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Old August 7th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #1
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FCP, Matrox color calibration & the use of a "wide gamut" LCD monitor

I have a Mac Pro 1.1, FCP 7 and a Matrox LE that can be hooked up via its HDMI out to a 1920x1080 LCD display screen for HD monitoring and color correction in YUV color space. The Matrox takes the FCP output and allows you to calibrate the screen using standard color bars and its built-in proc amp.

My question is about the choice of a display screen which would serve as my dedicated monitor for screening while editing. Given the above setup and with the goal of trying to get accurate color reproduction & color correction, would it be appropriate to use a "WIDE GAMUT" color screen like the HP 2475? Or…would a "wide gamut" display end up giving me overly saturated colors (reds, greens) and be detrimental to the kind of work I want to do with it? Perhaps I may be better off with a sRGB display for what I want to achieve? Or would a wide gamut monitor make for a superior display?

Many thanks,

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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #2
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For ACCURATE colors, you need a display that is calibrated to Rec 601 for SD or Rec 709 for HD or DCI for Film.

I have compared using a Dell Ultrasharp (92% sRGB gamut) with calibration via Matrox Mini and NTSC Bars and then again calibrated while connected via DVI to my graphics card using a X-Rite i1. Neither of these 'calibrations' made my Dell LCD look anywhere NEAR my Eizo CG243W (calibrated to Rec 709).

I recently learned of an NEC 24" LCD that has presets for Rec 601 & 709 (which means it can be calibrated to these as well. Calibration is a must because the LCD's light/color output change over time; so, calibration should be done every 1-2 months).

There is also a 20" JVC HD-SDI at B&H for $2100 (was $3500) and has a Rec 709 preset. The Eizo is onl $2000 now and has a 10 bit screen.

Furthermore, normal LCDs do not run well at the low brightness required - 80-120 cd/m.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #3
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Steven, in the comparison above, how did you calibrate the Eizo to Rec 709?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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I used the X-Rite i1 calibrator and Eizo's 'Color Navigator' software. The calibration is then stored in the monitor itself - this is called 'hardware calibration' as its stored in the hardware. In the CN software, you can select any number of gamuts to emulate. I have both Rec 601 and Rec 709 calibration settings and I can switch between them either through the CN software (USB cable must be connected between PC & LCD) or through the monitor's buttons.

I also calibrated my Dell Ultrasharp using the X-Rite software to a WhitePoint of 6500k and 120 cd/m but it doesn't look anywhere near the Eizo.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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One thing you might want to look into is how the calibrations and monitors handle levels below 16 and above 235. Just b/c something is calibrated to Rec 709 does not mean that super blacks and whites will be handled uniformly. Rec 709 allows for colors 1 to 15 and 236 to 254, but these should not be broadcasted.

It's quite possible that one setup is displaying the super levels while the other is not. A good way to check is by using a grey gradient ramp that's 16 to 1 to 254 to 235. If you see a bump in the white and a dip in the black before the outer edges of the ramp, then you know the full range of colors is being displayed. Now if you actually want that is another ?. A properly calibrated broadcast monitor would not show full range, and you would see a smooth ramping from black to grey w/ no increase or falloff near the edges.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #6
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Actually, this Eizo is 10 bit and its connected to a Quadro FX3800 via DisplayPort; thus, its 10 bit all the way.

Because I am exporting to SD Broadcast, Web and a little DVD & B-R, I need the LCD the show all levels, and then just apply the Broadcast Safe effect for SD Broadcast exports.

For me, I don't see a benefit to artificially limiting the LCD's output to 16-235 because it isn't showing the ACTUAL image. Dummy me can easily forget to apply a broadcast safe effect.

Thanks for the info and the ramp. Viewing the ramp on my 10 bit Eizo is sooo sweet. My Dell LCD shows a lot of banding.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #7
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BTW, What are you going to use for the DVD/BR encoding?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
BTW, What are you going to use for the DVD/BR encoding?
What do you mean?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #9
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I mean what software are you going to use for the encoding? ;).
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #10
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Premiere Pro CS5 and TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4. I haven't learned Encore yet and the DVD & B-R's are not a major part of my workflow. I run a gov't access channel and their website, and the DVD/BR will only be for certain 'sponsored' programs when a sponsor requests it. For DVD only, it will be geared more towards 'safety' videos and anything else the city's trustees and board members can easily hand out.

I would estimate 60% SD Broadcast, 35% SD Web and 5% DVD/BR.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #11
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Has anyone out there actually used one of the wide gamut monitors in the $500 price range, more specifically the HP 2475, with the Matrox HDMI output and calibration of color bars through its proc amp? If you have this setup, were you able to achieve good colors without the oversaturation issues?

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Old August 10th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #12
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What does "good colors" mean....Accurate colors? - not possible. Good enough for the web - then yes.

FYI, the HP 2475 is old and over-priced. The newer HP ZR24 is only $425 if you need 1920x1200 or the ZR22 for $280 if you want 1920x1080. I wanted one of the HP's but decided to get the new Dell Ultrasharp 21.5" for $280 with tax and shipping (shipping was free). I just received it, so, I haven't had a chance to test it. However, the Dell's specs are identical to the HP ZR22 so it appears that they use the same screens and should produce nearly identical images. But I didn't get it for any color critical applications because I already have an Eizo CG243W for that. It is for our playback server and also as a 2nd monitor for my workstation.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Premiere Pro CS5 and TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4. I haven't learned Encore yet and the DVD & B-R's are not a major part of my workflow. I run a gov't access channel and their website, and the DVD/BR will only be for certain 'sponsored' programs when a sponsor requests it. For DVD only, it will be geared more towards 'safety' videos and anything else the city's trustees and board members can easily hand out.

I would estimate 60% SD Broadcast, 35% SD Web and 5% DVD/BR.
Steve,

I ask b/c I've found setting color and contrast levels for DVD's a rabbit hole all by itself. I've been making progress on this, but am wondering how you've gotten the colors and contrast on your discs to match what you see on the screen?

Perhaps a very big ?, so don't feel any pressure to get into it if you feel like it's just too much. (Or perhaps it's worked very easily for you, & I'm the fool beating his head against the wall, LOL!)
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #14
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Are you having trouble with colors/contrast when watching on a TV and that is not coming close to what you saw on the computer?

The only problem I have had with colors and contrast is when I got the Eizo. Prior to the Eizo, I was using my Dell Ultrasharp and I became accustomed to its higher contrast and poor blacks. So, when I would increase the contrast while editing on the Eizo and then view the rendered video on the Dell, the contrast was way too high.

One thing to consider is the gamut is different for SD - its Rec 601; while HD is Rec 709. For me, I always record in 1080/30p, edit in 720p and have my Eizo set at Rec 601 because my output is almost always SD.

If you are using a Mac, then isn't its gamma 1.8 whereas its 2.2 on DVDs.

I see you use MC 3 and TMPGEnc. Are you still using these - have you upgraded them to MC 5 or T-Xpress 4? What is your workflow for DVD output and what are you using for color correction & grading? Maybe we can figure out where something is going awry.

I am more than glad to help you figure this out - especially because I might add Avid MC5 and also use TMPGEnc Xpress, although not nearly as much anymore due to Premiere Pro CS5's CUDA hardware acceleration.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #15
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for the message. I'm still using MC 3.1. I've decided not to upgrade until a few things happen to Media Composer: 64-bit and better color correction tools (not that MC's native CC tools are so bad, they aren't).

My DVD workflow is edit in MC, usually HD 1080p or 720p. Then create a DVD using AvidDVD, which is Sonic's DVDit 6 re-branded w/ the Avid name.

There is a color shift when I create the DVD's. It's noticeable but not too dramatic. And the contrast seems less than the original, making the image somewhat washed-out. I've tried boosting the saturation in CC mode, but that can create some very strange color shifts.

A more general ? that I've been wrestling with when it comes to DVD authoring is where to set the color levels. I've been told anything from 16 to 235 (studio swing) to 0 to 255 (full swing). Depending on player and tv, the results can vary widely. But commercially mastered DVD's have the same variation, but tend to look better in all cases.

I'm using a PC with an HP LP2475 connected via an nVIDIA Quadro FX1100. The monitor is calibrated to gamma 2.2 using a Spyder probe.

Thanks again ;).
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