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HD vs. SD monitors


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#1 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:03 PM

Lets say you are shooting HD but don't have the luxury of an HD monitor- what information (color, contrast, blacks/white) from an SD monitor can you reply on to predict image quality?



Peace
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:09 PM

Lets say you are shooting HD but don't have the luxury of an HD monitor- what information (color, contrast, blacks/white) from an SD monitor can you reply on to predict image quality?
Peace


Resolution obviously will be lost, so seeing some focus problems will be harder. Color will be converted to NTSC or PAL (depending on your country) and therefore may shift in a few tones -- that may be the most visible change other than the loss of sharpness. Odd colors may change somewhat. Contrast may be similar. It just isn't going to be a completely accurate rendition if you are shooting for HD delivery, but if you have no choice....
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#3 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:37 PM

Hi Madsen: In addition to David's wise comments, it might be worth considering that standard definition monitors vary enormously in quality and accuracy.

For example, although it's generally true a SD monitor is lower resolution than a typical HD monitor, some pro SD monitors are actually higher res than some "HD compatible" monitors. Some SD monitors with CRT screens use SMPTE-C phosphors and are designed for color-critical work. In general, CRT monitors handle interlaced video (including downconverted interlaced HD) with fewer artifacts compared to LCD monitors.

Also, the interface/connectors available on a SD monitor hugely affect displayed results: Composite connections are least-accurate and produce the most artifacts, S-video is somewhat better, analog component can be very good, DVI digital (such as found on a PC LCD monitor) can be very good, and SDI digital connections usually produce the best results -- all else being equal.

My point being that if you use a SD monitor for HD work, if at all possible use the best SD monitor and interface available. It makes an enormous difference.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 04:23 AM

On one job we used a 20" SD CRT monitor (I think it was a grade 2) using a SDI feed, rather than use the 7" HD LCD monitor that the rental company was offering.

It worked pretty well and seemed to be better that the 9" CRT multi format monitor that was used on another job.
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