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is 8-bit YUV via HDMI good enough for color correction?

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John Knowles
is 8-bit YUV via HDMI good enough for color correction?
on Jan 14, 2014 at 6:42:29 am

I'm looking at buying a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card for my 2006 Mac Pro, and would like to use it to start learning DaVinci Res. Lite. I would be monitoring out to Plasma monitor via HDMI, and the BM card can only do 8-bit YUV via HDMI. Will that card give me enough color information to do accurate grading?

I know this is not a pro setup, that HD-SDI and better reference monitor would be required. But I'm not doing critical color work for broadcast on this system and that card would work best for my current setup (I don't have the free PCIe slots for the Extreme).

TIA, JVK



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Bill Ravens
Re: is 8-bit YUV via HDMI good enough for color correction?
on Jan 14, 2014 at 12:59:44 pm

All consumer grade monitors in today's market only display 8-bit. It's rather pointless to worry about sending a 10-bit signal to an 8-bit monitor. So, unless you're working with a professional 10-bit monitor, that BMD card is OK.

The real question to be concerned with is whether your monitor is calibrated to display the right colors and luminance values. This is where you can be misled in grading, when your monitor isn't displaying the right color gamut (REC709?)

As an aside, grading native 8-bit footage won't result in the wrong colors, but, it will result in banding in subtle gradients, like the sky. As long as you're working in 8-bit, this will happen. So, even with a 10-bit display, if the data pipeline has an 8-bit component, such as having 8-bit native footage, there's nothing that can be done to mitigate the quantization errors(banding).



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