AJA Hi5 3G vs. AJA HDP2
I'm looking at conversion from a Kona LHi to a Dreamcolor. Jeremy Garchow recommended on another thread using a converter to take the guesswork out of the process. He's absolutely right - especially for programs other than FCP which require monitoring.
So, I bring forth this wonderful question. Should I go for the Hi5 3G and keep the 10 bit HDMI signal through to the monitor (the LHi's only 4:4:4 output) or should I go for the HDP2, which has gotten very good reviews for it's use with the Dreamcolor?
HDP2. Hi5 3G won't provide the always progressive output the Dreamcolor requires. If you know that you are working with only p material, then the Hi5 will work, but that means if you need to layoff psf to tape, the Dreamcolor engine will be by passed during tape layoff as the Kona can't output p and psf at the same time.
You will need a DVI to HDMI cable and be sure to download the miniconfig software that is now available for OSX (Yay!) to properly configure the Dreamcolor as the HDP2 will need a bit of settings tweaking to send the proper signal to the Dreamcolor.
Just ordered it. Along with an Apple iPad. Thanks for the help, Jeremy!
No worries. Enjoy!
I just purchased a Dreamcolor monitor and I'm setting it up now. I've read all about the requirements sending it a progressive RGB signal, preferably via HDMI or DisplayPort...to get 10-bit AND the Dreamcolor "engine" enabled. Have it hooked up via the HDMI port to the mini-HDMI port on a AJA LHi card...in a Nehalem 8-core 2.66/ATi 4870 running 10.58.
My question, why do you need a AJA HDP2 or Hi5 3G at all...since the Dreamcolor can scale the incoming signal by itself (accessed via the OSD's menu), or display it at 1:1 (pixel for pixel)?
Also, after calibrating with the HP APS, the whites look a little magenta...and a hair blue, especially compared to my ACD 30" and my Dell 2405...and I'm not seeing quite enough detail in the very lowest shadow region I'm used to seeing.
Wondering if you've seen this too, or if I'm missing something?
I have no idea why you'd run a HD-SDI to HDMI converter from the LHi. The card can be set to output RGB over HDMI at 23.976p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p, 50p, 59.94p and 60p — all of which the Dreamcolor accepts and processes accurately.
This is true, Keith, but anything that is not true p (such as psf or sd) you will not get an accurate picture on the Dreamcolor. The hdp2 tajes the guess work out of it. If you know you will be all p all the time, the lhi will work just ducky.
Neither the HDP2 nor the Hi5 convert interlaced signals to progressive, so I'm still wondering why you find the HDP2 so useful...I suspect you might be using a Kona 3 that doesn't have a HDMI 1.3a port?
When using the LHi's HDMI port connected to the Dreamcolor's HDMI port, any "RGB and progressive" signal is good-to-go, and the Dreamcolor's OSD Menu setting when using the HDMI input allows you to select from several different scaling options...including no scaling at all.
Regarding the HP Advanced Profiling Solution calibrator, it can calibrate any monitor, not just the Dreamcolor, and creates a icc profile as Jeremy has stated. The Dreamcolor comes "pre-calibrated" to Rec 601, 709, DCI-P3 "Emulation" (since it can only display ~ 97% of the colorspace), Adobe 1998, and sRGB. There's one additional memory preset to store a user "custom" colorspace...that would be very useful for "ProPhoto" that Adobe includes with PhotoShop & Lightroom.
The Dreamcolor's memory presets store the "results' of a calibration (the LUT Jeremy referenced)...not an icc profile; however, the HP Advanced Profiling Solution calibrator does create icc profiles for use with any monitor, including the Dreamcolor.
Jeremy, I saw your presentation at the LAFCP Las Vegas Supermeet during NAB last year...and you've always got great info & answers...and are super-knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing.
The dramcolor needs to be fed RGB and progessive signals. If you aren't sending it that, you won't get an accurate picture. What format is your timeline? Also, I highly recommend the calibration probe to calibrate the monitor.
I was just thinking about it. Can I use the same probe for other monitors?
It will create icc profiles for other monitors, yes. But you won't be able to store the LUT on a non Dreamcolor.
I'm just wondering wether I can calibrate my HP LP2475w monitors and Apple Cinema Displays using the same tools. If so, I think it's not a bad deal.
[Bjarki Gudjonsson] "If so, I think it's not a bad deal."
It should get you very close, yes.
Just got and configured the HDP2. Loving it! Everything is in Rec.709 now and I can use the Kona's HDMI output for a client monitor. Not cheap, but works great!
Glad you're liking it. The Dreamcolor and hdp2 is the most cost effective way to monitor 10 bit h that I have found. Way cheaper than anything else.
Make sure your color space is set to deep color and smpte instead of full or auto in the miniconfig.
I just bought an HP DreamColor LP2480xz . Before I bought it I called AJA tech support, to check on how I would use that monitor for accurate color correction. As I am going to be correcting for digitized vintage film and digitzed Umatic material, I was buying the HP DreamColor for accurate monitoring of the signal as I digitize and of any correction applied afterward.
AJA tech support said, just plug in the HDMI out of my AJA LHi card, and there I am- good to go with full color wysiwyg from the LHi.
The beginning of this thread seems to corroborate that notion. The way the thread evolves, and what I see in other threads about this monitor displays, and how it calibrates (or NOT), straight from the HDMI out of the LHi, I think I will need an HDP2, a Gefen scaler box, or the like.
The AJA tech support said that they have a HP DreamColor LP2480xz in the engineering dept of AJA. It is still Sunday night, and tomorrow is Prez Day, Feb 15, so AJA will not open til Tuesday. I intend to call the engineering department to get the skinny from them.
I am hoping I don't have to buy another box. I can send my HP DreamColor LP2480xz back without restock or other loss for the next seven days. The early press releases on the Dreamcolor implied, explicitly in fact, that the calibrator is included. Seems that may have only been in the the initial release. So, I need the calibrator, and the HDP2, most likely, to make the most of the Dreamcolor.
Is there a more economical, and nearly as good, alternatives to this monitor setup? My needs for the moment are in the SD realm. Will I want to upconvert to HD later for any reason?
I am pulling in video from a BVU-900 Umatic from Y-688 to Component through Primage TBC into the LHi. I hate to say DUH... but AJA tech support said that would be a perfect solution also. Am I missing something?
My first post here. I apologize for my professed ignorance of today's essential matters. I put all my films and tapes in the closet in 1987, sold my Ikegami HL-79, my U-Matic BVU decks, 110, and 800's, and started to build IBM XT clones. Got tired of sending all my hard earned to Sony and Ikegami.
Now I am putting together a FCP setup to finish the unfinished projects. I do have a couple of good CRT NTSC monitors, with component inputs, and a Tek 1750A W/V monitor. Will that be good enough to monitor for color? I am a die hard perfecto techno type. And my work deserves good treatment.
Thanks in advance for any input.
First, I apologize for the long post; I tried to condense the info w/o leaving important things out.
Allan Tépper wrote a series of articles on how best to incorporate the Dreamcolor monitor in your workflow; I'm providing links & excerpts from them in an effort to answer many of the questions people keep asking, and to correct something I got wrong in one of my earlier posts on this thread:
"Neither the HDP2 nor the Hi5 convert interlaced signals to progressive..."
...well, in fact, the HDP2 does have a de-interlacer, and the Hi5 3G does not.
Article Name & Link:
DreamColor direct interfaces - Allan Tépper | 12/08:
The following products are all listed in Allan's article (see the link above) as possible "direct connect" solutions when using the Dreamcolor monitor:
AJA IoExpress, AJA IoHD, AJA Kona LHi, Matrox MXO2 family, MOTU HDX-SDI
The AJA Kona LHi card will output RGB and progressives signals in these formats directly from the card:
720p (all frame rates)
1080i 50 (LHi outputs a 1080p 50 signal)
1080i 59.94 (LHi outputs a 1080p 59.94 signal)
If you purchase a AJA HDP2 as Jeremy suggested, be aware that it does not output:
..because it has no 3G-SDI support.
Notice that the AJA LHi card does output those signals:
For those that do purchase a AJA HDP2, one way of dealing with this is to use the LHi cards' miniHDMI connector and switch to that input on the Dreamcolor when editing those timelines, thus bypassing your HDP2 since 1080p 50 and 1080p 59.94 don't need the really nice scaling that the HDP2 provides.
Here's AJA's info on it for those considering a purchase:
AJA HDP2 - HD-SDI/SDI to DVI-D and Audio Converter
The HDP2 is a miniature HD-SDI/SDI to DVI-D converter for digital display devices, such as LCD, DLP, and Plasma monitors or projectors. Using a very high quality scaling engine and de-interlacer, the HDP2 will automatically size 4:3 or 16:9 inputs to many DVI-D monitors. For appropriate monitor configurations, scaling is automatically 1 to 1 -for example, displaying 1920x1080 video on a WUXGA (1920x1200) monitor. The HDP2 will also automatically adapt the input frame rate for monitor compatibility. In addition, the HDP2 provides 2 channel audio monitoring and a looping output of the SDI input.
The HDP2 also supports HDMI v1.3a Deep Color (with a DVI to HDMI cable). In the HDMI mode, Deep Color is supported at 30 bits per pixel with 8 channel audio. USB connectivity allows for easy PC/Mac setup and field upgrades.
AJA HDP2 Specs (after v1.1.3 firmware update released in Feb, 2010) :
525i, 625i, 720p 50/59.94/60,
HD, and SD-SDI (auto-selected),
DVI v1.0 / HDMI v1.3a,
4:4:4 YCbCr/RGB 24/30-bit,
DVI-D standard male connector
The v1.1.3 firmware update added these important features:
HDP2: 2k video input support added.
HDP2: Added output formats: 1080i, 576p, 480p
HDP2: Settings automatically optimized with preferred monitors (such as HP
Dreamcolor LP2480zx) for video format, deep color, color range, raster, frame rate, etc.
FYI - 1. HP offers the KZ300AA calibration kit, which costs US$349, and is a customized X-Rite EyeOne (the i1D2) with filters matched to the Dreamcolor's very wide color gamut.
FYI - 2. Firmware updates can't be done on a Mac, so you'll need a computer running MS Windows.
FYI - 3a. From a post by Shawn Larkin on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:54:41 am, "Re: Setting up HP DreamColor LP2480zx monitor for work in Color":
On this post-- http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/223/7981 --your colleague mentions:
"Note: The Hot Plug Detect Support must be Enabled for the monitor to immediately notify the host computer of the color space change." In the post, Dan goes through the steps to enable this.
My question is: Once Hot Plug Detect Support is enabled, is it as simple as selecting another colorspace on the live monitor and presto, the OS recognizes the change and we are into the chosen space--without a reboot or sleep mode?
Like if I am looking at something in Color with the full gamut of the Dreamcolor activated and a film LUT applied (in order to monitor for a film print) AND THEN I switch the space to REC 709 on the Dreamcolor (and turn off my LUT in Color), should the image "just be" displayed in the correct 709 space?
Or is there something that has to be adjusted on the computer (OS X) first to recognize the color space shift even after I have enabled Hot Detect Support?
FYI - 3b. Answer to Shawn Larkin, by Greg Staten on Feb 27, 2009 at 12:42:45 pm, "Re: Setting up HP DreamColor LP2480zx monitor for work in Color":
The answer to whether the MacOS will immediately recognize the color space conversion, re-characterize the monitor and switch to a newly generated ICC profile is, unfortunately, "it depends."
If you are using the default ICC profile that Apple generated when the monitor was first connected (and haven't either calibrated it or manually selected a custom profile) then the answer is "yes," it will automatically characterize the monitor and generate a new profile.
But, if you've either calibrated or manually selected a custom profile then the system will not switch ICC profiles when it detects a hot plug connection. Essentially by manually selecting a profile or calibrating a profile you've told the MacOS that you "know what you're doing" and as long as the monitor identifies as the same type it last saw it won't change the profile for you.
Instead you'll have to manually switch profiles via the Monitors setting.
Therefore I recommend you have ICCs generated for each profile you're going to use and save them out - with the correct name for each profile. (Don't forget, if you are starting with a MacOS-generated profile to enable Native Gamma instead of that silly 1.8 gamma default.)
That said, this procedure is MUCH easier and more gracefully handled on the MacOS. It is a more cumbersome process on Windows.
I do recommend manually saving and switching profiles for one simple reason: Apple's Color Sync architecture never expected to encounter a monitor that could switch its color spaces on the fly. (Windows didn't either, but things are easier to deal with on the Mac in this regard.) And the fact that Apple likes to use a 1.8 gamma by default is what adds the big gotcha to the equation.
Here's how "hot plug detection" works on the Mac. When the system is told that there's a new monitor connected - which is what it is told when it receives a hot plug announcement - it queries the monitor and finds out what it is. Then it creates a profile for that monitor.
Now here comes the gotcha. After it queries the monitor it checks to see if there is a user calibration ICC file for that monitor. (This ICC file would have been user-created by using either calibration software or the Display Calibrator Assistant.) If that user calibration file exists and was active Display Profile the last time that monitor was used, it does NOT use the newly-created profile, but instead uses the user-created profile.
Now for the 1.8 gamma gotcha. One of the things we - and just about every monitor manufacturer out there - recommend is to use the monitor's default gamma and not the Mac's 1.8 gamma. So we recommend to Mac users that they use either calibration software or the Display Calibrator Assistant to set the gamma to the Native monitor gamma. Doing this single step results in the creation of the aforementioned user calibration ICC.
FYI - 4. When you calibrate a typical monitor that calibration is stored in an updated ICC/ICM profile that records the characterization of the monitor post-calibration. When you calibrate the DreamColor LP2480zx monitor you can certainly do a standard ICC/ICM calibration, but the LP2480zx is somewhat unique in that it actually stores the calibration in the monitor's memory. We refer to that as a "hardware" calibration because the monitor's output profile is actually modified.
The advantage of a "hardware" calibration is that you can calibrate a monitor on one system and then move it to another and it maintains its calibration. This allows large facilities to use a single location to calibrate and then deploy those monitors throughout the facility.
A software calibration, on the other hand, requires that the calibration stored in the ICC/ICM profile be loaded onto the system that the monitor is to be connected to - and that that profile be loaded.
Here are some additional references to, and excerpts from Allan Tépper's articles on the Dreamcolor monitor:
Article Name & Link:
DreamColor from HP: an ideal tool for critical image evaluation - Allan Tépper | 12/08:
"...in order to have the DreamColor Engine available (which is necessary to manage color spaces like Rec.601 and Rec.709 in this monitor), we absolutely must send a signal that is already true progressive (no interlaced or PsF) and RGB. If the signal is interlaced, PsF, and/or YUV component, the DreamColor Engine will become inactive, since the monitor’s CPU must then use all of its resources to de-interlace and/or convert YUV into RGB. In that case, the monitor can no longer manage the color as ITU Rec.709 (or any other profile), and will be very too saturated."
"For two reasons, you are better off avoiding the DreamColor’s DVI input. First, the DVI input is 8-bit only, while the HDMI and DisplayPort inputs are potentially 10-bit. Second, the DreamColor’s custom scaling (or 1:1) options are not available with the DVI input. Even if you have to connect from an NLE interface that only outputs DVI (like Blackmagic’s now discontinued MultibridgeExtreme), connect it using a DVI<>HDMI cable. Even though you will only be monitoring 8-bit (24-bit color), at least you will keep the custom scaling (or 1:1) options in the DreamColor menu."
"1:1, pixel-by-pixel monitoring is important to be able to bypass the monitor’s scaler, especially when you are creating a moving transition, and want to rule out whether any artifact you may be seeing is due to the way you programmed the move… or to the result of the monitor’s own scaler. The DreamColor monitor allows 1:1 for both 1080HD and 720HD sources. In the case of 1080HD sources on the DreamColor, the image will fill the screen horizontally, but not vertically, since the DreamColor has 1200 vertical pixels, so there will be 60 extra pixels above and 60 below which will be tiny black bars. In the case of 720p in the 1:1 mode on a 1920x1200 panel, obviously there will be a very large border which will completely surround the image. My recommendation: If you are editing a 1080 project, monitor it 1:1 all the time. If you’re editing a 720p project, have the monitor scale the video up to fill the screen horizontally most of the time (maintaining aspect ratio), and only select 1:1 manually if and when you need to verify whether a motion artifact that may pop up in a motion move is due to to your programming in the move, or it is due to an artifact in the monitor’s scaler."
Article Name & Link:
DreamColor converter boxes for non-compliant systems - Allan Tépper | 12/08:
Allan Tépper | 05/23 ...the new Hi5-3G, was introduced at NAB 2009:
Now, if you are going to edit progressive or PsF, the brand-new Hi5-3G from AJA will do the trick for only US$690. The Hi5-3G can selectively output RGB over HDMI even if the input is digital YUV. If the input is PsF, it will convert it into pure progressive too.
The vital thing the Hi5-3G cannot do for the DreamColor (that Gefen’s EXT-HDSDI-2-HDMIS can) is to de-interlace a true interlaced signal, but it costs US$609 less... On the other hand, if you think you may be editing true interlaced footage often, then get the EXT-HDSDI-2-HDMIS from Gefen for US$609 more.
WOW. Thanks a billion, Kevin. That is enough info to help me decide whether to get a HDP2....or not. I will see how the LHi card works out for me without it for now. I do feel well informed, even though I am still digesting. I will certainly order the HP calibrator.
I just wanted to let you know that I was in your exact position. The thing is with the LHi and the DreamColor that, it'll always work per se, but if you want to make sure you're in Rec.709 or Rec.601 (for SD material), you don't have to think twice - get the HDP2.
I gave it a test run where I had 1080i25 material on a timeline in FCP. Setting the Kona to progressive output enabled the DreamColor to maintain Rec.709, but the conversion quality wasn't great. I also tried a few ways to get SD out to the DreamColor in Rec.601, but no dice. So I decided to go for the HDP2 and voila, everything works great. I can't recommend it enough! The conversions are beautiful and the clients love it.
So, as has been mentioned before - if you work with ANYTHING other than progressive HD material get the HDP2.
just curious what my settings on the Dreamcolor should be besides rec. 709 - i.e. do I adjust the brightness at all or just the blacklevel so I can just barely see the one pluge in the right bottom corner of a 1080i signal? currently I have the black level set to 126 and the brightness I did not touch at all so its on 120 - also whitep oint is 6500 - any other settings I should adjust on the Dreamcolor?
Its weird when I look at the whitepaper HP provides they say to set to Auto for Deep Color & Color Range but in order to see the pluge i indeed had to follow your advice - after calling AJA they didn't even know this!
[Sean Kapleton] "do I adjust the brightness at all or just the blacklevel so I can just barely see the one pluge in the right bottom corner of a 1080i signal?"
The brightness of this monitor works differently than brightness does on, say, CRTs. Brightness on the DreamColor sense literally changes the overall back light brightness of the monitor. It has less effect on contrast levels than traditional monitors. You should change the black level on the monitor to setup pluge, yes. Mine is set to 125, (I think, I will have to check on Monday).
Deep Color should definitely be on, Color space should be set to 16-235 if sending regular HD video, the auto color space can get this wrong as well. I'll send a screen grab of my settings on Monday as I am going off of memory at the moment.
Here's the miniconfig setup:
Parameters that I change form time to time are frame rate, Sd format, and scale. Most of the time, I pretty much leave it here, though as I am always editing 24p HD.
hey great thanks for the pic just have a few questions
1) I have my blacks set 126 you had you thought yours was 125 - i just barely see the grey pluge so I am pretty sure this is correct - any thoughts?
2) luminance / brightness is 120 / 6500k whitepoint
3) Raster - why do you have this set to native?
4) you mention sometimes switching frame rights and SD but I thought the whole point of this box is that it would be able to properly detect and do this automatically - what am I missing?
[Sean Kapleton] "1) I have my blacks set 126 you had you thought yours was 125 - i just barely see the grey pluge so I am pretty sure this is correct - any thoughts?"
On my monitor it goes to 125, but you need to set it to whatever looks best on yours. They might not necessarily match.
[Sean Kapleton] "2) luminance / brightness is 120 / 6500k whitepoint"
Brightness is relative toy our room, turn it up or down to your liking, 65K whitepoint, yes.
[Sean Kapleton] "3) Raster - why do you have this set to native?"
Native to the Dreamcolor. That way the monitor doesn't do any scaling, only the HDP2.
[Sean Kapleton] "4) you mention sometimes switching frame rights and SD but I thought the whole point of this box is that it would be able to properly detect and do this automatically - what am I missing?"
You aren't missing anything and the HDP2 will most likely output 60Hz (as that's where the monitor looks the smoothest when monitoring NTSC flavor video). I sometimes switch to monitor 24p video in 48Hz instead of 60Hz. It's a personal preference, leaving it in auto will be fine.
brilliant much thanks!
ps. have you or anyone else tried the HDLINK Pro 3D and if so what are your thoughts on this? I previously used the HDLINK Pro which was limited to 8bit but what I found annoying besides the flickering when switching between HD & SD and various frame rates (possibly could be a Dreamcolor issue requiring firmware update?) was the fact that the HDLINK had a utility window not unlike the HDP2 which had tabs with different adjusters (1D RGB output, etc) which actually did need to be tweaked accordingly to get the right calibration.
[Sean Kapleton] "have you or anyone else tried the HDLINK Pro 3D and if so what are your thoughts on this?"
I haven't, sorry.