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Monitor upgrade situation

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Cade MuhligMonitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 2:39:08 am

I have a old and dying 30" Apple cinema (getting some dark areas, but still usable) and a small 12" Sony broadcast monitor hooked up through a AJA Lhe
I'm looking to upgrade. But I don't know which one to swap out.
The 12" broadcast monitor is too small to color HD on.
I would like to just swap out the computer monitor and replace it with a new <$1500 quality lcd monitor for color correction, but I understand it doesn't work like that.

So I could keep the old 30" a while longer and swap out the crt, or rather keep both but add another...
But in order to use a dreamcolor, or something comparable, for color with my setup, I'd also have to buy a SDI to DVI... which costs about $600 right? And dreamcolor alone is at the limit of my budget stretch

Also, I'm looking at the NEC PA271W-SV which is cheaper. But I'd still need the SDI to DVI adapter I believe.

With about $1500 to spend, is a quality plasma my best option? Or is there still a professional solution availible.

Current Prices:
NEC PA271W-SV - $1500
HP Dreamcolor - $1400 (used)
AJA HDP2 SDI to DVI - $600



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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:02:53 am

[Cade Muhlig] "NEC PA271W-SV - $1500
HP Dreamcolor - $1400 (used)
AJA HDP2 SDI to DVI - $600"


You'd probably want the Dreamcolor "Advanced Profiling Solution" as well ($350).

We've graded four features on the Dreamcolor, and subsequently screened a couple of them in high-end DI theaters -- the color accuracy is remarkably good.

Digital Workflow/Colorist
You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read Is FCP X a professional app? on our blog.


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Cade MuhligRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:29:08 am

I see now that the dreamcolor has component inputs, therefore I could plug it directly into the Kona LHe.
Do I lose quality by going analog like that?
I could save $600


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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:29:05 am

[Cade Muhlig] "I see now that the dreamcolor has component inputs, therefore I could plug it directly into the Kona LHe.
Do I lose quality by going analog like that?
I could save $600"


I've never tried on ours, but IIRC the Dreamcolor's on-board color engine doesn't work when using the analog inputs, so that's a no go.


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Cade MuhligRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 4:50:49 am

So monitor + calibrator + adapter looks like about $2200 total if I can get the monitor used.
Any cheaper solutions?
We've got an old Z1U lying around. I think I'll sell it



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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 5:47:52 am

[Cade Muhlig] "So monitor + calibrator + adapter looks like about $2200 total if I can get the monitor used.
Any cheaper solutions?"


Not really. You could go with a standard desktop display and an HDLink, which you could load a LUT into, but if you're looking for accurate color you'll open up a huge can of worms trying to get it that way vs. just using the Dreamcolor's integrated system.

Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve
You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read Is FCP X a professional app? on our blog.


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Jeff BernsteinRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 6:39:08 am

You will want to install an AJA HDP2. You would connect your Kona HD-SDI output to the HDP2. Then connect a DVI to DisplayPort or HDMI cable to the Dreamcolor.

If you want to take advantage of the color management of the Dreamcolor, you are required to give the monitor strictly an RGB and a Progressive, nor PSF. In addition, it does not have a good scaler.

By having the HDP2, it will do all the conversions and scaling for you. Since there is a delay with all the processing, there are also audio outputs so that everything stays in sync for monitoring.

http://www.aja.com/products/converters/converters-hd-hdp2.php

Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
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Cade MuhligRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 6:46:06 am

Yes,
That's exactly what I was looking at
Thanks for your professional advise guys.
I know what I want now, just have to wait for the budget



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Andy MeesRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:59:07 am

Another option would be to swap out your LHi for a cheaper card that will give you a compatible HDMI output to use directly with the Dreamcolor or maybe a Panasonic Pro Plasma that you can calibrate using ISFccc (have a look for a V25, you might be able to get one pretty cheaply).

Cheers
Andy


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Cade MuhligRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:19:15 pm

Well actually I'm using a hackintosh, and I have a ati graphics card that has a display port out and an hdmi out. Would this work?



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Andy MeesRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:29:13 pm

No. Thats a "display" output, not a "video" output ie it appears as a extended desktop monitor output to the OS but not as a broadcast video output to the NLE.


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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 6:05:17 pm

[Andy Mees] "No. Thats a "display" output, not a "video" output ie it appears as a extended desktop monitor output to the OS but not as a broadcast video output to the NLE."

Mind you, in FCP X (sorry if this violates forum boundaries, but it seems relevant to someone trying to save money on monitoring), there's a fair chance you'll be able to get decently accurate video on a monitor connected to a normal GPU, thanks to its new ColorSync support.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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David Roth WeissRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 6:57:12 pm

[Chris Kenny] "it seems relevant to someone trying to save money on monitoring), there's a fair chance you'll be able to get decently accurate video on a monitor connected to a normal GPU, thanks to its new ColorSync support."

I suspect that's wishful thinking Chris, because accurate color is only part of the equation. I don't think that even Apple has yet figured out a way to properly display fields on computer monitors.

So, I wouldn't be throwing all those Flanders monitors and AJA, BM, and Matrox I/O devices in the dumpster just yet. However, I will provide my address and the precise location of my dumpster for anyone who thinks I might be underestimating the FCX architects in this regard.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:14:37 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I suspect that's wishful thinking Chris, because accurate color is only part of the equation. I don't think that even Apple has yet figured out a way to properly display fields on computer monitors.

So, I wouldn't be throwing all those Flanders monitors and AJA, BM, and Matrox I/O devices in the dumpster just yet. However, I will provide my address and the precise location of my dumpster for anyone who thinks I might be underestimating the FCX architects in this regard."


You don't display fields, you de-interlace in software first. What kind of external display are you monitoring on? Unless it's a CRT, there's a de-interlacing step in there somewhere anyway, probably handled by hardware within the display. LCD, plasma and DLP are all natively progressive.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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walter biscardiRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:33:39 pm

[Chris Kenny] "You don't display fields, you de-interlace in software first."

Yes, you DO display fields. 1080i is an interlaced format. Standard definition is an interlaced format.

Yes you DO want to see fields so when these formats are displayed on interlaced monitors / projectors, there are no surprises. You absolutely positively do NOT want your software or hardware converting your interlaced to progressive unless you need it to.

That's why we recommend Flanders Scientific monitors. They properly display interlaced images.

So when Discovery Channel requires 1080i for delivery your answer will be "You don't need to display interlaced, just display progressive instead."

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:41:46 pm

[walter biscardi] "Yes, you DO display fields. 1080i is an interlaced format. Standard definition is an interlaced format.

Yes you DO want to see fields so when these formats are displayed on interlaced monitors / projectors, there are no surprises. You absolutely positively do NOT want your software or hardware converting your interlaced to progressive unless you need it to.

That's why we recommend Flanders Scientific monitors. They properly display interlaced images. "


Again, LCDs are natively progressive. Flanders Scientific monitors may "properly display interlaced images", but unless they're doing something really, really bizarre (and their marketing material doesn't seem to mention any especially unusual handing of interlaced material) they do so by processing them and then putting them on a progressive panel. There is, in principle, no reason this couldn't be done in software.

If you absolutely need to see interlaced material as interlaced material, with no processing of any kind, as far as I know the only way to do this is to use a CRT.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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David Roth WeissRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:15:39 pm

Chris,

We are talking about apples and oranges here, because the focus of this discussion should really be about the signal that's feeding the monitor. A true video signal output via a camera, deck, or video I/O device, is quite different from the signal generated by a computer display card, such as ATI or Nvidia, and the monitors designed to display those signals do so very differently.

HDTVs or monitors are designed to display both interlaced and progressive video signals, despite the fact that they are native progressive displays. And, improper or mismatched fields are processed and displayed improperly on such monitors, making such anomalies easily detectable. The same errors go undetected on computer monitors fed by graphics cards or computer display cards.

So, as Walter and I said earlier, your advice is a tad unrealistic, and hopefully, no one will chuck out their Flanders monitors or I/O devices based on your advice. However, my offer remains in place, and should anyone decide to chuck theirs, I will gladly accept them.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:40:52 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "HDTVs or monitors are designed to display both interlaced and progressive video signals, despite the fact that they are native progressive displays. And, improper or mismatched fields are processed and displayed improperly on such monitors, making such anomalies easily detectable. The same errors go undetected on computer monitors fed by graphics cards or computer display cards. "

I fully acknowledge that this is true with current editing systems (all of them, as far as I'm aware), but there is no fundamental technical reason why it has to be the case. The result of the de-interlacing that takes place inside an HDTV to drive, say, a 60p panel from a 60i source just produces a 60p signal that's sent to the panel. This process could be precisely duplicated in software and used to generate an image to send to a 60p panel connected via a standard computer graphics card. There are even computer displays and graphics cards that can natively sync at 24 and 50 Hz, for dealing with other frame rates. Or, for that matter, you could simply hook up an HDTV to a standard graphics card via a DVI to HDMI adaptor, and then calibrate it via ColorSync rather than having to mess with LUTs.

About the only real limitation to this approach is that OS X can't currently drive computer displays at more than 8 bits/pixel. But it's probably fine for 90% of what people are presently using external monitoring for.

Basically, a lot of people are wasting a lot of money on monitoring because NLE developers haven't been interested in moving past the traditional approaches, which originated in a world of interlaced analog video, desktop operating systems with no color management, and computer displays that couldn't duplicate TV color spaces. I don't know that Apple has managed to entirely solve this problem, but supporting ColorSync in Final Cut Pro X is at least a good first step toward dragging digital video monitoring out of the past.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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walter biscardiRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:51:57 pm

[Chris Kenny] "The result of the de-interlacing that takes place inside an HDTV to drive, say, a 60p panel from a 60i source just produces a 60p signal that's sent to the panel. This process could be precisely duplicated in software and used to generate an image to send to a 60p panel connected via a standard computer graphics card"

You really don't understand broadcasting do you?

David and I are not talking about the signal that goes to the TV. We are talking about the requirements of broadcaster across the world.

If you are required to deliver a 1080i / 59.94 (or 29.97) signal to a broadcaster (which 100% of the broadcasters I work with do) then you MUST be able to view that 1080i / 59.94 (or 29.97) signal properly on your editing monitor.

If you are NOT able to properly display that signal on your editing monitor then you have the possibility of delivering a signal with mismatched interlacing issues (which David mentions) which will result in your project being rejected by the Quality Control dept. of said broadcaster, which will result in you fixing the project (on your own dime) until it clears Quality Control.

THIS is what David and I are talking about. We really don't care what the end television / projection system does to the image. What we care about is delivering the proper image to a broadcaster or any other specific client requirements. Simply "using progressive because that's all you need" is not the correct answer in a professional video editing environment.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:55:38 pm

[walter biscardi] "You really don't understand broadcasting do you?

David and I are not talking about the signal that goes to the TV. We are talking about the requirements of broadcaster across the world.

If you are required to deliver a 1080i / 59.94 (or 29.97) signal to a broadcaster (which 100% of the broadcasters I work with do) then you MUST be able to view that 1080i / 59.94 (or 29.97) signal properly on your editing monitor."


And what I'm telling you is that unless your editing monitor is a CRT, there is nothing it is doing to let you "properly" view that interlaced signal that couldn't in principle be done in software, to provide the same result on a 60 Hz computer monitor. If you think there is something it's doing that couldn't be done in software, what is that thing?

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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walter biscardiRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 10:00:47 pm

[Chris Kenny] "And what I'm telling you is that unless your editing monitor is a CRT, there is nothing it is doing to let you "properly" view that interlaced signal that couldn't in principle be done in software,"

Your editing monitor does not have to be a CRT, hasn't needed to be for several years now. There are professional Grade 1 monitors like the Flanders Scientific we keep mentioning (but you keep ignoring) that take a proper interlaced signal from a proper video card such as AJA or BlackMagic and display it properly on their LCD reference monitors.

I'm done with this discussion, if you want to recommend a computer panel with a software simulation, that's your choice.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 17, 2011 at 4:39:28 am

[walter biscardi] "Your editing monitor does not have to be a CRT, hasn't needed to be for several years now. There are professional Grade 1 monitors like the Flanders Scientific we keep mentioning (but you keep ignoring) that take a proper interlaced signal from a proper video card such as AJA or BlackMagic and display it properly on their LCD reference monitors.

I'm done with this discussion, if you want to recommend a computer panel with a software simulation, that's your choice."


Yes, I'm aware that people regularly monitor from LCDs. It's the core of my argument that it's not necessary to monitor from a natively interlaced display.

Look, here's my point. The current standard signal chain for monitoring, say, 60i goes something like this:

1) NLE
2) Video I/O card (AJA, Blackmagic, etc.)
3) "Real" video signal (60i over HD-SDI or HDMI)
4) Video monitor processing (processes 60i into 60p)
5) Video monitor display hardware (usually a 60p LCD, these days)

The first four steps of this process consist exclusively of moving around and manipulating ones and zeros. And the manipulations being performed are simple enough that they can now be done in software. Thus, the entire chain is theoretically reducible to:

1) NLE (which also processes processes 60i into 60p)
2) Standard computer graphics card
3) 60p DVI or DisplayPort signal
4) Standard 60 Hz computer monitor

There is no fundamental technical reason the image displayed though this signal chain cannot be entirely identical to the image displayed through the previous signal chain. And if you're talking about, say, a high-end 24" Dell monitor (which is more than capable of reproducing Rec. 709 these days) substituting for a 24" Flanders Scientific monitor, and you include the cost of a video I/O interface, this second approach saves perhaps $4,500. It also lets you monitor any sort of strange non-standard format you want to, because it's not constrained to signals that can be represented as standard video, lets you use operating system color management to calibrate the monitor instead of expensive and laborious manual external calibration systems, and it lets you display GPU-rendered graphics without having to ship them back over the system bus to a video I/O card, thus saving PCIe bandwidth and enhancing performance.

Now, I don't recommend this approach to anyone right now, because there really isn't much pro video software designed to work with this signal chain. Currently most NLE's don't understand OS color management (which means you have no idea what sort of color you're getting on a computer display), and many can't necessarily provide technically correct real-time de-interlacing.

But with ColorSync support in FCP X, it looks like Apple is at least taking one step in the direction of resolving this. That support should at least allow accurate representation of video color on computer displays. That seems like a worthwhile thing to mention to someone looking to save money on monitoring two months before FCP X comes out.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Cade MuhligRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 17, 2011 at 4:58:49 am

So is it possible that FCP X will change things regarding this subject?
I don't absolutely have to upgrade now, waiting an extra 2 months is not a big deal.
Everyone is debating, but I just get to sit back and learn stuff.



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Chris KennyRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 17, 2011 at 5:13:52 am

[Cade Muhlig] "So is it possible that FCP X will change things regarding this subject?
I don't absolutely have to upgrade now, waiting an extra 2 months is not a big deal.
Everyone is debating, but I just get to sit back and learn stuff."


Depending on your specific requirements, yes, it's possible. FCP X's ColorSync support should allow for accurate monitoring of video color on computer displays. How well Apple's implementation of that works in the real world, and what other current issues with computer display monitoring FCP X may or may not solve, nobody can really be quite sure about. My argument in this thread was essentially that this sort of monitoring is technically plausible, and FCP X takes a step toward making it viable, not that it will necessarily be entirely workable once FCP X ships.

Personally, I'd say it's wise to put off pretty much any non-essential video-related purchase right now, as FCP X could change a lot of things, both in terms of loss of compatibility with existing hardware/software (at the very least, plug-ins are all going to need to be recompiled for 64-bit) and in terms of new features possibly reducing or eliminating the need for other hardware and software products.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Aindreas GallagherRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 17, 2011 at 9:29:44 am

yeah, small two cents but you have to be able to see what the fields are actually doing - FCP can't always be trusted to manage the field order correctly for the different types of footage and the only way of knowing what's going on is to see interlaced video output on a BVM.

Not, he said, that I can recommend one to save my life - the last one I worked with was a sony BVM, the last of the CRT ones - about the same weight/composition/price as a ford focus, amazing picture.

http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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walter biscardiRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 5:12:15 pm

Pick up one of the new UltraSharp Dells to replace your Apple Cinema Display.

Pick up a Flanders Scientific 1760W or 2461W for your broadcast monitor. These come with a 30 day money back guarantee so you can essentially demo the unit in your facility for a month with no pressure to keep it.

Those are the two best recommendations I can make.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Cade MuhligRe: Monitor upgrade situation
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 5:32:48 pm

Walter, if I remember right, I believe you are the one that recommended the Lhe and broadcast monitor I have now



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