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Paul Ramsbottom June 6th, 2007 04:51 PM

Sony XBR960 HD CRT as a BD + service options in San Fran
I plan to use this set as an inexpensive broadcast monitor for my independent HDV 1080/60i film projects, so I'd like to find someone who is very knowledgeable about these large CRT sets.

I'd also be keen to hear from anyone who has tried this, especially via HDMI using the Blackmagic Intensity cards. I'm really keen to understand how much interlaced 'jitter' there is + the screen refersh frequency, basically whether I could have this sitting next to me without inducing a seizure after a few hours!

Can anyone suggest a good firm to do this? I live in Palo Alto.

I'm not planning on doing 'big-league' color critical work with this, but I'd like to get it 'tuned' as much as possible, preferably by a technician who knows color well, not just someone who understands the services codes and knows how to adjust the yoke.



Glenn Chan June 6th, 2007 05:50 PM

I find that some consumer TVs have many forms of funky image processing / tweaks and were never designed for accurate color. Some of them can't be calibrated since they decode the colors wrong (intentionally) to make them look correct (since their white point is shifted very blue, away from the D65 standard; this causes the reds to appear de-saturated... and thus the monitor will mess with the reds to make them look correct).

2- I would just save your money for a good broadcast monitor. In the meantime, some NLEs can use a computer monitor as a display device... this is a cheap way to see (mostly) full resolution if you have a 1920x1200/1080 panel. (The de-interlacing might reduce resolution.)

Paul Ramsbottom June 6th, 2007 06:22 PM

Thanks Glenn, grateful for the prompt feedback.

Right now I use a little Sony LCD as my FCP preview monitor but neither this, nor the canvas/viewer windows on my 30" Apple display show correct color, brightness and they are too small to accurately show camera motion and sometimes obfuscate small traces of camera shake and other small defects that become apparent on a bigger screen.

I'm never going to print to film or do anything that is color-critical (in the real sense of the term). The most I want to do is make SD DVDs (and maybe some Blu-Ray ones in the future) and give them to my friends.

I might think about some minor film festivals in the future but we're not talking Sundance here, no where close.

The XBR960 is a hulking great set and I'd really like to get it out of my living room. Actually I was once told that the technology for this tube (which is regarded as a 'reference' picture in consumer circles) is the same/similar to what Sony uses in their 30K 16:9 B-Monitors (sans the 1080P circuitry, and all the other cool stuff).

Most of time I find myself working on a project until I feel like I am getting close, then I'll export an .m2t, take it next door and play it via firewire on the big Sony to see what it looks like there.

I guess what I want is a monitor that accurately shows me what I might get on your typical consumer HD set, not color accuracy per se. And as I already own it, I thought I would put it to good use.

What I am most curious to hear is whether the Blackmagic HDMI card will drive this at acceptable refresh rates. I once tried a smaller HD CRT via DVI on [my now slightly aging] Dual 2.7 G5 and the flicker, especially when viewed via peripheral vision (which I am told is the worst) was horrible.

Yea, I thought about buying a dedicated Hi-Def B-Monitor. JVC used the make those 1710 and 1910 models but you then have to factor-in a component input card and an output card for the NLE CPU and all of a sudden you are spending some serious money. Not $30K maybe but still alot.

Basically, I just want to buy a new 50" plasma for my living room, free up some space and put the CRT to good use in my studio.

Glenn Chan June 6th, 2007 06:59 PM

1- You can use the digital cinema preview to have the video play full screen. That's another option.

2- For the CRT...

--Calibrate it to color bars FROM FCP. A DVD source will have different levels than coming from your Mac/FCP.

--You can set color temperature to ~D65... though you may need to disable any red push or anything like that in the TV. Better yet you should make all your monitors have the same white point.

--Make sure there isn't too much ambient light hitting it.

--If it has bias controls you can adjust them to get the grayscale tracking better.

Beyond this there are some inherent limitations to the set which you can't get around... i.e. not full 1920x1080 resolution, weak power supply, primaries the wrong color, grayscale doesn't track perfectly, etc. Convergence can be improved, partly by using magnets to manipulate the electron beam (but you can just use a computer monitor to see if stuff is straight).

3- At some level, the world is color inaccurate to begin with so a little color inaccuracy is fine. (And many video systems aren't color accurate anyways.)

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