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Old February 20th, 2006, 02:14 AM   #1
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what is benefit of dual monitor setup

Hello!
Pondering upgrading my Imac to a G5 to create a web site & video clips. What is the advantage of dual moniters specifically to FCP video editing? I know you create a much larger workspace, but i don't have an editing education. Do you set up the program in a better configuration? If so, what is the configuration & why is it better than working with 1 moniter?
Thanks in advance JDub
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Old February 20th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #2
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You can have your timeline and monitor windows on one monitor, and all your bins on the other. This is REALLY helpful on large projets when you need multiple bins open.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 08:10 AM   #3
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Real estate!

It's absolutely great to have plenty of space. I cut on a PC with Avid, but the principle is the same. You can stretch your timeline across BOTH monitors if you like. Scale your viewing windows larger. Open multiple bins and 'tools'.

"Wider is better"

AS to how to arrange the windows (or 'palettes') - it's a personal choice. Everyone has a slightly different workflow for different projects, so usually you set them up, and 'save' them so they can be called up instantly when you want.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #4
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OK, I'll be the lone voice of dissent :-) I have two monitors, but I don't generally use both. Personally, I like one BIG screen better. Currently using an Apple 23" cinema display (1920x1200). On the Mac, I dislike the fact that the menus are all on the same screen. With dual screens I feel like I "mouse around" way too much getting from the menu bar on one screen to the pallettes on the other one.

And in some applications I think "bigger is better." For example, in my CAD and 3d software, I want the biggest possible window on a single screen. Yes, I have tried - repeatedly - augmenting this with palletes, etc. on the second screen but I just don't like it personally. Also consider that on the Mac, you cut your available video memory in half when you use two screens. If you plan to to this then get a graphics card with the largest possible VRAM. For example, if your graphics card has 128MB then in a two screen setup 64MB will be allocated per screen. This isn't a big deal in FCP and many other programs, but things which make heavy graphics card use, like Motion, may take a performance hit.

Now you definitely want a second screen as an edit monitor to view your video however. This might be an NTSC monitor via firewire, or a second computer monitor via FCP's digital cinema desktop.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #5
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I tend to agree with Boyd. There can be several advantages of two screens, depending on the application. I recently switched from 2-up to a single 24" Dell; for my FCP work, it's perfect. Lots of real estate for the timeline. The ease of "mousing around" has increased dramatically (I would occasionally "lose" my mouse, only to find it roaming on the other screen!). I also run my dock on the left side of the screen -- in my 2-monitor setup, I had to mouse across both monitors to get to it. I've also noticed an increase in performance when the Radeon 9800 Pro video card is dedicated to just one monitor.

After spending the last couple of years with 2 flat screens, I'm very happy with the single Dell 24". If I have need for two, I can always hook another one up, but for FCP work, the 24" suits my needs. It comes down to personal preference.

Also, as Boyd mentions, using an NTSC monitor for viewing the output of the editing program is absolutely essential.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 08:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Owen
Also, as Boyd mentions, using an NTSC monitor for viewing the output of the editing program is absolutely essential.
As far as NTSC monitors go... what should be used? Should I invest in something like this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

or can just an ordinary 13" screen TV be used via Firewire and RCA? Wouldn't you need a TV card in your computer for the above linked monitor?
Thanks.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 08:57 AM   #7
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That should be fine for standard definition work. You would use firewire to send FCP's video to either your camera or an external box, and the monitor would connect to that. Composite video will work, but the quality won't be so great. S-video is better, component video is best. If you don't want to use your camcorder as an interface, something like this will do:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:14 AM   #8
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Would a regular TV work for SD editing?
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:19 AM   #9
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Sure, it would "work." It's a question of the image quality and ability to calibrate it in the right ballpark so you get a reasonable idea of what the video will look like. Professional monitors will be better at this, but a regular TV is better than nothing. Also, consumer TV's overscan, which means you don't see the entire image all the way out to the edges. Regular TV's may not be able to show 16:9 widescreen in the proper proportions also. If you're just starting out and don't have a lot of money then try using a TV and see whether you're happy with it.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Professional monitors will be better at this, but a regular TV is better than nothing.
Boyd,

Just curious how true that statement is. For users that are not exporting work frequently to be used for news, or short films and what not, is it posisble to calibrate your LCD close enough that it will do a better job than a regular TV? I've been using my 30" Dell and have played with calibrating it and things seem to be working fairly well but your comment made me wonder if I should be looking at adding a TV to improve the quality. A firewire monitor is definately overkill as I am fairly happy with the results I currently get. Any thoughts?
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:28 PM   #11
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I had to write a business case a few years ago when I worked for Boeing in order to get dual monitor setups for my graphic illustrators, video specialists and courseware developers. I came across a good number of quantitatively substantiated studies indicating that the payback in increased productivity for professionals in their paygrade was about three weeks. I was shocked it was that quick for the dual monitor setup.

I cited several of the studies (of course quoting the lowest payback period documented) and got dual monitors for the team and even changed the standard for workgroups in those fields. I'll have to say that our productivity as a workgroup validated the studies. I don't know if the crew was just happier and worked faster, but I do know you spend far less time repositioning toolsets and windows and more time doing the actual work.

I now work dual monitor at work and at home. I feel cramped when I work on my laptop while on the road and can't wait to dock it so I can hit that little Sony "S" button and go dual monitor.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 01:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
Boyd,

Just curious how true that statement is. For users that are not exporting work frequently to be used for news, or short films and what not, is it posisble to calibrate your LCD close enough that it will do a better job than a regular TV? I've been using my 30" Dell and have played with calibrating it and things seem to be working fairly well but your comment made me wonder if I should be looking at adding a TV to improve the quality. A firewire monitor is definately overkill as I am fairly happy with the results I currently get. Any thoughts?
If your using final cut pro there is this thing called the vector scope window if you know how to read that thing no monitor is really necessary...Ive dabbled(?) using the vector scope results came out very good.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 02:47 AM   #13
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2 Monitors

I am with Shane and Richard on this one. Two monitors + a good CRT really make a difference. I work on a lot of projects that have lots of clips and I use the second monitor for the browser. I also put the FCP5 keyboard commands and my AJA monitor there as well. Very helpful
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 05:59 AM   #14
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Just to be clear, I cut on a PC with Avid... and there's no decrease in performance issues with a second monitor. I can't speak to FCP regarding this, I was just speaking up for the general benefits of increased real estate.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 06:10 PM   #15
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I can't imagine having two monitors and confining the timeline to just one of them. I use dual monitors and I stretch the timeline across BOTH of them. It is really beneficial I think.

Now, a nice Apple 30" display would be better than my dual monitor setup, but then again it would cost me at least 3 times as much too.

I also use a 13" consumer TV for previewing video. I normally just work via the computer display, because FCP has to render less when I'm not editing while connected to my camera/TV setup. When it comes time to color correct or adjust brightness and contrast and so on, the camera and TV get into the game.
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