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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:55 AM   #1
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Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Hi everyone!

I uploaded my first youtube clip yesterday. I noticed that the colors was quite different from how I see it from my home monitor...


I am about to order one of thosed cheap (230, $350) korean 2560x1440p IPS monitors from ebay.uk.
They have gotten great reviews from thousand of happy people..

But can I color calibrate it with a cheap device under $99, does that really work consider other devices costing thousands of dollars??

Or maybe can I just calibrate it with my eyes? :/

/happy editing! /Kim
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Old April 7th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Oh, buddy, we're about to get into a whole thing here.

Others will chime in, but I'll start off.

I want what you want. . .to know that what I'm looking at at home is what others will see. Unfortunately, this costs a billion dollars.

Not literally.

But a few key things are that, no, a cheap monitor will not suffice. Depending on your destination, you are looking at a $3000+ (for new gear) investment in a high quality monitor that can be properly calibrated and has even response across the screen (as opposed to some areas being slightly discolored or darker/lighter than others.

You may need a special in/out (i/o for short) box to feed that monitor from your computer so that you're looking at the actual video signal from your editing program and NOT a clone of your computer screen (which introduces improper color space issues. . .you WANT the actual video signal)

Another thing is that you want your properly calibrated monitor to be specific to your intended distribution destination. Doing stuff only for the web? A properly calibrated high end PC/computer monitor is what you want. For TV/Blu Ray? An HD monitor capable of displaying REC 709 (the standard for the HD colorspace), Two different color spaces, (except in a few cases where the computer monitors get real expensive), two different things, not interchangeable.

Calibration itself --- I think the spyders are supposed to be OKAY, not great. BUT, I believe, only for computer monitors. No good with an HDTV. And you want the next level up from the $99 one at minimum. Maybe some folks can chime in here, this has always confused me a little. With an HDTV (again, for broadcast or blu ray work), I believe the proper way to do is to have it professionally calibrated by folks that do that for a living. Running color bars, etc. is considered "poor man's" calibration and will get you in the neighborhood, but not to Accuracy Blvd. (HAAAAAAAAAA!)

Lastly, the room itself needs to be "calibrated' (WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?). Yeah. There's a whole world to this, but the long and short of it is you want neutral grey walls that don't get your eyes biased toward a certain color from being in there for hours, which can throw off you judgment and cause you to add too much blue or orange etc. to your color grading.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel. . .I found good things said about a relatively old (i.e. now cheap) CRT monitor called the Sony PVM 14L5 that is HD and takes a component or SDI input (depending on how it's set up, some don't have the SDI card). They can be had for $2-400 on ebay. Then you need, again, the i/o card. With this monitor you can get the component out ones made by a few companies for somewhere in the $3-500 range. So that's your "cheap" color correction setup.

Again, the above would be for broadcast/blu ray/something NOT the web/computers. For web/computers, need a nice computer monitor. Don't THINK you need the i/o box for this but again I get a little hazy here. Seems like if you were grading for the web you'd want to see a computer signal and not a true NTSC/PAL/other video signal.

This is all from my own research and questions on boards like this.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Wow, thank you so much for such a extended and indepth answer =D

I was hoping one could say to me, that the only thing I had to do was to download a special freeware app that could autocalibrate the new monitor to match an $3000 monitor...

Because this is just an hobby and im not doing this for living, it is "OK" if it isnt even across the screen (color, brightness). Because I bought my first dslr with video capability 8month ago, I had to spend alot on new lenses, gears and a new computer setup..

But who knows, maybe in the future the budget will allow for a greater monitor in that class...

And I rather not go with an old CRT monitor... who know, it might just die without any warranty!! =/
And Im from Sweden, with a population of 9 millions, you hardly find something like that on ebay or the swedish version of it (Blocket.se).

And yes, my render output is mainly for personal (computer monitors, lcd, plasma TV's) and also for the web...

So the results of having something like this:
"[Yamakasi] Q270 LED SE Black 27" Monitor S-IPS 2560X1440" and maybe a "Spyder"
Usable?

By the way, saw you where from Houston... Im from Sweden but year 2011, I visit Houston Texas with my wife. Great place to be at! was around 102 degrees the whole week we were there.. =)
Walking around in the memorial park, driving around in the big city, shopping, it was great!
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Old April 7th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Kim, Josh is right, technically, on all counts, but it does not have to be overly complicated. As he says there are monitors that will work that are reasonable.

I have researched the heck out of monitors over months of time, and I always come back to Dell for value and best compromised between cost and quality.

I'm referring to the Dell Ultrasharp models, not the lower end models. The cheaper ones are cheap for a reason. HP, Samsung, etc. make some higher resolution models also, Dell is not the only game in town, for sure, but I always end up there.

I purchased from Printersplusmore (a vendor on Ebay) twice and extremely happy with my refurbished 30" monitor. I've had mine for 2 years and no issues.

Good luck.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Whether a monitor is good enough for your needs is down to what your needs are. If you want total accuracy then i stand by my previous post. If you want something "close enough", different story. But my research has indicated that unlike video cams and mics, there is no "prosumer" option with color correction monitors. Youre either MAYBE 70ish percent accurate or youre in the hole for a bunch of money. The crt WAS my cheap option. This is the route im going next time i have to grade an hd project. Sorry to hear you cant get ebay over there.

Yes, those dells supposed to be great...IF its for computers/web.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #6
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Jeff, thnx for the input. Going to lookup dell's ultrasharp models.

Josh, I might expressed myself bad, but ofcourse I have the option to buy from ebay. But I meant that it would be to clumpsy or to expensive to ship a big monitor from overseas. It wouldnt be worth it. The assortment of used monitors is limit in Sweden, because Its only living 9millions here...

Jeff: you said you had an 30" monitor, what is the resolution?

Josh: What specc do you use (monitor) ?
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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

A $3,000 monitor would be swell, especially if you could convince all Youtube viewers to do the same thing and stop watching your work on $70 TN monitors with no calibration.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

And there's "the rub" - you can calibrate YOUR system(s), but once you "broadcast", you never know WHAT the end user will see!

In that sense, unless you've got a 'big budget", a "decent" modern monitor and some basic calibration device probably will at least get you in the "ballpark". You should at least get OK skin tones and general color balance, you may need to tweak the brightness and contrast for different delivery options, but the color should be usable and at least somewhat close to what you intend to present.

You should consider all the things Josh mentioned, including the "room" you're mixing in, the lighting, and such.

IMO a "cheap" calibration device is probably better than none at all - if you get your system "close", you should see that there are lots and lots of varying degrees of image quality, and hopefully can learn to dial in your footage to match the "good" end of that spectrum...
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Old April 7th, 2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

as written - you might calibrate yours, but you certainly can't your viewers ;-(

get the cheap ips monitor or a dell, and a spyder. calibrate with spyder relative to price of monitor, ie, the cheaper the monitor, the more often you calibrate.

a few years ago i bought relatively cheap viewsonic ips's. calibrate every month (not that i've ever noticed any drift mind you!!) and had chance to compare to serious sony. still happy at saving around $2,5k
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Old April 7th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #10
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

No worries. If it's unfeasible to ship, it's unfeasible to ship. Many of those auctions come with free shipping but that may be in the continental US.

I'm not sure I understand the question about what spec monitor I use?

I was planning on getting the CRT/box setup I mentioned in my first post, but I don't have it yet. That's still about 6-$800 that I don't want to spend 'til I have a project that I need to grade. Until a recent project, I'd only ever messed with SD footage! Then I did an HD live action piece last year. I used my SD setup even though it's "wrong" figuring it, like they said, "in the ballpark." I also went really conservative with my "grade", bascially just adding a little contrast and saturation to everything compared to the original footage. (Oh yeah, that's another thing. . .USE YOUR SCOPES! They will take up some of the slack of not having a perfect monitor) It looks good everywhere I've viewed it:

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Old April 8th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

I use three very different sets of audio monitors for sound. When a mix sounds good on all three, it usually sounds good everywhere.

I use the same principle for video and have three monitors including an old dim CRT. I'll usually check it on an ipad too since that's where it's likely to be viewed.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Thnx for all the response...

Steve Rusk: Excuse my english, but are you trying to be ironic? =) I know the majority of the target group arent using any fancy monitor, but I want to go the right direction, dont wanna have orange faces etc! =/

Dave Blackhurst: Good advice!

Leslie Wand: You are refering to Steve Rusk? =) Ok I understand...

Josh Bass: I was curious on you work setup, only wondered what type of monitor you used for editing with.. I might wrote a bad sentence, english isnt my native language, sry...
Thnx for the tips about the videoscopes.. I recently implanted it in my workflow. Its a great tool!

Duane Adam: Thats a very good idea.. Testing the video on several devices such as an ipad, smartphone, LCD-tv's, diffrent monitors and so on... I'll do that! =D
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Old April 8th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #13
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

Sorry. I was being a little ironic. I think you are on the right track with a basic IPS and calibrator for Youtube distribution.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:48 AM   #14
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

proper settings of my workflow and color management properties

A little late to the party but try this thread we had from a year ago. It's not a long read, but quite thorough and useful
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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #15
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Re: Understand how to calibrate a monitor...

I am a little late too...

you can check out NEC spectraview monitors too. The one I am using is a 24" PA241W-BK-SV They also make a 27" PA271-BK-SV model which has a better pixel pitch. These are wide gamut monitors and come with a spectraview software and calibrator by x rite. They have presets in the software that match perfectly to broadcast standards and the prices are just over $1000. If it looks good on this monitor, it usually looks good on a TV....well it does on my TV.

It use to drive me crazy working on a computer monitor and trying to get the colours so they would look ok on the television, with a regular dvd/blueray player.

If you want the wide gamut, you will need a quadro card and a displayport cable to run it in 10bit/per colour mode. ( works great in photoshop too there are print settings to help get the correct brightness for printing ) The buzzword for ( 10bit colour is "deepcolor" = 1billion colours,) (8bit = truecolor" 1million colours = CRT ) ( 6bit = TN panel for gaming LED/LCD monitors can display about 250,000 colours.) The adobe colour spectrum is about 1billion colours in a typical DSLR camera for photos.

You can still get a million colours with a regular video card with this monitor which is all you should need for video. Also if you get a quadro card, get the older series non K, I am using the Quadro 4000. oh, and rumor has it you need at least photoshop 5 to get deepcolor to work.

This is what I use, and it seems ok for me. I am not a pro at this, but I like what I see when I create a project of the kids and family....or maybe I should say my wife likes it...finally. "you have all this expensive stuff and it looks like crap" <<<said in a irritating tone, before the NEC monitor.

JK
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