Complete Guide Setting up TV as a reference monitor for Davinci Resolve for Color Grading

Seems to be one of those mysterious topics that everyone kind of know the answer to, but nobody actually does. In today tutorial, or I should call it an episode, I am going to show you guys how to setup and calibrate 4k tv for color grading in Davinci Resolve. For this lesson, I picked up LG 4k 43 inches UH6100. I don’t advertise nor I am being paid by LG to make this lesson. I think out of all the options out there, this is the most affordable and it’s a big bang for the buck! Even though the model is a little bit older now, it’s a UHD panel, that offers wide color gamut, IPS, 10bit. You will not find a better deal out there for the price! Even my professional computer monitor that I absolutely love and have done dozens of projects on, is only 8bit ! Enough of foreplay, let’s get to the sweet stuff! Before we going to continue, I want to provide you list of the things we are going to use today. I want to point out, it is not the latest and fastest, just something that many of you filmmakers may have at home, or can purchase because most of those things are very affordable. I am making this lesson to be affordable, not unlimited cash type of deal.

Anyways, enough of bs, let’s start!

Requirements:

A TV, in my case it is LG 43UH6100. You can find it on the link over here LG TV

HDMI cable that supports 2.0 I use this one 

Calibration Device, Color Munki or Spyder should be fine. If you can afford more professional calibration tool, that’s only bonus. I use SPYDER 5 PRO

DisplayCAL, amazing free software for calibration! Download HERE

Finally, Davinci Resolve, if you a professional, obviously I recommend using studio version. You can find it hereIt’s a little USB dongle that you have to keep in your system while working. Software can be downloaded online

If you want to go completely  pro, I recommend using 3D LUT box, it’s pretty expensive for what it does, but basically, it will allow you to download generated LUT into it, and you can use it “anywhere”

 

 

So, everything I talk about, you can see it in the video below. It’s a little bit of the process, but it will get you amazing results.

STEP 1 “Remove your existing calibration Drivers”

If you are using default calibrator drivers, let’s say Spyder 4, which I’m gonna be using, make sure to remove them from your computer, before you will download DisplayCAL. Otherwise, you will create conflict in software. It’s probably a good idea, if you calibrate your main computer screen first, before you going to continue further with DaVinci Resolve. That way both of your displays are going to match.

 

STEP 2 ” Download and Instal DisplayCAL and Calibrate your screen”

Very straight forward process, just follow the instructions on the screen and it will get you there. Now! One of the things I noticed little bit weird about the process, that once calibrator going to ask you align the RGB to the middle, without calibration, its going to look really off. I’m not sure if that what calibrator sees as pure white, or it’s just the way the sofrware works, but at the end, all my colors look great. So don’t be scared if it will ask you to dial some weird tone in your RGB panel.

STEP 3 ” Follow Instructions in the video for final calibration steps”

 


 

 

 

Aram K

Photographer, Cinematographer, DI Colorist at FILM LUT
Fashion, Portrait and Commercial Photographer.
DI Freelance Film Colorist.
San Diego - Los Angeles - WorldWide