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Old August 17th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #1
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Apple Cinema 30' HD display as video monitor.

Hey,

Im considering getting an Apple cinema HD 30' inch display especially since the price just dropped by 500$.

I am wondering if I could hook this monitor up to a HDV camera and use it as a production monitor or also as an HDTV. I asume it would work fine as and HDTV with a DVI to DVI cable from the digital cable box. And I asume if I wanted to hook a camera up to it I could get a DVI to "componet" cable adaptor for like 30 bucks.

So any know if they have tried this?
I dont know where to ask this question so I guess this might be the place where someone would know this...
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #2
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I'm not sure that the 30" screen makes sense for what you want to do. I haven't used one myself (I have the 23" Cinema Display), but it needs a special graphics card and I'm not sure that a cable box will drive it. Aside from that, I'm also not sure that the colorspace would be correct. AFAIK, TV and computer DVI interfaces use different colorspaces; I have an LCD screen which lets you choose either via a menu option.

I also don't think you can get a simple $30 cable to connect to an HDV camera. I don't know what a DVI to composite cable is, but it doesn't sound like something that would do what you want because composite video is sort of at the bottom of the heap in terms of quality (worse than s-video or component video) and it's only standard definition. I believe there are some (fairly expensive) converter boxes which would do what you want, but it probably makes sense to buy a monitor with component video input if that's what you want.

I'm moving this thread to our monitors forum since it really isn't about Macs so much as HD monitoring. Perhaps others will have some experiences to share.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 01:59 AM   #3
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I meant Componet. I have no idea how I managed to say composite when I meant COMPONET. -the Red Green Blue cable. stupid brain.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 10:19 AM   #4
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Nevertheless, I don't think it's gonna work for you. For one thing, the resolution is actually too high for HD. So you would need to do some sort of external scaling because AFAIK the screen itself can't do that. I think it will make a lot more sense just to use the 30" screen on your computer and get another screen for HDV monitoring. Or if that doesn't work on your budget, get a screen from one of the other manufacturers like Dell or Gateway which have component inputs as well as DVI. You will see discussion of these in the monitors forum.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #5
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Besides all the reasons Boyd has just given, the adapters made for this are $1500, not $30.

Both Blackmagic and AJA make component to DVI adapters, and they're not simple cables. They're little tiny boxes with PowerPC processors in them.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
They're little tiny boxes with PowerPC processors in them.
They're probably FPGAs (or ASICs). Wikipedia has information on them.

It's sort of the same idea in that there's a computer inside there. However, they are generally specialised to do one thing (convert video). Because of the specialisation, they are much more powerful at that task than a general CPU and/or consumer less power.

I believe the pricing on the Blackmagic units is somewhere around seven hundred dollars.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 01:49 AM   #7
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I know thats what usually would be used (and probably what AJA does), but there's multiple sources out there stating the Decklink unit actually runs a PowerPC, including a Graeme Natress review.

However, I doubt it's any of the PPC units that were ever used in Macs. As I understand it, the PPC family is pretty big and covered some embedded applications.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #8
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Hmm the Decklink site does state "HDLink includes a built-in Power PC processor allowing automatic adjustment of native display resolutions using VESA E-EDID1.3".

Anyways, I wouldn't know what's in it. In practice, you'd probably just look at its features and how much electricity it consumes.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 07:57 AM   #9
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Another big problem is that the 30" display requires a "dual-link" DVI connector, which is why it takes a powerful video card to drive them. If you were to plug a 30" display into any normal DVI equipped PC or Mac, you would only get half-resolution (I know, I tried). So I imagine if you plugged it into any other type of DVI connector (DVD player, etc), if it even worked, it would look horrible.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:53 AM   #10
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To monitor HD on an LCD display (without spending the money on proper production LCD monitors like the Sonys or Panasonics) I would be more inclined to towards the 24" Samsung 244T. It will let you connect your camera directly to the panel, it's DVI connection is HDCP compliant so it's future-proof, and it does have a nice image. The Cinema Displays don't have enough contrast for video; on paper, the 244T is slightly better in that department, but in use it seems to make a signicant difference.
Here's a review:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?art=2662
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