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The View: Video Display Hardware and Software
Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old September 23rd, 2006, 10:06 AM   #1
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The best of the worst monitors...

So I tried using a dvd player, Initial's IDM-830, as a monitor at last night's football game. I fed it a composite input from my Sony HC3. I was pretty disappointed with the monitor's picture quality, especially on wide angle shots. It simply doesn't have the ability to resolve fine details but rather, gives the overall picture a "foggy" or "hazy" look. Close-ups are better, thank goodness.
I then compared it to Varizoom's 7" widescreen monitor and found that Varizoom's picture was somewhat sharper and revealed a little more detail on the wide shots. Enough to remove the hazy look. But at 3x the price ($140 vs. $475).
Now, my question is this--does anyone know of any other line of dvd player whose picture quality is better than Initial's, based on field experience? Or do all portable dvd players basically have the same limitations and the same look to them? Or is the next step to get a 10" screen and hope that the larger picture frame will compensate for the lack of resolution?
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Old September 25th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #2
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Lynne, keep in mind that whenever you convert DV to DVD you apply additional compression. A one-hour DVD has a maximum data content of 4.7 GB, while DV records at 25 Mb/sec. Divide the 25 by 8 to get a DV data rate of 3.1 MB/sec (bits to bytes), and multiply by 3600 seconds per hour and you find the data rate of DV to be 11,160 MB per hr, or 11.1 GB/hr. Thus, conversion to DVD applies an additional 2.4:1 compression (11.1 divided by 4.7). You can see this difference by recording a DV segment to DVD then playing it into a good TV via the component input jacks and comparing it to the DV source material played back by the camcorder into the TV via the "S" video input. The DV from the camcorder looks significantly better than the DVD material. In short, don't go through the DVD step for maximum quality on your monitor. The other problem is the LCD screen on the DVD player. It will never match a CRT or a better-quality LCD monitor screen.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #3
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Dont get blinded by specs, most of the cheapo monitors are not near as good as their CRT counterpart. I just upgraded from CRT to LCD and to get an on camera monitor and nice field monitor it cost me over $4k. I am selling off my CRT stuff and I find that the Sony 8" I was using which was technically lower to middle end is actually far superior to most of the lower to middle end LCDs...



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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #4
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Ash are there any decent CRT monitors you'd recommend below the $600 mark? I need something decent and have noticed as you mentioned that alot of those LCD monitors dont stand up to a CRT.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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The Sony 8" Monitors are good. I am selling one with a case and batteries so it is over $600 but you can find one without a case on eBay for $500 or so. If you need 16:9 make sure to get one that will do it.



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Old September 25th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #6
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90% of the country owns CRT TVs. I'd rather preview my work on what others will be using, and I don't plan to change until that statistic does.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #7
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Ben, I noticed in an old thread that you were using a cheap 7" ebay monitor which had svideo. Now you have the Xenarc 800. Which do you prefer for focusing? Thanks
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Old September 27th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #8
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Amw

I too would like to know. I saw that super cheap AMW dvd player advertised as having s-video inputs and couldn't believe it (nor could I get a straight answer from the guy who was selling it). I would figure that would give it the focusing edge, if it's true. Nevertheless, under time constraints I ended up buying the 10" Initial 1210. Hasn't gotten here yet (I hate it when ebay sellers go on business trips as their sales conclude) but I'm hoping the larger screen will simplify focusing and tracking issues for me.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #9
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I've ordered that 7" svideo monitor and I now have dv rack 2.0hd. My Brevis is on the way. After I've had a play I'll share my findings - particularly relating to monitoring focus
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Old September 29th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #10
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Good luck! I questioned one particular seller of that alleged s-video input dvd unit and (straining to understand his rather halting use of the english language) I determined that it really wasn't what he claimed it to be. It seems that it's like all the others--accepting composite video via a miniplug jack.
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