Finally! External LCD Monitor Solution < $200 at DVinfo.net

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Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old May 16th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #1
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Finally! External LCD Monitor Solution < $200

The new Sony DVP-820 for $179. I have a dance recital Wednesday and am doing a live edit with a Datavideo SE-500. I was going to get the dual 7" screens that can come with it for another $1000, but my wife said, "I think you can find another solution..." So I went searching. Found this online and went to best buy and wanted to see the screen quality. It has 800x480 resolution on it (not common for Portable DVD Players!) They had 4 and not a single one on display. I asked the kid if I could see on in action. He said, "NO." So I said, "I'm gonna buy 2 if I like it." He did it, popped in a movie, and I was blown away! At 2 feet from the screen, it reminds me of a HDTV scaled down to 8 inches.

One thing that is totally awesome about this unit is that it swivels 180° and allows you to fold it flat. Basically like its closed but the screen is facing outside...

This is too big and heavy @ 2.7 pounds to mount and carry on the camera, but for creatively mounting to a tripod during ceremonies or stage performances... YES its perfect! I'll be using these for my wedding ceremonies and other things (gotta make a mount of some sort) and if I get more live switch gigs, I'll get 3 more of these for the cameras.

I got home and hooked my Canon A1 up to it. Looks beautiful and obtaining critical focus is easy as pie. A great thing is you can set aspect ratio on it, so if you shoot 4:3 for some reason, you can set the screen to 4:3. With some minor tweaking of settings, I got the colors and brightness looking really close to my A1's LCD. Viewing from angles is really good. Maybe you could mount that sucker on the bottom of a Glidecam 4000 sled easy???

If you need an external shooting monitor... look at this. I'll almost guarantee you won't be disappointed (unless you are just a plain old too picky type of person.)

OK, thought I'd share. Time to go play some more.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:20 AM   #2
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How is the screen for focusing? Better than the LCD with peaking on the camera?
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:46 AM   #3
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Am I right in pointing out this device takes Composite-in only? That makes it a lot less viable for critical focus when shooting HD to my mind. How do you find it in this respect Jerome?
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Old May 17th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #4
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Am I right in pointing out this device takes Composite-in only? That makes it a lot less viable for critical focus when shooting HD to my mind. How do you find it in this respect Jerome?
Did you guys read the full post? I said, "obtaining critical focus is easy as pie."

I hooked it up from the BNC terminal to a BNC cable, then to a BNC:RCA adapter then plugged the RCA Composite into the monitor. Shot a few things around here and yes, obtaining critical focus is MUCH MUICH MUCH MUCH easier!

I wouldn't waste your all's time and mine in posting this if it wasn't good. Go buy one and try it out, if you don't like it, take it back. I love it.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #5
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Thank you for posting! I expect I will get one of these.

I need something to play back onto for the people I am taping sometimes. The reviews on this unit say the screen is outstanding. And if it is useful for focusing, that is great!

By the way, I have noticed that it comes in several colors, too. The 6 hour battery life as well as the ergonomics are also excellent.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #6
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will it flip for my adapter?? or will i have to turn it upsidedown?
EDIT:woops after readin it again i saw that it closes, making my question just stupid! hahaha i have an A1 to, and i think you just convinced me on a new toy=)
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Old May 19th, 2008, 12:48 AM   #7
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will it flip for my adapter?? or will i have to turn it upsidedown?
Upside down. It won't even really look upside down unless you look at the Sony logo.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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So can this be cabled to an XH A1 (composite?) and be used as a monitor while filming? So if I have a client breathing down my back, can they see what I am actually shooting, while I am shoot it?

Or is it just for playback?

Thanks.

Jonathan
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Old May 20th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #9
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reading the specs of the dvd player, it does have a composite input. (in the form of a miniplug, so you'll need one of the rca to miniplug adapters like you'd use to hook a portable mp3 player up to a stereo.)

A lot of portable dvd players have a line input, but the quality of the screen and the input is so poor that its not useful for much. I've put this one on my shopping list to use as a framing monitor for my jib... and an occasional field monitor for finnicky clients.

cheers,
-a
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #10
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I took the bait...

Based on Jerome's review of this device I decided to go purchase one today, and I would have to agree with everything Jerome put in his review.

Going from the 3-inch horizontal LCD viewer on my Sony HVR-V1U to this 7-inch horizontal display is wonderful. I too was able to easily obtain accurate focus using this device.

Some additional comments/notes...

1) The display (both monitoring and playback) is a little grainy. It definitely isn't bad (by my standards), but if you are a stickler for "super sharp" then this probably isn't for you. As Jerome said, and I am saying it again too... I found focusing with this soooo easy!

2) This device connects via composite [RCA] connections. My Sony HVR-V1U doesn't have an RCA composite video connector, so I had to connect the specialized composite cable (the one that came with my video camera) to my video camera, then put a female-to-female [RCA] connector on that, then connect that to the cable coming out of this device. I'm not sure if that contributed to the grainy-ness or not. I don't necessarily like this method, but it is all I currently have available.

3) In support of Jerome's comment about matching colors... I too was able to come very close to matching the colors and brightness of the LCD viewer on my HVR-V1U.

4) The supplied [rechargeable] battery claims 6 hours of run-time. I haven't had it long enough to test that.

5) Playback via my video camera worked very easily. The quality of the image was no different than that while monitoring (slightly grainy). As a playback device I was pleased with it (it definitely beats having people huddle around the 3-inch viewer on the camera).

6) I'll more than likely need to create some kind of hood for this. I haven't tested it in sunny conditions yet, but I doubt it would be much different than direct sunlight on the LCD viewer.

7) I'm sure some of you already know this, so I'll say it for those that don't... The default output setting of the HVR-V1U simply sends the video to this device, not the on-screen information you see on your LCD viewer. But the HVR-V1U has a menu setting to direct the on-screen information to this device as well. One additional note to this though... when I enabled Peaking, the peaking colors did not get directed to this device... don't know why, it just didn't.

Overall I think this is pretty sweet, and the price was perfect (for me) as well. Not sure how I'm going to mount this device to my camera/tripod yet, but I'll cross that bridge some other time.

Thank you so much for the recommendation Jerome!
Andrew

P.S. I did take pictures of this device next to the LCD viewer on my video camera as a side-by-side comparison. However, I see that I don't have rights to attach images. So, if you have any interest in seeing the side-by-side let me know and I will email it to you.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:35 PM   #11
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Jerome, thanks for the heads up on this little gem. I've been looking for something for my HD-200 as I've really been having some vision issues lately.
I got a unit yesterday and used it to shoot a training video today.

Other than I'd like to have the viewfinder info displayed, I was able to follow the trainer's pinball moving ( this guy keeps me on my toes) with the monitor sitting a good 3-4 feet away with no problems. and the 6 hr battery is very nice.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
So can this be cabled to an XH A1 (composite?) and be used as a monitor while filming? So if I have a client breathing down my back, can they see what I am actually shooting, while I am shoot it?

Or is it just for playback?

Thanks.

Jonathan
Yes you can see it while shooting.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #13
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Based on Jerome's review of this device I decided to go purchase one today, and I would have to agree with everything Jerome put in his review.
Andrew... thanks for the supported feedback. I used my 2 tonight for the rehearsal of the dance recital I have tomorrow. Worked GREAT! In fact, one fo the guys at the church came by and asked what screens I was using and told him they were portable DVD players... he didn't believe it! As far as the graininess, I saw some, but not too bad. Its not something we need to watch movies on, but for $180, it works just fine in my book. Better than a $700 on camera LCD I've seen before. ;)

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Originally Posted by John Sirb View Post
Jerome, thanks for the heads up on this little gem.

Other than I'd like to have the viewfinder info displayed
No problem... thought I'd share because I have seen MANY posts about this subject. Your camera should have a setting to show or hide the TV Screen Data... different manufacturers call it something different.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 12:33 AM   #14
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No problem... thought I'd share because I have seen MANY posts about this subject. Your camera should have a setting to show or hide the TV Screen Data... different manufacturers call it something different.
You're right. I know I could do this with my DSR300, the JVC is just more menu driven and I didn't get a chance to go thru the settings.

To answer some of the questions about is it good enough for critical focus.
in the shooting I did today it passed with flying colors, but I'll give it a real test this weekend when I shoot my Neice's wedding.
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Last edited by John Sirb; May 21st, 2008 at 12:33 AM. Reason: spellin'
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Old May 21st, 2008, 10:15 AM   #15
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Jerome,

Thanks so much for this information. I'll be buying one of these, just as soon as I can get my hands some money and on an XH A1.

Best wishes.

Jonathan
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