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10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi

COW Forums : HD High-End

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Greg Pilon10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi
by on Oct 13, 2009 at 11:06:23 pm

I am looking for a new hd monitor, around that 4000 price range and everyone seems to like the fsi in that catagory. I have never looked at one in person, my only hesitation is that it is only 8 bit. I am pretty much editing a lot of red footage and 10 bit would seem to be better for that footage and the future. There is a jvc that is 10 bit in that category, anyone have any opinions on that. I did go to fsi site, and watched their explanation about 8 bit and how most 10 bit use dithering. Does that JVC use dithering to get 10 bit? I just want to get the right monitor that will last me the next few years, and with all the red footage I am editing 8 bit just seems like it will be in the past really soon? Maybe I am way off, I would like some other points of view on this. Thanks

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Bram DesmetRe: 10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi
by on Oct 14, 2009 at 1:01:16 am

Hi Greg, just to be clear the JVC uses an 8 bit lcd panel (I assume you are looking at their DT-V24L3DY?). Both the FSI monitor and the JVC utilize full 10 bit processing, but this is not the same as a full 10 bit panel.

When digging through the user manuals and specifications the following may be a useful guide for you (because there are many ways of expressing color depth...and they are often misleading):

1. First make sure you separate panel depth from video processing depth. If you are dealing with 10 bit material then there is no question that 10 bit video processing is a must have, no compromise, prerequisite for your monitor. The good news is that most decent quality professional monitors do process at this level or higher.

2. When dealing with panel depth look for the following information to know exactly what you are dealing with:
  • 8bit panels can reproduce approximately 16.77 million colors. Sometimes 8 bit panels are referred to by manufacturers as 24bit (8 bit per RGB subpixel channel), if you see this know that they are the same thing.
  • If you see 16 million colors or some number around there, but not quite 16.77 million, then you can be pretty sure this is actually a 6 bit panel using a dithering technique to 'simulate' more colors. Dithering is usually considered objectionable in professional applications because it tends to generate spatial and/or temporal image artifacts.
  • 10 bit panels can reproduce approximately 1.073 billion colors. If you see a number shy of this, but around 1 billion, you can be pretty sure that this is an 8 bit panel using dithering to 'simulate' a 10 bit panel. Again, dithering may be okay for the home viewer, but is normally not desirable in professional applications.
  • A native 10 bit panel is desirable and if you have the money that certainly is the way to go. However, you will not find a native 10 bit lcd panel broadcast monitor in the price range you mention. You can find a native 10 bit graphics or computer monitor, but it will not share the features or inputs found on the broadcast monitors you mention in your original post. Just as an example we will be releasing a native 10 bit unit in the future around the $9,000 price range (LM-2470W).

Sometimes you need to dig for the 'real' monitor specifications because marketing departments of course tend to focus on the best sounding numbers...this often leads to monitors with 10 bit processing, but 8 bit lcd panels, being touted as true 10 bit monitors. IMHO that type of marketing is a bit misleading, but that is not to say that 10 bit processing is not important because even with just an 8 bit lcd panel 10 bit processing is a distinct advantage for the professional environment.

Bram Desmet
FSI (Flanders Scientific, Inc.)

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Greg PilonRe: 10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi
by on Oct 14, 2009 at 6:35:12 pm

Thanks Bram for giving a clear explanation to this. I didn't realize we had to look at video processing at 10 bit but the actual panel in 8bit. Thanks for explaining the difference on how people are justifying their numbers on bit depth. Well, I will be looking at your panels online here soon, Thanks for the infomation.

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Doug BealRe: 10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi
by on Oct 15, 2009 at 3:27:17 pm

We have 4 FSI LM 2450W and a JVC DT V24L 1D
The FSI's are far superior in colorimetry and viewing angle
(my guess on the JVC is maybe 10 degrees, if you are not right on it you don't have a clue.)

Highly recommend FSI, and no I get no special treatment from FSI, but I do from my clients and that counts for a lot. great company, very knowledgeable.

Doug Beal
Editor / Engineer
Rock Creative Images
Nashville TN

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Tim KolbRe: 10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi
by on Oct 18, 2009 at 4:26:17 am

Typically the panels that are displaying 10 bit color are backlit with LEDs instead of cold cathode fluorescent. The DreamColor from HP and some consumer panels have LEDs.

I should also state that this configuration isn't universally thought to be superior in every way...but it does seem to offer more precise color rendition. I've been impressed with even the consumer LED lit panels that I've seen from just a visual standpoint.

Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

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Bob ZelinRe: 10 bit hd monitor or 8 bit fsi
by on Oct 19, 2009 at 1:23:51 am

If you are going to spend $4000 - $5000 on a monitor, you have to be crazy to not see one first, and just base your recommendation on a user forum. The FSI 2450 is a spectacular product, and you have to see it to appreciate it - not just "hearsay" from a website.

Bob Zelin

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