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Old March 19th, 2004, 06:57 PM   #1
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Best cheap NTSC non-pro monitor for image corrections?

Hey all: well after having a film of mine displayed on a projector at a local film gathering, I realized that I desperately am in need of an NTSC monitor for color correcting content that is either DVD bound or exhibition bound. Previously, I had discounted this need as I was under the impression that a TV and a computer monitor would look somewhat similar, this is really not the case. Today I color corrected my film on our primary watching TV (27 inch) but the problem is I can't leave this bad boy hooked up in my room so I need to get a dedicated correcting one. I'm running the extra monitor off my ATI Radeon 9600 TX vid card from the provided S-video output (which I have an adapter converting it to a single RCA plug).

Does anyone have any suggestions for a standalone TV for a correction monitor? I'm going for as cheap as I can - maybe $100 - $200 as my content is not demanding of a pro monitor. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated....
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Old March 19th, 2004, 08:31 PM   #2
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maybe a commodore Monitors off eBay, they have S-video input once you get the right adapter. The adapter might actually cost you more than the monitor off eBay. (try cablewholesale, you need S-vid to double RCA male)

Another option is a cheap TV with S-Video input.

Buying old TVs might be bad since the tubes fade out with age.

You want a blue color gel to calibrate your monitor, a lot of color correction books will have one (see the books forum) or you could just buy one.

2- I would be wary about the S-video output on your video card. I'd past through your camcorder instead.

3- I'd be wary of what the external monitor shows. You could try calibrating a CRT computer monitor actually (ATI has overlay and monitor controls).
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Old March 20th, 2004, 01:09 PM   #3
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Is S-Video a huge plus if I'm getting a cheapo consumer TV around 19 inches? The cheapest available TV's I could find that have S-video were from Circuit City and are the following:

Apex 20inch Flat Screen with S-Video $129
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&qp=0&bookmark=bookmark_20&oid=76405&catoid=-11482

Apex 24inch Non-flat screen with S-Video $139
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&qp=0&bookmark=bookmark_40&oid=74907&catoid=-11482

Magnavox 20inch Flat Screen with S-Video $159
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&qp=0&bookmark=bookmark_20&oid=88375&catoid=-11482

Are any of these TV's worth purchasing for a worthy cheapo consumer alternative to pro monitors etc. where I don't need EXACT color correction but a close ballpark?? Or, should I just get the cheapest 13inch TV available? Any help would be MUCH appreciated.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #4
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Byran, I think any of those TVs will give you about the same picture quality, but given those choices, I'd go w/the Magnavox over the Apex. I was in your same situation a few months ago, and I went with a 13" Toshiba, also with an S-Video input. My fear on a 20 or 24 inch set is that it might be too big. Mine is about 240-30 inches from my eyes, and is about right. If it were bigger, I'd have to scoot back. I looked at a professional NTSC monitor, but as I recall, a used 9" that came calibrated was in the $800-$900 range, and I just couldn't justify it for what I was doing.

This is a great example of you get what you pay for. In my opinion, what I have is better than nothing, but a far cry from an NTSC monitor.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #5
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James - thanks, I just found that TV, it's a 14inch flat screen at best buy for like $160. A great deal indeed. Thanks for the help!
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #6
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Watch out for the shielding on some inexpensive TVs.

I found a free TV with S-Video, but when I put it next to my computer monitor it made the image shiver/shudder horribly. I tried moving it further away, but didn't have enough desk/room. Rats.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:26 PM   #7
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That 14" TV was recommended by a moderator on
another forum as being good for the purpose
being discussed here. This moderator's studio
does mostly corporate work. He said they got it
for their studio to show clients the progress on the projects.
He mentioned that it had quite a good picture.
Based on this I went and had a look myself. Basically, it seemed
to just be a TV, same as any other. Resolution didn't seem very high, which put me off to it. But it may fit your
needs. Just have a look before you buy.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:39 PM   #8
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I posted this in another forum, but got no answer. Anyone care to comment?

As a cheap NTSC monitor alternative for video editing, would anyone consider a 17" Video monitor driven by a 'video to VGA' adapter? It looks like an XVGA model (1024X728 at 75Hz) can be had for $60 to $100 on Ebay, and everyone has at least one spare 17" VGA monitor lying around. The picture should be much sharper than that of a regular TV. BTW, it comes out deinterlaced, would that be a feature or a problem? The monitor is shielded, unlike a cheap TV. I think I'd also be able to simulate the blue gun switch in software. Lastly, this would resolve the TV overscan problem.

Does anyone have any experience with those adapters?
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Old March 20th, 2004, 07:17 PM   #9
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I had one of those VGA adapters (name escapes me
but I could look it up if it's important) but the image
quality was not very good. I got it for just the purpose
you are describing.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 07:45 PM   #10
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A few comments.

Television sets are designed to make bad video look good. Pro and Industrial monitors are designed to make video look like it IS. So a TV set isn't going to be of much help.

Furthermore, the video out of a display adapter is not the same video as you get out of a NLE either as a direct analog output or as transcoded from digital to analog by a camera or standalone converter.

JVC and Pannasonic both make industrial monitors in 13" size that will give you a 'real' video picture. They sell for a few hundred dollars. An example is the JVC model TM-A13SU. About $200 or so. This isn't a $1500 broadcast monitor but they are used for a lot of editing work.

A LCD projector is going to look different than video on a CRT. You have to make adjustments to make it look as good as possible. Very hard to make it look as good as a CRT display. Better to tweak the video for the LCD projector on a LCD display if you cannot use the projector itself.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 08:16 PM   #11
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I picked up the Toshiba today, and I really like it. It gave my film a very close awful picture that was displayed on a projector a few nights ago. I was able to correct the short and now it displays very well on a projector not to mention I can use the TV as a TV to watch shows and movies on without missing color correction stuff etc. It was $159 at best buy so I'm happy with this ok alternative......
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Old March 20th, 2004, 08:50 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent : I had one of those VGA adapters (name escapes me
but I could look it up if it's important) but the image
quality was not very good. I got it for just the purpose
you are describing. -->>>

Dave, if you could look it up, I'd really appreciate it. I'm thinking about the newer adapters, with 1024X768 resolution at 75HZ. I'm thinking about Viewsonic's Nextvision 4 or Grandtec's Grand Video Console.

<<<-- Furthermore, the video out of a display adapter is not the same video as you get out of a NLE either as a direct analog output or as transcoded from digital to analog by a camera or standalone converter. -->>>

Mike, could you please elaborate on this one? I was thinking about this connection:

NLE (Vegas) -> camcorder (through firewire) -> video to vga adapter (through s-video) -> XVGA monitor.

I was hoping to get the camera-transcoded analog video (interlaced) converted to VGA (progressive). I thought I'd get better resolution, no overscan, and the ability to fake a blue gun switch in Vegas. Am I missing something? I'd really hate to spend $100 on a useless adapter. TIA.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 09:00 PM   #13
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Roman, I'll see what I can find.
I got mine about a year ago and the price
was ~ $100. The image it gave was totally useless
for color correction.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 09:17 PM   #14
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Roman, I've never tried it as my NLE has an S-Video out that I plug right into my NTSC Broadcast Monitor. But those who have reported on this practice have said that the color-space used by the adapters is that for regular computer displays, not that used by NTSC video.

Many of the Radeon Pro adapters have a second output that can drive an S-Video monitor. I think the new Matrox cards can too but those did have a problem (drivers) with some NLEs so you want to check before leaping there. The old Matrox 450 display card with a double head would also output S-VIDEO IIRC. I have one and I use the double-head on my business computer but not for video monitoring.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 10:35 PM   #15
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Hey Mike,
I use Matrox G400. Don't know if you are aware, but
there is a Matrox users board. Used to follow it,
but not anymore.
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