increase the voltage output by the display, by sending brighter colour signals. Rarely goes wrong, but doesn't mean it cant go wrong. (As an example, might be a terrible idea on OLED or whatever tech comes next)


The problem with LCD's is that the response times aren't the same for every colour, the whole "1ms" marketing shit has always been "grey to grey" and displays need more time for various colours - (LG VA panels apparently hate magenta).


I've been playing with freesync and custom ranges after reading up on it on blurbusters, it has a similar effect to fast vsync (which is DX11 and 9 only) in that normally when frames are rendered, they can sit waiting for a longass time before being used so you're seeing and reacting the past, worst case around 50ms - so you can get 'fresher' images like a no-vsync setup, but they also go into some crazy details about how it can be used to reduce monitor smearing by how it all works internally.

They go really really indepth over several articles/forum threads

1678432224674.png



The clarity is from transmitting the same image faster, then letting the pixels cool down and un-smear in the gap while the backlight is off - The resolution sent over the cable is larger than the actual resolution and includes black spaces where the backlight is expected to be off, giving the pixels time to cool down and 60FPS at 120Hz on Freesync would have it able to have twice the cooldown time, giving the lower input latency AND the lower motion blur despite the lower frame rate (This is VRR simplified, using a vertical total of 120Hz at XHz is exactly how it works)

1678430484591.png
1678430536635.png


This is related to why some graphics cards and monitors ramp up into 3D clocks, the higher the blanking (to improve image quality) the more bandwidth is needed - a few hundred extra "invisible" pixels takes more bandwidth and GPU's would have to jump up to higher clocks to feed the suddenly increased pixel rates, combined with common resolutions and refresh rates not neatly fit into the various DP and HDMI standards out there resulting in large jumps

Adaptive sync at 144Hz and 100FPS in those images gets a frame across at the speed of 144Hz, then uses the extra time to let the pixels go neutral (gray i assume) while the backlights off

Using CRU or nvidias custom resolution settings lets you see these values on your displays, mine are wildly all over the place - the same monitor can have different values for Gsync/Freesync on/off, and differences between DP and HDMI.
You can see with mine it has 3840x2160 and the + values adding to larger totals
Add more to that second last line and the totals would increase, giving more cooldown time to the pixels on the display

They talk about a 270 pixel margin giving fantastic clarity and no blur, while my display just has 160 pixels (which seems to be a standard value)


The CVT-RB2 standard can be used by the display to save bandwidth and get higher refresh rate overclocking by doing the opposite and shrinks this considerably - despite being able to run a higher refresh rate, this results in a worse image and some monitors do this sort of thing by default to save costs (in their "OC" modes usually)
1678435892679.png


I can get 65Hz working stable, and using that pixel clock value as a guide i can end up with this
The total here defaults to 2222 for CVT-RB (reduced blanking) for this display, but it works at 2495 - an 11% reduction taking me to 14.7ms per frame - the same latency as 68Hz
1678435445287.png

(These settings worked and i'm using it now, but it's also hard to actually verify it's changed anything without special tools - so it's hard to recommend anyone risk trying)

That new (and sometimes glitching) windows 11 (and 10?) feature is meant to be similar to this, with the frame flipping meant to speed up rendering in windowed applications too not just exclusive fullscreen ones (Without fullscreen exlcusive and/or this, you'd get zero benefit from these changes)
1678433167907.png



Edit: great summary here. High refresh displays are always best with the highest refresh rate chosen and VRR enabled, as that lets you get the latency/blanking of the fastest time, on any FPS in the VRR range.
Gets messier with displays like mine that flicker with VRR enabled or have small VRR ranges (58-60Hz on some i've seen, lol)
1678433354784.png
 
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The overdrive feature on VA displays has one setting that works, all others are garbage - you need to test it thoroughly yourself, because it varies by display. Of the 5 VA panels in the house here, two need "normal" one needs "fast" and one needs "faster"

"off" and "fastest" give ghosting worse than any other option, and the best choices did nothing for the magenta issue
 
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Hello,

i received my AG275QZN this morning, now i think i will search if profile/driver is available, it looks great compared too big 32" LG VA i had.
 
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what about showing the actual VA Problem and not this cherrypicked strong and bright color one?
black on white or grey.
 
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Mussels

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what about showing the actual VA Problem and not this cherrypicked strong and bright color one?
black on white or grey.
Because... this is a VA problem? And worse than the regular black one people get from using the wrong overdrive setting since it lasts longer on the screen?


I cant demonstrate the black smearing to you because with the overdrive setting chosen correctly i don't get it on any of my displays, while this magenta one stuck around on all the LG panels.
 
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For me the best overdrive setting is Normal, off of course is bad and fastest (called Extreme on my monitor) just makes it overshoot and produces white trail.

The thing that really eliminate VA black smearing is so called Black Boost, it could be named differently on different monitor but maxing this one out, plus the mentioned color profile just made VA panel looks VERY CLOSE to having IPS level quality, no joke. The thing I need to do is reduce gamma in nvidia control panel (because using the black boost and color profile made the black looks grey-ish) and yes my monitor look just as good. Here is the video I made to show the smearing almost gone (the color is because I haven't applied the gamma fix)

 
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AOC doesn't have any driver/ICC available at least on my AG275QZN's page...
 
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I actually just wanted to thank @Mussels . This thread made me check what colour profile is. It turned out I had no idea. In the LG drivers I downloaded for my cheap monitor, except for the .ini file that changes the "Generic Display" in Device manager to the correct name of the monitor, they also contained this colour profile file. I had no idea it existed or how to import it in Windows. Now that I've done it, it does make a difference. So big thank you once again, I learned something useful.
 
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The overdrive feature on VA displays has one setting that works, all others are garbage - you need to test it thoroughly yourself, because it varies by display. Of the 5 VA panels in the house here, two need "normal" one needs "fast" and one needs "faster"

"off" and "fastest" give ghosting worse than any other option, and the best choices did nothing for the magenta issue
I don't use the monitor overdrive at all, I also don't use any colour profile. AOC seems to have no black smearing compensation technology, for me none of the overdrive modes fixed black smearing.
Instead a modified EDID (saved as a driver) + AMD GPU monitor setting addressed the issue, AMD also sets the default colour temp to 6500k (I am guessing k).

1678983050285.png 1678983194814.png

@Apocalypsee, pretty much the same here, black smearing and getting the pixels to stay more lit (more on), this reduces transition (delay) from white (full on) to black (off), different issue.
@Mussels, it seems is addressing a colour based issue rather than black-white issue, which can be fixed by using another monitors profile, if it does a similar thing.

It could also be done by modifying the EDID colour preset if you know how much to add-remove.

Not long after the model I have, AOC released an upgraded version with a faster native response time, I could almost suggest it if I had tried one.
 

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Hello,

i received my AG275QZN this morning, now i think i will search if profile/driver is available, it looks great compared too big 32" LG VA i had.

I don't use the monitor overdrive at all, I also don't use any colour profile. AOC seems to have no black smearing compensation technology, for me none of the overdrive modes fixed black smearing.
Instead a modified EDID (saved as a driver) + AMD GPU monitor setting addressed the issue, AMD also sets the default colour temp to 6500k (I am guessing k).

View attachment 288075 View attachment 288076

@Apocalypsee, pretty much the same here, black smearing and getting the pixels to stay more lit (more on), this reduces transition (delay) from white (full on) to black (off), different issue.
@Mussels, it seems is addressing a colour based issue rather than black-white issue, which can be fixed by using another monitors profile, if it does a similar thing.

It could also be done by modifying the EDID colour preset if you know how much to add-remove.

Not long after the model I have, AOC released an upgraded version with a faster native response time, I could almost suggest it if I had tried one.

Do you think the one i have (quoted myself) is an upgrade of yours ?
 
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