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The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?

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Alistair Ferguson
The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 11:32:10 pm

Hey, I'm an Avid Editor, looking to move into Resolve for CC and grading. I will be for the moment looking to learn this at home and have more or less a suitable machine (Mac Pro) to run the software on and hardware (BMD Extreme card) to output with. I've tried the software out and it starts with no issues, using the provided sample footage, I'm beginning to get my head around things on the interface front.

However for viewing the results I'm a bit lacking, currently I have a PVM-20M4E and of course need something which is HD and more up to the job.

I've been reading on here and see that for cost sakes I could go down the route of using a PC monitor with the likes of a BMD HD link Pro in between to provide close results to rec 709. I understand that this is not approved by everyone as at the end of the day its not a proper monitor but for the position I'm in at the moment - learning with and not for demanding clients (home use, friends short films) - then this could be a good route for me to get started and be cost effective too.

The monitors which seem suitable by people who are going down this route seem to be things like the HP LP2480 Dreamcolor and the U2410 and the older and newer Apple Cinema displays. The dreamcolor is now discontinued and second hand seems difficult to find in the UK, the U2410 is available everywhere but isn't totally perfect (can come with bad AG coating or colour casts) and of course the newer Apple Cinema Displays are predictably expensive and have only mini-DP inputs.

So its looking like the U2410 might be my only option or is there something better? I have been offered an old Apple Cinema Display A1082 but was put off by the fact it only has DVI input and apparently this can only accept 8-bit in but I'm not sure if that is totally important for me at the moment but I guess in the long run it is and I would be better off buying something with Display port so I can take use of the BMD HDLink's 10-bit output - what does everyone think on this?

Or is there something better I should be looking at that I've not heard about, my budget is ideally £300 for the monitor - I would even go up to £600 but I want to keep it all under the £1000 mark as the HDlink will add £400 to the cost of things.

Before everyone says that if I want to do this I should be looking at the FSI, I do understand but the cost and the lack of UK availability puts me off, shipping and import, etc... really doesn't work for me at the moment.

Look forward to everyones views


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Sascha Haber
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 7:59:29 am

Unbelievable ..

A slice of color...

Resolve 9.1.1 OSX 10.8.2

Colorist / Aerial footage producer
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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Alistair Ferguson
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:57:50 am

I assume this is meant to be some sort of attitude because I've asked the question of a budget grading monitor? I've seen yourself answer helpfully on the same topic in posts from months to years ago - so why the hate?

I've tried to find out as much as I can from reading the forums but still just looking to ask if things have changed recently and none of the posts on the subject are recent?

Really if you didn't have a answer or have got out of bed on the wrong side - why even post?


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Sascha Haber
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 2:39:19 pm

Well, if you have the time and energy to browse the forum you probably found dozens of answers already covering the topic.
So why do you think you need to ride the same dead horse again into a new thread.
The attitude I am expressing is me pulling out my hair over the flood of posts like this spamming not only this forum which used to be a place to discuss specific problems grading with Davinci Resolve.
Over the last year it has become a collection of the same basic questions how to start a grading business with minimal or or no financial investment.
And I am getting really tired of seing them in here especially because we have a new forum for basic and configuration questions as you probably know already.
Without a proper screen, a basic knowledge of calibration and some dedicated hardware it will be really difficult to do more than just playing around with some color changing sliders.
But hey...what do I know.

A slice of color...

Resolve 9.1.1 OSX 10.8.2

Colorist / Aerial footage producer
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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Alistair Ferguson
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 3:14:14 pm

As you know new kit is released daily and some of us manage to find out that certain hardware (both professional and consumer) can be used for tasks in a broadcast facilities other than what they were designed for. With the crossover and costs for manufacturers it is obvious that some hardware falls into qualified for its intended use but that others slip out to market and by enthusiasts are found it to be capable - look at the Apple Cinema Displays and the Catleap variants as an example of this, same panels internally but wildly different prices.

You are of course wrong I don't have all the time and energy to trawl a forum for all the information I'm looking for or to become experienced in something that I'm only beginning a journey on, that is why I asked the question or to help clarify things... I hardly said whats a cheap monitor capable for grading, it is obvious I have been reading about this.

If you are sick of reading these posts and if it's getting asked daily why could it not be a sticky (if the forum allows it or someone take it on as a feature to write to guide others.

Also if you are sick of replying to the question.. and the heading of my post was quite obvious, then don't read it, don't click it and don't post a one word answer making you sound like a moody teenager. Un-beliveable, right!

As a long time Avid editor, someone who has overseen the creation of three facility houses and has also been a manager... I'm sure I have knowelgede that I can pass onto others that they don't know due to the fact I've experienced it and I have done so many times in many forums without the attitude. How can asking a sensible question on a relevant topic be spamming?

Also I didn't in fact know that there is a separate thread for asking about basic and configuration but I do now, to quote Tim Wilson who created it...

"Rather than jump on people who start threads in the wrong place, we ask that you contact us directly as we continue to refine. Once the Blackmagic Cinema Camera ships with free Resolve software, it will get even MORE crowded here, so please keep jostling to the minimum possible. :-)"

"But hey...what do I know." - Not a lot in seems in human courtesy it seems or being helpful in regards to these forums and to others who want to get involved with something you do daily.

In my time in broadcast it has appeared to me daily that the Editors who are helpful, appreciate question and quick to provide answers - genuinely enjoy what they do, are good at it and keen to bring others along for the ride, on the flip side the grouchy, unapproachable and nasty ones are not and are over-protective of the niche they have carved out for themselves, desperate to protect their jobs and not be caught out by anyone if they get a fact wrong. Glad I'm not one of your clients or colleagues.

Perhaps change it to "A slice of attitude..." (do think about it)


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Eric Johnson
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 5:40:16 pm

I can't speak to the exact reasons for Sascha's reaction, but I have a guess...

If you had looked into the discussion prior to posting, even at a cursory level, you would have seen that the general consensus of the professionals on this forum is that there is not an adequate way to display/view you work for something less than $2500 (approximate), and even then there are those that say you can't see your image in a satisfactory fashion for less than $10-15k. I don't know the exact cost of the Dreamcolor display that has been used by many people here, but it is definitely in that $2500 price range.

But you are asking for an option that is as much as half that, if I did my math right... I believe you can get the 17" BMD tally monitor for that much... but I suspect it is designed to tell you there is picture where you expect there to be picture, there is an issue if there isn't and not engineered to display 100% color in any exacting fashion.

Like I said, I'm just guessing as to the one specific reaction... and I apologize if I'm putting words in your mouth Sascha... It just seemed like it needed saying.


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Jonathon Lee
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 5:44:09 pm

Uggg.... OK Alistair...

Trust me when I say Sascha is always very generous with sharing his knowledge. He, as many other professionals here, have been doing this for years at the high end. It's been recently where these apps have been available to the masses for basically no cost. Keep in mind Davinci used to be a 500K+ system. I think our upgrade from a linear Davinci 2k to Resolve cost 350k "back in the day" which was only just a few years ago. Anyhow, whatever, Resolve is now free. So now we all have access to this tool. It's like asking a suregon advice on how to use your First Aid Kit.

That said enter "grading monitors" into the search box on the forum. Many, many great threads will pop up.

In a nut shell to get a truly calibrated monitor you need a monitor that can reproduce the proper gamut and a means to calibrate that monitor. You could use a display LUT in conjunction with a profiling system or you can use a dedicated color management peripheral. Neither route is inexpensive... sorry. There is not a magical, cheap monitor that will auto-calibrate for rec709 or P3.

Again, this forum is specifically for more advanced Resolve centric questions. Please post questions in more relavent forums. No one here wants a fight.

Best,

Jonathon


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Joseph Owens
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 5:52:59 pm

I agree somewhat, the response to date has not furnished any new information, and the real reason for that may be that there likely isn't any. (Skip to "Is there a point?")

Solid-state displays do look generically similar in build and deployment, but a very large gap in rendition exists which may or may not be bridged -- never say never, but very few manufacturers are betting that a commodity market wants accuracy over price. And that is a very big jump for the moment. I did not really pay much attention to the Dreamcolor initiative, since it was mostly positioned to be a consistent 709-like (or P3, or whatever) colorspace that could be distributed among the veal-pens. But it was never meant to be a grade monitor, and now its discontinued? So did that really work out? Or is HP simply "pulling an Apple"?

Maybe a simulator environment is a good training ground -- for sure, it would beat, for example, learning dentistry leaning in over a screaming patient, as any high-time individual working in an employee-based post-house would know-- that paying clients are generally unsympathetic to the good old bait'n'switch of getting a trainee instead of the high-priced help. But that's old news, too.

* Is there a point?

For training purposes, learning the software, etc. It doesn't matter. Figuring out how the curves work, how to make the tracker go, what an outside node is, how to Boolean power windows and qualifiers together, does not require colorimetric accuracy at all. As a senior editor, or anybody experienced in high-level post would know, those are all just knob twisting and button pushing, and as important as they are to the process, they are not the whole process. Whether a display is accurate and precise enough is simply a different environment -- like operating an airliner on a specific IFR track as opposed to beating up the countryside in an ultralight.

So honk away and have fun scaring the cows now (unless you have clients who delight in the same) because really daring grades aren't all that common among the cash-paying, shareholding, actuarial, HR-based clientele. They need their guaranteed annual 12% dividend ROI. Those "expensive" grade-A monitors are mostly insurance policies, but the reality is that they do indeed conform to the CIE spec for reproducing the orthodox colorspace. And unless there is a revolution (and it would not be a quiet one only known to a few), the commodity sRGB graphics displays, the ones that are really really good at text, cannot get there from here.

There is another can of worms if the question was; how do you learn to be a better colorist, outside the profanity of technology?

Regards,
jPo

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


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Margus Voll
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 7:14:40 pm

If you like to get good monitor made in EU then look at Penta line.

http://www.hd2line.com/products/hd2-line-pro/pdp-24w/

Ok it is a bit pricy in first you look but hey you get really good monitor for 5 or 6 k €.

When on really small budget get new imac and hope for the best as they say they calibrate every unit.
I'm not sure by what standard but you could start like that if you dare.

First thing some clients ask when they step in to your suite is:"is this monitor calibrated, when ?"

So it is also your credibility as professional not only that we all want to tease you here.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu
https://vimeo.com/iconstudioseu/videos

DaVinci 9, OSX 10.7.4
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Multibridge 2 Pro


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Juan Salvo
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 8:21:58 pm

iMac screens are very crushy in the blacks. Otherwise pretty nice for a computer monitor, but you CAN'T use it as color reference monitor..

Colorist | Online Editor | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

http://JuanSalvo.com


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Daniel Neutzsky-Wulff
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 10, 2013 at 3:05:42 pm

Samsung UE32EH5305KXXE 32"
LED TV
95% color accuracy
Bye


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Pepijn Klijs
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:21:12 am

Hi,

Since you want a monitor for educational purposes, I think you could invest that money in something more 'educational' like a control panel for example. With that you can 'learn' a lot and prep yourself for day you'll start color correcting in a professional room with reference monitoring. To learn the interface and the controls, in my opinion, the viewer in resolve itself, which is even full screen expandable, will do. The educational value of that investment will be higher than investing in a monitor that just isn't good enough. Once you're ready to start doing payed jobs, you'll have the money to upgrade and buy someting nice for monitoring.

But to also answer your postet question: Have you taken a look at Eizo monitors. Some of them have rec 709 presets combined with hardware calibration.

Good luck!

Editor/Colorist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
http://www.pepijnklijs.nl


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Margus Voll
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:54:11 am

I somehow missed the educational part.

I agree that panel would help a lot.

I started my learning on laptop and imac.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu
https://vimeo.com/iconstudioseu/videos

DaVinci 9, OSX 10.7.4
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Multibridge 2 Pro


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michael stirling
Re: The old budget grading monitor question... What PC monitor provides close to 709?
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:20:57 pm

If you are learning the software no external monitoring is required to tinker about to learn the UI and get general feel of what is involved in grading. You said you are doing this at home so if you want to see a bigger image plug the BMD 3d+ into your home HDTV over HDMI.

You need a colour accurate monitor to do professional work, we don't all spend $5k+ on a monitor for fun, or to keep some kind of closed shop.

M


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