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More external monitor questions

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Craig Johnson
More external monitor questions
on Mar 10, 2012 at 12:49:37 am

I've read a ton of posts on why you need an external monitor. I've been putting it off but after my last blu ray project, I was a bit annoyed with difference in sizing from the edits on the imac to the 60 inch plasma during playback. I have this years model 13 inch mbp i5 and also the 27 inch imac. I do most of the stuff on the imac but do go out of town quite a bit, so the mbp has to use it too. I'm thinking 24 inch but want a "same as" representation of size during editing as I should get during playback. New monitors and HDTV's are about the same money. Which way is the best option? Am I on the right track to my sizing issues?

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Jeff Greenberg
Re: More external monitor questions
on Mar 10, 2012 at 3:12:07 pm

Sorry no, you're not on the right track.

By external monitor, everyone is talking an 'external broadcast monitor' connected via a YCr'Cb' pipeline - that would be cards/thunderbolt from AJA/BlackMagic/Matrox which are plugged into a broadcast quality monitor from someone like FSI.

Television sets or LCD panels for a computer do not accurately provide the 'standard' that we talk about - it's a neutral standard that the broadcast industry uses. When you just 'plug something' into your mac, the video is handled in RGB space - a different math/storage than the method than your video is stored in.

Last, there are 15" HD screens....60" HD screens...and projectors. Some can be set exactly to a 1920x1080 HD - but some screens pad the edges for the correct 16x9 proportions. When you look at your 60" plasma, if it's a 1080, it is showing all the information. Are you 1 foot from it? 20 feet? the distance is crucial to whether it feels pixelated.

If the field sounds like a mess of standards that are difficult - they are!

The general thought: Hardware output + broadcast reference monitor = trusted output.


Jeff G

Certified Master Trainer | Adobe, Apple, Avid
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Craig Johnson
Re: More external monitor questions
on Mar 11, 2012 at 12:11:36 am

Thanks for your input.

Since there is no way I can pop for a $5K FSI broadcast monitor, I guess I need a work around. The new MBP comes with a thunderbolt port but I haven't played with it yet but I am assuming there is way using that without I/O cards.

What I have noticed is that every time I play a dvd or blu ray back on my 1080 plasma, or our 1080 sony LCD, or my 1080 Epson projector on a 10 foot screen, my whole movie looks slightly zoomed in. It's not horrible, but it does change the entire feel of it and makes it look a bit rushed along. There are no resolution issues whatsoever. I use wireframe and title safe always and had read that if I connected a 1080 HD TV of some sort as a monitor, it would give me a better idea of how the finished product would be scaled. Why is my end product looking slightly "zoomed in"?

Am I the only one that has this issue? Has anyone found a happy medium that get's you pretty close without the $5K price tag?

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Neil Patience
Re: More external monitor questions
on Mar 11, 2012 at 10:46:34 am

Tou cant go direct from Thunderbolt to a broadcast monitor.

It does not sound like you have an existing capture card but if you do there are adapters which allow you to use PCIe crds with Thunderbolt so you could use say a Kona i/o card and adapt it for thunderbolt.

However you can also get a Thunderbolt I/O

Its possible that the reason that your pictures look slightly zoomed in because your TV's underscan slightly.
This is normal for any domestic equipment however modern plasmas and LCD panels show a lot more of the picture than old CRT's so you dont lose very much usually. If a panel is 1920x1080 then just about every pixel should be visible.
It could be enough to explain your size change.

Broadcast monitors overscan - in otherwords rather than slightly masking the edges of the pictures they show them, plus a little more.
This is important for being able to fix blanking errors for instance.
So you will always see the full picture from edge to edge.

As an alternative to a FSI you could look at a JVC DT-V24L1DU they are around $3,500 and are pretty good monitors.

Otherwise you need a card that has HDMI output like the Kona Lhi

Then you could use a decent Plasma or LED panel. However I dont really know the best one to suggest as I am in the UK and our models are different to US but others here will.

Hope that helps

best wishes

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Chris Tompkins
Re: More external monitor questions
on Mar 12, 2012 at 12:14:44 pm

Check your 1080 plasma TV settings, it may have the view on zoom and you can change that.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC

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Craig Johnson
Re: More external monitor questions
on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:32:18 am

Thanks for all the responses.

Hi Chris....I have tried many different configurations on all the different sets and the 2 projectors I own. Like I said, my projects don't zoom much, but it is super annoying.

The only fun part of messing with all those settings on the plasma was stumbling across the 2D to 3D upscale feature and watching my movie with the 3D glasses on. It's blu ray and that part was very cool and looked killer.

Like Jeff and Neil said...External Broadcast Monitor and associated goodies. I guess I can't cheap out of this one.

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