Need new monitor

Posted by harry323 
Need new monitor
August 01, 2013 07:33PM
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday, on a shoot, my old Dell 2405FPW's HD monitor screen got dinged. It's a 24 inch that came out around 2005/6.

I have a Blackmagic DecklinkHD extreme card. I'm on a Mac 8 Core in FCP 7.0.3.

I called Blackmagic for advice but they were understandably unwilling to recommend anything. They did say that a Dell 2413 is a bad idea because it is DVI and I would have to purchase one of their HD Link boxes which cost about $500.

To get this clear - this is to be used for color correction. Not as a computer "information" monitor.

Any advice would be gratefully received. The budget is about $1,000.

Best wishes,

Re: Need new monitor
August 02, 2013 10:42PM
i recently saw a recommendation (from Bob Zelin) for the Blackmagic SmartView HD 17” which is around $800.

it's small, but it would be more accurate than a computer monitor.

Re: Need new monitor
August 03, 2013 11:06AM
Many computer monitors are able to display BT.709 video color. The BT.709 primaries are identical to the sRGB primaries. Check that the computer monitor encompasses sRGB. "Wide-gamut" monitors should.

With such a computer monitor, properly calibrated, the FCP canvas is trustworthy for color correction.

The critical words are "properly calibrated". The calibration software must map your image onto the BT.709 triangle. I reported success with this in an earlier post. The ensuing discussion is worth reading.

I've since graduated to SpectraView II calibration software, and confess that getting color-accurate FCP playback has become more treacherous. This software and OSX and FCP are second-guessing each other. The outside approach -- measuring colors on the monitor while playing test video in FCP -- bypasses the glunk and is all you can trust.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
Re: Need new monitor
August 03, 2013 11:46AM
For color grading, forget computer monitors and you'll have to spend a bit more than $1000. You want a Flanders Scientific. Those are accurate for color grading. The cheaper BMD monitor is not color accurate, it's good for reference to see what you're shooting. We have six of these in our shop because they're accurate and the customer service is some of the best in the industry.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
Re: Need new monitor
August 03, 2013 03:05PM
For color grading, forget computer monitors

That's the received opinion. But if the Y',Cb,Cr in the video translate into the correct, per BT.709, x,y,Y on the monitor, by hook or crook, the monitoring is color-accurate. Calibrated wide-gamut computer monitors can achieve this (since the only arcane step, from Y',Cb,Cr to R',G',B', is done correctly by FCP7) except their blacks aren't quite black enough. EBU "User requirements for Video Monitors in Television Production" expects a Grade 1 Monitor to have blacks below 0.05 nits. Even Flanders Scientific monitors don't achieve this.

My NEC PA301W monitor has a disappointingly high 0.20 nits in the black (after calibration with white at 100 nits, D65). If you think this is disqualifying for color grading, LCD computer monitors with better blacks exist.

An important part of monitor calibration is setting the gamma (for the step from R',G',B' to R,G,B). BT.709 does not specify gamma 2.22 (= 1 / 0.45) as is sometimes claimed. The EBU report mentioned above explains this and recommends gamma 2.35. Flanders Scientific monitors duly allow gamma choice among 1.0, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.35, 2.4, 2.6, 2.8.

A broadcast monitor is the turnkey solution, of good value. To make a computer monitor BT.709 color-accurate involves extra expense (for a colorimeter and calibration software) plus much toil. Its economy is logical, not financial.

The above pertains to accurate color. For frame-accurate display the broadcast monitor is also the turnkey solution. My NEC PA301W monitor has 60 Hz refresh, so it can't show 24p, 25p, 50i, or 50p video accurately. 600 Hz, or else variable Hz, is required to handle all popular video rates. strypes believes that inaccurate frame display can affect grading since noise is shown incorrectly. Interlaced video might require field-accurate display: first one field with half the lines black; then the next field with half the lines black.

For those so inclined, the website does intelligent evaluations of non-broadcast monitors. They're published first in German and later translated into English.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
Re: Need new monitor
August 03, 2013 04:01PM
Nick, Walter and Dennis,

Thank you all very much for taking the time to answer my question. A lot of what you say is a step too complicated for me, a humble cutter, but I will quote you during my perambulations around the various manufacturers and thereby sound as if I know what I'm doing.

Thank you again,

Re: Need new monitor
August 06, 2013 08:28AM
you're welcome, Harry.

a question i should have asked earlier is what your intended release is.
would these pieces be for broadcast / dvd / web?

Re: Need new monitor
August 06, 2013 12:08PM
For broadcast ... and I've been getting away with it for years by doing c/c on a 24 inch Dell monitor and getting through QC at loads of big broadcast outfits.


Re: Need new monitor
August 06, 2013 03:06PM
Re: Need new monitor
August 06, 2013 06:13PM
If questioned about weird color timing I tell them it's a style thing.

Re: Need new monitor
August 09, 2013 01:21AM
Or a lab accident. tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Need new monitor
August 11, 2013 02:56PM
SpectraView II software can't adjust the gamma of FCP playback with a simple calibration. If you want gamma = g, then first do a calibration with gamma = 2.15. Then do another calibration with gamma = g. Then go to System Preferences > Displays > Color, and select the .icc profile made earlier with gamma = 2.15.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin Germany
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