Update: Do not calibrate your external monitor with a Mac. See here.

In a previous post, I noted that my iMac prevented me from installing calibration software downloaded from the Asus website. I sent a message off to Asus technical support, but they’re pretty shiite. Apple support is better by miles. I since learned that the X-Rite i1Profiler is supposed to yield results superior to that of Asus’ proprietary software anyway. Another issue, not mentioned by any reviewers I’m aware of, is that the i1 Display Pro included with the PA32UCX-K is not an HDR calibrator. For that, you’ll need an i1 Display Pro Plus, which runs $299.00 in the States, and which, to the best of my knowledge, is unavailable in Vietnam. And while the PA32UCX comes with one Thunderbolt 3 cable, which is connected to my Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K Mini, I’d recommend picking up an extra 1.5 meter cable for other tasks, like browsing the Web. That out of the way, here’s my current calibration workflow, with the caveat that I’m still a novice at this sort of thing and for sure I’ve gotten a few things backwards! Be sure to let the monitor warm up for thirty minutes to an hour before calibration.

1. In System Preferences > Energy Saver, choose settings to prevent the display from turning off while performing calibration. It’s also advisable to turn off screensaver.

2. In System Preferences > Display, make sure PA32UCX is selected.

3. If not, go into System Preferences > Display > Color and select PA32UCX.

4. In the OSD, check Thunderbolt.

5. Every mode in the OSD allows calibration except for sRGB.

6. Set brightness.

7. No need to go higher than 80 for contrast!

8. Set color temperature to 6500K.

9. Black Level 50.

10. Gamma 2.2.

11. Click on Display Profiling from the Home screen.

12. Click on PA32UCX, choose White LED, D65, Gamma 2.2. I’ve selected native luminance because I find 120 nits too dim.

13. On the next screen, leave default settings as shown.

14. Choosing the large patch size on the following screen will take more time but hopefully be more accurate!

15. Leave ADC unchecked and proceed with measurement.

16. With the i1 Display Pro connected to a USB port of the monitor, place the calibrator on the screen as shown.

17. When finished, remove the calibrator and set it on the desk near the monitor.

18. Save settings.

19. Save the profile.

20. Return to the Home screen and click on Quality.

21. Select PA32UCX.

22. Begin measurement.

The report isn’t quite as good as I expected, probably because I didn’t let the monitor warm up long enough.
Screen Shot 2019-12-22 at 12.47.48 AM
My iMac fared much better, but I was using it for several hours before running calibration.

Meanwhile, putting the Asus to the test, here is my very first attempt at correcting skin tones in HLG HDR.

4 thoughts on “Asus ProArt PA32UCX-K Color Calibration + HLG HDR Sample Footage!

  1. Thank you for this article.
    It leaves me a bit confused as you’re saying you connect the ProArt to an Ultra Studio 4K Mini which bypasses ICC profiles. However, Xrite’s calibration software is only able to create ICC profiles, not calibration LUTs. So you’re really just calibrating it for the use of running this monitor through your graphic card?! Do you have explored a calibration workflow that would work when going through your I/O Device?

  2. Are you ready for a long reply? ☺️ At the top of the article is a note warning not to try calibrating the Asus with a Mac. hehe Unfortunately, the UltraStudio 4K Mini can’t be used for calibration. According to Blackmagic, it’s entirely possible to calibrate with the Teranex 8K, but the cost is prohibitive – and several years since its release, I’ve yet to see a single test demonstrating that it even works as promised. Both Light Illusions and Calman now offer solutions as well, AFAIK. It is additionally possible to use Asus’ own software for performing hardware calibration, but a prominent German website says the results were far from convincing. https://www.prad.de/testberichte/test-asus-pa32ucx-k-4k-monitor-mit-helligkeitsrekord/5/. Leading colorists and reviewers around the world praise the monitor, but aside from not knowing how to calibrate the PA32UCX at the time (short of spending $1,600 on a Teranex), I was also bitterly disappointed in their horrendous after-sales support; and as I’ve written about extensively in another post, the ergonomics leave much to be desired. All that aside, Eugene Belsky creates the most stunning HDR videos on YouTube, graded with the less expensive, less powerful (and now discontinued) ProArt PA32UC.

    1. Thank you for your reply. I actually read all your other articles regarding this issue. I don’t have an issue spending $1300 on the Teranex 8K if this was solving my calibration problem, but same as you, I haven’t found a single test on that. It’s REALLY weird! I saw that Calm and Colour Space now include the ProArt Series. However, it’s a bitter pill to swallow considering the price tag of $2000. If they had a similar version such as for the Home version for LG Oleds, I’d purchase it…

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