Post Magazine

February 2010

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Monitors for Post Manufacturers have heard pros' concerns and are improving their LCDs. By Marc Loftus Whether you work in film, broadcast, animation, DI, production or even 3D, manufacturers have a moni- toring solution designed to fit your needs. Cathode ray tube monitors are no longer available, as manu- facturers have ceased production for a number of reasons, one being their environmental impact. So studios are turning to LCDs, and occasionally plas- mas, to fill the void. The adoption of the LCD has been slow, and Sony's group marketing manager for professional dis- play systems, Mark Bonifacio, says the post market may be among the last to accept the inevitable switch to LCDs. As such, manufacturers have had to refine their releases to meet post pros' high standards for black level, contrast ratio and color gamut. Here's a look at a some of the latest releases from an assor t- ment of companies. More than likely, they have some- thing to fit your needs. B A R C O Barco's ( RHDM-2301P is de- signed for use as a reference monitor for on-set and dailies viewing, film scanning, restoration, digital inter- mediate work, color grading, visual effects, CGI and digital film mastering. The 2301P features a 22.5- inch, 120Hz panel that prevents motion blur. It uses LED backlight technology and has a black line-inser- tion algorithm that presents native interlaced images without any de-interlacing ar tifacts. To ensure color accuracy, the RHDM-2301 offers a native 10-bit panel (12-bit with time dithering), calibrated LED backlights, 48-bit processing and embedded 3D LUT cross-talk compensation. According to Barco product manager Goran Stoj- menovik, the RHDM-2301 features "the highest accu- racy of the white point, gamma, grey tracking, test col- ors and uniformity available on the market. This is achieved by adhering to the strict Grade-1 specifica- tions and a careful calibration of each monitor in the factory, using high-end spectrometer equipment." The RHDM, says Stojmenovik, uses an IPS LCD panel that offers a flexible viewing angle that allows the colorist, DP and client to see the same color while looking at the display from different positions. The LED backlight saves around 30 percent of the native panel contrast and up to 20 percent of avail- able video levels because the white point is set and calibrated directly on the backlight. "If CCFLs were used, such a contrast loss is inevitable, as the white point must be corrected electronically on the pixel level," he notes. "Fur thermore, the wide-gamut LED backlight is of use in DCI and film applications." Because the panel is native 10-bit, it displays video signal without any banding. High-bit-depth video pro- cessing preser ves fine detail, such as film grain. The RHDM-2301P model takes any type of dual-link or 3Gb/s Level A 4:4:4 and 1080p signals. In addition, it's possible to upload a custom 3D LUT for different post or DI applications. Suppor ted 3D LUT formats so far include Filmlight, CineSpace and Autodesk. The RHDM-2301P is priced at $24,000. S O N Y Sony ( introduced its Trimaster line of LCDs back in 2008, and today the company has three lines for professional applications. The high-end BVM line includes the 16.5-inch BVML170 ($13,000) and the BVML231, a 22-inch model that's priced at $21,500. The BVML231 is a replacement for the BVML230, a model that was ini- tially introduced as a replacement for Sony's BVM CRT monitors. "We set out originally to replace that monitor," says Mark Bonifacio. The CRTs were popular in broadcast applications, he notes, but users weren't necessarily ready to invest in the expensive alternative. Broadcaster, says Bonifacio, needed to move from a 20-inch CRT to a 24-inch LCD-type monitor for their master monitors or QC. "And what we found was that the BVM was at a much higher price point. Comparing a 24-inch CRT to a 24-inch LCD, at that level, it was basically the same, but the broadcasters were moving from a 20-inch CRT, which was maybe $12-13,000, and now they were asked to move up to Barco's RHDM-2301P reference monitor can be used in many different ways, from on-set to DI to film mastering.

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