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Old March 27th, 2003, 05:08 PM   #1
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Buying monitor / inexpensive TV

This weekend I'm probably going to buy a small TV to set up beside my roomie's projector (getting worn out). I'd also like to use it as an output monitor beside my CRT at my editing station when not using it for TV watching. What features should I be looking for?
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Old March 27th, 2003, 06:28 PM   #2
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Hi Keith,

If you are looking for a standard TV (and not a video-only monitor) that performs exceptionally well for the money, I'd look for one of the 13" WEGA sets with S-video. I'm not sure if there is anything else in that price range that offers a better image.

If anybody knows of anything else, do chime in.

- don
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Old March 27th, 2003, 07:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the recommendation, Don. I'll put that on my list of sets to look at.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 07:45 PM   #4
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I've heard others say the same thing, that the Sony WEGA, while not a monitor, can be used as a low cost substitute for home editing systems.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 10:52 PM   #5
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I bought the cheapest crap-a$$ TV I could find. A 13" Citizen from Superstore for about $130cdn.

I figured if it looks good on it, it'll look good on anything. :)

Not to be used for colour correction of course....
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Old March 28th, 2003, 01:45 AM   #6
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I'm using a Panasonic I got at Circtuit city for $86. The only problem is that when making adjustments to brightness, contrast, color (like the other guy said), it's useless--I have to go back to the preview window in Vegas.
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Old March 28th, 2003, 09:05 AM   #7
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Unless it's very new, the Sony 13" WEGA does NOT have s-video. I know because I just shopped around extensively about 2 months ago. You don't get s-video until you get into the more expensive line with the 20" model. The lower priced 20" WEGA does not have s-video either.

I got one of the better 20" models (I think it's the FV series, but not sure) and it is very nice, but certainly not the quality of a broadcast monitor. Also, FWIW, none of the smaller models have a 16:9 option either. You have to go up to the 27" WEGA to get that. I've got one of these too and the image is very nice.

I like the Sony's but they are pretty expensive and don't seem to be discounted anywhere. I got a 13" Sony WEGA a couple years ago. That smaller screen was really a POS. The image quality was way inferior to the larger Sony's, and no s-video. Even worse, something went wrong inside the set after about a year causing the image to get all distorted. Personally I would avoid the 13" WEGA. If you want a smaller screen there should be comparable sets from other companies that are cheaper.
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Old March 28th, 2003, 09:33 AM   #8
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I know JVC has a 14" like Sony's Wega. Circuit City has them for $169 at the moment and has S-video. I looked a few months ago for smaller TV's with S-video. And Boyd is right, I guess Sony tries to milk the cash anyway they can.
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Old March 28th, 2003, 09:39 AM   #9
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A couple of months ago Best Buy had 20" Sony WEGA's for $200 with rebate.
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Old March 28th, 2003, 10:16 AM   #10
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Hi Boyd,

Thank you for pointing this out regarding no S-Vid input on the 13" model. I wouldn't know for sure, as I don't own one. Unless I am mistaken, I do believe that Keith was looking for more of an everyday monitor and not so much of a broadcast quality monitor. For everyday viewing of cable, SDTV, DVD, etc and for seeing what my images will look like on most any other person's television set, I use a Sony PVM-2530 25", which does have an S-Vid input. Even though this monitor is over 10 years old, it does have a really sweet, rich and detailed image and it's still hard to find anything at Best Buy that has a better looking image for viewing standard NTSC or S-Video. Kinda wish I had the larger PVM-3230. Movies would look great on that.

For the field, I use a Sony PVM-8045Q which is a broadcast quality field monitor with SMPTE C phosphors. Very high res and very accurate color.

For the edit suite, I will use the PVM-8045Q for logging and such, but when it comes to making critical decisions during editing, it's either a PVM-14M4U or PVM20M4U. For color correcting, I wouldn't really use anything else than a PVM monitor with SMPTE C phosphors. While SMPTE C phosphors may not seem as punchy as the more prevalent (and affordable) P-20 phosphors, most colorists would agree that if you want the most accurate reference monitor for color space, rely on SMPTE C phosphors with adjustable color temporature controls. The PVM models I mentioned above have this feature (the older PVM-2530 does not provide color temp adjust).

If you want PVM broadcast-quality performance, but cannot afford the cost, take a look at the 14 and 20" models offered by JVC. JVC offers an excellent 14" monitor (no tuner) which includes UnderScan, 16:9, Blue Gun Only, high res and S-Vid input for around $430. This monitor uses standard P-20 phosphors. Interestingly, JVC is no longer manufacturing monitors with the more accurate SMPTE C phosphors (this according to JVC). One JVC rep told me that many people simply like the "punchier" (but less accurate) P-20 phosphor look. I guess that JVC figures that Sony has the higher end broadcast monitor market pretty well covered, so perhaps they are targeting those who do not require SMPTE C.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday!!!
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Old March 28th, 2003, 05:24 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bill Pryor : A couple of months ago Best Buy had 20" Sony WEGA's for $200 with rebate. -->>>

Just to clarify, the 20" Sony WEGA KV-20FV300 has s-video and component video input. It lists for $350. I have one of these and to my eyes it's about as nice a 20" consumer television as you can find. So far as I know, this is the cheapest TV in the WEGA line which has s-video input.

The 20" Sony WEGA KV-20FS100 does NOT have s-video but DOES have component input. It lists for $300. Other than s-video, the main difference is the cabinet style and speakers, and an audio effect they call "WOW".

Either of these would be a good deal for $200 if they are new and not "open box". I guess it was January when I got mine and I shopped Best Buy, Circuit City, Tweeter, Sears, Sony Website, and various other stores and online merchants. It surprised me that none of them were offering discounts, so I bought it from the little hi-fi/video place on the corner to support the local merchant :-)
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Old March 29th, 2003, 12:17 AM   #12
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Toshiba has a 14" flat screen with S Video and composite in. Future Shop has it for $250. You may get it cheaper elsewhere.
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Old March 29th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #13
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Buying monitor / inexpensive TV

I'm guessing that most of us who use a standard TV for monitoring have a VCR hooked to it. Am I wrong in assuming that with S-video to the VCR and coaxial cable to the TV the image improvement is carried to the TV, regardless of what inputs it has?
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Old March 30th, 2003, 07:06 AM   #14
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S-Video has two major benefits, increased resolution and reduced (possibly eliminated) dot crawl. The increase in resolution (S 400 lines, VHS 240 lines, Cable 330 lines) is carried no matter how you hook it up. An exception would be a bad cable etc. The reduced dot crawl and subsequent improved color is only achieved if the separate Y/C signal is maintained. Thus, your use of the cable connection negates the benefit of S-Video.

Better quality monitors (TV sets) use comb filters to separate the Y/C in the composite connection (RCA, Cable). Depending on the quality of the comb filter you may not notice much difference in the picture quality.

If the monitor or TV will be used for production work (even as an evaluation monitor) I would stick with Sony. Iím not a big Sony fan, but most people seem to prefer the colors etc. of Sony monitors. My clients are used to seeing the colors, brightness, contrast etc of Sony monitors. I donít need to throw them a curve by using something other than Sony.
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Old March 30th, 2003, 07:37 AM   #15
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Buying monitor / inexpensive TV

Thanks for that explanation, Jeff. So my hook up results in improved VHS dumps but not better colour on the TV in use to monitor them.
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