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Clients & LCD

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John Pancochar
Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 4:10:56 pm

I was wondering if there was a spec-procedure-rule of thumb-whathaveyou relating to a nagging problem with clients.

They get a WMV file to download and comment on, and they cannot resist a deluge of comments regards the need for color correction. They are looking at the video on an LCD!!! (And you isn't on computers these days.) I explain to them the horrid aspects of an LCD, the inconsistancies from one to the next and how inappropriate it is to make those kinds of decisions previewing it that way.

Of course, they point to some other video they are watching on their laptop and they say THAT video looks good, why doesn't yours? A typical comment is this outdoor shot is to vivid and unnatural, color correct....when it is an unaltered Canon XL2 outdoor scene, properly white balanced and looks great on my production CRT monitor.

I pretty much know what where problem lies here. But to be sure, I thought, perhaps when the project's deliverable is a WMV file viewed on laptops and consumer projector systems, maybe there is some spec that ensures a happy result on most LCD's etc. You know, like NTSC color safe for an animator.

Probably not....just follow general broadcast video color and white/black level guidelines....but I thought I'd ask in case I'm unaware of something else.

Thanks, John P.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 4:36:39 pm

Have you tried sending them some footage of color bars or anything like that?


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John Pancochar
Re: Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 6:25:47 pm

You know, that thought crossed my mind earlier.

I'm not sure what they could do with it. They are engineers and not video people. Are you thinking to show them how off their LCD screen is, or to allow them to correct their monitor as much a possible? Or both?

They don't know what they are doing, or really looking at for that matter. And to some degree, I think they are overthinking a technical video, but then I want to do my best and I want them to be happy. I wouldn't not pay attention to the details just because the use is technical presentation and computer based.

It wouldn't hurt me to get re-acquanted with waveform monitors/vertorscopes and proper color bar use. I could then educate my clients as much as can be expected for the lay.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 10:26:53 pm

If they are engineers they will LOVE tweaking their monitor to bars while looking thru a piece of blue gel.

By sending them the info on how to do it, you build some street cred with them too. Computer monitors are usually calibrated with expensive hang-on or stick-on sensors and special interactive calibration software, and they could be calibrated for print work or for video work and have different color temperatures, chroma settings, refresh rates and knee settings and etc. so it's really a bit of a miracle when it looks good on *every* monitor wherever you go, IMO:-)

But maybe bars are a start at getting to one common reference point. If nothing else, it shows you are trying to react to their requests and diagnose and solve a problem. Sometimes that's enough all by itself.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 10:35:53 pm

[John Pancochar] "They are engineers and not video people."

Where I work, engineers ARE video people! So who are these guys: software engineers, structural engineers, civil engineers or sanitary engineers?

Well, no matter. All you have to do is send them about 30 minutes of bars, and tell them about the old blue gun trick. It ought to keep them busy, illustrate how tough it is to set up a consumer TV set like a pro video monitor, and maybe they'll cut you some slack.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 11:30:44 pm

Long, long ago, I was doing some ID graphics for a website. The "intermediate" client (my connection) thought things looked strange. I had her bring her laptop over, and we grabbed a screenshot of the ultimate client's web page and loaded it into Photoshop. What looked "very blue" to her (and kind of blue to me, I admit) on her laptop read as a pure 128-128-128 gray when eyedroppered.

Most laptop screens are somewhat better now, the problem is they are incredibly inconsistent screen-to-screen from one LCD to another.


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John Pancochar
Re: Clients & LCD
on Mar 3, 2009 at 11:50:59 pm

Thanks for all the input.

The inconsistancy of LCD's is what I emphasized to them. (They are structural engineers.) No mater what they "see" their client, the ultimate enduser, will get a different result.

CRT's were variable too, but not like LCD's. Ah, progress. But then I guess every client's TV was out of whack in the past. It's nothing new.

I like the idea of them eyedropping a tinted color and seeing it is really gray. I've been on the phone with them since I posted this thread and I think they are going to trust me more and freak out less.

We'll see.

Thanks again.



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