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


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Old January 9th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #1
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What is an inexpensive field monitor?

I am trying to find out what the most inexpensive monitor would be. Whether LCD screen, laptop, or DVD player.
Any suggestions?
Thanks.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #2
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People have different ideas of inexpensive. For me it was a $150 LCD and a $15 battery pack.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #3
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I bought the Xenarc 700YV for about $300. 16:9 capable, pretty rugged, and a decent resolution for the $$$.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #4
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Closer to $100 the better.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #5
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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #6
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For now...

I use something similar to this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=172282

It is simply a portable TV that runs on batteries or adapter. While it's black and white, it has the video input and works great for framing the scene and at least seeing what it rougly will look like 4:3. Since it's so cheap you can modify it to your needs.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #7
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The Sony Vvega (some people think it's Wega) TVs are close to a production monitor in terms of internal construction. Try one of those.

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Old March 1st, 2006, 06:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
The Sony Vvega (some people think it's Wega) ...
heath
That's funny, all of the Sony websites also seem to think it's Wega...
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:36 PM   #9
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I was going to say... They do spell it with a "W", look at the urls when you click on VVega.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #10
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Don't!

Production monitors are great....when they're real. I tried for a couple years to get by with a ton of different "clever" solutions to monitor cheaply. Truth be told, in the end I spent WAY more money trying to get a solution that would both work and look professional enough to bring on a shoot, than if I had just bought a proper monitor in the first place. I tried sony consumer tvs - they look good but they aren't accurate or hi-rez by any stretch of the imagination.

I think the first thing you need to do is consider why you need the monitor in the first place. Is this for the field? Editing? Both? If it is for the field, who is it for, the camera op, the gaffers, or the producer/director? You'd be surprised by what you may actually "need" in the field. For framing and focus checking, you'd be silly to spend $100 on an LCD. Anything even close to that price range will disappoint you, I will absolutely guarantee it. In fact, below $1200, you'd probably be hard pressed to find an LCD that could even approximate close to the resolution of a low-end consumer DV cam. For lighting, use a combination of a good monitor and waveform/vectorscope. That's the only way to be 100% accurate with lighting.

For SD production, get a black and white monitor. Even the cheapest ($89 for a Marshall at B&H) B&W monitor will have FAR more resolution than a multi-hundred dollar color monitor. There's a Sanyo for like $114 that will do 800 lines. Try finding a price for that in a color monitor! If focus checking and portability and framing are your concerns, go black and white.

If color accuracy is your concern, multiply your budget by 30 for a decent LCD or 6 for a decent color monitor. Accurate, repeatable color is VERY difficult. At the bare minimum, get a monitor with a blue only function. This is EXTREMELY important for a field monitor. Tubes of any sort are not 100% repeatable if you move them. They also age. If color is your concern don't buy a used monitor, no matter how good a deal you can get, and get a blue gun function. People have all sorts of workarounds for the blue gun function, but in truth - if it's not convenient, you won't do it. If you don't recalibrate the monitor every time you move it, you won't be getting accurate, repeatable color. If you're not getting that....well why have an expensive color monitor?

Evaluate your needs and look at all your options before you buy. You're the only one who knows how you work, so find something that works for your shooting style. But from experience, I can tell you that in every single case, buy what you think you'll need later on, even if it's more. You'll be happier down the road...and if you choose to get out of that road, it's way easier to sell good gear than cheap gear... you'll make out better (and cheaper) in the end. Hope that helps!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #11
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Biggest thing is if you're shooting HD/HDV, you don't really want to use an SD/DV monitor--different color space. Your colors may not be accurate; HDV is 709, SD is 601.

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Old March 30th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #12
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for the money dollar to dollar, tube monitor is still the best, LCDs are not as bright in the field, and do not handle blacks very well in post. However, Sony no longer makes any field (9 inch) ac/dc tube monitors. stopped last year. and the POST only tubes should not be moved. Plus the cost$$$$$$$
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