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


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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:03 PM   #1
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Should I get a monitor?

I just picked up an XL2 camera and I read the article HERE and found the CRT monitor part very interesting. I know it would be nice to have that one that Chris mentioned but I don't have that kind of money after purchasing the XL2. Now, I've seen a few LCD monitors like THIS ONE HERE and now that's in my price range (in USD that is). But, is it that important to get a CRT monitor? Could I do with a LCD one until I can afford a CRT one or is it a waste of money to buy the LCD one when weighed with the advantages of a CRT one?

Sorry for all the ???s
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Old May 16th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #2
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I bought professional monitors approximately 11 years ago when I set up my editing studio. It really made me so aware of the importance of color correction (I also have a waveform and vectorscope set up), that to this day I hate the fact that I can't find an NLE system with real time keyboard pro amp dials so I can color correct the way I have for the last 11 years, which incidentally, is still faster than NLE methods.

I don't have a direct answer to your question. The LCD monitors from what I have read start to slowly fade in intensity after 6 months but that is what I have read, don't know if it's actually true.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #3
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If you do run and gun shooting then there's little point in a monitor since it's not pragmatic. However, a monitor would be a very useful tool for field shooting.

Ideally, your monitor would (in no particular order):

A- Have high resolution to check focus. Manufacturers fudge the lines of resolution rating so it's hard to tell which CRTs are sharper than others. With LCDs, having the pixels in a 1:1 ratio means the best resolution you can possibly get. With CRTs, resolution improves with the S-video/Y-C connector, trinitron or aperture grille design, size (bigger is better), (black and white is sharper), and quality.

For HD, a LCD is a cheap option for high resolution.

B- Gives an accurate image. A CRT-based NTSC monitor gives the most accurate color for broadcast work. LCDs are sketchy. Not sure about LCDs calibrated with a device like the Colorvision Spyder.

Consumer televisions are typically too high color temperature (many can be adjusted though), do not use standardized phosphors (will give different colors), may have flesh tone correction, may lack S-video/Y-C input (many don't), and have automatic image corrections. There may be lots of cheats that will make your picture look better at the expense of accuracy. The worst are the overly-bright consumer TVs (nearly all of them are overly bright) that make underexposed footage look decent. They generally can be calibrated and set to get rid of many of these flaws.

You want to be able to rely on your monitor to judge the image. Things like contrast ratios in lighting/exposure, and how the colors look (which is generally totally different from real life).

LCDs will never show interlacing properly (so you don't catch interlace flicker, or the jumpy motion that can happen with 24p and panning), and won't show chroma crawl (that moire effect on ties, certain fabrics, and fences).

For color correction for broadcast/TV, a CRT-based NTSC monitor is probably your best bet.

C- Light weight / portability. CRTs are kind of heavy, but that depends on size.

D- Power: low power consumption, battery power, etc. Battery-powered operation is a nice touch.

E- Cost

F- Over/underscan, for checking if the boom is in shot. If your viewfinder does not show the overscan area, this is a really good thing to have.

G- Ease of calibration. High-end NTSC monitors can auto-calibrate to color bars, or have a blue gun switch. Monitors without those things will need a blue gel to calibrate it.


There are various tools which do the above, but none of them do all of the above.

Consumer TV/LCD
Portable LCD field monitor
Portable NTSC monitor - Sony, JVC, Ikegami, Panasonic? makes these.

Laptop with DVRack - I have zero experience with DVRack, but it seems like it has some nice monitoring tools like waveform monitor and vectorscope.

http://www.seriousmagic.com/dvrmonitoring2.cfm#p0

waveform monitor (and vectorscope) - very accurate way of seeing exposure values. A vectorscope gives a very accurate picture of hue and saturation. DVRack may be a more economical solution?

Viewfinder - Zebras aid in setting and monitoring exposure, may or may not show overscan area, may be upgradeable to show higher resolution (i.e. XL1). While you probably won't change your viewfinder, you may want to consider what it already can do.

2- In regards to the Canon XL2 article, I don't know if you need a NTSC monitor to adjust the settings they mention. You may be able to hook the camera up to a TV or computer to see the adjustments happen?
CAVEAT: Calibrate the monitor first, and watch out for cheats in the monitor such as noise reduction and edge enhancement (excessive edge enhancement is very common with consumer TVs, and can trip you up).

3- If you live in a PAL country, then substitute PAL for NTSC.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #4
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What CRT stands for?
Is it like a True color monitor or something?
Actually i have same problem and looking for cheap monitor. Is fallowing actually CRT monitor?
link:
http://google1-cnet.com.com/AOC_FT70...-30872611.html

thanks
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #5
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First let me say thanks to Glenn on such an informative response! Thank you very much.

And to Andzei, CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. It's the type of TV/Monitor. CRT means that it has a tube in it unlike the LCD (liquid crystal Display). CRT however is a very good picture.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 09:59 AM   #6
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What about getting something like a 13" TV w/ s-video in, and as much adjustment as possible (not too much available on 13"s though, I would imagine), and using something like the Spyder 2 Pro to calibrate it as closely as possible? With the Spyder 2 Pro you can save one setting and calibrate multiple monitors to that setting. I would imagine that there is a stadarn "Color bars" setting that you can download that will at least try to get you to the most accurate color bar colors (and if there is not, then there should be!).

I can't afford one of those expensive monitors either. The thing about DV rack, is that even though their broadcast monitor has lots of cool features, and they have vectorscopes, etc. you are still at the mercy of your PC monitor. So while the camera maybe getting the right colors on the vectorscope, a dark or incorrectly calibrated monitor could fool you into thinking that you need to increase or decrease the exposure, etc.

Does anyone know of a consumer 13" TV that has as much adjustment as possible and as few "cheats" as possible and also accepts S-video input?

Alex F
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Old May 17th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #7
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Andzei:
The picture for that monitor shows a LCD, but that monitor is a CRT computer monitor.

Alex:
I don't think the Spyder can calibrate TVs.

A waveform monitor (i.e. in DVRack) helps you set exposure, although it may not help for gamma adjustments. I don't think you'd need to make gamma adjustments.

Other notes:

Generally speaking, the more you pay the better the quality of the monitor (more features, more accurate pictures). If you can only afford a consumer-level TV then I suppose it's good to know which models have S-video input, settings that let you turn off the monitor's cheats (sometimes there are hidden settings you can access if you have the service manual), have good resolution (typically Trinitron-based monitors, and larger monitors). I don't know which particular models these would be. If you have access to a large number of monitors, you could try running test patterns through them (i.e. off a camcorder, which is portable and has S-video output, although PLUGE bars in a color bars test pattern will likely look too dark because of the 7.5IRE setup issue).

Color bars: These calibrate for the analog circuitry in a monitor, but they don't compensate for the light emitted by a monitor's phosphors. The phosphors get dimmer as they age, and I believe they emit light at different proportion wavelengths from another type/composition of phosphors. On CRTs that have been on for a long time, you will likely see crushed blacks and possibly some color shifting in dark areas.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #8
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I know this is an old thread but I thought I'd mention a sweet little scope app that I ran across and see if any of you have any experience with it. It's called VideoScope, you can get a demo (Mac only) here:

http://www.evological.com/videoscope.html

I've been using it for some test projects and it seems to work well. The realtime capabilities are very useful (I used to use Vegas and hated that I could only monitor recorded footage). My only complaint is having to haul a laptop around just to get proper exposure. The price is definately right!

If anyone has any advice on avoiding over/under exposure w/o something like this (and without a camera with zebras) I would love to hear about it :)
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Old July 13th, 2005, 11:59 AM   #9
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Jason, I'm glad you responded to this thread because I've been meaning to but didn't have the time to look for it.

I FINALLY got to see the differences between a computer monitor and a professional monitor. I was able to look at the same footage at the same time on both monitors.

Basically, what I discovered was that on the Computer screen EVERYTHING looked good, on the professional monitor, there was a huge variation between what looked good and what didn't.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi
I FINALLY got to see the differences between a computer monitor and a professional monitor. I was able to look at the same footage at the same time on both monitors.
...so what kind of monitor did you get?
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Old July 13th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #11
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Jason: Videoscope doesn't have a waveform monitor like DVRack does. I'd find the WFM a lot more useful since it will help you set exposure.

In the field, the vectorscope may not be that useful. It might help if you want to check white balance and you point the camera at a chip chart (chart with rectangles of different brightnesses).
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Old July 14th, 2005, 11:51 AM   #12
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Hmm...

I have been using the vectorscope and another monitor mode (not sure what it's called offhand, don't have the mac handy, looks kinda like a histogram) to see the levels and avoid going over the "pure white" and under the "pure black" points. From what I gather dv rack is alot more expensive...
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