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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old October 19th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #1
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How does your video look on different systems?

For the past couple of years I have been processing my XH A1, 5DMKII(sold) and my 7D video through an HP(Hewlitt Packard) m9150f.

The video looked great overall and also when it worked with my 7D files.

The HP CPU came with a matched monitor the w2207h.

My HP m9150f and my HP w2770h worked great together...my only question was how my stills and videos looked on another screen.

Recently I bought a Dell.

I bought this package.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+S...&skuId=1244502

Now I'm using both; my old HP and this new Dell to upload to the net and burn DVD's for std def T.V.

It's quite something to see the difference in color/contrast and depth between videos viewed on the net/std. def. T.V. using my HP and my then my Dell....same files...much different look.

It sort of reminds me of the days when I was recording music and listened to my studio generated CD on a car radio system.

Then I would move through different systems up to a high end stereo system and the differences I would hear...all in an attempt to hear differences on one system to the next and then master my CD to fit as many systems as possible.

In this case, the sound is much the same but the video/color and contrast difference is huge when viewed through my HP monitor, my Dell monitor and a std. def. TV.

Now I'm trying to master my video to a sort of 'one fits all' thing.

How do you view a sample of what your target viewer/listener sees and hears through their monitor/CPU?

Interesting.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #2
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It's almost exactly like mastering audio, you just don't really know how it's going to play on somebody elses system. The best you can do is a. master for different environments using the same type of monitor other people will be using and then b. trying to make the signal as clean as possible. After that, you don't have that much control.

For editing video destined for SD/TV, it's best to hook up an actual TV Monitor to your computer as a 2nd monitor, and then maybe double-checking it on an LED/LCD flat panel TV to see it's still close to what you want.

Video for computers and video for TV use different color spaces. Computers use RGB and TV uses YCbCr / YUV. Generally, camcorders record to YCbCr / YUV, so if you're going to the internet, you'll have to look up how to convert to RGB in your NLE.

You dodged a bullet by sticking with the PC, because Macs have the additional problem of gamma issues when rendering in Quicktime, which causes video encoded on Macs to look different when viewed on PCs.

But even after all that, it's still a bit of a crap shoot. Generally, the best you can hope for is that it's in the ballpark when viewed on someone elses system.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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Video is going to appear different across nearly all monitors and television screens. When you're editing, it is important to have your monitor(s) color calibrated so you know what your image really looks like. Accurate color is very important- and it's also why professional grade monitors and reference monitors cost so much. It is also why production studios and post houses have scopes and other instruments that monitor your luminance and chroma channels. Consumer grade monitors are designed to display a pleasing image- not necessarily an accurate image. Contrast is heavily boosted to enhance and provide the illusion of a sharper picture. Color controls and saturation levels are tweaked and boosted to make images more eye-catching.

Ideally, you should pick up a monitor calibrator like this: Newegg.com - COLORVISION datacolor Spyder3Elite

Your video will still look different on other monitors, but you will at least have the peace of mind knowing that your video's contrast and color is accurate.

Michael- Gamma levels can be adjusted with any video editing program worth its salt. The main reason video looks different is because you're looking at it on different monitors- each with its own settings and defaults and whatnot. Editing on PC or Mac has nothing to do with it.

Long story short- calibrate your monitors properly.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #4
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Roger, good advice on this short thread.

If you are editing video for television viewing it is important to edit on a proper video output to a proper video monitor. As stated, computer screen will not look the same as televisions even though they are marketed like that these days.

Now the HP monitor you mention if fed via HDMI from a YUV output card would act like a video monitor.

With so much emphasis put on internet video these days it is important to separate T.V. from Internet video and process them separately using different preview sources.

For stills, get a calibrator and you will be set.

For printing all bets are off!
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Old October 20th, 2010, 04:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn McCalip View Post
. Michael- Gamma levels can be adjusted with any video editing program worth its salt. The main reason video looks different is because you're looking at it on different monitors- each with its own settings and defaults and whatnot. Editing on PC or Mac has nothing to do with it.
Sadly I wish this were true Shawn, but the gamma problem with Quicktime on the Mac is a well known and long standing issue. I mentioned it because it's an extra step that we Mac users have to be aware of when encoding for other systems. For some it's trivial, and for some it's not, but it is an issue to be aware of. Here's another article with examples.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #6
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For true color grading you would need a monitor that is calibrated to the color space you are working in. For HD, it is HDTV Rec.709 (I think). If you use Adobe After Effects, you can simulate the look of different color spaces (other high end color programs allow this too). What this does is show you how your footage will look in a standardized color space.

You will need to calibrate the monitor physically (if it does not allow you to tweak it to hell and back, then it's not a professional grade monitor), and you'll also need to calibrate the software you are using to display the image (which NLE you are using, etc). Only when both are correct will it work. This MUST be matched by a second monitor that has different specs but still has the same color space. Both the footages must match when viewed THROUGH the NLE (not the final rendered footage).

Once this is done, you can safely finish your project and export in the preferred color space. After this, any changes in the color, tone, etc is a specific display device issue and not your fault.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 12:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
Sadly I wish this were true Shawn, but the gamma problem with Quicktime on the Mac is a well known and long standing issue. I mentioned it because it's an extra step that we Mac users have to be aware of when encoding for other systems. For some it's trivial, and for some it's not, but it is an issue to be aware of. Here's another article with examples.
Well how about that... I learned something today. I used to edit in Final Cut Pro and then bring some clips over to my PC for After Effects work, and I never ran into an issue like that. Then again, I don't render out to H.264 until the very end anyway.

Thanks for pointing that out though- I had no idea a problem like that even existed.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 09:55 PM   #8
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I really hope all editing suites and video players will soon support decent color management/display profiling.

It works really well with still pictures: I have a Dell monitor that is profiled/calibrated with a Spyder 3 Pro, and photos look just the same in all the programs that I use - they even look pretty much the same when they're printed on paper.
However with video I'm having a hard time because my Dell monitor is wide-gamut and so it displays oversaturated colors for every software that just assumes SRGB (which is like every video player and editing software I have tried so far).

Even Adobe CS4 doesn't support color management for video, although one of the wide color-spaces is named "Adobe-RGB"...

I'm going crazy using a MacPro with FCP where all players/editing programs show different brightness/gamma when playing the same source clip.

Please, we need decent color management with video, too! Especially when all the new monitors on the market are wide-gamut, it's essential!!!
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