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Old February 18th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #1
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Pana related - question on monitor setup

My cameras are the HVX200 and HPX500. I hope this is not a problem posting here. I tried Apple forums a while back and got no response and figured no one knows more about Pana than those in this forum.

What would you suggest as the preferred setup for editing bay. I have a Mac Pro that has two DVI outs. I have one going to a Apple Cinema Display and the other to a Pana 17Ē HD monitor. I presently have the Pana set up as follows: From DVI port on Mac Pro to Matrox MXO and MXO to Pana thru SDI cable.

The picture on the Cinema Display is so much better than the Pana so Im thinking I should be setting this up differently. I donít need the Matrox MXO, I think I should just go straight to Pana monitor with some type of cable that converts the DVI to something that the Pana can accept.

I really appreciate your input.

Thank you!
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Old February 19th, 2008, 01:52 PM   #2
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Darrin,

Why would you use that Panny monitor - or even another one like it - as part of your editing setup?

The ultimate goal during editing is to be able to see your content in the same final-display method as your intended audience. If your projects are going to DVD for example, then you'd want to use a KONA or BM card to down-scale in real-time out to either to an NTSC-TV or broadcast monitor which will accurately replicate how things will look when downscaled to SD-widescreen for DVD.

The Panny monitor is designed primarily as a camera-connected device to be used during production as either a location monitor or, a way to watch "dailies" after the content has been shot to preview content. It does not come close to the resolution of any LCD computer monitor because it's not designed to be a viewing monitor for editing.

The question you should be asking yourself, is what is the final output of most of your projects? DVD, web, film-transfer for cinema release etc. Then you'll know which way is best to setup your editing monitors.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #3
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Darrin,

Why would you use that Panny monitor - or even another one like it - as part of your editing setup?

The ultimate goal during editing is to be able to see your content in the same final-display method as your intended audience. If your projects are going to DVD for example, then you'd want to use a KONA or BM card to down-scale in real-time out to either to an NTSC-TV or broadcast monitor which will accurately replicate how things will look when downscaled to SD-widescreen for DVD.

The Panny monitor is designed primarily as a camera-connected device to be used during production as either a location monitor or, a way to watch "dailies" after the content has been shot to preview content. It does not come close to the resolution of any LCD computer monitor because it's not designed to be a viewing monitor for editing.

The question you should be asking yourself, is what is the final output of most of your projects? DVD, web, film-transfer for cinema release etc. Then you'll know which way is best to setup your editing monitors.
Great explanation and it makes a lot of sense. I did purchase the Pana monitor for use in the field for fine focus mainly but decided to use it also when editing.

If I could take advantage of your knowledge, if your work was almost exclusively produced for local cable commercials, what would you use as your external viewer in your edit room. I shoot everything in 720P 24PN or 30PN and edit all graphics with those settings. Once I have completed everything I nest what I have in an uncompressed 8bit ntsc sequence in fcp and view that. The uncompressed sequence is transferred to a beta sp tape in the end.

Any thoughts on what is an ideal setup for your external monitor setup given my workflow, I will truly appreciate it.

Darrin
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Old February 19th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #4
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Again it comes down to what the final output is going to be viewed on, which is an NTSC-TV. However since your sequences are being broadcast rather than going to DVD you'd most likely want a "broadcast monitor" which is a color-correct, wide-gamut NTSC tube monitor. You can find many on Ebay for less than $500 now.

We're in a very weird transition when it comes to monitoring final output: All broadcasters are forced into sending out everything HD and, all new set-top TV's are now being produced for HDTV standards, which means no more tube-style 4:3 NTSC TV's but instead the 16:9 LCD's, plasmas etc. So here's the weird part:

Most of the nation is still watching TV with "old" 4:3 TV's not widescreen sets; two years ago it was probably around 95% had 4:3 TV's however today that's probably closer to 80-85% due to normal appliance attrition.

That means in a perfect world, you'd be have 2 separate monitors to make sure your color is as close to perfect as possible: A 4:3 tube-style TV and an HDTV-spec widescreen. But that's just not practical or affordable for most indie editors. I'd say for now, you're safe having a broadcast monitor and coming out of either a KONA or BM card which will downscale in real-time to SD-widescreen (letterbox) to the 4:3 set, which is what most of the audience will be watching anyway.

Keep in mind, tube-type sets and all HDTV sets are drastically different in one very important way: Tube-TV's have *lines* of resolution, whereas HDTV's have pixels. That's important especially when it comes to placing any text on a screen, because if you place small-ish fonts in-between scan lines you'll actually distort the text slightly and make it ugly. Since HDTV's and any LCD type of monitor does not have scan-lines and instead pixels, you'll never see those small scan-line related errors. That's one reason I say that for now, a tube-type TV is best.

One last thing to keep in mind about color correction: All TV's sold in the US regardless if they are the now "older" 4:3 standard or HDTV are still using the NTSC 1953 color space as their point of reference for display standard. Although HDTV is adding more resolution to the image, the basic color standard remains unchanged, so if you want your LCD computer monitor to closely replicate this color space, use the NTSC 1953 preset (on a Mac) or use the color correction setup on a PC for the same color space.

Hope that helps.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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Why don't you just pick up a dell 24 inch ultrasharp and hook that up to the mxo. Then you get a broadcast monitor and a second desktop if you need it.

The mxo allows the dell or cinema to work as a broadcast monitor as it can allow for proper calibration and pixel to pixel display on the connected monitor.

It processes the dvi signal before the computer does anything to it, so you can actually do real monitoring. It's not the same as just hooking the monitor up without the mxo.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 01:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Again it comes down to what the final output is going to be viewed on, which is an NTSC-TV. However since your sequences are being broadcast rather than going to DVD you'd most likely want a "broadcast monitor" which is a color-correct, wide-gamut NTSC tube monitor. You can find many on Ebay for less than $500 now.

We're in a very weird transition when it comes to monitoring final output: All broadcasters are forced into sending out everything HD and, all new set-top TV's are now being produced for HDTV standards, which means no more tube-style 4:3 NTSC TV's but instead the 16:9 LCD's, plasmas etc. So here's the weird part:

Most of the nation is still watching TV with "old" 4:3 TV's not widescreen sets; two years ago it was probably around 95% had 4:3 TV's however today that's probably closer to 80-85% due to normal appliance attrition.

That means in a perfect world, you'd be have 2 separate monitors to make sure your color is as close to perfect as possible: A 4:3 tube-style TV and an HDTV-spec widescreen. But that's just not practical or affordable for most indie editors. I'd say for now, you're safe having a broadcast monitor and coming out of either a KONA or BM card which will downscale in real-time to SD-widescreen (letterbox) to the 4:3 set, which is what most of the audience will be watching anyway.

Keep in mind, tube-type sets and all HDTV sets are drastically different in one very important way: Tube-TV's have *lines* of resolution, whereas HDTV's have pixels. That's important especially when it comes to placing any text on a screen, because if you place small-ish fonts in-between scan lines you'll actually distort the text slightly and make it ugly. Since HDTV's and any LCD type of monitor does not have scan-lines and instead pixels, you'll never see those small scan-line related errors. That's one reason I say that for now, a tube-type TV is best.

One last thing to keep in mind about color correction: All TV's sold in the US regardless if they are the now "older" 4:3 standard or HDTV are still using the NTSC 1953 color space as their point of reference for display standard. Although HDTV is adding more resolution to the image, the basic color standard remains unchanged, so if you want your LCD computer monitor to closely replicate this color space, use the NTSC 1953 preset (on a Mac) or use the color correction setup on a PC for the same color space.

Hope that helps.
You do not know how much I appreciate all of the time you have taken to share your expertise with me (and the forum). Your explanations really help me to understand what I need to look for to improve my productions. Again, I thank you for such a detailed response!
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Old February 20th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeff Heywood View Post
Why don't you just pick up a dell 24 inch ultrasharp and hook that up to the mxo. Then you get a broadcast monitor and a second desktop if you need it.

The mxo allows the dell or cinema to work as a broadcast monitor as it can allow for proper calibration and pixel to pixel display on the connected monitor.

It processes the dvi signal before the computer does anything to it, so you can actually do real monitoring. It's not the same as just hooking the monitor up without the mxo.
I like this option - I think I will go this route. Thanks for the help.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #8
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I like this option - I think I will go this route. Thanks for the help.
There's just one major problem with that option, as I mentioned above: Any LCD-type screen has pixels, not scan lines as tube-type TV's do - which by the way is what the majority of the viewers will be seeing your content on. That means you won't be able to see how the TV's scan-lines will interfere with things like placing text properly and how the overscan area will be handled. Only a *real* broadcast monitor or even a standard TV can show you that.

Remember this: Tube-TV's and broadcast monitors have scan-lines (the NTSC standard is having the raster line scan at 60-times per second - 60hz), anything else whether it's an LCD, plasma etc has pixels instead, and if you place text in-between interlaced scan lines then it has a dramatic effect on how that text appears. You won't see those effects if you're not using a tube-type set for monitoring regardless how the image is being fed to it.

When HDTV sets are the dominant viewing medium then it would be appropriate to have one of those - or a converted computer monitor - as your primary external edit monitor, however today you still need to be using a tube-type screen for proper color correction and text placement reference if your final output is for broadcast or straight to DVD.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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Good point Robert. That said I think Robert should go to the MXO site and see how the MXO handles that kind of challenge. I know you can display one field at a time on the mxo, but that doesn't really show you the real interlacing action.

MXO is a really powerful tool and since you already have it, and since it is expensive I think it's worthwhile to make sure you're using it to its utmost before you go a different direction.

I know it can do realtime downconversion so it might have an sd out on the back of it that you could connect to a monitor or even a cheap TV to get a ballpark.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #10
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There's just one major problem with that option, as I mentioned above: Any LCD-type screen has pixels, not scan lines as tube-type TV's do - which by the way is what the majority of the viewers will be seeing your content on. That means you won't be able to see how the TV's scan-lines will interfere with things like placing text properly and how the overscan area will be handled. Only a *real* broadcast monitor or even a standard TV can show you that.

Remember this: Tube-TV's and broadcast monitors have scan-lines (the NTSC standard is having the raster line scan at 60-times per second - 60hz), anything else whether it's an LCD, plasma etc has pixels instead, and if you place text in-between interlaced scan lines then it has a dramatic effect on how that text appears. You won't see those effects if you're not using a tube-type set for monitoring regardless how the image is being fed to it.

When HDTV sets are the dominant viewing medium then it would be appropriate to have one of those - or a converted computer monitor - as your primary external edit monitor, however today you still need to be using a tube-type screen for proper color correction and text placement reference if your final output is for broadcast or straight to DVD.
Robert - what do you think about this? SONY TRINITRON 14" COLOR PRODUCTION MONITOR PVM-14N6U


http://cgi.ebay.com/SONY-TRINITRON-1...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old February 20th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #11
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Robert - what do you think about this? SONY TRINITRON 14" COLOR PRODUCTION MONITOR PVM-14N6U


http://cgi.ebay.com/SONY-TRINITRON-1...QQcmdZViewItem
As long as it passes inspection I'd say it would be an invaluable tool to get exactly what you need. Look around for a 19" inch which would be easier on the eyes to work with - I've seen them for less than $400 recently, some were even with the forums sponsors such as Omega Broadcast and Abel Cine LA.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 07:16 PM   #12
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Darrin,

Why would you use that Panny monitor - or even another one like it - as part of your editing setup?

The ultimate goal during editing is to be able to see your content in the same final-display method as your intended audience. If your projects are going to DVD for example, then you'd want to use a KONA or BM card to down-scale in real-time out to either to an NTSC-TV or broadcast monitor which will accurately replicate how things will look when downscaled to SD-widescreen for DVD.

The Panny monitor is designed primarily as a camera-connected device to be used during production as either a location monitor or, a way to watch "dailies" after the content has been shot to preview content. It does not come close to the resolution of any LCD computer monitor because it's not designed to be a viewing monitor for editing.

The question you should be asking yourself, is what is the final output of most of your projects? DVD, web, film-transfer for cinema release etc. Then you'll know which way is best to setup your editing monitors.
Just to update this and thank you again. I did purchase on ebay a real nice Sony NTSC Broadcast Monitor. I currently have it connected via the second dvi out from my Mac Pro to the Matrox MXO (which I believe is basically the same as a Kona card for the MacBook Pro - which is what I bought it originally for) and then to the monitor via component cables RGB. The Matrox converts anything hd to sd (option) and my final sequence which is sd is viewed perfectly. What a difference on color correcting and viewing my final output.

Glad to be a part of this great community.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 06:24 AM   #13
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Wait a minute, are you talking about Panasonic BT-LH1700W display connected to MXO? Then there's nothing wrong (beside it is not full raster 1080) to edit video on it. I use the similar configuration often and nothing wrong.

Although I do use SD tube monitor the way mentioned here, but if you have your BT-LH1700W setup right, that should work very good. I compared with many LCD Display for computer monitors (via MXO) and BT-LH1700W out performs all.

So, you might wanna look into setting it up right.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #14
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Keep in mind, tube-type sets and all HDTV sets are drastically different in one very important way: Tube-TV's have *lines* of resolution, whereas HDTV's have pixels. That's important especially when it comes to placing any text on a screen, because if you place small-ish fonts in-between scan lines you'll actually distort the text slightly and make it ugly. Since HDTV's and any LCD type of monitor does not have scan-lines and instead pixels, you'll never see those small scan-line related errors. That's one reason I say that for now, a tube-type TV is best.
I know I already told you but once again, Thank You! I experienced the text distortion due to Tube TV lines while editing a spot for TV today. On my cinema display it looked great but when I looked at the broadcast monitor I purchased after you suggested that and there it was, problem with the text where I had placed it; even though it was inside of the text safe area.

Thank you again for taking the time to knock my head enough to finally take your advice.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #15
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Glad it worked out; no matter what don't get rid of that broadcast monitor. It will be sometime - at least another couple of years - before 16:9 sets become the major viewing medium for end users.

Lastly, make sure you've got that external properly color-balanced if you're doing color correction. Somewhere in this forum I posted a guide on how to use the PLUGE and color bars to properly setup a broadcast monitor OR, you can delve into the Apple training manual, "Advanced Color Correction and Effects for Final Cut Pro". Amazon always has copies.

Enjoy!
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