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HD Monitor Recommendations


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#1 Mike R

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:28 AM

Hi, As a Commercial Production house we have transitioned a lot of our film work to HD video. The biggest issue we are having is finding a HD LCD monitor we are happy lighting too.
Any reviews / recommendations would be appreciated. We are currently looking at Cine-tal, Sony's new BVM LCDs and offerings from Boland.
TIA
-Mike
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#2 Jon Myers

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:04 PM

DO NOT use a LCD monitor for lighting purposes. When you change your viewing angle it looks like the exposure changes. It doesn't but if you're not on the right viewing angle then you're not going to get the correct exposure. Only use a tube monitor. I haven't seen one LCD that I would use. Look in any top post house in a room where you need to see color and exposure correctly and you won't see any LCD's. If you can't afford a big monitor get at least a 9" field monitor from sony. You can always get a big LCD for the clients to use. If anyone does know of an LCD that will work please let me know.

Jon Myers

Edited by Jon Myers, 14 March 2008 - 12:05 PM.

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#3 Mike R

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:15 PM

That was our initial idea, but with CRTs being phased out I can't find a HD CRT to purchase. I would love to find a resource and buy a CRT. We've been renting BVM CRTs up till now but at $400 / day it seems a waste not to own something.

thanks for the input.
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#4 Jon Myers

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:40 PM

Try Band Pro at 818-841-9655 ask for David Jones and tell him that I told you too call. They might have them. I haven't tried to buy one in a long time. I didn't realize that they were already getting hard to get.

Jon Myers
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:48 PM

I saw a demo of the new Sony LCDs at NAB last year; they seemed pretty decent.

To be honest on location your monitoring conditions are likely to be so variable that it makes a mockery of any expensive viewing device you happen to have. I would rather have a basic TFT for framing and focus, and a waveform monitor.

P
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 03:02 PM

For field shooting, the Panasonic BT-LH1700W is becoming a real workhorse. And yes, you can judge lighting from it! As with any monitor you need to view it in proper conditions.

http://catalog2.pana...odel=BT-LH1700W

http://www.cinematog...lite=BT-LH1700W

For post you might want a true 1080P monitor.
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#7 Jon Myers

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 03:53 PM

"As with any monitor you need to view it in proper conditions" What the viewing angle like on it?? Do you have problems with it?


Jon Myers
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:25 PM

"As with any monitor you need to view it in proper conditions" What the viewing angle like on it?? Do you have problems with it?


Jon Myers


The 17" LCD is large enough that you can view it straight on at a comfortable distance, without incurring any contrast shifts. LCD's have come a long way in the last several years and the viewing angle is less of a problem than it used to be. By "proper conditions" I meant you need to make sure there's not too much ambient light hitting it, which is the same precaution one would take with a CRT anyway (I'm constantly stuffing my face into the little Porta-brace "hood" on the Sony 8041Q to see proper contrast). Get a hoodman for the Panasonic and you're good to go, even in bright sunlight. Make a black cloth "cape" for extra cover if you like...

The built-in waveform monitor is also good reassurance that the levels you're seeing are indeed what you're shooting.
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#9 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 09:17 PM

I have the Panny 17" and it is absolutely magnificent. You get what you pay for. This isn't some cheapo LCD - this is a $2600 17" broadcast quality monitor in a steel housing that feels like it weighs about 150 pounds!
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#10 Markus Rave

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:06 AM

What about a solution one of the supplieres I know recommends? Eizo CG241W 24" TFT monitor. Runs natively on 48, 50 and 60 Hz. Signal put through a HDMI/DVI converter by Blackmagic Design. You can calibrate the monitor via EIZO´s calibration tool on Set and use it later in postpro. Thought this might be a good idea. System costs roughly 1850,00 Euro.

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#11 Mike R

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:43 PM

What about a solution one of the supplieres I know recommends? Eizo CG241W 24" TFT monitor. Runs natively on 48, 50 and 60 Hz. Signal put through a HDMI/DVI converter by Blackmagic Design. You can calibrate the monitor via EIZO´s calibration tool on Set and use it later in postpro. Thought this might be a good idea. System costs roughly 1850,00 Euro.

Markus


Thanks for the input Markus but I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the conversions before I first see the image. (HDSDI>DVI) I would be afraid of losing some of the subtleties that we rely on when lighting a scene.
-Mike
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:43 PM

> HDSDI>DVI

It's no more of a conversion than must by necessity happen in the LCD driver panel. It is possible to convert HD-SDI to DVI losslessly (or perhaps with some frame doubling, which is not a problem) and in fact easiest to do it this way; it is likely, therefore, that products such as Blackmagic Design's HDlink do exactly that.

Without being privy to the FPGA code used by these devices, it's difficult to be any more certain than that.

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#13 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:21 AM

The 17 inch panasonic is a great directors monitor, I would never rely on it for lighting unless I'm working with a camera that has a lot of dynamic range, like the F23, Genesis or Phantom. I'm planning on buying one myself because it's really cheap (sorry Adamo 2,600 is very cheap compared to 26,000) and rents for a decent amount of money. The new Sony BVM LCD is great, the CineTal is a fantastic monitor, and the new E-Cinema monitors might be worth checking out.
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#14 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:57 PM

For field shooting, the Panasonic BT-LH1700W is becoming a real workhorse. And yes, you can judge lighting from it! As with any monitor you need to view it in proper conditions.

http://catalog2.pana...odel=BT-LH1700W

http://www.cinematog...lite=BT-LH1700W

For post you might want a true 1080P monitor.



The Panasonic is fantastic. Just got off a 6.5 week shoot using this monitor. The fan motor can sometimes get noisy and your sound guy might whine, but you can easily turn off the fan motor. Plus its big enough for comping but also not so large its annoying carrying around. Great monitor. Look into it.
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:59 PM

I saw a demo of the new Sony LCDs at NAB last year; they seemed pretty decent.

Sony has been showing the BVM-L230 to us at VTP during its development. They've solved the black level problem in the corners, but it's still pretty much a small room/single user solution. In post, front projection may turn out to be more cost effective, especially if you need to be sure that several people are discussing the same viewing experience.

For production, how about doing it the film way -- hire a DP who can light by eye and meter, and knows what it'll look like in projection tomorrow.



-- J.S.
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#16 Mitch Gross

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 10:42 PM

The Panasonic LH-1700 was just replaced with the 1760. Even better monitor now -- with better blacks and now a vectorscope in addition to the waveform. We're shipping these units now.

Abel manufactures a number of custom products for these monitors. Most popular is an articulating stand (instead of the very basic plate on the base of the monitor) which allows one to tilt or even rotate the screen. We also make a special adater to stick the monitor (when using our stand mount) onto a lightstand, either baby stud or 2K receiver. Yours truly came up with an Anton Bauer accessory plate that mounts using available screw holes (no alterring your monitor) that will run the monitor for hours on a common battery (great in the field). And lastly a custom case that will hold all of the above plus a few BNC cables, hoodman shade and raincover. We have lots of these in rental and they're real workhorses.

We also have the Sony LMD-2050 and LMD-2450 screens, which are also quite nice. We have custom cases for these along with the stand and lightstand adaptor, and more accessories coming soon.
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#17 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:45 PM

The 17 inch panasonic is a great directors monitor, I would never rely on it for lighting unless I'm working with a camera that has a lot of dynamic range, like the F23, Genesis or Phantom.


What makes you say that? I'm one week into gaffing a feature with the HDX900 and the Panasonic 17", and I've been using the monitor for lighting throughout. Everything looks great, there have been no surprises. The monitor has no problem accurately displaying luminances, and the waveform confirms everything I'm seeing. Is there a specific reason you don't trust it for lighting?
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