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Which screen(s)?

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William Dron
Which screen(s)?
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:00:02 pm


We’re looking to upgrade our video edit suite from a single iMac (using the built-in screen) to a standalone machine with separate screen(s). But we’re not sure which to go with.

Most of the video produced here is for display on computer monitors (presentations or online) but some may need to be fed to TV production companies for inclusion in films for broadcast or DVD output.

A few questions...

Should we set it up with one screen for files/desktop and one for Final Cut Pro or split FCP across two screens (Viewer and Canvas).

Assuming it’s the former, presumably we only need to go for one high-end screen and one bog-standard computer monitor. If it’s the latter, we’ll need two screens of the same standard and calibrated together, right?

There are almost certainly things we haven't considered and it’s probably a question of budget more than anything else, but are there some tips we should follow/ can any of the above be clarified for us?

And given a recommended set-up, are there any screens currently preferred by the industry?

Thanks very much


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Alex Elkins
Re: Which screen(s)?
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:36:12 pm

Hi William,

Most editors spread FCP (or Avid, Premiere etc) across both screens. For example, I have my Browser window taking up the entire left screen, and the Timeline, Canvas and Viewer on the right. To my knowledge this is how most editors choose to work. Therefore it isn't necessary for both to be very high quality. Just make sure they're both set to display the same resolution.

However, you should be using a separate video monitor as well (essentially a professional quality tv next to one of your computer monitors). There are MANY combinations of how to do this so I will just list my own - I have an AJA Kona 3 card in the computer which sends pictures to a Sony CRT monitor and also a larger HD screen for clients who may be sitting a bit further back in the room.

As you said in your post, it's a question of budget. Give us an idea and we can recommend the most suitable solution.

All the best,
Alex Elkins

Salad Daze Films - Freshly Tossed

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William Dron
Re: Which screen(s)?
on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:03:16 pm

Thanks for getting back to me so quick.

Well, it depends how important it is really. We may be able to stretch to a few grand if absolutely necessary.

It has been suggested that we go with a couple of Samsung SyncMaster 2433s (currently preferred by our IT department for more general use throughout the company) at around £200 each until we have properly seen off the effects of the recession, then invest in a single broadcast quality screen in the £2000-3000 bracket.

So we're not a million miles off your recommendation. What do you think?

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