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Question about how different monitors display your video differently

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Michal Bronec
Question about how different monitors display your video differently
on Mar 30, 2012 at 4:48:20 pm

Yesterday I played one of my videos (which looked ok on my CRT monitor) on a notebook where it doesnt look so good - for example higlights was completely overexposed. Is this normal? (Oh, I used VLC player in both cases)

My CRT monitor displayed the higlights with all the details, so I'm a bit worried that my videos could look really bad on some monitors...

Should I take this into consideration when color correcting my videos and should I move the highlights down a bit? I'm using 3 way colorista in Magic Bullet and its RGB waveform and I keep my highlights at 100 IRE.


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Todd Terry
Re: Question about how different monitors display your video differently
on Mar 30, 2012 at 6:00:56 pm

Sadly, that's just the way it is.

All monitors are different, unless you are looking at a perfectly calibrated (and calibratable) monitor.

Go into Best Buy or Target or even Wal-Mart and look at the rows and rows of TVs, which are usually all displaying the same thing. Every single one of them looks different than its neighbor. In the standard-def days they used to joke that NTSC means "Never Twice the Same Color"... and it's still true today.

You can custom tweak your image so it looks good on a specific monitor, of course... but I'd only do that for a particular/special project that's only going to be displayed on that monitor, and not anything else.

Of all the monitors you have, trust the CRT (especially if it is a good monitor, and/or calibrated). No matter how many LCDs, LCDs, and plasmas there are out there, the CRT remains the "gold standard" as to what something should look like.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Michal Bronec
Re: Question about how different monitors display your video differently
on Mar 30, 2012 at 6:56:58 pm

I have CRT monitor, but I dont know if I cant trust it anymore after this experience :)


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Question about how different monitors display your video differently
on Mar 31, 2012 at 4:47:25 am

Where are your videos final destination? Web? Broadcast? DVD?

Bare in mind the fact that every consumer monitor will look differently: between wide manufacturing tolerances, people adjust their screens to their taste, not necessarily what is right. You will never have consistency in the wild. So what do you do? You use a monitor that doesn't adulterate the image, just like audio recording studios use speakers that have even frequency responses and not Dr. Dre Beats headphones.

There are a few ways of approaching this.

The first, and the cheapest is to use your computer monitor if your videos are just going straight to YouTube/Vimeo/Mobile Devices. What you need to purchase, though, is a calibration system like a Spyder Pro, X-Rite, or Huey ($100-250). Since you're on a laptop, you'll also need to make sure your screen brightness is calibrated and your system doesn't dynamically adjust it.

Calibrate with gamma 2.2 for web, or recalibrate for gamma 2.4 and you can get passable quality for dvd/bluray/broadcast.

A better, more expensive, solution is to get a broadcast quality LCD monitor from someone like Panasonic, TV Logic, or Flanders Scientific ($2,000-5,000). These come with on-screen video scopes, blue-only mode, and professional connections.

While Todd is correct in mentioning that CRT is the gold standard, it's only in black (contrast) response. LCD, in a properly lit room, is more than suitable. Some people like using plasma displays for their improved contrast but they have issues with inconsistent brightness (put a small white square on the plasma and it will measure brighter than the same spot if the whole screen was illuminated white; it's called "floating white point"). Chances are, if your shadows are insanely critical, then your work is to the level where you can afford to colorgrade in a theatre or get a more expensive monitor from a company like Dolby (we're talking prices like $15,000).

Food for thought.


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