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Beating the monitor horse!

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Jeff Markgraf
Beating the monitor horse!
on May 1, 2009 at 7:10:57 pm

Hate to stir this up again, but...

The FCP system (last year's MacPro, Blackmagic SD/HD card, etc.) here at Telepictures just got a new LCD HD monitor. Some money had been set aside from last year's budget, and the engineering guys just went and did it. "It" is a Sony LMD 2450 WHD 24" WUXGA monitor with BKM-243HS.

Umm...didn't Bob Zellin & others declare the Sony LMD series to be vile pieces of crap? Isn't the Flanders Scientific monitor the one to beat?

I do know a little something about high end SD picture evaluation monitors, and I know a lousy picture when I see one. I haven't really put this one through its paces yet, but I have a bad feeling.

This cost $3547 plus shipping. I'm the sucker who is going to have to use this system. Am I screwed? Am I going to have to start yelling at engineering about this?


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 1, 2009 at 10:32:40 pm

I am staring at one now, and yes, I think vile pieces of crap sums it up. We have had two of ten of the new Sony monitors die within a six months of installation, and I think every single one has needed some attention over the last year that we have had them...I can only begin to imagine Bob's opinion of them…


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Bob Zelin
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 2, 2009 at 12:25:21 am

I can say "I told you so" - but I can say so much more !
Sony Broadcast Engineering should simply be ashamed of themselves. I have been in this business for a long time, and I have been a loyal user of Sony PVM and BVM CRT montiors for almost my entire career. When others said "Asaca, Ikegami, Barco", etc., I chose Sony 100% of the time. Products from JVC and Panasonic were just a joke -

until LCD's came out. Sony consumer LCD and Plasma monitors that I see at Best Buy and Wal Mart are superior to the Sony Broadcast LMD series. I dont' know why. I don't know who is running that division, but execution is in order for those that have discrased the Sony name.

This is my best Sony LMD story (and believe me, there are many) -
I put in a Sony LMD-2050 for Brighthouse Networks (believe me, I tried to talk them out of it). They called me a week later to complain that their AJA Kona 3 wasn't working properly, and that their graphics looked terrible. I went in, and saw the problem right away. Thank goodness they had a Sony PVM-20M5/1 CRT monitor in the room. I simply took a single BNC cable, and looped the SDI out of the LMD into the SDI input of the Sony PVM, and the PVM picture was crisp, clean, with not "jagged edges" or distortion.
I smiled, and said "what can I say". If I said "I told you so" - they would have gotten mad at me, and perhaps not wanted to hire me any more.

As for "the monitor to beat" - everyone is talking about the Flanders, but I have not seen it. The Cinetal is amazing, but none of my clients can afford $8000 for a 24" LCD monitor. For my money, and my clients money, the JVC DTV24L3U at $3400 is the one to beat - better than the Panasonic BT-LH series.

And just to end this off the right way - if you are considering getting a Sony LMD - why not just go to Office Depot or Staples, and get any LCD on sale for $600, and call it a day, because the image quality will be about the same.

Bob Zelin




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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 2, 2009 at 1:11:48 am

Well, that's what I was afraid of. I was told we were getting the Panasonic (?) 17" broadcast LCDs I've already seen. Instead, this thing appeared one day.

Now the task is going to be to explain to these guys why this won't cut it. I'll try to get them to look at the JVC or maybe the "level 2" grade Flanders.

The points to make, based on what I've read here, are crushed blacks, loss of detail in the highlights and limited angle of view. Any specific issues with actual color accuracy outside of the high/low-lights? Walter, Shane, etc.?

I already can hear the "well, it looks fine to me..." from these guys. Sheesh. Thanks for any help guys.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 2, 2009 at 1:38:19 pm

I have seen some places where the editors work with little 2" "computer speakers" that plug into the mini jack on the back of the MAC computer (like from Logitech).

When I say "why dont you use professional speakers", and I get the comment back "do I really need them" - the only thing I want to say is "do you really do this for your living, or is this a hobby".

If professionals (and engineers) can't tell the difference between
BROADCAST QUALITY products, and consumer junk, they should not be doing this for a living (the sad part is that some Sony consumer monitors like the Bravia series look better than the Sony LMD monitors).

Bob Zelin




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Sean Donnelly
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 4, 2009 at 2:36:13 pm

I was on a TV series a little while back where we had 2 sony LMD-2450's. They are as bad as everyone says. from the spec sheet everything looks fine, but in reality and Apple cinema display with an HDLink box looks better for a LOT less.

I've been using a Flanders LM-2450w, and I'd say this truly is the new affordable LCD to beat. I'd compare the image quality and viewing angle to Cinetal and TV Logic, but the price is closer to the JVC. I'm not sure if it tops the Sony BVM-L230, but it certainly comes close and I'm hoping to do a side by side later this week.



-Sean Donnelly
Digital Supervisor, SFI


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 5, 2009 at 1:19:48 am

Thanks for the info. Please keep me/us posted on your side by side look.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 5, 2009 at 4:58:04 pm

At the risk of tempting Bob's ire, I just wanted to bring up that many post operations carry two sets of monitoring gear; the top of the line monitors and speakers to see what you really are doing, and a set of cruddy speakers and a junky monitor from Walmart to see what it looks and sounds like to an "average" viewer's setup. As long as you know what's what.... you get what you'd expect.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on May 7, 2009 at 6:26:52 am

True. I've had occasion to refer the client to a "here's what it looks like at my mom's house" monitor for a reality check. I've already suggested that this monitor could be used for this purpose. The bean counters are not likely to be agreeable.

Not to hijack my own thread, but can anyone (esp. Walter, et al) run down the practical differences between the Grade 1 and Grade 2 LCD panels on those Flanders monitors? Obviously the Grade 1 is better, but is it $1500 better? The grade 2 24" is about the same price as the Sony, and money is unfortunately a constant issue here.

Thanks again for everyone's input.


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Mark Moser
Re: Beating the monitor horse!
on Jun 17, 2009 at 5:39:32 pm

here is one explanation:
http://www.flandersscientific.com/index/interview#Grade

I realize it is a marketing ploy.


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