BEST color management RIP for wide format inkjet printers.

BEST is a well known color management RIP for wide format printers. Originally the company was German, but it was recently sold to EFI, Electronics for Imaging. Because BEST is a complex high-end RIP for commercial prepress shops who know how to use a spectrophotometer, it always helps to get your printer, scanner, RIP, ICC software, inks, and media from one place. That way one tech support system is responsible for assisting you with everything.

There is no way for anyone to judge how the sale of one company (BEST), to a completely different company (EFI), will affect the products. Quite a number of people have offered their opinions based on their experience in the industry, so what we report is the gist of the pulse of the industry. EFI RIPs were well known for being dedicated to one sole printer (meaning you could not use one RIP for any other printer). EFI required that tech support came from the printer manufacturer; EFI itself stated they did not provide tech support for the RIP themselves. This is typical on OEM RIPs dedicated to one sole printer; the new proofing RIP, GlobalColor, will have the same policy. So we do not know if BEST will move to the OEM mode or not.

Another question is whether future RIPs can still be updated and for all brands of printers. For example, no previous EFI RIP, which we are familiar with, could be updated whatsoever. Same is true with all ps RIPs from Hewlett-Packard. The question is how many of these traditional EFI policies be moved over to the BEST RIP now that they are owned by EFI?

We would estimate that in about six months to a year the answers will be known. Now it is too early because there are no new products yet issued under the EFI changes. We do not base our reports on corporate PR; but rather on what an end user actually experiences. We ourselves were end users of two EFI Fiery RIPs, which is why we do not use them any more. Hence we will wait until we ourselves have such experiences with whatever BEST evolves into as well as keep our ears open to what others say. Already there is quite a lot of industry commentary on the sudden change of ownership. We have several BEST licenses for older versions. We will wait and see if they can be updated six months from now and will publish our experiences. Actual experience is always the best way to learn.

Best color proofer presentationIn the meantime, for additional information on options for RIP software and for help making your decision now, visit our website www.wide-format-printers.NET for the latest report series on RIPs.

If this will be your first printer, then we have a special report that holds your hand and leads you through all the basic questions that will assist a first-time buyer of a large format printer. This is the FLAAR report on "RIP + Help." This explains what RIP software is, why this is useful, and includes tips, warnings, information, and help for a wide range of matters for a newbie. Here you will really appreciate that FLAAR is based at a university; Professor Hellmuth has plenty of experience writing in a manner that explains what you need, and why.



Most recently updated May 23, 2003.
Previous updates: Jan. 6, 2003, Dec. 19, 2002.