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Old June 26th, 2005, 06:39 AM   #1
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Viewing on Computer vs TV

Hello Guys :-)

I have been haunted by this for a while and have only touched on solutions... Maybe you can lend me some of your advice !

This isn't a compression issue, the images look this way on my desktop while editing. The video looks great on the monitor, but looks dark on the computer screen, so it isn't even getting to the output phase yet!!

It seems that my productions look great when viewed on a TV for broadcast, everything exposed well, etc., but when compressing for DVD to be viewed on a computer, or Web Media, the images are too dark, maybe even a little contrasty. It seems that I would have to have one version for TV and another for viewing on a computer, but that can't be right :-(

What is up??

Any help, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated !
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Old June 26th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #2
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Monitors are usually darker than TV's. But if your stuff looks fine for broadcast, then its not entirely your problem. Most monitors just aren't properly calibrated for viewing video. Most viewers just don't know enough to calibrate thier monitors properly.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 11:32 PM   #3
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with the penetration of lcd monitors on both computers and televisions, it's gotten to the point where there really is no correct gamma... throw plasma and everything else in there, and it gets really messy.

about all that you can do is to use the correct ntsc crt monitor setup, because that is the standard that the video was shot with.

wrt the pc monitor, you should definitely be calibrating it to something, but not as an instrument to adjust ntsc video with: http://www.aim-dtp.net/aim/photoshop...alibration.htm ...deep black and contrast range is the object there, don't worry so much about the photoshop color settings.

if you have an lcd monitor, all bets are off, because you'll never be able to get the contrast range out of it, it'll always be too bright... crt is the only way to go.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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Hey Guys,

I hear you, monitors that are not calibrated, TVs, which are never calibrated, and the plethora of computer monitors, which besides being of a whole different set of protocols, are never the same... mini nightmare!

But the weird thing that doesn't make sense to me, is that I have the same results spanning many different TVs, Monitors, and Computer Monitors, and it is all the same... Dark on the computer, perfect on TV ????

So I usually shoot for DVD and trust that it will look pretty good on TV, but in this case I had to intentionally under expose with the intention of boosting the levels when I did my normal color timing, but that may have been the killer as far as overall re-work is concerned.

But still, too dark on computer equipment compared to when it is viewed on a TV. And it isn't just my RTX100 machine, I got the same results from a totally different DVStorm machine??

I have been without sleep for days, so I will have to rethink this once I am rested.

Thanks for the continued feedback !!!
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Old June 29th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti
Hey Guys,



I have been without sleep for days, so I will have to rethink this once I am rested.
Gotten any sleep? I shoot exclusively for the web and have learned to let go of such anxieties. I tend to shoot a little bright knowing that between the streaming and the computer monitors it'll darken before the viewer sees it. I've decided if it looks good on my boss's computer then I'm done. His monitor and mine seem similar, so I go with that. Sadly, if it looks good for him it's still too dark for his boss. But his boss rarely looks. What are you gonna do?
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Old June 29th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #6
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In my experience the video on computer monitors is ALWAYS darker than the exact same video played on a NTSC TV/Monitor. I have observed this for both PCs and Macs, and when viewing in various NLEs. The exact video being displayed by the NLE on the computer from the timeline is always darker than the video being simultaneously displayed on a NTSC monitor or TV via firewire/tape deck/camera.

I'm not sure why this is the case, but here are some thoughts:
  1. Computer monitor is not properly calibrated
  2. Computer monitor brightness spec is less than TV/monitor
  3. DV assumes a "setup" level of 0 IRE, where as most NTSC TVs/monitors assume 7.5 IRE (which is brighter)

One real issue is what to do about demos (like your demo reel or wedding demos) that are produced from video targeted for DVD/TV but will also be displayed on computers via the web.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #7
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Hey Guys, thanks for the replies and reassurances!!

Yes I get it, the problem that I had this time is that my video, which will be displayed on TVs using DVD players, was shown at a convention with all of the big wigs in session, and it can get me a lot more business, or seal my fate. The organizer insists in using a computer to project the video vs a DVD player, so it doesn't represent as well as it could. To boot, I only had 1 day to build this very important project :-(

Clients like to push their agendas, and they think that they know WAY more than they do unfortunately :-( :-(

Thanks for all of your support guys !!!!
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Old August 15th, 2005, 01:16 PM   #8
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Any Solution?

Hey all!

This thread is a bit old, but the question still remains. Here I am editing video on my calibrated broadcast monitor and everything looks beautiful.

Now I send out proof versions over the web to my customers and every one of them panicks and says "oh my god, this is way too dark! Can you lighten this up a lot please?" to which I respond "No, if I lighten it up so you can approve it on your LCD computer monitor it'll look washed out and crappy on the final DVD!" And so on.

The solution here seems to be in proper compression strategies. Unless you're delivering the exact same file for computer viewing and DVD/TV viewing, the change needs to happen during compression.

Does anyone have experience here? Settings for Squeeze, for example? Compressor setup? QuickTime Pro export pearls of wisdom?

I doubt the folks who are putting out Hollywood trailers in QuickTime format aren't color correcting the footage to get it to look right on monitors, so presumably they're doing something during compression. I could be wrong and they're running the whole trailer through some kind of workflow that includes a "gamma adjustment" stage.

Thoughts?
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Old August 15th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #9
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This article could get you started: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/gamma_mac_pc.html. I don't have any of my own pearls of wisdom. I usually just put a gamma correction filter at 0.8 in Final Cut when I compress my trailers for the web, and it seems to work fine for viewing on Windows PCs. But there's no one magic setting because Windows doesn't have a default gamma. I think most people do have gamma set to 2.2 or so, but there's no way to be sure.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #10
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Thanks! But...

Thanks, Zach!

This does answer the "PC gamma vs. Mac gamma" question, but it doesn't get to the "TV vs DV" question. Footage that looks great on a calibrated NTSC monitor looks awful when viewed on a computer monitor regardless of of PC or Mac.

Perhaps the answer is also to make sure your work monitors are calibrated to NTSC as closely as possible (to reduce that part of the question) then use compression compensation to go to the "halfway" point between PC & Mac gamma settings.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #11
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since i adjusted my computer monitors per the link i posted earlier, i have not had the serious mac gamma issues like i used to... in the past, hollywood quicktime movie trailers looked like mud on my 21" panasonic pc monitor... did you adjust your computer monitors?

i'm thinking that once you adjust the gamma on a monitor correctly, mac vs. pc gamma would be a lot closer.

>>>"No, if I lighten it up so you can approve it on your LCD computer monitor it'll look washed out and crappy on the final DVD!"<<<

exporting video for the web is totally non-destructive to the source footage in the timeline, so your dvd gamma would not be affected... in other words, when exporting web video, stop adjusting the gamma with your editing program, and do it in your web encoding application instead.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Mull
But there's no one magic setting because Windows doesn't have a default gamma.
Actually, Windows does have a default gamma setting. It's 2.2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Mull
I think most people do have gamma set to 2.2 or so, but there's no way to be sure.
You're right, because that is Windows' default, and most computer users wouldn't change it as they have no clue what "gamma" is to begin with.

For what it's worth, if you have Photoshop (the full version, or Elements), then the Adobe Gamma monitor calibration utility installed on your computer, which you can use to calibrate your computer monitor. During the calibration process it allows you to choose what gamma setting you want to use. You could stick with the default for your operating system (whether that be Mac OS or Windows), or choose the gamma the other OS uses.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #13
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Hi Anthony

If you use RTx100 you should have Waveform & Vector Scope facilities. What do these tell you when looking at your vision? Do you have a camera that generates colour bars & tone? Can you record some test signal from your camera and see what that looks like from your nle and make adjustments from there?

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Old August 18th, 2005, 07:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Holder
Hi Anthony

If you use RTx100 you should have Waveform & Vector Scope facilities. What do these tell you when looking at your vision? Do you have a camera that generates color bars & tone? Can you record some test signal from your camera and see what that looks like from your nle and make adjustments from there?

Phil
Hi Phil,

Yeah, I use all of the tools and my video is in spec. The footage looks fine on a TV, but dark on a computer.

I understand the Gamma issue and what it means to viewing, but still feel that the quality of a Hollywood release is better. Well no kidding, I'm sure they have better rigs than I do presently, but maybe the production values are so high, that we don't notice that the images are darker when watching a DVD on our computer??

I would like to use a 60K Fisher dolly rather than my 2K dolly, a 60K camera, A skyscraper solid crane rather than mine, but the corporate video budget Ain't Hollywood. So maybe the less than stellar acting and the undressed sets play a part in the overall effect.

I'm willing to wager on that!

I would hate to produce a version for TV and a version for the computer, but the alternative is to either go the middle route and have it display fair on both platforms, or choose the most viewed medium and produce for that??

It isn't rocket science but it's still a factor of our technological state of times... and we have to deal with it.
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