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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 June 14th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #1
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Studio monitor question


probably asked quite a few times, so I apologize if I'm repeating a common question. I did a search on the forum, but did not find any answer that really answers my question.

I'm thinking about buying a JVC TM-A170G monitor to use along with 2 17" LCDs for editing, as well as a field monitor (I know, I need AC power for this one). I can get it new for about 600$.

Now, since I already spent like 23,000$ on equipment, there is not a lot left. (BTW, I bought all the stuff for my company, not just for myself - my last name is not Gates).

Since the monitor falls in the lowest price range, I don't expect it to be as good as a Trinitron, so my question is: Shall I spend 600$ bucks for this monitor or use a normal TV instead, and what can I do with this monitor that I can't do with a TV?

Thanks in advance,

Seb Pelan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #2
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Maybe you should get a smaller monitor designed for field use and can be battery powered.
JVC, Ikegami, and Sony make such monitors. 9" is about $600 on B&H.

Features to look for:
blue gun (for calibration of analog circuitry)
16:9 switcahble
underscan (very useful if you need to see underscan area for boom mic in shot; may not necessarily need this if your viewfinder overscans, but many don't)
P-22 phosphors, not mystery phosphors (affect color gamut and color accuracy). SMPTE C is more ideal, but typically not found in these monitors nor at this price range.
Probably don't have beam feedback circuitry; B&H website is pretty good at listing this under features; maintains white balance as monitor ages.

composite, S-video, and maybe component or SDI inputs. S-video input is slightly better resolution than composite- good for checking focus.

Don't have cheats like flesh tone correction.

Color temperature- may be very adjustable. Most consumer TVs are way, way too cold/blue because it makes the picture look brighter- on some models this can be adjusted.
NTSC monitors are typicall 6500k, which is the standard reference and close to sunlight. Changing color temp will affect colors slightly.
Ideally all light sources are the same color temp (i.e. sunlight [i.e. field shoots], computer monitors, studio lighting, other lighting) to avoid mixed color temps. You eye will only see one color temp as white, and all others will be too orange/blue/greenish.

The main thing broadcast monitors do is that they give the most accurate picture.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2005, 08:11 PM   #3
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Thanks Glenn!

What about resolution? From what I see, smaller (at least the less expensive) monitors have all about 250 lines of resolution, while the one I was looking for has 750.

It's also a pain to order things from B&H for me, I'm in Europe, so I have to calculate S&H, customs duties, value added tax, etc.. etc..


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Old June 14th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #4
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It might just be a case of the manufacturer fudging numbers.
# of resolution specs are typically useless when the manufacturer doesn't provide information on how they arrived at the number. In particular, a key number is amplitude modulation % (which is like the +- part for frequency response specs). A MTF graph would be even better (similar to how there's graphs for frequency response), but you'll never find these.

Larger monitors do tend to have higher resolution, although I'm not sure by how much. If you think about it logically, a monitor 2X the size would be capable of twice the resolution and more??? (That's probably wrong though!)

Aperture-grille based designs (I think it's only Sony when it comes to broadcast monitors?) should have slightly more resolution (I don't think it's that much extra resolution). Trinitron is the Sony name for aperture-grille. These monitors have cylindrical shadow mask in the front (as opposed to spherical) and have 2-4 thin wires that dampen resonance in the shadow mask (you can see these faintly when the monitor is on).
Quality is probably also another factor in determining resolution.
Dot pitch also affects resolution- smaller is better. It may be hard to find specs for dot pitch.

I don't have experience with multiple broadcast monitors so I may not be able to help you too much unfortunately.
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