Deficiencies of the CIE 1931 Color Matching Functions

Two displays using different display technology can have similar color coordinates within the CIE 1931 xy color diagram but still show visual color difference. This color discrepancy is due to the deficiencies in the CIE 1931 2° Standard Observer Color Matching Functions (CMF) where it underestimates the sensitivity of human vision in the blue and red region within the visible spectrum.

Previously, due to the limited usage of narrowband emitters in the display industry, deployment of the 1931 CMF for display color quantification remain unchanged even though the issue is well documented. However, with the advancement in display technology like OLED that utilize narrowband emitters to achieve a wider color gamut, this issue can no longer be ignored.

In response to this issue, the CIE technical committee created the CIE 170-1:2006 standard and subsequently the CIE 170-2:2015 standard. The CIE 170-2:2015, with greatly improved color-matching functions, takes into consideration the observer’s age and field size of the stimulus. The CIE 170-2:2015 has yet to replace the CIE 1931 2° Standard Observer CMF but provide a possible solution to the underlying display color matching issue.

Konica Minolta Display Color Analyzer CA-410 and Spectroradiometer CS-2000/2000A has color-matching functions that conform to the CIE 170-2:2015 standard.

Learn more about display color matching issue and their solution with this whitepaper.

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