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Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)

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Chad TerpstraPlasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 7, 2009 at 6:46:59 pm

I found a great thread on this topic that was active about this time last year but I'm now in the market for a professional plasma for part reference, part client monitor and would love some advice.

The thread centered on the Panasonic TH-50PF10UK which was last year's model. (http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/223/6194#6243) This year's line is the PF11UK and comes in a few sizes. I have a few question about these displays: Do they offer true color management or is it just white balance? Can I calibrate it using the user menu or do the primary (RGB) and secondary (CMY) color-adjustments need to be done in a service menu? The user manual mentions them not.

Also, do these monitors offer a real advantage over other good plasma TVs that aren't branded professional? I have a Samsung 42" at home that allows excellent color controls right in the user menus (full blown CMS). I calibrated it easily with a Spyder Pro colorimeter. The gamma had issues I couldn't resolve but it was a lower end model. Has anyone used a Pioneer Kuro Elite or heard of them? They're supposed to be the bee's knees for plasmas. What about the Samsung PN50A760? It also has full CMS.

To take a few steps back, as I said I'm looking for a part reference, part client monitor. I feel that with proper calibration a plasma is acceptable as a reference monitor for work that is not going to theater or is absolute color-critical. I also use a Panasonic BT-LH1700W for color grading but as mentioned elsewhere the black levels are very poor and for my tastes is much too small to get the "feel" of the work. Also it doesn't show details very well such as grain or compression artifacts that can creep in during workflows-gone-wrong. I had this happen to me recently where I was working on some Red 2K footage I had rendered from RedCine and accidentally introduced too much grain. The 1700W didn't show it much but when I made the DVD is was crawling with noise. We went back and re-exported from RedCine and all was well on the next DVD and HD master.

So in effect I'll be using the monitors in tandem and cross-checking them to get the best results. Any experience you can share with grading on plasmas and what screens work best would be great. Thanks!


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walter biscardiRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 7, 2009 at 7:14:42 pm

We had a thread a few weeks ago.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/223/9449


[Chad Terpstra] "Also, do these monitors offer a real advantage over other good plasma TVs that aren't branded professional?"

Yes, the controls alone far exceed what you get with a consumer version. Also the pro BNC connections are much better than RCA connections.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Chad TerpstraRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 7, 2009 at 7:50:04 pm

The earlier thread seemed more geared towards client monitors where I'm thinking more of using it for reference as well.

Do you use the "monitor" picture setting? The manual describes this as the option to use for creating broadcast content as the Average Picture Level (APL) doesn't affect luminance of individual parts of the image. Also there are a few more advance controls (such as white balance and gamma) but it's still missing CMS to my knowledge. This is how you you'd get all the colors perfectly lined up in case a primary stays off in a different direction. Maybe it's just really good to begin with....


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walter biscardiRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 7, 2009 at 7:56:43 pm

[Chad Terpstra] "The earlier thread seemed more geared towards client monitors where I'm thinking more of using it for reference as well. "

I use it as a second reference monitor. It is calibrated off the pro color accurate monitors we also use. When we roll down a show for final viewing, we only watch the plasmas.


[Chad Terpstra] "Do you use the "monitor" picture setting?"

I start with Standard and customize it from there.

The other thing about the Panny plasmas is that the inputs are modular so you can change them out at any time. We added HDMI to the original two units that did not come with them at the time. Beats replacing the entire monitor just to add a new input.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Chad TerpstraRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 8, 2009 at 5:07:51 pm

Are you saying you calibrate your plasmas by eye according to your pro monitors? I thought I read in another post that you had an professional calibrate them. Maybe I'm confusing you with someone else....


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walter biscardiRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 8, 2009 at 6:08:02 pm

[Chad Terpstra] "Are you saying you calibrate your plasmas by eye according to your pro monitors? I"

Yep. We literally eyeball them since they are not the critical color reference monitors, but they are so doggone close thanks to all the advanced controls in them, we do use them as the client reference monitor.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Jason PorthouseRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 11, 2009 at 9:01:55 pm

[Chad Terpstra] "I thought I read in another post that you had an professional calibrate them. Maybe I'm confusing you with someone else...."

That might be me - mine was ISF calibrated by the previous owner. The PH series have excellent control for most all of the image settings (some from user menu, some from service menu) and if you get a good calibrator (one who understands broadcast rather than just home cinema setups) you should be able to get within a gnat's crochet of REC 709 for HD and 601 for SD (AFAIK you can have different settings assigned to different inputs - you need to then limit SD to component, for instance, and HD to HDMI or whatever flavour IO board you have). So, in theory, $950 for the panel plus $500 for calibration should get you a very close 'reference-able' monitor. Before people junp up and down - no, this won't replace a dedicated broadcast reference monitor, but it's pretty damn good. I've compared it with grade 1 & 2 CRTs and been pleasantly surprised.

Jason

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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Chad TerpstraRe: Plasmas as pseudo-reference monitors (round 2)
by on Apr 12, 2009 at 7:15:32 pm

Thanks, Jason.

That does sound pretty good. My aim is to get as close to spec as possible without breaking the bank. But I also want a 1080p screen to see more of the 2K image than the 720p would offer. Unfortunately the 1080p Pro Panny is around $1800 at best.

I've been talking with a number of ISF calibrators on AVSForums.com and have been told that the best Plasma money can buy are the Pioneer Kuros (better blacks and gamma than even the Pro Pannys apparently) but they're down in price now because they're exiting the TV market. A 50" is around $2000 now so it'd be larger and perhaps closer to RED709 after calibration. Do you know where I'd find a calibrator who is used to working for Broadcast? It'd be good see what their pick would be.



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