Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 185–202

Proposal of a Quality-Index or Metric for Soft Copy Display Systems: Contrast Sensitivity Study


DOI: 10.1007/s10278-003-1657-8

Cite this article as:
Wang, J., Compton, K. & Peng, Q. J Digit Imaging (2003) 16: 185. doi:10.1007/s10278-003-1657-8


In addition to the inherent qualities of a digital image, the qualities of the monitor and graphics control card as well as the viewing conditions will affect the perceived quality of an image that is displayed on a soft copy display (SD) system. With the implementation of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), many diagnoses are being made based on images displayed on SD devices, and consequently SD quality may affect the accuracy of diagnosis. Unlike the traditional film-on-lightbox display, optimal SD system parameters are not well defined, and many issues remain unsettled. In this article, the human observer performance, as measured by contrast sensitivity, for several SD devices including an active matrix liquid crystal flat panel monitor is reported. Contrast sensitivities were measured with various display system configurations. Experimental results showed that contrast sensitivity depends on many factors such as the type of monitor, the monitor brightness, and the gamma settings of the graphics card in a complex manner. However, there is a clear correlation between the measured contrast thresholds and the gradient of the display device’s luminance response curve. Based on this correlation, it is proposed to use the gradient of luminance response curve as a quality-index or metric for SD devices.


Soft copy display contrast sensitivity gradient of luminance response curve display quality index human observer performance 

Copyright information

©  SCAR (Society for Computer Applications in Radiology) 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75390-9071USA
  2. 2.Clinton Electronics Inc., Loves Park, Illinois 61111USA

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