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


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Old November 10th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #1
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Production Monitor

I have an IMac, and a G4. I have a small tv for the G4 and a converter, but want to get the same for my IMac. I've read numerous threads about monitors, etc., and wondering if any can give me an update on this issue for purchasing a, say 10", just a smaller production monitor for my IMac.

I will have to purchase the converter too.

I checked a JVC production monitor that's on sale 0-inch Full-square CRT with more than 300 lines of horizontal resolution and another
JVC TMH-150CGU 15-Inch Color Production Monitor with 750 Lines, 16:9 and 4:3 Aspect Switch, NTSC and PAL System.

I'm wondering what I should be looking for in terms of a good production monitor that's not too expensive?

I don't want an lcd monitor, but rather something like the ones above.

Thanks for any help.

Lucinda Luvaas
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Old November 10th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #2
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1- Converter: I think all DV cameras can act as a converter for you.

2- If you want to use the monitor in a field, you might want to look at the field monitors (smaller, lighter, can run off batteries).

For field use, look for:
size, weight, can it run off batteries If this isn't too important, you could drag a larger monitor along.
resolution for checking focus (the manufacturers fudge their specs though, so I wouldn't rely on them) - lower-sized monitors typically have lower resolution, so you kind of have a contradiction here.
underscan (helps you spot boom or other things entering shot)

For studio use, larger monitors are better because they have higher resolution and they impress clients more.

For color accuracy, look for:
#1- blue gun/check/only - makes it easy to calibrate the monitor
#2/3 - gain (or user color temp) and bias controls - these are calibration controls that can make the monitor more accurate.
#2/3 - setting up your studio right - you don't want light hitting the face of the monitor; have the area behind the monitor lit to around D6500 color temperature. It should be grey too.
#4- SMPTE C / EBU phosphors
#5- Calibration device for the monitor, a higher-grade monitor (i.e. Sony BVM series)

Looking at your needs, you might figure out that you only need a basic field or studio monitor.
A basic field monitor would be something like:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old November 10th, 2005, 07:34 PM   #3
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Glenn, that's a great list. Now I have a goal for color temperature behind my monitor. But have you ever tried using a 300-line field monitor for editing? I have a Sony in our studio that one of our camera operators uses, and I brought it out once to try it with FCP. It reminded me very much of when I tried to do the same thing with a cheaper field monitor in school. Everything looks gritty, grainy and awful, and it's impossible to gauge color corrections and effects with it. It's basically good for framing and lighting, which shouldn't be surprising.

So Lucinda, all I can add to Glenn's list is to look for a monitor with at least 525 lines of resolution. I've never had a problem with one of those. For my personal preference, I would take a Sony monitor over a JVC any day. They are more expensive, but I find they are much easier to calibrate.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 11:37 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for the info! why does the 300 line screen on the monitor look so gritty and grainy? that's certainly something I don't want! I've heard that Sony and JVC are the best.

Lucinda
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Old November 11th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #5
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Glen,

This is a perhaps naive question, but since I haven't done this before...I have a couple of concerns about using the cam as a converter 1. can I use my little ZR40 instead of the Canon XL2?... 2. does it in any way tax the camcorder to use it as a converter? meaning: wear the heads out, etc.?
I assume that because the info is just passing through the cam that it won't put any wear on it?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #6
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Using the camera as a converter definitely does not cause any wear on the heads or the tape transport.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #7
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Thanks Zach. Then I might as well use one of my two Canons rather than purchasing a new converter.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
So Lucinda, all I can add to Glenn's list is to look for a monitor with at least 525 lines of resolution.
I don't think you can be sure that the monitors are rated accurately in terms of resolution. The manufacturer may be playing games with their numbers, even within a single manufacturer.

As far as the 525 figure goes, you may be confusing that with the 525 scanlines of the North American TV (scanline helps determine the vertical resolution). When manufacturers measure resolution, they do so for horizontal resolution (almost always). They almost always fudge the specs too.

As far as resolution goes, I suspect that Sony monitors are slightly higher resolution than JVC. For two reasons:
A- Sony monitors use the Trinitron / aperture grille design, which uses rectangular stripes for phosphors instead of little dots. This lets them increase the dot pitch a little bit, which helps resolution.
B- Sony monitors are a little more expensive.

Quote:
Everything looks gritty, grainy and awful, and it's impossible to gauge color corrections and effects with it.
Maybe it's what the footage looks like, or some problem in the equipment or signal path??

Quote:
But have you ever tried using a 300-line field monitor for editing?
Unfortunately not.
I'm not sure how well they work for studio/editing use. I might be able to do a test to see how well field monitors compare to larger studio monitors in terms of resolution. I think the difference is a lot less than the specs suggest.

Quote:
They are more expensive, but I find they are much easier to calibrate.
Any reason? One JVC monitor I've seen doesn't have knobs to let you quickly tweak the controls, although it would be an occaisional pain in the rear as you don't need to calibrate your monitor too often.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #9
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Hi Glenn,

Thanks for the info...I think I was referring when I said grainy to a portable dvd player I bought which definitely was money wasted since the res was awful and this one was supposed to be a good one.

Anyway: could you suggest any field and post monitors, would like to use for both? I've been looking and I could always use a suggestion or two.

Thanks so much!

lucinda

P.S. If I had had a good monitor I wouldn't have had the shimmering, flickering reds that I got shooting last week....I mean I could have lowered the red gain, etc., in my color settings CP settings on my XL2. So, I really need this piece of equipment, for sure.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #10
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Lucinda,
Take a look at:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...rch&Q=&ci=7021

Generally, price correlates with quality.
You don't need SDI, unless you have a camera that only outputs SDI.

The Sony PVM-9L2 versus the JVC TM-910SU
The Sony seems to have controls for bias and gain for further calibration of the monitor. For the JVC I think it's a service adjustment.

The Sony uses the aperture grille design, which means:
(con) Two thin horizontal grey lines in the picture at 1/4th and 3/4th picture height. This is a minor flaw.
(pro) Less specular reflections off the screen, because it's flatter. This is nice for field use.
(pro) Slightly better resolution I believe.
(pro) Slightly better contrast??

I would probably lean towards the Sony. If your budget is higher, maybe go for the Sony PVM-9L3. Sony claims 450 versus 250 lines of resolution (the difference I suspect is much much smaller).

I'd also look at buying batteries for the monitor, which will make it more useful.

Unfortunately I have experience with higher end and lower end gear, but not in the middle. The high-end monitors I've seen are all studio monitors which won't run off batteries. The lower-end stuff weren't even real broadcast monitors.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #11
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Thanks Glenn I'll check these out.

What do you think of this: I asked someone if 300 lines res was enough because I saw a JVC that sounded interesting on B&H.

are you referring to 300 lines? if so, no, that isn't good enough. you would want something that had more res than the XL2 which has a max of 525...

Should the monitor match the res of the Canon?
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Old November 12th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #12
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A little assinine, but the JVC actually specs 280 for that monitor.

The XL2 can't have more than 540 lines of horizontal resolution as that's the limit of the DV format. However, you can't compare these figures to each other because there are many ways to measure and inflate/deflate results.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #13
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Glenn,
I actually didn't know what the lines referred to, but I assumed it couldn't be scan lines because 300 wouldn't work even for DV (now I know - thanks). My disdain for 300 line monitors is subjective. The 300 line monitors I've used look bad, and the 525 line or higher monitors look good. Same thing with the JVCs. They have all the controls for calibrating, but even when I calibrated them, I wasn't happy with the results I got when I viewed the footage in other places. I also just generally don't like the look of the picture on the JVCs. I have always been happy with the Sonys. I have no manufacturing specs to prove either of these points.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #14
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Hate to keep pestering you both, but is there another less expensive alternative for the production monitors? As I mentioned, I purchased a portable dvd player and plugged that into my XL2, but the image looked horrid and it isn't much help. I don't want to purchase an on camera monitor because I want to use it for both post and on site work.

Is there another alternative? something that would give good res and picture/color, etc., that I could use in post and in the field?

Thanks so much for your imput, your a big help!

Lucinda
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Old November 13th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #15
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If Glenn says you can find a good 9" field monitor that will work for post then I would trust him over me. He clearly knows more on this subject. But based on my experience, I recommend that you demo whatever you buy. If you can avoid it, don't just pick something out of the B&H catalog without trying first.
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