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Old August 24th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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Monitor calibration

I have several editors and we are usually passing projects back and forth. We have noticed some problems where one person thought the color looked great, but when viewed on another monitor, it looks a bit washed. I've been looking for some good software/hardware to calibrate all of the monitors with. Does anyone have a suggestion?
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Old August 24th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #2
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All you really need is Bars.

If you use professional monitors it is then very easy to calibrate all the monitors.

If they are not Pro monitors, no blue only and limited adjustments, then it is harder if not impossible. You can use a blue gel instead of blue only, but it is hard to get accurate adjustments.

Here is a brief description of how it is done:

Requirements: a source of SMPTE color bars and either a blue-gun/blue-only switch on your monitor or a strong blue gel.

Feed SMPTE color bars into your monitor.

Turn your contrast (white level) knob/menu setting to the middle (this is sometimes labeled "picture")

Turn your chroma knob/menu setting down all the way (this is sometimes labeled "color")

Turn your brightness (black level) knob/menu setting up until you can notice three distinct bars in the lower-right region of the monitor. These are (from left to right) blacker-than-black (5.5 IRE), black (7.5 IRE), and slight grey (11 IRE).

Turn the brightness control down until the left of those three bars (blacker-than-black) just disappears with the black region to the left of it and the middle black bar). Be sure the grey bar (right-most of the three) is still visible.

Turn your blue-gun switch on (or begin looking through your gel - note, you may need to fold it over multiple times for it to be effective). Slowly turn chroma up until the outter-most large bars match shade with the small bars directly below them.

Slowly adjust your phase knob/menu setting until the inner bars match the small bars below them in shade. (this is sometimes labeled "hue" or "tint") After this, you may need to tweak between phase and chroma adjustments to get all of the bars matching.
Once the bars match in shade, turn the blue-gun/blue-only switch off (or stop looking through your gel). Adjust contrast to taste.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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We are definitely not using "Pro" monitors. We are using 3 year old Dell 24" monitors. What would you guys suggest for a decent priced "pro" monitor. I'm going to hold onto my wallet. Go for it!
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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Chad,

Olof's workflow for calibration is spot-on. The grey lines he's referring to are called PLUGE lines (picture line-up generation equipment) used for black calibration.

LCD's much more than CRT's color-shift over time. A 3-yr old LCD isn't going to be spot-on color accurate anymore and would either need to be balanced against a broadcast monitor for matching purposes or replaced.

If you're working with other editors who use different monitors than the model and age of the one you're using then it's near impossible to make sure what *you're* seeing is what they'll see. You'd all need to match your monitors to the same target to get consistent results.

Re-read Olof's workflow and search this forum for the dozens of threads which deal with exact procedures for color matching LCD's, CRT's and professional broadcast monitors. You'll have to decide for yourself how best to implement these strategies against your budget and associate editors capabilities.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #5
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The DT JVC LCD line is very inexpensive (for a Pro HD-SDI) and I have found them easy to calibrate and quite accurate.


JVC | DTV20L1DU 20" Multi Format LCD Monitor | DT-V20L1DU

I also recommend AJA Kona or Matrox MX02 interfaces so you can use SDI out. MX02 can "pseudo" calibrate a cheap LCD HDMI monitor, it works pretty well but it is not as good as a Pro monitor like the JVC's.

Last edited by Olof Ekbergh; August 25th, 2009 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Added Note
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