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In Over My Head with External Monitoring w/ BM Decklink Studio & Panasonic BT-LH900

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David Turner
In Over My Head with External Monitoring w/ BM Decklink Studio & Panasonic BT-LH900
on Jun 3, 2012 at 2:49:28 am

Hi Wonderful Forum,

I am a journalist and multimedia video producer. I am trying to dive deeper into the world of color correction and externally monitoring my video in Final Cut Pro 7 and Color, and I am a bit in over my head and am not sure how to set everything up.

I am running a Mac Pro Dual Core Intel 2.66 ghz with 9gb of ram. I have two Acer monitors I use to edit off of. I am borrowing a monitor calibrator this week, but these are not great for any type of real color anyway. I shoot largely with Canon HDSLRs.

I just purchased a Blackmagic Decklink Studio to begin externally monitoring. I was able to borrow (for a semi permanent basis) a small Panasonic BT-LH900 for this monitoring and color correction (although it is quite small).

My first question is how do I set up the Panasonic BT-LH900 to be at normal levels so I can color grade off of it?

It has dials with Contrast (0-60), Bright (0-60), Chroma (0-60), Peaking (0-20). If I go into video Config, I have my Gamma select at Normal, Color temp at D65, Sharpness mode at LOW, Sharpness H & V both at 2, I-P mode at Mode1, Mono at off, and SD aspect at 4:3. My Marker Select is on GPI, preset 80%.

My second question is how do I set this up in Final Cut to properly view and do preliminary color adjustments (this is for 1080p DSLR footage)? When in final cut, I have All Frames selected under View->External Video. I want to make sure I am color correcting the right way.

I have it connected to the Blackmagic Decklink Studio via SDI cable.

I have a short film I need to supply to a festival in 3 weeks. It was color graded a while back, but I am not thrilled on how it came out and with some shots pretty far off, I want to try to re-grade this myself. Any help you can offer me on these questions, or other advice on how to get started with using an external monitor and color grading, I would more than appreciate it.

I will be doing a lot of reading this week on color correction, color grading, and using either Apple Color or Davinci Resolve.

My last question for now is: do I need to calibrate the monitor differently if I am editing photos in Lightroom (and is it possible to externally monitor in lightroom?). This may be a question for a different forum.

Thank you in advance for anyone who takes their time to answer. I really appreciate everyone on these forums, you have made and continue to make video production accessible.


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David Turner
Re: In Over My Head with External Monitoring w/ BM Decklink Studio & Panasonic BT-LH900
on Jun 3, 2012 at 3:46:09 pm

Small Update: I am getting video in Final Cut when editing. I just want to make sure I have all the settings right so my color correction will be right. Also, are there other uses for externally monitoring that I should be aware of?

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Joseph Hung
Re: In Over My Head with External Monitoring w/ BM Decklink Studio & Panasonic BT-LH900
on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:47:03 am

Reset the monitor to default settings across the board. With default, you will already see a difference between your computer monitors and your broadcast monitor. Calibrate your broadcast monitor display using color bars coming out of FCP. Google it, there are lots of tutorials about how to do this.
With everything plugged in, go to View/External Video/All Frames. Then in the same place Refresh A/V Devices. It should auto find your monitor. Otherwise manually choose it. Make sure you choose the correct settings for Audio Video Settings/A/V Devices/Playback output. If you are running audio out of the decklink separately to a mixer and speakers, you may have to go to System Settings/Playback Control and offset your frames so that audio and video are synced.

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