Does the HP DreamColor LP2480zx make a broadcast monitor obsolete? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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Does the HP DreamColor LP2480zx make a broadcast monitor obsolete?

Based on everything I have been taught, my understanding is that and LCD monitor -- regardless of calibration settings -- cannot produce the colour of a broadcast monitor. Am I right or am I wrong?

Of course, there is the Matrox MXO that will (as I understand it) convert the RGB signal to a YUV signal to turn an LCD monitor into a broadcast monitor -- but that's by virtue of an external component.

I am in a bit of a debate with someone over whether or not a broadcast monitor (be it a Sony LUMA or BVM monitor or a MXO/LCD pair) is necessary or extraneous in a VFX house. I may be working on an outdated way of thinking, but I am on the side that says we need at least one for confidence and quality assurance. The other side argues that it is not necessary for us to have, and by using the HP DreamColor LP2480zx which is "colour critical" (his words) there is no need for a broadcast monitor.

Does he have a point? The StudioDaily article about it states "The color space presets include sRGB, Adobe RGB, Rec. 601, Rec. 709, DCI-P3 emulation (97 percent) and full gamut." That may just be marketing-speak, but it does sound like it could be a replacement for a broadcast monitor.

Thoughts?
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Old March 19th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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Traditional LCD monitors vary greatly in their reproduction of image qualities such as; black level, gamma response, and color gamut. This is why very few LCD displays ever match between various brands. Each has their own contrast ratio, gamma response and various differences in the primaries within the RGB colorspace. Computer LCD's are optimized to display as closely as possible the RGB computer colorspace. Since video uses 601 or 709 space, these LCD's are not going to display the video signal as accurately as a broadcast LCD or CRT which are calibrated for video purposes. When you try to display the video space on a computer LCD that is expecting the RGB space, the primary colors are going to be off, unless you use a device like the MXO.

It's not that LCD's cannot display the video colorspace, but rather most are designed for computer applications. Most current fluorescent driven or LED based LCD's are more than capable of displaying the 601 or 709 space. The difference between the computer LCD's and the broadcast LCD's is that the broadcast models like the Sony's, Panasonic's, JVC's etc....are calibrated in the factory to accurately reproduce the video spaces. Also, the gamma responses and black levels are closer to what a broadcast CRT can produce.

The main differences between the broadcast LCD's and the HP Dreamcolor is that by using a LED backlight system, the HP can display many more colors and a much wider colorspace. That is why it is more versatile in a wide variety of applications, such as, print, graphics, video, and digital cinema. It has the capability to reproduce all of the various calibrated colorspaces at a touch of a button. At $1,999 many are choosing the HP over some of the broadcast models. According to an HP document, in order to use the colorspace features, the monitor must be fed a digital, RGB, progressive signal. It will not map color if fed an analog signal.

So basically, the HP Dreamcolor is a broadcast monitor with more options for display. The regular broadcast LCD's are primarily designed for video purposes. Also, broadcast LCD's may have more options common to the video world like; waveform, blue-only, underscan etc...

This is how I understand it anyway. If anyone else has any corrections please let us know.

http://bizsupport2.austin.hp.com/bc/.../c01668597.pdf
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 06:43 AM   #3
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Hmmm.

I was all ready to fall in love with this monitor but increasingly it seems it is not the broadcast replacement that *videographers and filmmakers* need.

From what I have read, the Dreamcolor monitor does not work with YUV signals. It only works with RGB. Check your camera output.

Also, the Dreamcolor engine does not work with interlaced footage. It only works with progressive footage. Footage other than progressive disengages the Dreamcolor engine and you get the bog standard LCD display.

There have also been reports that the 10 bit engine is being used on an 8 bit LG panel with dithering artefacts being all too apparent.

More information to be found at these links:

Review: NEC MultiSync 3090WQXi Review | Displays | From the Lab | Macworld

Review: HP DreamColor LP2480zx LCD display | JusTech'n

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1366545

Personally, I'm going with NEC Spectraview monitors for now, maybe with an MXO box for one of them. Perhaps the Dreamcolor 2 will deliver what the Dreamcolor 1 doesn't.

Jus.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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We've had an evaluation loaner in the studio for about a week or so now, and I have to say it looks amazing. I personally haven't had the chance to use it on my workstation (on of the 3D artists has it) but I was there for the calibration and a comparison between the HP and some Lacie monitor (which was no comparison at all, to be honest).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Benn View Post
I was all ready to fall in love with this monitor but increasingly it seems it is not the broadcast replacement that *videographers and filmmakers* need.
I don't think it was made with the intention of being a replacement for videographers -- case in point being the lack of interlaced compatibility -- but for filmmakers (who work with whole frames, not fields) this monitor is IMHO a real beauty. The contrast is wonderful, with details still being detectable in the areas towards both white and black.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Benn View Post
There have also been reports that the 10 bit engine is being used on an 8 bit LG panel with dithering artefacts being all too apparent.
Interesting, I'll try to get a chance to look into that, but I didn't notice anything during our calibration/testing sessions and we were looking hard at the test images.

I have the NEC MultiSync 2690WQXi on my home system, and it is amazing. How they compare, I can't say without really doing a side-by-side, but for my own wallet I am happy with the NEC. Does the HP take the place of a broadcast monitor? I don't yet know. We're still evaluating before making the final order. I'll keep you all posted.
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