I'm aware of the differences. From a technical standpoint the only LCD displays that can be calibrated (although it's still not a full calibration because the changes to color temp are global from white to black) are ones that have red, green, and blue LED backlights. Everything else is just a form of profiling because you can't actually change the white point of the backlight itself. Your Dream Color of course is capable of this as it actually has RGB LED backlights. To expand upon that, (being technically nitpicky here) just because you have a high resolution monitor LUT doesn't mean that you are actually calibrating a screen. The file loaded to the monitor LUT is the result of a profile (by loading it into a high resolution monitor LUT the end result is much less destructive than if the same corrections were loaded into the VIDEO lut).
I'm aware of this as well however I've always heard the file uploaded to the Monitor's LUT referred to as the Monitor profile (which is accurate, it's a profile of the monitor's characteristics and the corrections for out of spec results) and the file uploaded to the video LUT. Even though the word "profile" is used in reference to the file that gets loaded into the Monitor LUT, I've always known the difference between profiling and calibrating.
Breaking it down, the 2690 has only 1 monitor LUT (I suspect the Dream Color has only 1 Monitor LUT as well... wouldn't really make a difference if it had multiple LUTs because only one can be applied at any one given time).
The DreamColor has a 12 bit pre LUT a 12 bit 3x3 Matix multiplier and a 12 bit Post LUT that outputs to a 10 bit panel.
It would be nice if NEC had user presets for that BUT, if you have SpectraView it's pretty much a moot point because you have unlimited presets there and they store EVERYTHING about the monitor's configuration. Luminance, black level, color temperature, gamma curve, luminance uniformity, luminance tracking, and color temperature. Enter your settings and when you hit "Calibrate" it asks you to name your file and it's forever available for instant recall (well, it takes a few seconds to send it from your hard drive to the Monitor's LUT and to update the other settings as well but for all intents and purposes it's the same as having presets directly on the monitor).
Again, the NEC system does not store information for individually calibrated color gamuts. It calibrates for wide gamut and uses sRGB emulation mode switchable in the OSD.
[!--quoteo(post=0:date=:name=shewhorn)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE (shewhorn)[div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]Now, NECs are often referred to as screens that you can actually calibrate and technically this isn't really true. I touched on this before... because the CCFL puts out a specific color temperature you're pretty much stuck with that. The only way to modify that color temperature is by turning on pixels and subtractively filtering out light. This of course is not ideal on monitors that don't have high resolution monitor LUTs because the end result will degrade the resolution of the limited 8 bits that we have to work with. NEC gets around this by having a 12 bit monitor LUT and high resolution panel where by it has 16 times the resolution available to it to make such changes. By making these changes well above the resolution of the video card the NEC can take the 8 bits and remap those values to the higher resolution monitor LUT. The end result is that we don't have to sacrifice resolution coming out of the video card in order to achieve a different white balance or lower luminance or what have you, the lookup table in the video LUT remains 1:1.
So, not exactly the same as fully calibrating (you can only really calibrate the backlight on the NEC, that's it, the rest is technically profiling) but much better than the results you get with a monitor that has only an 8 bit LUT (in which case it makes no difference if you put the results in the video LUT or the monitor LUT).
Now... if we REALLY REALLY REALLY nitpick the Dream Color can't be fully calibrated either because the response curve of the individual pixels
can not be changed. While you can calibrate the color temp of the backlight that is a global change across the entire gradient from black to white. If there are any color shifts on the way from white to black, those shifts must be corrected with a profile (which would be stored in the Monitor LUT).
Because of the RGB LED backlighting in the DreamColor, accurate white point can be obtained for each colorspace by individually adjusting each color group of LED. There is no loss of dynamic range that must be compensated for as in CFL backlit monitors. This is also why it can display 100% of both Adobe RGB and sRGB.
By stating the DreamColor can be calibrated, means that utilizing the HP Advanced Profiling Solution a separate calibration can be obtained for each of seven distinct color spaces;
Full Gamut (133% NTSC Color), Adobe RGB, sRGB, SMPTE-C, ITU-Rec. BT. 709, DCI-P3, and user defined.
While the NEC can store different calibration settings they are all based on the full gamut of the unit, not measured and compared to known standards of each specific color space.