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Old May 2nd, 2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Video Preview for HD Color Correction Advice

I'm about to invest in equipment to improve my video preview options in Vegas 8, and soon, version 9. My current solution is using Windows Secondary monitor, feeding HDMI to a 1920 x 1080 computer monitor.

I know this is not the best solution, and am wondering what other professional Vegas users are doing to get correct ATSC signal to a monitor, for color correction and preview purposes, without breaking the bank. I've looked at broadcast monitors on the B & H Video website, and they range from $4,000 all the way up into the tens of thousands. I'm looking for a solution around $2,000.

My first thought is to try a Black Magic Intensity, and feed the HDMI to one of the new Samsung LED-backlit LCD televisions. Given the huge improvement in contrast ratio to old LCDs, it seems like it would be a good compromise between my current setup and the financially out-of-reach professional broadcast solutions.

Thoughts? Advice?
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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Ah, getting color correct HD out of Vegas was a pain in the backside for me. Intensity is fidgety with most codecís. SDI cards are expensive and so are the monitors that use SDI inputs. Using the secondary monitor function to an LCD computer or television display just didnít cut it and I found colors never really translated well to other monitors.

In the end I went back to basics. Proxies! If its good enough for the pros its good enough for regular Joes!

I use Vasstís $50 Gearshift. I make DV proxies from most/any HD source material. It generates correct color space proxies that I edit with. I have a firewire to component out PCI card that plugs into a standard definition Sony PVM CRT monitor. My colors translate perfectly to other TVs, be they CRT, LCD or plasma.

My work flow is to film in HDV, capture and convert to Cineform (because it holds color correction better, and FX much better than HDV), at the same time I make DV proxies. I then edit in DV to completion including color correction using Magic bullet looks and Colorista. When I am ready to render, I switch back to HD and render! Gearshift is great in that you can very very quickly change from HD to DV while editing if you want to check on titles or lower 1/3s etc. Öbut I almost never do until render time.

I have an HD LCD tv monitor that I use with my nvidia HD out card when I a client comes by. But other than that it never gets used. (I can never trust video cards video outputs..)

One beautiful thing about editing with DV on a quad core workhorse is - its fast!! Unless Iím color correcting using magic bullet looks, DV previews at Best Ė full rarely drop frames.

In fact Iím in the process putting a new workstation together and Gearshift is already in the plans!

Spend your $2000 on Gearshift, some kind of component out firewire card, and the rest on a pro SD CRT monitor! And youíll have a killer color correct workstation.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:37 AM   #3
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I would not spend all that money on a monitor, my reason is that most people don't have their TV's setup correctly in the first place. I preview my work on multiple TV brands to ensure consistency, for color accuracy I trust only "Video Scopes" Vectorscope, Waveform, Histogram, RGB Parade. I would love a monitor that offered real-time previews to Video Scopes however like you pointed out they cost $4k up.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nicholas de Kock View Post
I would not spend all that money on a monitor, my reason is that most people don't have their TV's setup correctly in the first place.
This is where we differ as I never edit without a properly set up CRT beside me.
I make sure that it looks good when it leaves my edit suite.
I have no control over the way other folks have their TVs set up but I sleep better at night knowing that the image is the best I can make it.

BTW, a decent CRT doesn't have to be expensive.
The monitor I use (a a JVC TM-H150CGU) was under $600 Canadian ($465 U.S.) which isn't a lot of money for peace of mind.
Set it up according to the Color Bars and How To Use 'em tutorial and you'll sleep as well as I do :-)
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #5
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Remember you can always preview via firewire and it will downconvert to SD automatically. So you could have HD on the timeline and preview SD for color correction purposes without having to render out proxies.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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As usual, Edward can see the forest for the trees :)

Yep, I guess I got so use to using Gearshift I forgot about Vegasís ability to firewire preview any content. I remember trying it way back when I started using HDV, m2t files and it was painfully slowÖ so I got gearshiftÖ guess my workflow is three years old now!

I just tried it again using Cineformís Vegas installed codec and it seems to slightly decrease performance. I work in PAL (on a quadcore, 4GB ram): without firewire preview I get 25 solid frames, with firewire preview Iím getting 20-21. Nothing to worry about though :)

I think a new workstation, with I7 CPUs and more available ram should do quite well without Gearshift. Edward you saved me $50. Sorry Vasst!

And I must agree with Mike, a good monitor is a must, and doesnít have to be expensive. I paid about 500 hundred for my Sony and itís perfect.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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I prefer the JVC over the comparable Sony because it's cheaper and has much higher resolution.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Sorry if this is a newb question...but what effect would viewing HD content over the firewire-to-SD connection have on color? Aren't HD and SD different color spaces? I have to admit I'm not sure I really understand how color space differences would show up.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Clark Peters View Post
Sorry if this is a newb question...but what effect would viewing HD content over the firewire-to-SD connection have on color? Aren't HD and SD different color spaces? I have to admit I'm not sure I really understand how color space differences would show up.
Pete
No, thatís a great question! ...I donít have a answer:)

But, one of the reasons I initially used Gearshift was that when it makes proxies from HD sources it adjusts the color space accordingly.

Now you got me wondering how Vegas deals with color space when HD material is down converted to SD through firewire?
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Old May 5th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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From Glenn Chan's excellent site:

Explanation of levels and the different color spaces used in Sony Vegas;

Color Spaces in Vegas 8.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:13 AM   #11
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Thanks Mike,
Glenn is a wealth of info he is!

Looks like Vegas applies the necessary color space when outputting via firewire. Good to know!
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