How to choose an external monitor.

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    • #48169

      Hello everyone,

      I’m editing on sony vegas pro 10 on a dual lcd display. (outputting from my graphic card). I’m planning to buy the Blackmagic Design Decklink Studio because I would like to monitor the video that I edit. It’s around 700 dollars, a lot of bucks.

      After that, I figure out I will need an external monitor. How I’m suppose to choose them ? Do I need a computer LCD display or just an HDTV ? I need something good, but I ‘m not interrested buying something expensive because I’m not a professionnal, as my job has nothing to do with editing.

      Thank you very much


    • #198002

      Hey Sargent,

      First off, Vegas has a good link-up with your second screen as monitor so if you’re sweating it up front that’s your first option. Having a secondary external monitor is a good thing particularly if you’re making deliverables for broadcast viewing or on DVD/Blu-Ray. As for what to get, the question you should ask yourself is; what am I planning on doing?

      That meaning, if you’re doing this as a hobby you can easily get by with just using your second monitor and Vegas’ built-in setup. If this is for a semi-or pro setup, then an external is required. The main thing to keep in mind is your budget and the fact that your gear purchases need to pay for themselves. On the front-end, an LCD TV is a good and inexpensive option. You can get one in various sizes and resolutions. The drawbacks are they are tough to calibrate to broadcast standards and have limited controls to do so.

      The other option is to get a professional monitor. If you’re working in SD only, Pro CRT Monitor prices are falling and they are still a viable option. Plus they have the advantage of having more capacity to be calibrated to broadcast standards. On the other end, there are professional LCD Monitors. Though prices are coming down for some models, they still can be pricey. However, unlike the SD CRT’s the LCD’s can be used for SD or HD video monitoring and they have a number of controls to get your imagery within standards. However, if you’re not creating deliverables headed to broadcast save your money.

    • #198003

      Hey Wolfang, thank you for all.

      It’s true that vegas works great with a secondary monitor. Anyway, I order on Bh photo video the Black Magic Design Declink Studio 2 yesterday. I will be able to connect an external monitor in HDMI or DVI.

      I make films that I projects on screen theatres. My final output will be always blu-ray disk or standard DVD. I’m working always in HD.

      I check the price of the professional monitor: 2000 to 5000 $ dollars, too much expensive.

      I would like to pay between 600 and 1000 for a good external monitor (LCD), what would you suggest for me, what brand, which models.

      I read the videomaker magazine ” Best products of the year 2010″. The best display was the NEC PA271W. What do you think about it ?

      Personaly, I dont need a 27 inch lcd, too big. Maybe 21 or 22 inch.

      I need something good with a 1920 by 1080 resolution. Also, I need a monitor that I could calibrate myself with the spyder device.

      An LCD that stands out from the personal use without falling into professional.

      A mid-range product, middle-end level. Not for high-end output.

      I’m sorry if my english is bad.

      Thank you very much


    • #198004


      With the info you gave me I’d say if you’re trying to keep it under $1000, your best bet would be to get a LCD TV. I use one with my setup. Since the majority of my HD work is in 720p I use one to view everything from video clips, edits, motion graphic / animation and final cuts. Getting the colors calibrated close to NTSC standards was tricky, but since you’re using a Spyder it will be a lot easier. Brands I recommend are Sony, LG, Toshiba and Hitachi. They are a bit more expensive than the bargain HD TVs, but they make up for the extra cost in that the picture is made with the same tech as their pro monitors are, just without the high-end controls. On the other hand, there are far more image controls to work with than the bargain brands, so combined with the Spyder it will be easier to get decent picture calibration.

      Another option would be to get a high-end computer monitor from Apple, HP or Dell. The Apple will probably be more than the $1k you want to pay, but the picture quality is worth a look. Lastly, you really do want a fairly large screen particularly if you’re projecting the final product. Having a larger screen will allow you to see things in the image you may have missed while looking at it on your computer monitor. Also, your computer monitor makes everything look good even when it doesn’t. Having that larger screen will make any imperfections or props left in the shot stand out like a beacon. 32″ is a good place to start, but if you’re working in 1080i/p you’ll need a 42″ or bigger to get the proper ratio of resolution vs screen size. Don’t forget that the bigger the screen, the farther back you’ll need to be from it when in use.

    • #198005

      <span style=”font-size: x-small;”><span lang=”EN-CA”>

      Hello Wolfgang,

      First of all, I readed the article name Cinma Vrit that you wrote in the Videomaker website, it was excellent.

      I thought about what you suggest for me . An HDTV, 32 inch size will be too big for my desktop. So I decided to buy a good computer LCD monitor.

      I already bought it over the internet. I received it last tuesday.

      It is a NEC. The model is a PA271W. I choose it because the videomaker magazine congratulate this product and they decided to award it as the best 2010 display for critical color correction. I know it cost more than 1000 dollars. I bust my budget. I hope I made the good choice.

      My first question to you: Did I make a good purchase with the PA271W , considering that I use it as a Video Monitor for editing ? ( No matter the price that I paid for.) I will keep it, but I just want to know honestly what are you thinking about that.

      I hook my new LCD display on my computer, not at the graphic card, but at my new Blackmagic Design Decklink Studio Card. ( HDMI OUT) However, the PA271W does’nt have HDMI input. It has display port (2) and DVI-D (2). So I use a HDMI to DVI cable. After that, what happens is that the screen become RED (When I set the Display Preview to external monitor in Vegas Pro 10). So I try the display directly hook to my graphic card: everything is fine. Yesterday, I ordered over the internet a HDMI to Display Port converter, I hope it will solve the reddish image.

      That’s the situation now for my system. I know that I did make the choice to buy this NEC display rapidly, until it works fine: I doubt I did right.

      I wait for your opinions.

      </span><span lang=”FR”>

      Thank you


      </span><span style=”font-family: Times New Roman;”><span lang=”FR-CA”></span></span></span>

    • #198006


      Thanks for the nod on the article. I cut my teeth in the biz doing CV films so it’s an old fav’.

      Just took a look at some spec’s and reviews of the NEC you’re looking at. It really seems better suited as a photography/graphics rig than one suited for the task of video editing. It’s a nice monitor btw. Here’s a review from CNET you might want to take a look at before you decide whether you’re going to keep it or not. Also, you should be able to get by the no HDMI connections with an HDMI to DV-I adapter. It may work for you as a vid monitor, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests that it would be a good choice for that kind of work.

    • #198007

      Good Evening Wolfgang.

      Thank you for your response. Nevertheless, I’m disapointed because I can not exchange it. I bought it on a canadian web site. Their return policy is clear, no refund or exchange if the product is not defective. So, I will keep the PA271W. Considering your last post, I’ll stick with the impression of having made a bad purchase.

      I was too hasty, tha’s my kind….

      After that big purchase, I can not buy real monitor.

      Do you still suggest buying a good HDTV as a video monitor ? It’s not big deal, 300 to 500 $….


    • #198008


      First rule of buying equipment online; don’t buy gear from companies that don’t allow you to return the gear within a 30-day period. Next time make your pro purchases from joints like B&H Photo-Video, Adorama, ProMax or the like. Second rule; don’t buy on impulse, particularly when you’re spending a ton of money. Don’t feel bad though, I’ve still managed to buy gear that turned out to be unsuitable in spite of my research. But, because I buy from outfits like those I mentioned I’m only out of the shipping fees.

      If nothing else, like I said it should be a very good monitor to view your graphics and photos. It will work as a good presentation monitor when you’ve got a client coming in to view changes and what not. It may work out for you after all. Now as for an LCD TV as an inexpensive monitor, yeah if you still want to spend some money under $500 take a look at the Sony Bravia line of LCD’s. They have 22″ and 24″ models that do 720p or 1080p (whichever format you’re using most) for $600 and under. You can also check out LG, Panasonic and you can look at Toshiba’s refurbed models that range from 22″ to 32″ sizes for 500$ and below.

      Don’t laugh, but if you’re in the US or Canada check out Walmart and Best Buy online to see what they have in the pipeline and then go to a store to see the model in action. Stuff you should be looking for;

      Overall clarity of picture

      Good overall color balance

      Good gradation of colors, blacks and white

      Smoothness of the motion of moving subjects (refresh rate of 60Hz is standard but some TV’s look better than others. 120Hz is much better but more costly.)

      Does the TV have a stand or will it need to be mounted?

      As for your not being able to fit a 32″ on your desktop, you’re going to want to mount it, get a stand or do like I did and build a shelf over my editing array to hold it. However, whether you find something promising that is smaller or larger don’t forget to go and eyeball it and ask questions about connections, read the reviews people who bought one post and so on before you make up your mind.

    • #198009

      Hello Wolfgang, thank you for your wise advices.

      I will take in count what you said in this post for my future purchases. For the moment, I will work with two LCD display connected to my graphic card, as I always did. Sony Vegas works fine in that kind of environment. An LG 21 inches and my 27inchs NEC: Both side by side .

      I learned another thing with the blackmagic design decklink studio: the HDMI output doesn’t work at all when you hook it to a Computer display. I tried itwith two monitor at home. There is no video at all transmitted to the panel. Whatever you use a straight HDMI to HDMI cable, a HDMI to DVI cable or a HDMI to Display port converter, nothing change.

      In light of this situation, I will a new post concerning this problem.

      Thank you again Wolfgang. You’re really nice to answer questions from an amateur like me.


    • #198010

      No sweat Sergeant. That’s what I’m here for. Check out my answer to your latest question in your new post.

    • #198011

      Sgt. Welsh, I would have to say that the time that Wolfgang put forth answering your questions here are the norm. Since most of us live far enough away as to not be competition we help when we can, usually when we are in a neighboring city. From what I have experienced here on VM, the people are great and love the art of video making and usually have no qualms in telling you like it is; as long as they have experience in the area you are inferring too.

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