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Thread: Samsung 226BW: Samsung MagicTune Software

  1. #1
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Samsung 226BW: Samsung MagicTune Software

    Samsung MagicTune, anyone?

    First off, let me just say that I love the Samsung 226BW; this is a rather exceptional statement coming from a very recent CRT convert, not to mention one from the visual design field:

    ...



    ...


    MagicTune: Released with 225BW but not 226BW?

    Prior to being the proud and quite pleased owner of a Samsung 226BW LCD, I had tried it's predecessor, the 225BW; even though I took the 225BW back after a couple days, mostly due to reading some reviews of the 226 model, I still was upset to find that the 226BW LCD did not ship with Samsung's MagicTune software, as the 225BW did.

    Maybe I got a bum package or something and everyone else's 226BW shipped with MagicTune, but, for whatever reason, my particular monitor did not.

    Anyway, ...

    Since I was totally impressed with the MagicTune calibration routine and since I hate using the OSD buttons on the monitor to make changes to my display, and since Magic Tune is freely available for download from Samsung's site, I decided to install it and try it with my 226BW anyway.

    What I've found, after two months or so with this Samsung 226BW LCD is that the MagicTune software has become indispensable insofar as a daily tool, especially it's color calibration routine which allows you to save user profiles and load them automatically at startup; furthermore, if I ever need to fine tune the monitor's settings (brightness/contrast/gamma), I don't have to lean forward and actually use the monitors OSD buttons (I've in fact, *never* used the button interface on the monitor).

    Anyway, on the chance that all 226BW's shipped without MagicTune, I thought I'd write a short post on my own experiences with it while also highly recommending it to anyone who hasn't installed it.

    ** EDIT ** 12/24/07 ***
    Just got off the phone with Samsung monitor tech and he says MagicTune is perfectly compatible with the 226BW and that it was withheld by Samsung for marketing reasons only.

    His words: "Hell, we use it here with our 226BW's every day!"

    Anyway ... just thought I'd add that.

    Also interesting, the software was originally designed for a Samsung monitor which had *no* external menu buttons on the monitor at all ...



    MagicTune Download

    The main MagicTune download page, at Samsung's website is here: MagicTune Download

    There's quite a few different versions of MagicTune available on the main download page, and it seems some are indicated to only be for certain Samsung monitors; since I'm using XP Home and since, technically, the 226BW is not listed as a supported monitor, I simply decided to go with the 'Premium' version which has no specific model or models associated with it:

    MagicTune Premium for XP (direct download): XP Version


    The Calibration Function

    What I've found most invaluable, and especially since coming from a decade of using high end 21"+ trinitrons (visual design professional) has been the color calibration routine built into Magic Tune's "Color" tab.

    Here's the screen in Magic Tune from which you launch the calibration routine:

    ...



    ...

    This feature alone made it possible for me to get rid of most of the main problem I was having with the step up from CRT's to LCD's: the much discussed tendency of colors to look 'washed out,' or otherwise, just not as saturated as one would find in a decent Trinitron CRT, especially greys; this phenomenon is most evident when viewing large areas of continuous tone colors such as those found in windows interface objects, etc.

    The grays in Windows XP's default interface start bar, for instance, compared to a CRT and when using an LCD, just look a bit lighter and, well, 'washed out;' I think that's a good term for it.

    I found that using the calibration routine that comes with Magic Tune greatly reduced this tendency in my own Samsung 226BW.

    Unlike the interface suggests, and especially if your not familiar with other, very similar calibration routines, it's not really that simple of a process.

    I did some notes on the main calibration page which might help explain how to go through the calibration process.

    Click the smaller image below for details:


    Calibration Test Screen Explained

    The calibration test itself, unless you've used something like Adobe Photoshops color calibration routines, is not really that intuitive. Once you understand the concept, it's simple, but for any n00bs out there, I thought it might be good to have a visual breakdown:

    ...



    ...

    You'll have to view the linked test screen image at full resolution (1680x1050) for things to be rightly legible; but it should be clear enough.

    Also, there's a help file accessible from that same test screen, in the upper right.

    Repeat the indicated process for each of the 5 or so calibration test steps and be sure to save your profile when complete; later on, and as ambient light conditions change, you might try re calibrating and saving another profile as the LCD output can be perceived somewhat differently when going from a daylight lit room to one completely dark in the evening.

    Anyway, as I've said before ... I found this feature to quite dramatically reduce the somewhat 'washed out' aspects of the typical consumer LCD versus the typical and decent CRT (Sony Trinitron etc.).

    The fact that I even noticed this discrepancy between CRT's and LCD's is almost definitely due to the fact that I've worked with CRT's in a field that demands accurate color reproduction (screen-to-print, etc.) and so maybe the majority of you never noticed.

    But for those of you, like me, who were initially bugged by the difference in saturation evident when using consumer LCD's ... the above explained calibration routine might just help you acclimate.

    I know it did me.



    Load MagicTune at Windows Start


    As a final note regarding calibration and if you want your last saved profile to load at windows start, make sure you've selected "Enable Task Tray Menu" from the "Option" section of MagicTune's main interface.

    ...



    ...



    MagicTune: Other features


    Otherwise, the other main benefit of using MagicTune is that I don't have to lean forward to make the expected and regular changes to my 226BW's brightness and contrast levels.

    ...

    Brightness/Contrast
    Depending on my room ambient light and whether I'm watching a DVD or working on a text application ... or otherwise, I've found I need to adjust general brightness and contrast quite often.

    When the MagicTune application is loaded in the system tray, I can simply open it and change the settings with sliders.




    ...

    Following are those features which are available but for which I've never found any use for (MagicBright, etc.).

    ...

    Samsung MagicColor
    I've never found any reason to use this; just seems a bit like fluff-ware to me:



    ...

    Samsung MagicBright

    Again, as with MagicColor, above, I've never touched this; again, seems like more fluff-ware:



    ...

    Sharpness Control
    I played with this initially, but have found little use for it, other than the default settings because text and otherwise has always been displayed very nice and sharp. The difference in DVD's and otherwise is nominal at best:



    ...

    Tone Control
    As with most monitors, you can adjust the 'tone' of the overall output; I lean towards warm, myself:



    ...

    Gamma Control
    This is another available and somewhat nit-picky item which I've never used much. Mostly, I think, due to the main color calibration routine handling this for me.



    ...


    The Point?

    The main point is that for me personally, and even though (according to Samsung's site) MagicTune is not developed for the 226BW, it still has made a big difference in my personal appreciation of the 226BW LCD.

    I mean specifically and most importantly the color calibration routine. I really affected the default 'washed out' sort of appearance of colors that seem to plague all LCD's.

    Also ... and this is a huge benefit ... YOU NEVER HAVE TO USE THE CLUMSY ONSCREEN MENU via the buttons on the monitor ... you can just use a mouse with MagicTune which is way easier.

    That said, I don't guarantee that you will have similar results using this software with your own 226BW, nor do I guarantee that it won't melt your screen or otherwise cause damage. So, use at your own risk.

    But for me personally, and since I used the 225BW for a day or two and since that monitor shipped with a MagicTune CD ... I think it's safe to say that using MagicTune with the 226BW is most likely okay.

    Otherwise ... and since I can't sleep ... I thought I'd pass on some of the love.

    :thumb:
    Last edited by s1rrah; 12-24-2007 at 01:08 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Thanks for this. A friend of mine was actually thinking about buying one of these sometime in the next couple weeks
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  3. #3
    Only Extreme Need Apply
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    gotta say samsung monitors rock!

    thou i must say tuning them is a must... if not ur eyes would hurt after a while! they're pretty clear and i'm really satisfied with my 931bw.
    Buildin

  4. #4
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Just got off the phone with Samsung monitor tech and he says MagicTune is perfectly compatible with the 226BW and that it was withheld by Samsung for marketing reasons only.

    His words: "Hell, we use it here with our 226BW's every day!"

    Anyway ... just thought I'd add that.

    Also interesting, the software was originally designed for a Samsung monitor which had *no* external menu buttons on the monitor at all ...

    Last edited by s1rrah; 12-24-2007 at 01:02 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User NijN of Spades's Avatar
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    Nice thread! Thx

    Btw: MagicTune is shipped with the monitor nowadays
    Last edited by NijN of Spades; 06-30-2007 at 01:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NijN of Spades View Post
    Nice thread! Thx

    Btw: MagicTune is shipped with the monitor nowadays
    That's good to know ...

    I posted somewhere that a conversation with Samsung's tech staff revealed that the software was not included for strictly marketing reasons ...

    Good software ... I use it every day ...

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    thanks,,,just ordered the 226bw from dell, proaby get in mon or tues... i have read a lot on this monitor, and their is a lot to read. the different panels, that seems to be the big buzz, s, a , and c panels from what i gather.. i doubt if i look when i get mine, because i have had some say that the c panel just looks great... to it could be a big myth on the s panel. will find out soon, and will try to use magic tune... i almost bought the 225bw...but changed my mind at the last minute...how does dvd movies look, and can i use a blu-ray player on this monitor..i just noticed phylipps came out with a $300 blu-ray player, more my price range

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    thanks,,,just ordered the 226bw from dell, proaby get in mon or tues... i have read a lot on this monitor, and their is a lot to read. the different panels, that seems to be the big buzz, s, a , and c panels from what i gather.. i doubt if i look when i get mine, because i have had some say that the c panel just looks great... to it could be a big myth on the s panel. will find out soon, and will try to use magic tune... i almost bought the 225bw...but changed my mind at the last minute...how does dvd movies look, and can i use a blu-ray player on this monitor..i just noticed phylipps came out with a $300 blu-ray player, more my price range.

  9. #9
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronss View Post
    thanks,,,just ordered the 226bw from dell, proaby get in mon or tues... i have read a lot on this monitor, and their is a lot to read. the different panels, that seems to be the big buzz, s, a , and c panels from what i gather.. i doubt if i look when i get mine, because i have had some say that the c panel just looks great... to it could be a big myth on the s panel. will find out soon, and will try to use magic tune... i almost bought the 225bw...but changed my mind at the last minute...how does dvd movies look, and can i use a blu-ray player on this monitor..i just noticed phylipps came out with a $300 blu-ray player, more my price range.
    You'll love the monitor whatever panel you get.

    I hope magictune works with your video card (some folks with newer cards get a 'not supported' message.

    I've found the calibration routine to be ESSENTIAL in getting greys and other colors in the XP interface to look dense and more saturated than your standard uncalibrated LCD.

    I just installed a Samsun 914v 19" LCD for a friend and the uncalibrated image when viewing continuous tone colors in the XP interface was just so washed out and thin.

    Luckily Magictune worked fine with his system and post the calibration routine (described in my original post) ... it was like night and day.

    Coming from CRT's and Trinitrons ... there's simply no way I could use my LCD with out some sort of calibration routine.

    ...

    Regarding DVDs:

    The 226BW is phenomenal with DVD's ... again, if your a purist who can't stand backlight bleed and blacks that aren't really black (big problem with LCD's) ... it'll take some tweaking to get things perfect.

    Myself, I use Nvidias PureVideo codec which has a good set of color/contrast adjustments and also, once that is set to the optimum level for Blacks and backlight bleed elmination ... I can use MagicTune's brightness and contrast to polish it up.

    Here's a bunch of UNAFFECTED camera shots I took of the monitor's output while watching the film Munich in a completely dark room. Great color and zero backlight bleed:

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    Otherwise ... enjoy your monitor!

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    Xtreme Member CaNNibaL's Avatar
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    i've got a prob with my 226BW, sometimes when windows starts it appears a message saying: "your monitor does not support magic tune" or something like that :X what's that :X

    Regards
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  11. #11
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaNNibaL View Post
    i've got a prob with my 226BW, sometimes when windows starts it appears a message saying: "your monitor does not support magic tune" or something like that :X what's that :X

    Regards
    If it's happening intermittently ... that is, sometimes MagicTune loads and other times you get that message ... then that's behavior that I see as well.

    Doesn't happen much, but usually does after I install some new program that has a tray component or otherwise is a program that runs at startup.

    Strange as it may seem ... I believe the MagicTune software load routine, at windows start, is sensitive to load order or is potentially 'messed with' by other things loading.

    Things you can try that I have found sometimes work:

    ...

    1. Just restart your computer.
    2. If that doesn't work, then use MSCONFIG (start/run/msconfig) to selectively disable anything you don't absolutely need to run at startup; this has fixed the problem for me many times in the past as, typically, the MagicTune load problem started after installing something else (last time was when I loaded a "keep alive" program to move my mouse every 15 mins so as to prevent my machines autologoff routine, this program had a tray component which I had to disable in order to get MagicTune to run again.
    3. Uninstall and reinstall magic tune (but I'd try number 2 first!)

    ...

    Wierd problem ...

    If it's any consolation, I get it too ... about once a month or so ... but can always get it to load again via the above methods. I've never had to reinstall it ...

    Good luck ...
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  12. #12
    The Voice of Reason Soulburner's Avatar
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    Looks like a solid program.

    However, I'll stick to my trusty Spyder2. It always goes a good job of calibration, and its a lot easier than doing it myself.
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  13. #13
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
    Looks like a solid program.

    However, I'll stick to my trusty Spyder2. It always goes a good job of calibration, and its a lot easier than doing it myself.
    Do they have a Free Option(tm)?



    I'd love to check it out myself.
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  14. #14
    The Voice of Reason Soulburner's Avatar
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    No but close, the Spyder2Express is $60 something at Newegg.
    Windows 7 + SSD:
    Mode: AHCI, default Microsoft driver or latest Intel RST
    Defrag: Off
    Hibernation: Off (use Sleep mode, recommend a UPS)
    Indexing: On (it only indexes a few locations, not your whole system unless you tell it to)
    Page File: On (set to the minimum of 16MB if you have a large amount of RAM, disabling not recommended)
    Prefetch: On
    Superfetch: On (RAM is always faster than an SSD - use it)
    System Restore: Off (with regular backups)
    Browser Cache: RAM Only, Disk Cache Off (How to with Chrome)
    Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads to HDD (Public Libraries too, see above link about junctions)
    UAC: On!

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    Xtreme Member CaNNibaL's Avatar
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    Thank You s1rrah, i uninstaleld it and remove it from the regstry (regedit), isntalled a new version 1.0.56, now let's see !

    Merry xmas
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  16. #16
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaNNibaL View Post
    Thank You s1rrah, i uninstaleld it and remove it from the regstry (regedit), isntalled a new version 1.0.56, now let's see !

    Merry xmas
    Try the msconfig bit as well ...

    It gave me the incompatible message just this morning but was fixed after I restarted.

    One thing I've noticed ... if you've succesfully calibrated your LCD once via the calibration routine ... and if you chose to load the calibration profile at startup ... then that profile will still load even when you get the Magic Tune incompatibility message.

    What you don't get, though ... is the interface to control brightness and contrast with the onscreen sliders ... something I find absolutely essential. I haven't had to use the monitors built in menu system once (and this is good cause I'd rather just stay kicked back in my chair and all and just use a mouse!)
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    Xtreme Member CaNNibaL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s1rrah
    What you don't get, though ... is the interface to control brightness and contrast with the onscreen sliders ... something I find absolutely essential. I haven't had to use the monitors built in menu system once (and this is good cause I'd rather just stay kicked back in my chair and all and just use a mouse!)
    That's true, very nice to have software that adjusts that with mouse
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    Thank you very much for the little guide.
    I just bought the monitor and had little problem understanding the calibrate setup on the program.

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    What is your panel? i've read some bad reviews of this monitor and panel C, i can get it pretty cheap but this is holding me back a lot

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    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freestyler7 View Post
    Thank you very much for the little guide.
    I just bought the monitor and had little problem understanding the calibrate setup on the program.
    No problem mang. That's what I'm here for.

    ...

    @metro.cl : mine is an "S" panel (or samsung). The C and A panels are totally redeemable, however but you need to set up a custom color profile to handle the slight blue shift in them. There's a good article on the problem here: http://www.behardware.com/articles/6...e-verdict.html

    The above link includes custom downloadable profiles for color correction.

    I just went in to Circuit City yesterday (where I bought mine about 9 months ago) and checked the back of the display unit ... and lo and behold, it was an S panel as well.

    See if you can buy local and check the panel before buying ...
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    I have used MagicTune on my 226BW and it does remove a lot of that blue push, but I'm having a problem with the program staying in task bar with just the logo. It won't go away. How do I fix this. I'm running Vista x64 and downloaded the MagicTune version for Vista x64. I included a screenshot by what I mean.


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  22. #22
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallboy View Post
    I have used MagicTune on my 226BW and it does remove a lot of that blue push, but I'm having a problem with the program staying in task bar with just the logo. It won't go away. How do I fix this. I'm running Vista x64 and downloaded the MagicTune version for Vista x64. I included a screenshot by what I mean.
    I'm not sure what to tell you since we're running different versions of Windows and Magictune.

    Only thing that comes to mind is make sure "Enable Task Tray Menu" is turned on in MagicTune's options.

    And also, when you close MagicTune, don't use the 'minus sign' reduce to start menu button; use the small "X" in the top left of the MagicTune window; this should close the MagicTune interface completely, leaving only an icon in your task tray but not in your main start menu.

    ...

    Otherwise .. can you PM me to let me know where I can get that background image? It looks awesome.

    Thanks
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    Yeah the tray menu is enabled and I always closed it with the X.

    edit: If I kill MagicTuneEngine.exe process it goes away.

    Wallpaper is dualscreen and I got it here :

    http://www.dualmonitorbackgrounds.co...sized.jpg.html

    Really nice dual screen wallpapers on that site.
    Last edited by Wallboy; 02-08-2008 at 01:38 PM.

    CPU: Q6600 G0 @ 3.4GHz w/ TRUE 120
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    I joined this forum a couple of weeks ago and this is my first post . First , let me thank the moderators for an outstanding web site ; I have found several extremely valuable posts while lurking here which have broadened my skills . s1rrah's post led me to MagicTune which has been a god send . I want to thank you s1rrah specificly . My guestion is what is that lcd gamma icon in the notification area and is it needed ? I have a Samsung 226BW .
    Last edited by _Ralph_; 02-10-2008 at 04:41 AM. Reason: spelling error

  25. #25
    Xtreme Member s1rrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Ralph_ View Post
    I joined this forum a couple of weeks ago and this is my first post . First , let me thank the moderators for an outstanding web site ; I have found several extremely valuable posts while lurking here which have broadened my skills . s1rrah's post led me to MagicTune which has been a god send . I want to thank you s1rrah specificly . My guestion is what is that lcd gamma icon in the notification area and is it needed ? I have a Samsung 226BW .
    Hi Ralph.

    I too used MagicTune all day every day.

    As I've said before: I've never once used my 226BW's hardware menu to change the brightness and contrast, even though I change the brightness and contrast every day ... I always use my mouse and the software to change such settings.

    BTW ... the "LCD Gamma" icon is simply the icon that loads when Magictune applies your LCD calibration settings at windows start up.

    After your computer starts and the calibration settings are loaded (you should see the change, visually) ... feel free to right click the icon and close it.

    Such action will not affect the already applied calibration setting.

    It loads on my system as well ... I've just become used to either closing it or ignoring it.

    Have fun.

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