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


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Old June 25th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #1
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Computer monitors for video production

I'm putting together a brand new HD editing suite, including computer, software, hardware, and camera. I'll be using the Panasonic HVX200A as my camera and either a Mac with FCS 2.0 or a PC with Adobe Masterworks CS3 (haven't yet made that decision).

I'd like a dual-screen LCD setup and I'd like monitors that will give me good reference monitoring for my video so I don't have to use a third HD monitor (I'm trying to keep the total cost for everything under $15k including accessories like tripods, mics, lights, etc.). Any suggestions? Right now I'm looking at a pair of ACER 24" monitors with HDMI inputs. My hardware, regardless of computer or editing platform, will be Blackmagic's Decklink HD Extreme which has HDMI and component outputs.

Though I'm primarily looking for advice on monitors, I'd take suggestions on FCS vs. Adobe as well. The main reason I'm looking at Adobe instead of FCS is that I would need to purchase Photoshop and Flash anyway for what I'll be doing, so why not save money and just get the Masterworks collection...
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:44 AM   #2
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David, welcome to DVI.

There has been a lot of discussion on this topic here, so you might spend some time doing some searching. And since everyone seems to have an opinion on this one, I'll go first :-)

First off, will your paycheck depend on your selection of monitor and it's ability to grade color, resolution, interlacing??? If yes, then there is no subsitute for an external broadcast monitor. If so, then there are a few things you can do until you get one if it blows the budget now. If not, you have some options. I would look into the Matrox mxo as a way to get not quite broadcast monitor quality without the $$$. You could also look at a decent HDTV. And for all options don't forget about calibration... it is a requirement for decent color and is different from calibrating a display for general computer use. Spend a few hours and read thru the LCD monitor calibration thread if you're not sure why.

About the Acers... I like them as a general monitor for computer work... I have a 22" Acer connected to a mac pro running FCP CS2, and a pair would be nice. Calibrated it gives me "adequate" color but no where close to what I would like to have. And at the moment I can live with that. But then my paycheck doesn't come from my video obsession. Generally, I don't think you'll be unhappy with them for a work surface.

Mark
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Old June 26th, 2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Mark, My paycheck comes regularly and isn't dependent on that at all... I'll be a lot more picky on myself than my bosses will just because I know just how good HD CAN look.

If I've got the Blackmagic Decklink HD Extreme, is the Matrox MXO necessary? I've got all the same outputs on that as the Matrox gives me.

I realize the color calibration for video editing is different from the calibration for a standard desktop monitor. What I'm wondering is if the monitor has the necessary menu features to allow for full color/contrast/brightness calibration that I'll need?

At this point a broadcast monitor is out money-wise. Most of my productions are destined for the web, so most of them aren't going to see the beauty of blu-ray just yet. That said, I'd like them to be the best I can make them.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #4
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Which model??? I'd suggest looking thru the manual and seeing if if has these controls. I'm going to guess not. For LCD monitors with more "video like" controls you probably need to spend more. The NEC multisync's are good, but pricey. Some like the new Dells; I was thinking about this one, but now I'm not convinced. I've been looking at the LaCie and will get one when I can afford it. The BM decklink should have the connections you need if you can cal the monitor extenally. The mxo will handle the calibration parameters for you so can be used with a monitor that may not have them... like possibly the Acer you're looking at. It also has a few other nice features like letting you dual use one LCD for desktop and then playback.

Mark
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Old June 26th, 2008, 08:19 AM   #5
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Thanks Mark. The BM has the same desktop/viewer switching capability as the MXO which I really like. I think I'll just stick with the Acers for now, and if I find I can't get accurate color out of them, then I'll either pick up the MXO or a broadcast monitor down the road.
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