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Old March 26th, 2011, 06:07 AM   #1
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viewing quality: HD tv screen vs monitor?

What is the difference in viewing image quality between a screen sold as a monitor and one sold as an HD television?
I am a visual artist making an artwork, a triptych that comprises 3 synchronous films viewed side by side (viewed and screened portrait format) on 3 screens, it will be viewed in galleries. I propose to strip the casing off three tv's or monitors and build them into a unified case. (I need the screens to be closer together than they are with their original housing on). I will output the three 3 films to the 3 screens from 3 blu ray players with hdmi leads.
The 3 films have been shot in hd on a canon 5d, and will shortly be edited on FCP and burnt to blu ray. I have a budget to buy 3 screens at aprox $600 per screen. I am looking in the range of 24-37inch, assuming that the image wont be as sharp if i go any bigger than 37inch.
I live in the middle of nowhere, so i cant just walk into a shop and try and see the difference, I need to order something blind (probably in the uk with amazon).
My first question is whether i will find a better screen from an hd tv, such as a sony bravia or samsung, or whether i will get a better image from the monitor range, such as the samsung synchmaster. I assume i can drive either from a bluray and hdmi lead. My second question is whether i will gain any benefit in image quality from on the screen if i go for an led back lit screen. My third question is, am i mad to go larger than 24 inches, seeing as prople can walk right up to the installation, or am i safe upto 37 inches? My fourth question is if anyone can recommend which direction to go on chosing what to buy. I am aware that it can be pot luck as to what lcd is actually in the units, i have some positive experience with samsung and sony, less so with lg. none with panasonic. the only good screen i have used todat is an eizo, but this is out of budget range!

the film itself is of the moving shaddows from dance performed inside underlit napoleonic stone towers, the images are slow shutter speed, incredibly noisy, and with a large area of the image close to black.
I have made something along these lines before with 12 screens, image below, the challenges werent the same, as the audience viewing distance was set back at 3 metres. This time i will need to take account of the viewing angles, and on the horizontal axis, not vertical.

any thoughts on this would be warmly appreciated
many thanks
Dan Dubowitz

this is the first project in the series for an idea of how its to be set up
Installation photographs | Dan Dubowitz / Civic Works
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Old March 26th, 2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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Re: viewing quality: HD tv screen vs monitor?

here is someone's documentary of the first installation which might give a better idea


dan
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Old March 26th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: viewing quality: HD tv screen vs monitor?

Computer monitors are much more flexible, and easier to linearize and ICC profile. TV monitors tend to be set up for a single color space such as ITU-R recommendation BT.709 (more commonly know as Rec. 709) for HDTV in the USA. I'm not sure how this "standard" relates to TVs outside of NA.

The problem with TVs is that they can be all over the place in terms of calibration. That is, they are seldom calibrated, because calibration takes time and therefore is expensive, so the manufacturers in general skip a full calibration, and owners seldom pay to have it done either. So two TVs, same manufacture / model, can look quite different (color casts, gamma curve, saturation, etc.) side-by-side.

A secondary problem for you is that LCD TVs tend to do worse with shadow detail than plasmas in general. But of course, plasmas tend to be more expensive.

A third problem is going to be synchronization. Three separate blu-ray players are likely going to walk out of sync. unless your videos are rather short. Starting them at the same time will also be rather problematic. And if you intend for the videos to "loop" the time from end of video to start of video can vary quite a lot from player to player (even same manufacturer / model).

All that said, big HDTVs showing a well done blu-ray can look fantastic up close. Say, up to around 125 cm diagonal measure anyway. So don't worry about getting TVs that are too big.

This is not an easy problem to tackle. Good on you for giving it a try. Good luck with it.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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Re: viewing quality: HD tv screen vs monitor?

Bruce
That is very informative and much appreciated, you've highlighetd the callibration potential of a monitor, which I have overlooked, i have an eye so the potential to have the three monitors close to one another is a good thing. Youve aloso highlighted the benefit of plasma in the dark areas which I was not aware of.
Would the newer back lit led give any benefit.

re synchronization, its a 20-25 minute piece, looped, the bluerays are authoured to auto start and the three same model bluray players get turned on by the gallery with one switch. we are building in some head room in the choreography for it go out of synch by 3 -5 seconds across the course of 5 hours running time. Perhaps thats optimistic. I will review how the loop is done in particular.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: viewing quality: HD tv screen vs monitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Dubowitz View Post
Would the newer back lit led give any benefit?
The newer "local dimming" LED sets give better shadow detail performance. They do this by dimming the LEDs that are backlighting areas of the screen which are showing shadow detail, so there's not as much light leakage in the shadows. This, of course, costs more to implement.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, you might consider a video wall. Might be useful (at least finding LCD panels that are designed for this so you don't have to take LCDs out of their cases and remount), and might solve some of your sync. problems if you can size images so that you run everything from a single blu-ray player, yet have them display on three separate monitors in your video wall. I don't know enough about your application to know whether ta video wall would work for you or not -- it's just a thought.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 01:13 PM   #6
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color bars

If you've got no other way to equalize the monitors, you could look at using color bars. Been done for decades in NTSC countries. And there are PAL color bars too.

Note that it could require service menu access to do this on a consumer TV. Depending on make/model you might find service menu access and use information around the 'net here and there. But be careful; I've heard that people can "brick" a TV by misusing service menus and controls.
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