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Old July 10th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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HP DreamColor Inquiries

Ok, the HP Dreamcolor seems like a great monitor. But a few questions about it for you owners/users of this unit:

- What are the options available to feed it the 10bit RGB Progressive signal that is required to take advantage of the monitors full capabilities...via a graphics card? Or are the only options to do this...are via a dedicated card / box from AJA, Blackmagic, MOTU, etc...?

- What happens if the monitor does not get this required "10bit RGB Progressive" signal?

- Windows and / or Mac platforms; anybody using this monitor with either, both? And how is it working out for you in your workflow? Is one (platform) easier than the other?

- How do the images look if you connect a camcorder (via HDMI) or a bluray player or even a gaming system (PS3, XBox)? Does it look substantially better than it would on a (LED LCD or Plasma) HDTV?

- Any other monitors out there that you would recommend to compare the DreamColor to?
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Old July 10th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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I use the Dreamcolor as a production monitor via the HDMI port. I have an HD-SDI-HDMI converter in line when I need to feed that input type.

I've found it to be quite an accurate monitor with tones and colors; it has significantly better blacks than many LCD monitors in that price range. Certainly it is much more accurate than a consumer plasma or LCD.

I would love to be able to take advantage of the Dreamcolor engine via the DVI ports, perhaps someone can post experiences and comparisons with these and what would be required to properly convert the signal, drawbacks etc.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 01:04 AM   #3
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I had researched the DreamColor about 6 months ago and the need for RGB & Progressive in order to use its 'DreamColor Engine' made me not look into it any further. Before I forget, many PCIe cards and external monitoring boxes do only YUV/Progressive or RGB/Psf (progressive over interlaced). For example, all the BlackMagic Decklink cards only output YUV and the Matrox MXO2 outputs PSF rather than true progressive.

The 'DreamColor Engine' enables the 10bit display and all of the color gamut presets (ie Rec 709, sRGB...).

To get 10bit from a graphics card, you need a Quadro with DisplayPort or ATI FirePro. However, I am not very familiar with ATI, but I do have a Quadro FX3800. From a graphics card, there are no drivers for 10bit via HDMI and DVI. However, David from Cineform hinted that they are working with nvidia to provide 10bit output of only Cineform video via dual-link DVI. When I asked how that is possible, he responded with "Under NDA".

Another reason I didn't like the HP was due to dithering issues. If you are still interested in the HP or just curious, google 'Dreamcolor dithering' and you will find some very detailed reviews.

The best alternative in the $2000-2400 range that is very similar in features is the Eizo CG243W. It is a fairly new LCD (Sept 2009), it is true 10bit with 12bit 3D LUT and 16bit internal processing, has several color gamut presets.... This is what I purchased and I love it. Its ability to display blacks is amazing. It does NOT require anything to enable the 10bit display so no worrys there (besides a 10bit source of course).

About watching movies, I prefer watching HD movies on my Eizo rather than my $2000 46" Samsung due to better blacks and lack of the crazy contrast which HDTV's suffer from.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
.....I would love to be able to take advantage of the Dreamcolor engine via the DVI ports, perhaps someone can post experiences and comparisons with these and what would be required to properly convert the signal, drawbacks etc.
Why would you want to utilize the DVI ports? From what I've been reading up on this, DVI is only outputting 8bits from most of if not all the graphic cards out there...but I could be wrong about that. HMDI and DP are outputting 10bit via the graphics card manufacturers....but I could be wrong about this too!!

Maybe someone who has definite knowledge of this can chime in?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #5
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I'm using it camera-direct in the field, not from a graphics card, so it's more about the INPUTS on the Dreamcolor. Actually since posting I've been reading up on it and it appears that I may want to stick with the HDMI input, but I need an external processor like the AJA ones to convert the signal so that it suits the HP monitor. Interesting.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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While we are on the subject of adapters and such, I shold mention that the Black Magic HDLink might be what you are looking for, Charles. It comes with either a DL DVI or a DP and is under $500 and will give you 10bit (I think, but you should double check).

At the moment, neither ATI nor Nvidia enable 10bit output via DVI and HDMI. AFAIK, ATI is the only one who enables 10bit via DP on their consumer class cards. I read about a pro photog who uses an ATI 4870, Eizo CG243W and Mac Pro and he said that the ATI outputs 10bit via DP.

However, if you are an Adobe or Avid NLE user, you must stick with Nvidia and select one of their Quadro cards with DP, which range from $150 to $5000.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 02:24 AM   #7
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....At the moment, neither ATI nor Nvidia enable 10bit output via DVI and HDMI. AFAIK, ATI is the only one who enables 10bit via DP on their consumer class cards. I read about a pro photog who uses an ATI 4870, Eizo CG243W and Mac Pro and he said that the ATI outputs 10bit via DP.
** Just got a reply from nVidia stating that only their Quadro CX and 1800 thru 5800 cards have the 10bit enabled on them. Not sure about the Mac versions though. They suggested I contact Apple for an answer.

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....However, if you are an Adobe or Avid NLE user, you must stick with Nvidia and select one of their Quadro cards with DP, which range from $150 to $5000.
** MUST use?! Ok, this leads to my next question which is....we now know that ATI's 48xx, 58xx, 59xx series of cards can output 10bit via the DP and that nVidia's Quadro cards (listed above) can output 10bit as well. So to take full advantage of this bit depth, you need the card, the monitor .... but what about the software? Does that have to be 10bit enabled as well?
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Old July 13th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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YES, the software must output 10 bit as well. (caps are for emphasis, not yelling :)

Here is a list of software that I am 100% positive which outputs 10 bit: After Effects & Photoshop.

I would guess that FCP, Color & Avid MC can output 10bit BUT they must be 10 bit presets/sequences. I am trying to see if Premiere Pro CS5 can output 10 bit. There is various 10bit output support from Cineform; so, if you use it, then ask in Cineform's forum.

Are you PC or Mac? I ask because the only Mac version of nvidia Quadro cards is the FX4800, and for some reason, nvidia changed the outputs on the Mac version. The PC version has 2 DisplayPorts and 1 DL-DVI along with an adapter for DP to DVI. And the Mac version ONLY has 2 DL-DVI.

What NLE do you use?
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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #9
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YES, the software must output 10 bit as well. (caps are for emphasis, not yelling :)
** Ah...just as I suspected!! Understood about the CAPS!! :)


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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
....Are you PC or Mac? I ask because the only Mac version of nvidia Quadro cards is the FX4800, and for some reason, nvidia changed the outputs on the Mac version. The PC version has 2 DisplayPorts and 1 DL-DVI along with an adapter for DP to DVI. And the Mac version ONLY has 2 DL-DVI.
** Well kinda both. Gotta a MacPro running both the latest OS's (Snow Leopard and, via BootCamp, Windows 7 64bit). Yes, that kinda sucks that the 4800 for the Mac is DL-DVI's only and according to nVidia, 10bit is not natively enabled via this method...only via the DisplayPorts; which of course is on the Windows version!!

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....What NLE do you use?
** FCS2 on the Mac side and CS3 on the Win side. Seriously looking to CS5.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #10
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Andrew, if you are set on getting 10 bit via a graphics card, I bet that the FX 4800 w/ DPs works on a Mac for two reasons: 1) on nvidia's Driver Download section, they don't differentiate between 'Mac' and Windows versions - you just select the OS; 2) another member here, Tim Kolb, uses the Mac version in his PC so there is no hardware difference aside from the outputs.

1) Are you planning on using the Mac or Windows CS5?

2) And have you determined whether Premiere Pro can actually display 10 bit?

3) What software do you want to display 10 bit?

4) Are you editing real 10 bit video and not 8 bit converted to 10 bit and what codec/format?
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Andrew, if you are set on getting 10 bit via a graphics card, I bet that the FX 4800 w/ DPs works on a Mac for two reasons: 1) on nvidia's Driver Download section, they don't differentiate between 'Mac' and Windows versions - you just select the OS; 2) another member here, Tim Kolb, uses the Mac version in his PC so there is no hardware difference aside from the outputs.
HOWEVER...(for emphasis, not for yelling), the reverse will NOT work. the Mac will not take the 4800 with the Display Ports...no hardware support.

Once again, just like the model selection in the Quadro cards is restricted on the Apple side...so then go-eth the connections...

To review, 4800 for Mac...works on Windows...4800 for Windows...no dice on Apple.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #12
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[quote=Steve Kalle;1549175]Andrew, if you are set on getting 10 bit via a graphics card, I bet that the FX 4800 w/ DPs works on a Mac for two reasons: 1) on nvidia's Driver Download section, they don't differentiate between 'Mac' and Windows versions - you just select the OS; 2) another member here, Tim Kolb, uses the Mac version in his PC so there is no hardware difference aside from the outputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
1) Are you planning on using the Mac or Windows CS5?
** Windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
2) And have you determined whether Premiere Pro can actually display 10 bit?
** No...I was hoping maybe you'd have that info. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
3) What software do you want to display 10 bit?
** CS5 (PPro, PS, AE) and of course MS Word...(kidding!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
4) Are you editing real 10 bit video and not 8 bit converted to 10 bit and what codec/format?
** Video is 8bit acquisition so far.... but I was hoping to utilize the 10bit work flow for still photos mainly but also for video too.

** Another inquiry here; what about BluRay discs.....when played back via a computer Bluray player or even a set top player, does it output a 10bit signal?
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #13
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Tim,

HAHAHAHA. (emphasis, not yelling :p

If anyone here knows whether PPro outputs 10 bit, it should be you Tim. So, what say you?

Andrew, I saw your new thread about using both a GTX 285 and ATI 4870 in a Mac Pro. Can you explain how you want to use them because I don't know for certain whether they can coexist with CUDA still working (which is needed for CS5's hardware acceleration).
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #14
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Here is another option: Matrox MXO2 w/ Max or MXO2 Mini w/ Max. Both provide hardware acceleration in CS5 and the Mini has 10 bit HDMI output. The downside is that it doesn't act like a computer monitor. It only works with FCP, PPro, PS, AE and a few other programs. If you need to match the monitor to your printer for Photoshop, then you still need a 10 bit video card and LCD.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #15
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....Andrew, I saw your new thread about using both a GTX 285 and ATI 4870 in a Mac Pro. Can you explain how you want to use them because I don't know for certain whether they can coexist with CUDA still working (which is needed for CS5's hardware acceleration).
Was thinking of utilizing both to:

- Use the ATI w/the DP port to run the DreamColor monitor
- Use the GTX285 to take advantage of the MPE in CS5 PPro

But...I don't know it that will work as I'm thinking I'll have to connect a second monitor to the GTX285 in order to use the MPE?! Don't know exactly how this configuration would work .... if at all.

But I don't know for sure if the DP on the ATI card is outputting a 10bit signal. Which leads me to another thought....what about the DP on the latest MBP's with the nVidia 330m cards?! nVidia sent me back an email stating that none of their G-Force series cards are 10bit enabled. Which leads me to question, why do they even have HDMI's on those cards then?! I'm still awaiting a reply from them on this.
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