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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #1
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Playback/Preview Monitor - Cheap Options?

There is no way I can afford a $3K+ broadcast color monitor for playback/preview. And so, what is the best way to achieve color accuracy using a HDTV? Plasma? LCD? Does it matter? Will any ol' HDTV do the trick?

Even if some of you can tell me about your current playback/preview monitor setup, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.

BTW - I edit with FCP v6.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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What is your budget? Otherwise it's hard to make a recommendation.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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How about $800 - $1000. Will that get me very far?

I currently have a Dell 24" monitor. I edit on a Mac Pro.

Thanks for your help.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 06:58 AM   #4
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We also need to know where your video will be viewed. For the web a good computer monitor can be great, for DVD a good HDTV can be fine. Use a Spyder 3 to calibrate the monitor or TV to the correct colour space & you could be all set.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #5
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Nowadays it seems like most of my clients want their video on DVD and YouTube.

Regarding a HDTV, it looks like that Spyder 3 can calibrate LCD & CRT. So, no Plasma?

And do I need some kind of interface card? I read somewhere that you don't need an interface card, that all you need is "dvi." Not exactly sure what to believe!

Thanks.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #6
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Im also very interested in this. The majority of my clients want to share video on Youtube ( even though i recommend vimeo) and watch them on DVD. I currently have a two monitor setup and cant afford the 3k broadcast monitor. im looking into getting a LCD around the 500$-700$ range ( does not need to be HUGE) in order to use as a playback monitor. who has some good suggestions?
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Old November 10th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Spiro Hernandez View Post
And do I need some kind of interface card?
For your budget, get a Black Magic Intensity card. That will connect to a consumer LCD or plasma TV. You might be able to calibrate the TV to be not too wildly off the mark with a Spyder.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #8
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For your budget, get a Black Magic Intensity card. That will connect to a consumer LCD or plasma TV. You might be able to calibrate the TV to be not too wildly off the mark with a Spyder.
That's what I've done - bought a used Blackmagic Card and mounted an inexpensive HDTV on my wall. I calibrated using FCP color bars and it looks pretty good. Now I've got two Apple Cinema Displays free for editing, and the tv for monitoring.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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Thanks Arnie & John.

Which HDTV's are you guys using with this kind of setup?

I recently spoke to someone who purchased a Samsung, but has not been happy with it because it's not "color accurate."

Last edited by Spiro Hernandez; November 10th, 2010 at 04:08 PM.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #10
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Many HDTVs are not color accurate and the Samsung (while it's a great home TV, I have two) can be included in that description. Most home HDTV have a poor viewing angle range as they are meant to be watched in a room from a few feet away. We generally edit a lot closer then we watch recreational television which is why quality computer monitors like the Apple Cinema Display are worth using with specialized calibration hardware like the Matrox MXO or the Blackmagic Designs card.

I was in a live switch control room recently where they replaced the old broadcast quality tube monitors with consumer Samsung LCDs. The clients who sat in the back of the room were happy but the director (me) had to look at a screen where the colors changed from top to bottom. Feh. Fortunately there still was a broadcast tube monitor the engineer and I could use to balance the cameras. John Arnold's set up is a good template.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #11
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We generally edit a lot closer then we watch recreational television which is why quality computer monitors like the Apple Cinema Display are worth using with specialized calibration hardware like the Matrox MXO or the Blackmagic Designs card.
Just to clarify - you plug your Apple Cinema Display into either the Matrox or Blackmagic card???

If this is the case, then I guess I'm confused about the actual propose of these cards. I thought they were simply used to connect a HDTV to your computer? Why would you connect a computer display monitor to one of these cards?

I have ordered the Spyder 3 & Black Magic Intensity card from B&H. Just not sure if I should now purchase a HDTV, or simply continue using my Dell monitor?

Thanks for your help.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #12
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I have neither but have used the Matrox MXO as a rental. The MXO goes between the DVI port of your computer and your DVI computer monitor, plus has SDI and SD analog outputs. The Blackmagic Intensity card interfaces with HDMI and Analog RGB only but is much cheaper. As I stated before, there is a difference between HD consumer sets and computer monitors regarding the viewing angle. So if you can set a quality HD consumer set on a wall or shelf a few feet behind the back of your edit workstation then the Blackmagic card will work well. It will also work if you have a computer monitor with HDMI inputs. The Spyder will help with color balancing. I do suggest that you use two monitors, one for your desktop and one for monitoring your video while editing.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #13
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Isn't the HDMI and DVI video signals very similar? More or less the difference is in the connector interface (besides audio and the higher resolution versions possible with the different DVI interfaces). Do you think the image will be that different if fed from the same card to the same monitor through a HDMI/DVI adaptor?

I have a HD consumer TV that has Component, HDMI, and DVI inputs, I will have to try the different outputs from my Blackmagic Extreme card in to this TV sometime. I can imagine the Component and HDMI from the Blackmagic card may look different but the HDMI / DVI will be coming out of two different cards so it would be interesting to compare them...
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