John Gruber mentioned in a recent post about Apple's Snow Leopard list of Enhancements and Refinements that one of the small adjustments to Snow Leopard will be that the default gamma on displays will switch from the typical 1.8 value to 2.2, which is what is used on TVs as well as being the long-standing default gamma value in Windows.
Gamma affects the visual contrast you see on your screen, and a higher value indicates a higher level of contrast. The cost of this higher contrast is that you lose some detail on the less luminous parts of your screen.
If you're interested in seeing what this is going to look like in Snow Leopard, or switching your gamma setting now so that you're used to it ahead of time, here are the steps to do it using the Display Calibrator Assistant:
- Head into System Preferences, and click on the Displays icon.
- Click on the Color tab, and press the Calibrate... button.
- On the Introduction window that opens, click Continue
- On the next screen, "Select a target gamma", choose "2.2 Television Gamma"
- Click Continue leaving your Target White Point set to Native (or whatever yours is set to)
- Now name the new profile you've created, click Continue and then Done.
- Lastly, you can now choose to switch between your default color profile, and your newly created profile with the gamma set to 2.2.
I realize this might seem terribly obvious to some users, but for others playing with color profiles is not ground they've previously covered. If you're one of those people, this tip is for you.