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The View: Video Display Hardware and Software
Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old May 17th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #1
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Setting up monitors

Hey guys. This is my first post (of many hopefully), but I've been lurking around these boards for quite some time. Your examples of work are a bit intimidating, but have inspired me all the more. I'm 23 years old and have just caught the bug of filming, and am looking to expand my setup, equipment, and know-how of videography.

To start off with my first of a million questions (which I'll save for later), I'm curious as to the setup of monitor systems. I use Adobe Premiere Pro, and assume that by using the term "monitor", it is the ability to watch what you are editing/splicing/overlaying all on a different screen rather than watching the "sequence" screen. Is this true? Also, whether it is or isn't, I'd like to know what is necessary to set up monitors. I have a pretty good video card (thanks to gaming), and I'm pretty sure it has dual monitor capabilities.

Thanks for all of your help in advance, and I'm a big fan of this community and all of your work.

Matt
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Old May 17th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #2
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i think when people talk about monitoring systems, they're referring to a professional-grade external viewing monitor. these are not computer monitors. for the most part, their color reproduction is much better than a standard tv and some can do nice things like switch between ntsc/pal, 16:9/4:3, check underscan, etc. it is definitely an essential piece of the editor's suite.

i believe what you are referring to are computer monitors. in the age of the modern NLE, most editors consider dual monitors on your editing machine more of a necessity than a luxury. to set up dual monitors is simple enough if your video card can handle it. video cards that can output to two monitors are often referred to as dualhead cards. they have two monitor connections, either analog or the newer dvi or a combination of both (some video cards have a rca video or s-video out, which should not be confused with a monitor out port). once your monitors are plugged in, reboot, and windows xp will recognize that there is a second monitor. go into control panel, go to your display properties, and click the checkbox that reads "extend my desktop...". then you can customize to taste. you should note that if your video card has 256MB ram, i believe it will divide the memory between the two monitors, and video performance will degrade. it's easy enough to change from single to dual monitor output from control panel when you need the extra boost (games)and the decrease in performance is only subtly noticable with gpu-intensive tasks.

so check to see if your video card has two outputs, hook up that dusty 15" crt (or whatever you're planning on using) to the second port, and edit away.

hope that helps.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #3
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Monitor Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Cho
i think when people talk about monitoring systems, they're referring to a professional-grade external viewing monitor. these are not computer monitors. for the most part, their color reproduction is much better than a standard tv and some can do nice things like switch between ntsc/pal, 16:9/4:3, check underscan, etc. it is definitely an essential piece of the editor's suite.

i believe what you are referring to are computer monitors. ...snip....
What is required in order to add a professional-grade external monitor? My system has an ATI 9800XT video card which is dual head. I plan to add a second LCD panel to it soon and I'd also like to add the viewing monitor you mention above. What do I need to add to drive the pro monitor? I'm assuming that I can't use the s-video out on the ATI card for it, even if I'm only using one of the regular monitor outputs on the ATI (though I might be wrong about this - I vaguely recall something about the ATI card supporting something they called Theater Mode on the s-video out which might work). I was considering adding a Matrox or Canopus editing card and thought that driving an external monitor was one of the justifications for using them but a post in another thread saying they're unecessaary has made me wonder. Just how do you go about setting up two computer monitors AND an external NTSC monitor on a system running either Premiere or Vegas? Computer is a Dell 3.4 gig HT P4 with 2 gig ram, 500 gig SATA RAID0, ATI 9800XT, Audigy 2 soundcard w/ OHCI compliant Firewire port as presently configured. Have access to my choice of either editing package and as yet haven't decided which I like best so not asking for suggestions regarding software, just the hardware itself. Plan to shoot and capture from the camera such as the XL2 and output either back to tape via the camera or direct to DVD. What more do I need to make that setup into a decent pro level editing suite?
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:29 PM   #4
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The best way to hook up an external NTSC monitor is probably via firewire. Some decks and camcorders can convert from DV to analog on the fly. There might be a sticky about this in the Vegas or Premiere forum.

Quote:
What more do I need to make that setup into a decent pro level editing suite?
There are different meanings to professional, with a basic one being a professional is someone who makes money editing (and not necessarily talented or experienced).

Anyways, I will assume you need a computer that's good enough to edit DV for short films and things like that. Basically, hook up a TV or NTSC/PAL monitor to your editing system (via firewire via deck/camcorder). NTSC/PAL monitors are more accurate than just any TV, and more expensive. At a hobbyist level, whatever TV you can get is probably good enough. Do try to calibrate it though, it will get the colors closer.
http://www.videouniversity.com/tvbars2.htm

2- The quality of your video has very little to do with your video card.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
The best way to hook up an external NTSC monitor is probably via firewire. Some decks and camcorders can convert from DV to analog on the fly. There might be a sticky about this in the Vegas or Premiere forum.


There are different meanings to professional, with a basic one being a professional is someone who makes money editing (and not necessarily talented or experienced).
Yep, I'm defining pro as making money at it. Last production work I did was some industrials back in the 80's, the good old analog days of shooting on type C, editing in real time in a linear bay laboriously re-recording cuts from source tapes to a blank target tape, title crawls took booking a few hours time on a half-megabuck Kiron suite with operator, and distribution was on U-matic cassettes. Been doing computer application training for the past 15 years or so but the demand for that is slowing drastically. (That's how I have I come to have the high level PC and a good software library at mny disposal). Career change time again, and I'd like to move back into production, initially most likely small scale event or industrial videography but would love to evolve into documentary or features (who doesn't dream of that LOL!) Of course, the first step is putting together a reel so one can get taken seriously but money is seriously limited so trying to get as close to network/feature level productions values as possible within what can be reasonably done on the budget an individual who isn't the heir to a fotune can achieve.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #6
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Steve, in your case I'd probably get a NTSC monitor (look for blue gun, and then SMPTE C phosphors) and learn color correction/grading (Magic Bullet Editors is easiest). The cuts and dissolve stuff is the same quality on whatever platform you edit on, but you can make your production values go up (a lot) with color grading. The monitor is so you can accurately see your image, it's important for color grading work.

If you want to get deeper into that (or faster renders, because MB is SLOW) then I would look at Vegas or Premiere/After Effects (bundle) + Color Finesse. I prefer Vegas over the Adobe option (with Color Finesse).

Special effects/compositing stuff also adds to production values. If you have lots of time and money each project, After Effects or Combustion would be best. Those programs have steep learning curves though, and it may make more sense for someone specialized in those programs to do it.
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