Measure the calibration of your MacBook Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display, Apple Studio Display or Apple Pro Display XDR

Find out how to measure the calibration of your display. Depending on the needs of your workflow, you can also fine-tune the calibration or perform in-field recalibration on your display.

Every MacBook Pro, Studio Display and Pro Display XDR undergoes a state-of-the-art factory display calibration process on the assembly line to ensure the accuracy of the P3 wide colour panel and LEDs.

The factory display calibration process lets users enjoy an exceptional viewing experience out of the box. If your workflow requires custom calibration, you can fine-tune the calibration of your display, or recalibrate it for a workflow tuned to a third-party spectroradiometer.

Measure your display

You can use a set of QuickTime movie test patterns from Apple to evaluate the calibration of your display. These appropriately colour-tagged references allow you to use your in-house spectroradiometer to measure and verify the colour primaries/secondaries and luminance including the electro-optical transfer function (EOTF).

Check compatibility

Download test patterns

  1. Go to the AVFoundation Developer Page.

  2. In the Related Resources section, click Colour Test Patterns to download the test files.

  3. Double-click the file to decompress the archive.

Measure the display

  1. Align the third-party spectroradiometer to the centre of the display.

  2. Make sure the room is dim or dark to prevent stray light or glare from affecting the measurements.

  3. Open the QuickTime Test Pattern Movies folder and choose the set of patterns that you want to test. Each folder contains sequences of movie files for measuring colour or luminance in configurations such as BT.709 and BT.601.

  4. Open each file in QuickTime Player and measure each test pattern movie file in the folder. Make sure the reference preset currently in use matches the chosen test pattern. For example, use the Digital Cinema (P3–DCI) mode when using the DCI SDR-based patterns.

  5. Compare the colour (chromaticity) and luminance values you measured to those in the Reference Values.txt file in the test pattern’s folder. Depending on the tolerance or calibration of your spectroradiometer, there may be some variation in readings relative to the reference values.

If your measurements vary significantly from the reference values, get tips for measuring your display.

Customise the calibration

For more advanced workflows, you can make the following adjustments:

* If you have an earlier version of macOS, you can download the Pro Display XDR Calibrator app to recalibrate Pro Display XDR on a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15.6 or later.

Tips for measuring and calibrating your display

If you aren't getting consistent results measuring and calibrating your display, find out what to do.

Check your environment

  • Control the ambient environment to minimise stray light reflecting onto the aperture target area on the display.

  • Apple recommends measuring and calibrating in an environment with ambient temperatures of 25°C (77°F) or cooler. For the most repeatable results, ambient temperatures should be similar during calibration and in typical use.

Check the setup of your spectroradiometer

  • Make sure the display has warmed up for at least 30 minutes and is thermally stable.

  • Orient the meter so that it's perpendicular with the display and level on the x-axis to minimise polarisation.

  • Check your meter’s exposure setting. If your meter has an auto-exposure mode, turn it on – this optimises readings at various luminance levels. If your meter doesn’t have an auto-exposure mode, check with the instrument's manufacturer for recommended settings. Review configuration options for positing and focal distance, aperture, bandwidth, exposure, measurement speed, display sync, and any automatic or dynamic features your instrument may have.

  • Check if your meter has an integration time setting. Use a longer integration time when possible for a more accurate result.

  • If your meter has an auto-neutral-density (ND) filter setting, turn it off.

Check the calibration of your spectroradiometer

Check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine your spectroradiometer’s tolerance. Observed variance may result from any of the following conditions:

  • Different instrument calibrations that use different incidences of illuminant A.

  • Uncertainty inherent in each individual illuminant A.

  • Different instrument hardware design and optical pathways, resulting in different inherited errors.

Reset the spectroradiometer

If your instrument becomes unresponsive, contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to reset the spectroradiometer.

Learn more

Find out about the macOS reference presets included with your display.

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