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Apple Cinema 23 or Dell Ultrasharp 2407


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#1 Aleksandar Bracinac

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 10:03 PM

Hi guys,

We are buying new MacPro/Final Cut/Decklink HD Pro edit suite and need some help for HD monitoring. We are already working compositing and CC on DELL 2407 displays and found them good for the job. Now have to ask some experienced colorists to help us about choosing right monitoring solution.

The plan is to use Apple 23 / Dell 24" LCD screen with HDLink for HD monitoring instead of CRT's. What is your opinion, are they accurate enough for Color Correction Job and which one you will choose? Of course, the question is for the people who tried any/both of them and worked with CRT's too. Pros/cons etc.

After a few years of working with CRT's I realised that LCD's today in most cases are far better than CRT's, but have to ask you to help me which way to go and what to do.


Thanks a lot!
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#2 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 10:13 PM

I've always love the Eizo Monitors. http://www.eizo.com/

Their Flexscan S2411W has 3000:1 Contrast Ratio with ContrastEnhancer, High Definition Digital Signal Support, 14-Bit Color Processing, and they look f*cking cool.
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#3 Gary McClurg

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 10:26 PM

I've always love the Eizo Monitors. http://www.eizo.com/

Their Flexscan S2411W has 3000:1 Contrast Ratio with ContrastEnhancer, High Definition Digital Signal Support, 14-Bit Color Processing, and they look f*cking cool.



Couldn't find a price... do you know how much they're going for...

Also I was wondering I have the old 20 inch from Apple if you use the Decklink card from Black Magic... I was thinking you could still use this as your cutting monitor (the tools, etc) and use the Panny 17" for you color correction, etc...
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#4 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 10:32 PM

Couldn't find a price... do you know how much they're going for...


They have a where to buy page on their site, its the last option on their interface. You can find a local resaler there. I remember getting a quote for FlexScan S2110W or FlexScan S2111W a year ago and it was around $1400, which was cheaper then the apples (which is an 8 bit monitor, just like most LCD's) at the time.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:12 AM

Hi,

I own a 2405 and I know that it has problems with understanding certain DVI modes, which can become an issue if you intend to use it as a high grade HD monitor. I can't make it display 50/25 frame modes without going to analog component, which is by no means catastrophic (and may be necessary if you want to go further than DVI will let you, which is about 5 meters).

I believe the 2407 has similar issues. However, I do not know that the Apple display does not have these issues. This is more a "check what rates it'll do" in either case, than a recommendation against the Dell. Other than this I am extremely happy with it and I believe it has slightly better viewing angles than the Apple. Given that they're likely the same TFT panel, that'll be down to driver electronics.

Other than the one 25/50 problem, I have displayed 24 and 30/60 frame stuff on it via DVI, including 1080 and 720 line material, and material at all rates via component. Of course if you're going to use it solely as a desktop display, it's a moot point.

Phil
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#6 Aleksandar Bracinac

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:31 AM

Hi Phil,

I had 2405 and replace it with 2407. The difference is noticable and 2407 is far better display. Analog inputs not deserve to comment about.... one word: HORRIBLE.

About DVI input it is good, so good, and Decklink's HDLink is responsible for frame-rate conversion. I just waiting for the answer from DeckLink to explan how HDLink working with PAL frame rates. For 24p it's easy to convert to 60Hz, but don't know how that working in PAL.

Also thinking about some consumer Pioneer PDP-5000EX Plasma which is 1080 native and probably has native frame rates.
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#7 Sam Wells

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:13 AM

I've always love the Eizo Monitors. http://www.eizo.com/

Their Flexscan S2411W has 3000:1 Contrast Ratio with ContrastEnhancer, High Definition Digital Signal Support, 14-Bit Color Processing, and they look f*cking cool.


Hi Chayse

Can the Outline Enhancer be totally defeated ?

How does the Contrast Enhancer track ? Any pumping ?

-Sam
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 03:21 PM

Hi,

I've been using the '05 with a Blackmagic Multibridge, which pretty much has an HDlink on its output (the software controls even look the same). As far as I can tell there is no workable solution for putting 25/50 formats onto a 60hz display. I can't make it work.

Nothing wrong with the analogue inputs that can't be explained by their love for RCA connectors - bleagh.

Phil
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#9 Aleksandar Bracinac

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:23 PM

I've asked a distributor of DeckLink to arrange demonstration for me with HDLink and I will see.

Also
I would like to ask DP's which system they prefer for color grading in HD environment? Talking about software packages running on OSX or Windows.


Thanks!
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#10 Dennis Kisilyov

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:27 PM

For any color intense work via DVI/VGA I'd recommend either LaCie monitors (albeit they are not 16x9) with a colorimeter or EIZO. LaCie can do CRT-like gamma. Apple Cinema - I think, had a shortcoming with limited calibration ability on the largest displays. I may be wrong.

Edited by Dennis Kisilyov, 13 April 2007 - 12:29 PM.

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#11 jan von krogh

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 01:30 PM

we have dell 2407 and hdlink, but for di/colorcorrection, i would not recommend -any- lcd monitor.

let me explain why.

first the pros:
lcd is sharp, ideal for 1080p.
lcd is inexpensive, ideal for budget.
lcd looks good, good for customers.
lcd is leightweight and compact, good for portability and interior design.
lcd uses less energy, good for the environment.
lcd has no alignment / convergence problems, crt have
lcd is easier to maintain
lcd isn´t harmed by magnetic fields.

now, lets look at DI.

#1
lcd has -NO- black. by design. no eCinema, no eizo, no dell, no apple. there is always added light to the image. this will reduce your ability to finetune blacks.

#2
lcds color and brightness are angle-dependent. the better ones, just slightly, what makes things even more complicated. so you will never see exactly what youre doing, you will always be +/- some percent. compare that to audio, oh, we were "only" 2db to hot, or 2db less loud...

#2b
due to lcds being angle dependent, clients will always see something different than you do. the dop on the right side, the director even more to your right and you in front will all see -different- colorcorrections.

#3
no interlace. if you do not only p, but only i, many problems which have to be found in cruicial final monitoring can escape you.

#4
no internal 12/10 bit. besides the electronics, the panelcontrollers are the bottleneck so far. even when dithering, they can show banding and, even worse, due to their internal dithering, may not expose posterisation artefacts which then will become obvious when going to filmout or evaluating the movie on a class 1 crt.

#5
no autocalibrating (human error can occur quite easy when calibrating)

#6
no IRE colors and phosphors, colors will always be slight off what they will be in final use.

there are several more reason why lcd is a poorer choice for DI.

now, if you still intend (or have to due to budget) to use lcd for critical master monitoring, some tips to reduce the problems:

- it is a very good idea to have a inexpensive calibrated class1 CRT, sony BVM14 HD as reference and use the lcd as production monitor, and the crt when necessary for critical monitoring.

- measurement equipment (vector & wave) is must have when using lcd, alone to find the dark

- enhance the distance between you/client and the monitor, the variation in color you and the client sees is reduced by this

- make sure the lcd is at height of your head. looking up or down at a lcd will change the color.

- enhance the ambient light above the standard black/di to the level where you don´t see the light of the lcd in the dark anymore but real black.

- use a hd-sdi/dvi converter who allows lut & calibration, or at least gammacurves.

back to your original question:
we would recommend the dell 2407 together with hdlink for a budget solution.

besides 5 sony BVM class 1 monitors, we have this combination in house (for production, not for mastering) and tested many other offerings before going for the dell. good price/performance, much more inputs than the apple, controls can be adjusted without computer and and ok image are the main reasons.

the eizo was excellent as well, image impression best of all, but the automatic imageenhancments were problematic for production needs.

the apple had not enough inputs and wasn´t adjustable without additional apple computer and showed a slight inperfect illumination when completly white. however, this was the last, not the actual apple cinemadisplay.

besides the blackmagic hdlink, i would recommend to have a look at the offerings from aja, which are a little bit more expensive, but offer upscaling, while the hdlink is cropping.

also, i would not go for the expensive "our own critical lcd-monitor" most of the features are pure snakeoil, and luts/gamme can be adjusted on the inexpensive aja/blackmagic products as well. also, and none of these "special monitoring lcd" can afford to built their own panel, so they are using the same standard lcd-panels as dell, apple, lg, hp, eizo, phillips etc.

in the case of sony and panasonic, most of their "mastering" lcd don´t even offer physical 1080 panel... what basicly is a joke. maybe they will introduce better ones this nab, but even if, you would be better off with 1080p computerdisplay and a good converter.

p.s.

if you are in the usa, you can try to find a discontinued sony pvm 20/l5, this crt hd production monitor is quite inexpensive and is pretty near to bis bvm class 1 refernece monitors.
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#12 Sam Wells

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 12:21 PM

the eizo was excellent as well, image impression best of all, but the automatic imageenhancments were problematic for production needs.


Well this was my question, and are they defeatable ?

-Sam
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#13 jan von krogh

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 12:44 PM

Well this was my question, and are they defeatable ?

-Sam


several lcd displays automaticly change their gamma (other parameters) to adapt to the current images.
on the dell 2407 this could be deactivated (menu->image mode-> mode select-> dt mode)

the eizo kept altering its image representation.

it was however a very early model, so hopefully they improved their firmware to allow the deactivation of these automatic image"enhacements" meanwhile. eizo is usually top-class and very flexible, so i was surprised that this couldn´t be deactivated back then. or, the reseller was simply not qualified to tell us how.

however, as lcd is still b-class monitoring (besides sharpness in native 1080), it is important to understand that you won´t get perfect result no matter which lcd-panel & oem will be bought.




I can't make it display 50/25 frame modes without going to analog component, which is by no means catastrophic (and may be necessary if you want to go further than DVI will let you, which is about 5 meters).
I believe the 2407 has similar issues.

the 2407s here works flawless on 25/50@1080 DVI with blackmagic hdlink HD-SDI / DVI converter.
component i can´t comment, we never monitor analog in HD.

Other than this I am extremely happy with it and I believe it has slightly better viewing angles than the Apple. Given that they're likely the same TFT panel, that'll be down to driver electronics.

they had different panels. to start with apple was 23 in the 2405s era, the dell was 24.
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#14 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:39 PM

i only skimmed over the replies, so i apologize if this is redundant...

if you're concerned about color grading for broadcast/dvd, then i would suggest you have the following four things:

- an HD-res high quality LCD (just make certain that it's not a cheapy model-- those sometimes are only 6-bit and will display banding when there actually is not any in your footage/image)
- a CRT production monitor, even if standard-def (ie. the sony pvm series)
- a standard-def consumer CRT television that is at least a few years old... kinda the lowest common denominator reference for your color grade. consumer CRT TVs are usually set with a 9300 white point, which makes a considerable difference, and this is how your work is going to look 95% of the time for the next five years.
- vectorscope, which most software already has
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#15 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:44 PM

consumer CRT TVs are usually set with a 9300 white point



Wait, is that a 9300K color temp or some other scale? 9300K is insanely cold!
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#16 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:25 PM

Wait, is that a 9300K color temp or some other scale? 9300K is insanely cold!


for CRTs, it's much easier to keep the brightness higher if the color temp is higher.... and supposedly, consumers want TVs that can go really bright. thus, 9300K is the standard for consumer TVs-- even though the industry standard for production monitors for color grading is 6500K. yeah, i know, it makes no sense.

so it's crucial to see your grade on a consumer TV. the biggest difference is that any blue in the shadows (especially noise in the blue channel) will be brighter, and yellows take a minor hit in perceptive saturation.

and of course, on top of that, all consumer TVs are different because of varied manufacturers'/models' quality, and most of all, due to consumers' own picture settings. which explains why it's industry standard to set your monitor to 6500 and just pretend like all those other factors don't exist. but i feel it's better to have both in front of you and split the difference.
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