I am updating my editing station, and am looking to add a lcd hdtv to view my FCP projects from my imac, and to do color correction. I need to know whether or not I need a breaker box to do so. I have been told that the video quality will be the same without a breaker box, I have also been told that I don't need a breaker box, and it will work without it. I don't want to purchase a new tv without knowing for sure whether I will need the box. If I do need it, I will purchase another monitor and make my station dual monitor instead. I need some input.
Simply using a second computer monitor attached directly to the computer (i.e. as a second computer monitor) will not give you accurate color preview for video content. You need a proper video output interface and a way to properly calibrate the preview monitor.
If you are not editing HD, you can use Firewire out of your iMac through your camera or DV deck to connect to a TV. Alternately, you can use a DV interface like the Canopus ADVC-110:
The Canopus is actually preferable to a deck or camera because most consumer DV devices (cameras and decks) do not output the proper black level for US-NTSC, which is 7.5 IRE. Instead, they mostly output 0 IRE, which is too dark. If you do color correction while viewing improper black levels on your preview monitor, this will result in your videos appearing washed out when you burn a DVD or play back your video on a properly calibrated system.