Setting up and maintaining video display monitors properly will help to reduce display variation and improve overall presentation of the radiological image. Display monitor gray-scale characteristics were examined using the SMPTE test pattern. This test pattern may be used as a standard for adjusting brightness and contrast. The controls should be adjusted to display the full dynamic range so that the 5% and 95% signal levels in the pattern are visible. Measured luminance on a laboratory workstation used for radiological perceptual experiments, and on the Siemens CT gray-scale monitor was determined to range from 0.17 to 76.0 nit, and 0.17 to 24.66 nit, respectively. These were compared with the range of approximately 17 to 514 nit for a typical film-viewbox combination. Characteristic curves were determined for both monitors, and CRT gammas were 3.34 and 2.48 for the perceptual workstation and CT console, respectively. The display gamma was determined from fitting luminance data to a log-log plot of luminance versus input gray level. The usefulness of the SMPTE test pattern for visual presentation as well as photometric measurement is demonstrated.