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


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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #1
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camera mounted LCD for JVC GY-HD100

Can anyone recommend a low-budget (sub $1000) small LCD for mounting on the HD100 that will give a better picture than the viewfinder/LCD on board and also be reasonably useful for reviewing footage? We will be out in the field in rural Russia for several weeks and cannot carry our 9" Sony CRT with us. We have no idea when we'll be able to evaluate our footage properly, so anything that can give us a bit of a boost with picture evaluation on and off camera would be great.

Thanks.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #2
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I am interested in this as well. I thought a guy posted something on here a while back about a 7 inch LCD for about 250 bucks that actually did a pretty good job! Probably B.S. but, who knows...
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Old June 13th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony Michael Wilson
Can anyone recommend a low-budget (sub $1000) small LCD for mounting on the HD100 that will give a better picture than the viewfinder/LCD on board and also be reasonably useful for reviewing footage? We will be out in the field in rural Russia for several weeks and cannot carry our 9" Sony CRT with us. We have no idea when we'll be able to evaluate our footage properly, so anything that can give us a bit of a boost with picture evaluation on and off camera would be great.

Thanks.
Anthony we've just been down this road and when I get a chance I'm going to do a post on the number of choices that I made regarding a complete portable production setup (crane, dolly, lights, monitor, caes, power etc.)

We've got two films going this summer. One mostly on fixed location where Sony 19" HD monitors on stands are great.

The other project is for the state of NY and requires a second unit on the road for a few months with any and all assets..but portable enough for mostly outdoor shooting.

The only solution is the Marshall V-R70P-HDA at $1350 at B&H and ZGC I think too. Do whatever you need to spring for the extra $350 above your limit. This is the only monitor for under $4k that you'll find that has component in and nicely, even has a IDX V-mount on the back.

It does 720p HD with a 1.2 megapixel screen and converts analog to 10bit digital, has bars and blue screen and even better has HD component pass through so you can use it on camera or on a jib arm and still send an HD component signal out to a large director's monitor.

It's rated to run 4-6 hours on a 50WH brick and the E7S is a 70WH so it should be pretty ideal for location work.

I looked at all options for a while on the gear for my 2nd unit, and as far as LCD monitor, this was the first thing I decided on as a must have. The bottom line is that any of the other options are too low-res and even worse will only take a composite in which simply looks like crap.

So even those attractive inexpensive 7" hi-res options that a lot of people are tossing around fall flat because they only handle composite in...and the power options are limited.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #4
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Thanks Jim. I've been looking at a lot of options on the net and - unfortunately based only on theory and not practice - I can only agree with you. The native resolution on lower cost LCD monitors is very poor. Some manufacturers quote this nonsense RGB sub-sampling to hide the fact that the vertical res. is about 250 pixels. You're right that composite in only is a limiting factor. Power options are also a problem. I was planning to use the D-Tap from my IDX kit.

I agree that the Marshall unit is probably the best thing out there - but I really can't stretch to the extra outlay. Shame!
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Old June 15th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony Michael Wilson
Can anyone recommend a low-budget (sub $1000) small LCD for mounting on the HD100 that will give a better picture than the viewfinder/LCD on board and also be reasonably useful for reviewing footage? We will be out in the field in rural Russia for several weeks and cannot carry our 9" Sony CRT with us. We have no idea when we'll be able to evaluate our footage properly, so anything that can give us a bit of a boost with picture evaluation on and off camera would be great.

Thanks.
Here's a low budget "hang on the tripod" option.

Philips makes three sizes of portable 16x9 LCD screen DVD players that have video in ports. The players are low cost, from $200 to $340 dollars and range from 7" to 10.2" in screen size. The included rechargable battery is alleged to last 5 hours playing a DVD so they might last longer just as a monitor. They come with a carry case and a strap mount holder intended for the head rest of a car seat but it can be adapted to hang on the camera's tripod.

I have a 10.2" model, the PET1002/37. The image is about thirty percent better then the viewfinder on the HD-100. Contrast is better but not near a CRT. The color is acceptable but still nowhere near a CRT. I used it for one outdoor shoot but since everything was handheld, the unit was only used to check footage at intervals in a car. Bright sunlight would probably wash it out. I used it on an overcast, rainy day and the picture was watchable. Indoors the unit works well as long as video lights are not shining directly on it.

So for image adjustment it's not much of an improvement but for content viewing or an alternate viewfinder it's cheap, light and better deal then the few other portable DVD players that accept video inputs. And it can feed a video projector or RGB monitor. The $250 dollar LCD option mentioned in another post is from a small company with very limited contact info. The units are consumer grade just like the Philips. They do offer a camera mount which the Philips can not do. I have no experience with the Marshall LCDs outside but indoors they have much better images than the Philips. $1000 dollars better? Probably.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:55 AM   #6
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liliput does one 8inch model that accept y/c input.
all the others hires (800x600) are composite only, but it still looks good on my FX1. for the price anyway , you will not find better
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Old June 16th, 2006, 06:41 AM   #7
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I have found interesting low budget options from Nebtek, Teletest, Datavideo and Murraypro. All have CVBS input (no component) but some look interesting. Of course, the only way to be sure they are an improvement over the built in LCD would be to test them out properly. The most promising monitors, though, come from Transvideo - a French company. They are proper video assist devices with things like frame line generators and underscan/full scan. However, they are about the same price as the Marshall. I am going to use a very low cost LCD together with a tiny waveform monitor.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony Michael Wilson
Can anyone recommend a low-budget (sub $1000) small LCD for mounting on the HD100 that will give a better picture than the viewfinder/LCD on board and also be reasonably useful for reviewing footage? We will be out in the field in rural Russia for several weeks and cannot carry our 9" Sony CRT with us. We have no idea when we'll be able to evaluate our footage properly, so anything that can give us a bit of a boost with picture evaluation on and off camera would be great.
Thanks.
Here's a "no brand" unit I picked up in China (Hong Kong). It is supposed to be 640x480 but looks more like 480x320 when it is in 16:9 mode (4:3 / 16:9LB switchable).

Nice thing about it, is that it also flips the image (upside down and/or mirror), and has a very long life battery (AC and DC chargers and adapters included, plus a 4 pin adapter). It's definitely sharp enough to set the back focus. Had I known how good they were, I would have purchased a lot more than two.

They had about a zillion same looking units, all with some differences and prices (PAL, 4:3 only, no flip, a wide screen version, HD/720P - but no flip, etc.)

Somebody has to be importing these units. It would be a nice find for the all the DVInfo forum members.

http://www.enzogiobbe.com/tft.html
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Old June 18th, 2006, 09:03 AM   #9
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Looking for a super low budget solution for a field monitor for my ordered HD100a, I made a risky option and bought in B&H (via a friend who lives in NYC) a 10,2`screen DVD player with composite video in, from a unknown firm called Initial.

Initial IDM-1210 10.2" Price : $ 219.95

It`s not a LCD to put over the camera, but, for my surprise, despite the poor dynamic range (very high contrast), the monitoring quality is a lot above my expectation, being the colour fidelity and resolution is very good.
I don`t know about the resistence/toughness of the material regarding field work.
Best regards
Ron
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Old June 24th, 2006, 09:35 PM   #10
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Low cost LCD solution

I did a lot of research and bought several pieces of equipment and have come up with an interesting way to solve it. I modified a commercial box that takes component 720p (also 480p & 1080p) and offers a two VGA computer monitor type outputs as well as a flow through set of Component out. I needed to modify the box power consumption and regulate the voltage and isolate the ground so that it all could power off a Anton bauer or IDX 12v power tap which with high output batteries actually can give anywhere from 11.8 to over 16 volts when battery is fresh. This box is origianally made to convert signals for HD projectors. It does not convert the 720p signal to anything else, it just passes it through and there a several pin settings to put the ground (green) sync either separate or combined like the JVC signal. I then purchased a wonderful little LCD super bright that is made for car navigation systems and/or computer on-board car, and the beauty is that it has built in scalling features that take the 1280X720p signal and scales it to it's native resolution which is 800X480 in a 16X9 aspect 7" wide screen. This is good enough definitely to pull focus off of and perfect as an on-board as well as the system offers the pass through of another signal to a directors monitor. There is one problem I have encountered and have been unable to fix: The colors on the VGA converted signal to the LCD are green heavy and unfortunately the monitor has Phase, but not a wide enough one to correct and there is no Hue adjustment to push it closer- So it can't be used to judge perfect color- Not that you would want or expect such a thing on a 7" on-board. The good thing is that the flow through component signal that you could send to a directors monitor is color safe and is not affected. For me to make another of these rigs, it would cost me in the neighborhood of $600+ wiring/modifying, so I was thinking of selling them for about $900. The box and monitor use separate power cables but power on mine from the same IDX block. It takes almost no power at all and the batteries only have lost maybe 20% of their lasting time. I mounted the box actually in the back and have made it very ergonomic for plugging in/out. ( I could send some pictures if on interest) I have a long VGA extension so it can be used on a crane or as a portable directors monitor. If anyone is interested then shoot me a line back here or at morpheusfilm@hotmail.com
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Old July 1st, 2006, 12:01 PM   #11
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low cost lcd/dvd monitor player

I recently purchased the Macvision 7 inch,16:9 ratio LCD screen/DVD player with two parallel video inputs and two parallel heaphone outputs. It has an audio transmitter with three frequency choices as well as. Runs on car cigarette lighter output/AC-12 volt DC adaptor or optional lithium battery.
Or, find a soundman/director who has his own firewire lcd input from the camera to make focusing decisions if you're too busy being 'creative'.
On sale at Canadian Tire $149 Can.
These are dated figures but feature films would typically spend $150,000 of a $10 million production cost to view a print of the daily shot 35 footage to make colour and focusing decisions otherwise a production is seriously devalued.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #12
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Hi Guys,

Rob from NEBTEK here...
About 18 months ago we bought a Marshall V-R-70P-HDA as a substitiute for the viewfinder on our Sony Z1U camera. I was immediately impressed by the sharpness, color and low price for an HD LCD. When we checked into the specifications of the unit, we discovered that it only drew 600Ma at 12V. I immediately had one of our technicians remove the IDX battery plate (because I didn't want the extra expense of buying all new batteries and a charger), and wire it with one of our Lithium-ion battery adapters. My Sony NPF-970 batteries are now powering the unit for 4-5 hours depending on the conditions.

Once our modification was seen on set, orders started pouring in form everywhere. We are capable of modifying the Marshall V-R-70P-HDA with either Canon, Sony, JVC or Panasonic lithium-ion battery adapters. The modification allows the end user to swap back and forth between the IDX plates and the NEBTEK Li-battery plate of their choice.

This modification has made my life much easier on set and I didn't have to shell out the $3000 - $4000 for the Astro, Bolland or Panasonic HD onboard camera monitors. You can check out the modification at the following link...
http://www.nebtek.com./proddetail.ph...lVR-70P-HDA-LI

I hope this helps all the techs looking for a low cost HD solution for their cameras.

All the Best,
Rob DuBree

NEBTEK
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Old August 14th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #13
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I've seen some monitors with 1440 horizontal x 234 vertical dots, or 800 x 234...

Is that enough to get rock-solid focus?
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Old August 14th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #14
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Hi Barry,
Technically you shouldn't use anything less than 1024x768 (XGA) for focusing, or Panasonic's BT-LYH900W monitor ($4500).

The Marshall unit's 800X600 will allow you to use it as a focusing tool under ideal conditions, but low contrast environments will require the viewfinder. Anything less than this and you don't have a focusing tool... you have a framing and composition tool only.

All the Best!
-Rob
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Old August 17th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #15
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Resolution of Marshall monitor

If you look at the specs of the Marshall monitor, it is actually 800X480 - Here is a link to tech specs:
http://www.lcdracks.com/monitors/vr70phda.html

While it would be best to have higher res for critical focus, I have found it to be quite useable for precise work wether day exterior or night interior, particularly if the operator is using the focus assist in the viewfinder to evaluate what the first AC is doing with manual focus using the monitor (when using the JVC HD-100). I've also used it on the port-a-jib, and various steadicam devices. In fact the highest res on-board that I know of is the ERG series which only bumps the res to 960X540 and costs around $3800. The only way to get more res is to increase the screen size to 8.5" or more and then the on-board becomes heavy and unwieldly to use, especially for run and gun. My AC's have been pulling focus with 800X480 for years with the varicam and it's never been a real issue- usually it's more about brightness and contrast when working DAY EXT. As I posted earlier, there are several new LCD TFT monitors out there now that can do 800X480
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