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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:16 PM   #1
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Which display to trust

Hey guys, I've been browsing for a while and have seen various detailed answers, but I'm in a time crunch and just need a basic opinion:

I've finished cutting a short film and I'm trying to burn a good DVD for our actors and for a local fest, and I'm trying to get the best picture possible. I've tested the movie on four monitors:

Scepter 20" LCD - used for editing
Samsung 22" LCD
Sharp Aquos 42" 1080
Sony 37" Trinitron dinosaur

On all of these the picture looks significantly different (and yes, I know I can use an expensive studio monitor to get this done right the first time, but all of my money goes to gas these days).

On the Scepter in Premiere and on the Samsung in Encore, the picture looks perfect, the contrast is right, the skintones are accurate, the brightness is good. Both of these monitors are out of the box.

On the Sharp, the skintones are a bit reddish at times, not at others, so I'm afraid to tweak the TV too much and overcompensate. Otherwise, the brightness and contrast is pretty close to the two computer monitors. This TV is also out of the box.

On the Sony, the skintones are accurate throughout, however the picture in general is too dark and sometimes orangy, a tint that isn't displayed on any of the other three. However, like I said, the skin is more accurate than on the Sharp. Again, TV is out of the box.

My basic question is, is there one of these displays that I can trust to be most accurate on people's TVs in general - I know that there will always be a bit of variance - and which I can expect to be closet to a projected image at a festival. If I want to make a few adjustments, I'm not sure which one to make the adjustments to (ie, if the Sony's picture is most accurate and I make changes according to the Samsung, I'm really gonna screw things up)

Thanks, I know that this is really general, but that's all I'm interested in.

Thanks again for any help or suggestions.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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I wouldn't trust ANY LCD unless it was either:

A. Built for the purpose
B. Had been calibrated

Or both...

If you are going to have to rely on one of these LCDs, buy one of the calibration DVDs and you'll be in a much better scenario.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 05:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the idea, hadn't heard of that (this obviously isn't my area of expertise)

I'm hoping to be able to trust one of the TVs, as that is what most of our audience will view it on, but I hate how different they look. I want to think the newer, expensive one is more accurate, but...
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Old March 31st, 2008, 06:09 PM   #4
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This might help:

http://www.plasmatelevisions.org/art...plasma-tv.html
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Old March 31st, 2008, 06:58 PM   #5
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So it would seem that for producing a DVD for people with a wide array of televisions, the Sony crt-style would be the most accurate judge, at least for the time being?
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:18 PM   #6
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Some Trinitron models have the ability to achieve good accuracy when calibrated.

I suggest that you attempt to calibrate one of the monitors. You can get most of the way there with color bars, a calibration DVD, and some know-how. The Intertubes have detailed how-tos, sometimes for a specific model, on calibration. Don't forget about the display environment (no daylight, etc.).

The LCD displays will likely not have excellent color reproduction, unless they are S-IPS panels, in which case the motion rendering will likely not be very good (terrible trade-off). S-MVA is pretty good, and has quick full on/off response times.

Note that many displays have different processing for different inputs. With DVD there are many possibilities (S-video, component, up-converted DVI, HDMI, or comonent, etc.).
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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Being built for computer use, I wouldn't rely on a computer monitor (CRT or LCD) for accurate reproduction of video footage. And to echo the others, you cannot trust a consumer television set unless it has been calibrated. A professional calibration is best, but that costs probably around $300. Next best is a self-calibration performed with a hardware colorimeter like the Eye-One Pro/Spider2 using software and test patterns. After that comes the eye-ball method using test patterns.

If your Sony Trinitron has preset display modes, check if it has one called "Pro"; if it does, use that one. And if it has color temperature settings, set it to "Warm". That should help to get it closer to broadcast specs.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:48 PM   #8
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Thanks Daniel; that is what I was worried about (so many different outputs) because even if I see a perfect picture, how many average people who would be watching this will?

For the most part the picture looks pretty good on all displays, but there are a few sequences where I had to do some post-brightening and some where I had to do some heavy color correction and those scenes are the main ones looking different on the different displays. I just don't want to brighten them even more, or color correct even more if the display showing things properly is how it will "generally" look.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:50 PM   #9
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Thanks also Chris - I think I'm going to make adjustments according to the Sony, and I'll check the presets too.

I'll update tomorrow if it works out.

Thanks again everyone for your help
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