SMPTE vs. EIA vs. P22 at

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Old May 11th, 2004, 08:12 AM   #1
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SMPTE vs. EIA vs. P22

Here I am still looking at broadcast monitors. I have now run into the dilemma of which phosphors to get. In the book "Color Correction for Digital Video" the authors write "...the phosphors used on these CRTs conform to either SMPTE (Broadcast standard = SMPTE C), EIA or P22 standards while cosmumer tubes do not." This statement seems to imply that any of these three standards are equally good (they don't recommend one over the other), and as the authors (Steve Hullfish and Jaime Fowler) have worked on high-end productions I would think they know their stuff.

The research I've done on the internet seems to cofirm this; documents I've read seem to imply that the standards are similar, if not the same for SMPTE and P22. For instance, see these pages:

Yet when I read the information in these forums it is said that SMPTE monitors are better, more accurate and what are generally used in broadcast.

I'm confused...
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Old May 11th, 2004, 08:37 AM   #2
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SMPTE C is the NTSC standard. Sets using SMPTE C phosphors are generally built to higher standards, which include quality of materials and workmanship. P22 phosphors may or may not meet SMPTE C standards and generally are used in monitors that have lower standards of materials (plastic cabinets, more analog components etc.).
Jeff Donald
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Old May 11th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #3
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Many high-quality production monitors will come in at least two models. One with 'regular' phosphors and one with SMPTE C phosphors. Same electronics, different CRTs.

Truth is, if you are asking these levels of question, you probably don't need SMPTE C phosphors and your productions won't suffer because of the lack. That's not a put-down, it is just an observation.

Furthermore, the SMPTE C phosphors don't stay in spec over the long haul. I believe that I read that in continuous use, they stay in spec about a year. It is an high-maintenance option and a new CRT price will really surprise you.

If you price the SMPTE C phosphor option, you will notice that it is quite expensive. Last I looked, it added about $700 to the cost of a good 14" broadcast monitor.
Mike Rehmus
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Old May 20th, 2004, 04:50 PM   #4
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I understand what you're saying. However, I am at the point where I am acutely aware of my need for an accurate monitor. I'm ready to start learning color correction, and my current monitor, while decent, just doesn't cut it. I can't trust it.

Another way of looking at it is that at least I know enough to ask the right questions. A little while ago I didn't even know that different phosphors were used in TV monitors. However, after I realized I needed a broadcast monitor I have been learning more about them.

I really want to do an excellent job on my productions, and color correction is one of many important parts that go into a program. At this point I very well may not notice the difference between a monitor with P22 and SMPTE-C phosphors, but I may in the future as I gain experience in color correction.

I'd rather make sure I get the right monitor now; if I get a good one there is less likelihood of needing to spend more money to get a better one in the future.

Thank you both for your advice. I appreciate it.
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