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


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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #1
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What is a good production monitor?

I want to spend between $800 and $1400 for a good color production monitor for use with FCP. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Cameron
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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:04 PM   #2
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Do you want to use it for field use too? If so I'd look at the high-end field monitor models from JVC, Sony, Ikegami. About $1000 for something with underscan, blue gun, SMPTE C phosphors, optional battery (those cost extra).

You don't necessarily need SMPTE C phosphors. They are useful if you want to be on the "same page" as other people with monitors with those phosphors. If not you'll be seeing slightly different colors than those people. SMPTE C phosphors are supposed to be the reference standard.

Studio use:
Panasonic BT-H1390Y (13") has virtually everything (SMPTE C phosphors, underscan, NTSC/PAL, 16:9/4:3 switchable, blue gun, beem feedback circuitry) but does not auto-calibrate itself to color bars, and is not aperture grille design (AG have slightly better resolution, two or three barely visible wires stretched across the monitor).
About $1000

For about $1600 Sony and Ikegami sell high-end monitors with everything that Panasonic has plus auto-calibration. For a monitor with P22 phosphors, it's about $1000.

You can look at b-stock on Ikegami's site.

JVC also made monitors with SMPTE C phosphors... you may be able to find a new one somewhere. They still make monitors, just not with SMPTE C phosphors.

2- Avoid used monitors. Monitors deteriorate over time, and may have flaws that don't show up in eBay pictures. If you can see the monitor in person then it would be much better.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #3
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Glenn, thanks.

Yes I would like the option of using it in the field too. I tried using DVRack, but it just doesn't give me a big enough picture to look at.

So are you saying that buying a non-Sony monitor is OK? Seems like *everyone* uses Sony monitors. (I shoot with a Panasonic camera.)

Do you think that 250 lines of resolution is enough? Or do I really need something more like 450? I want to be able to tell if I'm in focus and really evaluate the color, brightness, contrast, etc. I also want to be able to view 16:9 video (shot with the squeeze mode of the DVX100A.)

I don't think I need SMPTE-C phosphors -- I just want to be sure that my video looks acceptable on TV sets and plasma displays.

Thanks,
Cameron
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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #4
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I picked up a used NEC 2000 a few years ago, $250 on ebay. It has blue channel, many inputs and outputs, and more stuff than I know how to use. Being 20 inches, it's a bit cumbersome for the field... but great for the studio! My eyes are getting older, and that big picture is a blessing ;)
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #5
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I was just looking at this

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=252972&is=REG

And wondered if it would fit what you want? And it's cheap.

Thing is, is that it's P22 phospors. Now as mentioned, you need SMPTE-C to match others - but what confused me was the statement "If not you'll be seeing slightly different colors than those people.". Now, if you're seeing different colours, then why would you go ANYWHERE near it because won't you, by definition be wrong when correcting?


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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:44 PM   #6
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Sony monitors: Other than the aperture grille design (slightly higher resolution, fine tensioned wires appear in image) I don't think Sony monitors are all that different or better. I don't know all too much about this.

Monitor/tube names that end in -tron (i.e. Trinitron) are aperture grille.

DVRack: Your screen isn't big enough?!
If you want to get a large NTSC monitor (CRT), it would be a real pain to lug around. LCD-based monitors don't do what NTSC monitors do, and they would be kind of point when you have DVRack (unless you need it for steadicam or something).

Focus: More resolution would be better. Manufacturers tend to fudge their specs though, so I wouldn't compare resolution across manufacturers. They also sometimes fudge specs within their own products... i.e. Sony DSR- series are like 800-"900" lines while all of them would be very close in resolution to the VX2100, which they spec at 530 lines.

And the lines of resolution spec means nothing when they don't specify amplitude modulation or measurement method.

2- Hmm I don't think field monitor come in versions that have SMPTE C phosphors. Not a big deal in your case anyways.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #7
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Actually, the Trinitron CRT is not an aperature tube in the conventional sense. It is built by stringing very fine wires from top to bottom. The two faint horizontal lines you see at the 1/3rd screen points are support wires for the vertical wires.

When I used to sell Tektronix video equipment, even Tek went to Sony for the 'picture' tubes.

With regard to a studio monitor, I find that 14 inches is about the absolute minimum. I take an 8" Sony in the field and I feel that is slightly too small for other than color evaluation. I prefer something in the 20 inch range for focus checks.

Unfortunately, you really ought to go for the monitor with S-Video feed if at all possible.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 02:52 AM   #8
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Isn't Trinitron Sony's name for their aperture grille design?

The patent on them seems to have run out, so other manufacturers make CRTs with that design (i.e. computer monitors with names ending in Tron... i.e. Diamondtron; those componies are licensing Sony's R&D into monitors with that kind of design). I don't know if anyone makes NTSC monitors using that design other than Sony.

2- I have no idea how big the monitor needs to be for checking focus well.

S-video/Y-C connection definitely does help.

Quote:
Thing is, is that it's P22 phospors. Now as mentioned, you need SMPTE-C to match others - but what confused me was the statement "If not you'll be seeing slightly different colors than those people.". Now, if you're seeing different colours, then why would you go ANYWHERE near it because won't you, by definition be wrong when correcting?
I believe consumer TVs all have different composition phosphors, so they're always going to be different from your NTSC monitor. Possible advantages of SMPTE C phosphors:
A- They're supposed to be the standard. So if everyone corrected their material for SMPTE C phosphors and manufacturers tried to get close to them, then correcting for SMPTE C phosphors would be the right thing to do.
B- Apparently they have better color stability as they age? (They stay the same brightness longer, or have a consistent gamma response as they age.) I don't know if this is true or not.
C- Different or wider color gamut.

You know what? I honestly don't know why SMPTE C phosphors would be better. Maybe their is a standards commitee document that explains why. I believe the old standard used to be P22 phosphors?

There are a few sites that recommend you get standard phosphors. (i.e. Color Finesse website.) They don't really give more accurate color reproduction unless all the manufacturers follow the standard when they make their gear. I don't think that's the case?
Example of not following standards: If TVs were properly calibrated, you could feed it color bars and the color bars would show correctly. However, many manufacturers set their TVs as bright as possible, with overly saturated colors and flesh tone "correction" to make things look "better" or more eye-catching to the consumer (and hence the TV will sell better).
Better example: Color temperature is supposed to be 6500K, but many manufacturers set it higher because it makes the image look brighter.
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