ACD 23 + MXO... or Dell 24 + AJA LH ?
[cross-posted this to the Matrox MXO forum... hope that's allright?]
I'm building a edit/post suite to expand my business from web video into the realm of broadcast (commercials, music videos mainly). I'm almost done figuring out my ideal setup, but the one thing i cannot decide on is my monitor/capture/convert solution. I have isolated two options that roughly cost the same, and i really could use some advice on which is best:
> option 1:
2 x 2408 Dell (24") with AJA LHe, using one of the Dells as the ref monitor for color correction etc.
> option 2:
2 x Apple Cinema Display with Matrox MXO, using one of the ACD's as ref monitor for color correction etc and save money for a high end capture card.
Obviously, the AJA LHe has the (very big) added bonus of also being a quality capture/convert card, while the MXO is not. Also, i think the ACD's are overpriced.
On the other hand, from what I gather, the ACD/MXO combo is better at color correction etc than the Dell/LHe combo. But is that really so?
Also, the LHe is not as high-end as the io/HD or the Kona 3, and i might regret "cheaping out" in a year or so. Right now, i don't really NEED a capture card yet, as it's all SD or HDV still.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
By the way: i don't know what I would've done without the COW, this community has been an incredible resource. It's awesome that there's a place like this where one can ask questions like these and get a fair, educated response. In time i hope to be able to also contribute to this community. Thumbs up!
[Marc Brak] "On the other hand, from what I gather, the ACD/MXO combo is better at color correction etc than the Dell/LHe combo. But is that really so?"
I would never color grade on a computer monitor, even if it's hooked up to a broadcast display card. That's just me but I've yet to see one that displays video in a way I would trust. We have two of the Dell 2407's and we did some simple tests feeding component from our AJA Kona 3's. I would never use those for any sort of color grading, nor would I use the Apple Cinema Display.
And if you're working in SD, both monitors will not look good at all. SD needs to be displayed on a proper interlaced monitor or an LCD that can properly replicate interlaced material.
As for your choices on what to purchase, keep in mind that the Kona boards can help with acceleration with certain formats like DVCPro HD and HDV. This means the card handles the video scaling for output so the computer processors can handle more effects in realtime.
Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.
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For HD, many folks seem to believe the ACD/MXO seems to be the ONLY hi-quality/low-budget option. I believe Shane Ross wrote in a review that he would trust it for monitoring HD broadcast projects! Other than that, it's straight into $multi-K territory, which is simply out of the question given my current budget.
As for SD: would a small SD CRT from JVC be a good option?
Like this one:
Or this one:
(or any other tips in that price range?)
< convincing myself to go OVER budget >
As an added bonus, we could take this with us when shooting, as a field monitor for the director, right?
< /convincing myself to go OVER budget >
With a small monitor like that and the MXO, i could simultaneously monitor and grade HD and SD, on LCD and CRT.
Yes, i'm leaning towards the mxo + acd 23" solution, with additional SD CRT monitor.
Walter, going to NAB? I can show you the image you get with that MXO. I didn't believe it until I saw it...so I understand your misgivings. The MXO does a lot of stuff to get a good proper image onto that monitor, and it is amazing that you get what you do on that.
ALL THAT BEING SAID...there is NO WAY the Kona LH and Dell will get you anything close to what the MXO/ACD will. The component ins on the Dell fed by the Kona don't get you that good of an image...and nothing approaching what I'd use for color correction. I have the Kona LH routed to one of my Dells, but that is only so I can show the producers a BIG image...because my color correction monitor is 14". They still prefer looking at the HD CRT (the 14" one)...even though it is smaller, they like the image better.
If you go with the Kona, you gotta get a proper HD LCD, like the JVC. But if your budget is small, the MXO/ACD is the ticket. Even though Walter might not trust it, plenty of us do, including myself, Jerry Hofmann, Ned Soltz and Larry Jordan.
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