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What monitor are you using these days?


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#1 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 05:33 PM

My CRT monitor is slowly dying. It turns a gross color at first when I start up a picture. What monitor are you using these days for color correction? I hear the Panasonic Plasmas are the closest thing you can get to a CRT but they are 8-bit. Are there any new 10-bit Plasma monitors coming out or out already? What do you use?
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 06:57 PM

Most houses here are using plasmas. The important thing isn't the plasma set itself, it's putting the necessary correction in front of it:

http://www.cine-tal..../davio_main.asp

They set up using test patterns and a probe.





-- J.S.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 07:14 PM

I have been involved in the finishing of three features which were graded on Dell TFTs. Some of that range (I have 2405s) have comparatively enormous contrast at the cost of being a bit slow to react. People who play computer games hate them because the PVA panel technology they use is laggy, but I'll put up with that for the contrast.

It still isn't as good as a CRT and it isn't really possible to calibrate a TFT. You can probably get it closer than it was when it came out of the box, but it's never going to be stellar. There are a few people around who will attempt to sell you lookup tables to this end, but I'm extremely cautious about this - it is absolutely not possible to make most (if not all) TFTs really correct and they're all very different, so there is a limit to what an off the shelf LUT could possibly hope to achieve.

I think your time is better spent learning the foibles of the display device you're using and how its performance relates to various situations. Part of the problem here is that the output devices on which your work will be seen are likely to be highly inconsistent, including things like reasonably high grade theatrical projection equipment which you'd have thought ought to be pretty good. Domestic equipment has always been even more of a crapshoot, but you now have to deal with the internet and the differences between macs and PCs too. All of this is likely to make far more difference than tweaking your own displays. Post houses will proudly claim that film recorders and their own viewing environments are tightly calibrated - but the only system I've ever seen that was really capable of pulling a whole facility together into some sort of unified calibration is Truelight, and it is not used as widely as we'd like.

Sorry if I paint a gloomy picture (ha! ha!). The upside is that while it may not be possible to achieve precision calibration, it's usually possible to come up with a result that most people will be happy with. What you probably can't achieve is sitting in a grading session then watching it in a screening room and having it look precisely the same. You probably can achieve it looking OK in both cases, for whatever value of "OK" you can put up with. Frankly this is in many cases all the high end people can achieve anyway, so there's no need to be too depressed about it.

Realising the last five percent of perfection is, as with so many things, extremely expensive and of dubious necessity unless you're grading Avatar 2.

P
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#4 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 02:25 PM

Most post facilities have gone to using Plasma panels (reluctantly somewhat) as Grade 1 replacements, usually fed with a Davio or a truelight box. I have a Panasonic 11UK on the OS-X Resolve fed with SDI. I am considering using that plasma on a Telecine and replacing the Resolve monitor with a 20 series plasma. Furthermore I would not personally want to grade a feature on a panel. I am considering a Christie 3-DLP projector like the 3K or a JVC RS-35 D-Ila for projection grading.

I have seen a Davio fed HP Dreamcolor and IMO it performed just as well as a Cinetal or just about any LCD panel which is to say it had poor black levels and problems with off axis viewing and inconsistent whites.

Perhaps OLED displays will one day make this Plasma/LCD discussion moot but I think both technologies have technical issues but that the plasma panels properly setup currently win.

-Rob-
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