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Old April 29th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #1
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2 Medium Size Monitors or One Large Monitor?

which do you all prefer? I'm considering getting two medium size monitors or one giant one, they each are about the same price. Do you prefer 2 for editing, or just one big screen real estate?
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Old April 29th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #2
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Up until 2 months ago, I was a big fan of one monitor setups mainly because I didn't have to hassle with the empty space right smack in the middle of my workspace. Then I got a new job and inherited a dual monitor setup, which I've grown to prefer. I think the biggest advantage is, ironically, the empty space right smack in the middle. As intended, I keep one application (Final Cut) on one monitor and another (LiveType) on the second - it also comes in very handy when using the Help viewer to walk me through a problem. The one real hassle I could do without is all pop up windows and menu bar appearing on the "default" monitor. That takes a little while to get used to. But, in the end, I plan to stick with dual medium-sized monitors.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 12:14 AM   #3
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Two weeks ago I started a new position and got my first taste of FCP. The studio has two 19" CRT's, a 15" production monitor and 27" TV for the editing suite. I never really thought I was missing anything by not having two monitors, until I spent a few days logging/capturing footage.

The production company I'm working with is adding a new G5/FCPHD suite to the studio. We visited the Apple Store down the street the other day to ask some questions and get an idea of what we needed. The same monitor question you asked had us thinking one of the 30" Apple HD monitors (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=336375&is=REG) would be perfect. However, while at the store we fired up FCPHD and arranged the workspace like we prefer and it just didn't work out as we expected. I didn't like one big screen and neither did the guy who is teaching me the ropes with Mac/FC. We have now decided to use two of the 23" Apple HD monitors (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=336374&is=REG), which will be about another $600 over what a single 30" monitor would have cost. I'm just glad I get to work with this system and don't have to pay for it!

After spending a couple of weeks looking at two screens, I quickly sprung an old Gateway monitor from it's attic prison and added it to my home setup, I love it especially when editing video. Though not a matched pair or even the same size, I could never go without the added space again.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #4
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At various times, with various Macs, I've used dual monitor setups. For some reason I always end up back with a single screen though. I'm still using an old CRT Apple Studio Display, which is a 21" Trinitron CRT running at 1600x1200.

I guess one of my problems is what Nicholas mentions; the menu bar and dialogs all appear on the primary screen. This involves a lot of mousing around. It is nice to put one program on each screen, but not very intuitive to constantly move to the other screen to execute menu commands.

I also found that two screens didn't work as well with Motion (I have a 128MB Radeon 9600 card in a dual G5/2.5). With two screens then you split video memory with only 64 MB allocated to each.

But it's all about personal taste. Try it both ways if you can. Tyge has a good idea of dragging out any old PC monitors you might have; DVI to VGA and ADC to VGA adaptors are inexpensive. However this is another problem I've had with dual monitors where one is an LCD and the other a CRT. The brightness and contrast were so different that I found it distracting. Matched dual 23" HD Cinema displays would be nice I'm sure :-)
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Old April 30th, 2005, 01:04 AM   #5
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I might add...

My home setup (for us poor folks) consists of a 17" Dell + 15" Gateway CRT monitors, I never gave up the dough for space saving LCDs. http://www.texasoutdoorsman.com/Imag...l-monitors.jpg

In Premiere Pro I now have my workspace set up to where I have my Project, Effects and Effects Controls windows on the smaller, lower quality monitor. I have my Monitor and Timeline on the larger screen.

I'll go with two 20" LCD monitors for the new Mac suite for my personal use. Unlike my two producer friends with the TV show budget, I have a Minister of Finance living under my roof who frowns on such expenditures as 23-30" monitors. :)
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Old April 30th, 2005, 09:27 AM   #6
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About three years ago, I had to write up the 'business case' to support dual monitors for our entire graphics development team within an instructional design workgroup. Surprisingly, there is ample material supporting the premise that dual screen workstations are economically beneficial.

Of the several university studies I referenced in the decision paper, one demonstated a corporation that had acheive the all important 'Return On Investment' in only three weeks. In other words, the additional expense of the dual monitor setup paid for itself in productivity gains in only three weeks. In the business world, that's pretty damn good. Needless to say, I got dual 21" monitors for my entire workgroup (not just the graphics team), and I'll have to say our output of material picked up substantially.

I now work dual monitor at a different job and also work dual monitors at home. I love having the timeline in Vegas stretched across two displays.

I have no basis for comparing my dual monitor experiences to a very large single monitor setup. I would caution you that the resolution is as important as the size though. Ensure that the very large monitor will run double the resolution you will run on each monitor in a dual setup. This means that if you are running 1280x1024 on each monitor in a dual setup, the single monitor should be able to match at least the double the horizontal resolution, or 2560 pixels. Otherwise, the display may be larger, but the resolution isn't as good; this will become even more important with high-def video editing.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 09:49 AM   #7
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I might have to make that same "dual monitor" case here in a month or so. Do you have some links that would give me a jump in the right direction to proving this setup is actually valid?
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #8
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Nicholi,
Sadly, I never made a personal copy of the decision paper, so when I left the company, I lost access to it.

I do remember using Google as a preliminary search tool and being surprised at the number of hits. Some of the links lead to other links including one university paper which had a bibliography including links to similar citations. Sorry, but I don't even recall the university which conducted the study. It might be the university mentioned in this article.
PC Mag

Another ref:
Microsoft White Paper
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Old May 1st, 2005, 09:43 AM   #9
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Thanks Patrick, those links will provide a good starting point. I'm not super concerned that I will have to justify my request, but wouldn't mind being prepared just in case.
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