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eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700

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Robert Ruffo
eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 5, 2013 at 8:24:54 pm

Takes any HDMI flavor, makes perfect use of 3D LUT, basically fixes color inaccuracy for $700.

I have my systems as such

Decklink 3D+ >> SDI dual out >> AJA Box >> RBG HDMi 10 bit >> EeColor >> Dreamcolor Monitor.

I have a cheap HDMI splitter that also sends another HDMI to my plasma (also with eecolor) and my DLp front projector.

The advantage is that any incoming signal, if neutral at the source, gets fixed by the eeColor, so I get perfect Rec709/SRGB in Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop.... and that each monitor can have its own different LUT for calibration correction.

Since eeColor takes HDMI as input, it can correct DVI signals too (DVI>HDMI convertor is about $5). Although DVI is only 8bit in most cases, I have seen no banding artifacts. It operates internally in 32 bit, as does Lightspace, so maybe that is why.

The box has 5 memory slots for LUTS (I use 2, one for Rec 709 and one for Adobe 1998).

I created the 3D LUTS using Lightspace, which is the best alternative in terms of math quality and the smoothness and accuracy of output that great math allows, in my experience, but there are also cheaper software alternatives for creating LUTS, though not as powerful.

My displays are now very, very close to perfect (perceptually, arguably, full-on perfect). Of course a Dreamcolor doesn't have the deep blacks and viewing angles of a Dolby, nor Dolby's perfect color rendition for under 10% luminance - but still, no real bad surprises, ever, for my clients.

Black Magic LUT boxes have all kinds of problems, and Davios are $5000 - both need additional boxes to use them with DVI/HDMI.

The $700 rock-solid eeColor is really something!


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Robert Houllahan
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 5, 2013 at 9:28:37 pm

Looks like a really great little box, and as someone who has a basically useless HD-Link-Pro Display Port....

I think AJA would have a nice product to sell if they made a Mini SDI/HDMI LUT box....

-Rob-

Robert Houllahan
Director / Colorist
Cinelab Inc.
http://www.cinelab.com

MAHC-PRO 6-Core 3X GTX285 20Tb SAS Wave Panel Panny 11UK SDI Plasma. Light-Space CMS + Hubble


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Javier Martos Valladares
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:25:20 am

Why do you say your BM decklink is use less, i'm planning to buy a dreamcolor HP and if i want to use Resolve, i will have to buy decklink for monitoring is there any other option.


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Oyvind Stiauren
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 6, 2013 at 3:52:10 am

I have a Davio and it does indeed have HDMI 1.3 input and output.

--
Oyvind Stiauren
Post production supervisor, Colorist
Terminal

Mexico City


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Mike Nagel
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 6, 2013 at 2:05:09 pm

Robert,

so u can confirm that the eeColor provides progressive 10-bit to the HP DC ? If so, how did u confirm that you're actually getting 10-bit on the HP DC ?

I was looking into this solution [LS / eeColor / HP DC (10-bit)] for quite some time but I was not sure if the HP DC receives a pristine 10-bit progressive RGB signal from the eeColor box which it needs otherwise the Dreamcolor engine shuts down and switches to 8-bit...

My eeColor is on the way and will arrive Monday but I don't have an HP DC (yet) - I will get one if we can establish a 10-bit workflow with the eeColor box...

Thanks !

- Mike


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Robert Ruffo
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 12:13:04 am

Indeed it is 10 bit. I verified this by simply feeing the output to a monitor that does not accept 10 bit - it would not accept it until a I switched Davinci back to 8 bit output. Also, a straight pass-through looks exactly identical to going through the eeColor in neutral/linear setting - so it is not discarding anything.

AJA is the device that converts YUV from the Decklink to HDMI RGB, eeColor simply "color tones" the image using a calibration LUT created in Lightspace in a way that corrects and accounts for inaccuracy in my monitor. The eeColor cannot convert 8 bit to 10 bit or YUV to RGB - that is not its function.

BTW - the Dreamcolor calibration kit is 100% useless - it makes the monitor LESS accurate than its factory state. It is so bad it borders on being a claim with the Better Business Bureau. Shame on you HP! (But Kudos for the Dreamcolor itself.)

Also, yes - Davio also has HDMI - forgot that....

Light Illusion sells the eeColor boxes for $700 or so - you can also pay $1500 for the same box with a different badge elsewhere. ;-)


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Mike Nagel
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:07:22 am

Thanks Robert for confirming that !

Indeed I was wondering if the HP calibration kit is any good, for the sole reason that others have claimed it does a good job - I would have been surprised if it can match any of the Pro packages.

Here's more info on the eeColor package in case anybody is interested:

Lightspace VMS:

> creates a 65^3 LUT (to be stored in the eeColor box) from a 17^3 profile - it will read 4913 points on your screen. You can create smaller profiles, 17^3 is the current maximum.
> you only need to profile your display ONCE - u can then create all kinds of LUT's (Rec709, Rec601, sRGB, P3 DCI etc.) from that ONE display profile


eeColor box:

> 6 internal storage slots for LUT's
> 3D LUT algorithm only supports maximum of 10-bit input
> max bit-depth of internal processing: 10 Bits for the 3D LUT
> max resolution: 1080P is the offical max supported resolution
> 12 bits HDMI in will be 12 bits HDMI out but will be rescaled to 10 bits for 3D color table processing

- M


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Robert Ruffo
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:44:04 am

I did not know that 12 bits were scaled down to 10 bits for processing. I doubt, in terms of monitoring, that you could ever tell the difference. Whether it's Lightspace or the eeColor or how they work in combination, I can assert that I have yet to see banding from any good (i.e. not-5D video) image fed through the eeColor with a Lightspace LUT applied - including the tough ones like deep sky gradients.

I can say that the box passes 2K without issue. I have not tried 4K - and have no near plans to purchase a 4K monitor.

It's true with Lighstapce you only have to probe once for each color space, and then you use the info about your monitor's behavior/misbehavior top create LUTS for any flavor of colorspace, but most monitor types drift a little - front-projectors and plasmas can drift a lot, so you still have to re-probe every few weeks to stay in tune with how your monitor(s) has/have shifted.


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Mike Nagel
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 6:19:38 am

"I did not know that 12 bits were scaled down to 10 bits for processing. I doubt, in terms of monitoring, that you could ever tell the difference."

yeah, that info comes straight from the manufacturer. But in order to see it, you'd need a 12-bit application, 12-bit graphic card and of course a 12-bit display... so 12-bit via that box not really needed atm ;-)


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Robert Ruffo
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:46:58 am

[Mike Nagel] "
Indeed I was wondering if the HP calibration kit is any good, for the sole reason that others have claimed it does a good job - I would have been surprised if it can match any of the Pro packages.
"


No - It's worse than that - it actually makes you monitor LESS ACCURATE - so it is only a negative thing - imagine a cleaning fluid that could only make your house more dirty - same idea.


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Mike Most
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 6:52:31 pm

I have to say that I used the Dreamcolor calibration puck and software quite a few times and never had the issues that you're describing. It always brought the monitor back to where it was supposed to be, and projects graded using that monitor always remained consistent across other deliverables and viewing systems. Of course, I was feeding the Dreamcolor via SDI through an AJA HDP2, ensuring that the calibration engine was being properly implemented.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am saying that what you're stating is not necessarily universally true, either.


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Craig Harris
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 7, 2013 at 8:42:28 pm

I have never found the HP DC and puck to be anywhere close to accurate.
We put it next to several displays calibrated with a Filmlight Truelight box and the DC calibration with puck was way off. We had much better results manually calibrating it.


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Mike Nagel
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 8, 2013 at 4:56:12 am

[Mike Most]
"I have to say that I used the Dreamcolor calibration puck and software quite a few times and never had the issues that you're describing."

Question is how you verified the calibration that you performed using the HP tools... u need a good meter (colorimeter profiled to a spectro) and software such as Calman or Chromapure which have sections that allow you to analyze a display and give u a full report... THEN you'll see how good a given calibration is for the target (colorspace) you were calibrating for... eyeballing results will not be accurate...


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Robert Ruffo
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:38:27 pm

I have the new version. Measuring using a rented Hubble, it indeed made the monitor less accurate. It also clipped whites over 230 or so (8 bit RBG 230) which is truly awful. If it cost more, there is a case for full-on fraud against HP.


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Mart Manic
Re: Color LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 9, 2013 at 1:51:18 pm

Second to the HP calibrator being a lemon, made a green cast to all the profiles I used it with, whatever the source. Factory reset and the picture now seems ok (at least no casts). I think it's a hit or miss with them due to QC, seems some people get good results...
But now there's two pucks to choose from (I have the older one), anyone tried both?

We are all atomic and subatomic particles and we are all wireless...


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Joseph Owens
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 8, 2013 at 4:50:01 pm

[Robert Ruffo] "Since eeColor takes HDMI as input, it can correct DVI signals too (DVI>HDMI convertor is about $5)."

Interesting. Why would you not use the HDMI-out from the Blackmagic Decklink? Purely a 10-bit issue?

And the HDLink is not entirely useless... it does an okay Dual-Link/Single Link conversion, and it disembeds audio from SDI to 6 channels, so a surround stream can be monitored straight from tape.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Robert Ruffo
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:30:05 pm

I mention DVI because other software don't seem to play nice with the Decklink especially in 4L/5K (Photoshop, Premiere, etc.) and feed out via DVI.


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michael stirling
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 10, 2013 at 3:03:24 pm

Hi Robert,

I've been trying to set up a similar system with Lightspace and the eeColor to give me rec709 on a JVC rs55 but so far have been stuck at 8 bit on the projector.

I'm running resolve through a BMD 3D+ HDMI to eeColor HDMI to projector (and HD-SDI to a FSI monitor) but the projector says it's getting 8bit color. If I go directly from the 3D+ to the projector over HDMI the deep color depth is greyed out with no bit information displayed.

I've never used the HDMI before this new set up. Did I miss the BMD card is only 10 bit over HD-SDI and not HDMI even though it's 1.4a? If so, which AJA box is required here? Will the Hi5 do it or Hi5 3D.

Thanks,
Mike


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Robert Ruffo
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:35:00 pm

Try switching between RGB and YUV output on both the decklink and your aja. It could be that your projector is only 10-bit capable in one of those spaces


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Mark Godwin
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Dec 10, 2013 at 2:07:35 am

Hello Robert,
I am planning to buy this LUT box for correcting the colorimetry of my HP LP2475W monitor (which is a wide-gamut monitor). I am still satisfied using the 3D LUT control provided by my BMD Multibridge Pro2 driver but I need a device to control colorimetry for everything connected to the monitor and not only for Multibridge. Is this the right way? I tried to calibrate the monitor and when connected to a computer everything is fine, but, when a video device is directly attached to its HDMI port, there is no way to get accurate colors: in particular red tones are dark and over saturated.
I think that connecting this eeColor LUT box between monitor and video device I should fix the problem and get the correct color accuracy...correct me if I'm wrong.
This LUT box supports also SD singals? (480i, 480p, 576i, 576p)
I live in Europe, where I can buy it?
Do I only need the LUT box or also a software for controlling 3D LUT tables?
Thanks a lot!


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Joakim Ziegler
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 18, 2013 at 7:37:16 am

What LUT format does this use? Anything that can be generated by something that's not Lightspace? We use CineSpace, and it'd be interesting to test this.

Also, does the eeColor actually use 6-bit LUTs internally? I see mention that the LUTs generated are 65x65x65, that is, 6-bit, but does it use that internally, or subsample them? The main problem with the HDLink is that its LUTs are 4-bit, and most other systems are 5-bit at the most (including Resolve, if BMD would like to fix that). The Davio is 6-bit, which is part of why it gives such good quality, and a cheap box that can actually do 6-bit LUTs properly would be great.

The part about downsampling to 10-bit for LUTing is a bit disappointing, though. Not really good enough for XYZ and such.

--
Joakim Ziegler - Postproduction Supervisor


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Steve Shaw
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 19, 2013 at 10:14:27 pm

The eeColor LUT Box can also now be purchased through Buzz Schranz of Naples Display Calibration in the USA - buzzard767@aol.com - as well as through Light Illusion.

For info on the box see: http://www.lightillusion.com/eecolor.html

For use with alternative calibration systems you may need the Main Component of LightSpace CMS to generate the correct LUT format.

Cheers,

Steve


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Joakim Ziegler
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 19, 2013 at 11:37:54 pm

That page clears things up a bit, true 6-bit LUTs is indeed a very nice feature. Lack of a network port for remote control and no SDI not so much, but still, workable.

What LUT format does it use? I'd like to check if it's something we can generate. I'm tempted to buy one to test. What's the price for the main component of Light Illusion that you mention?

--
Joakim Ziegler - Postproduction Supervisor


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Steve Shaw
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 19, 2013 at 11:45:40 pm

You can download the demo of LightSpace CMS, and that will export the eeColor LUT format (with a watermark).

All prices are on the 'Shop' page of the website.

See: http://www.lightillusion.com/place_order.html#lightspace

I'm also sure we can do a deal to upgrade you from CineSpace to the much better LightSpace CMS too!

;o)

Steve


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Joakim Ziegler
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Feb 6, 2013 at 9:35:19 am

Steve, ok, I'll bite, give me your sales pitch for LightSpace (in a private message if you like, this is getting a bit off topic).

Otherwise, the main problem I see with the eeColor is the 10-bit processing. That's fine for video space stuff, but not enough for wider gamuts like P3. Which is why I do love the Davio, price notwithstanding.

--
Joakim Ziegler - Postproduction Supervisor


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Steve Shaw
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Feb 6, 2013 at 9:45:21 am

Joakim, we are totally LUT Box agnostic (other than the BMD HDlink Pro, which physically distorts any LUT placed within it)...

We also use and supply the Davio, Pluto, T-Cube Fig, etc...

Actually, we offering the Davio at a very low price right now ;o)
(Mail me direct if you're interested)

Steve


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Buzz Schranz
Re: eeColor LUT box better than Black Magic for $700
on Jan 20, 2013 at 12:59:10 am

Thank you, Steve, for the referral. I have eeColor Boxes available, at this time for USA shipping only, for $625 including shipping, handling, and insurance. If you're interested you can email me at buzzard767@aol.com for details.

Buzz


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