Do I need a reference monitor?

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    • #44392

      I’m a relative newbie video editor looking to expand my editing setup. I’ve read that I should be running a reference monitor other than my computer monitors. Is this only necessary for SD video? I deal exclusively with HD (or upconverted HD). Would that look the same on a reference monitor as on my cpu display?

      If I DO need a ref monitor, what do you recommend? This might be a dumb question, but do I need an additional card to get from the computer to the monitor? Is there anything else I would need for this setup?

      Thanks in advance for your help!

    • #185882
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      Everyone editing content for broadcast needs to know what they are sending out so properly calibrated monitors, waveform monitors, and vectorscopes are required. I use Sony montors and tektronix scopes. If you are just uploading for the web, you can fly by youreye as legal colors/levels are not a requirement at all.

    • #185883

      Depending on your software, you might not need to invest in a waveform monitor or vector scope. Since FCP5, FCP analyzes every pixel of every line, and Color certainly has an accurate set of scopes as well…according to what I’ve read.

      But Grinning is correct about needed a reference monitor if doing anything for broadcast.

      And you will need some kind of an I/O card. AJA, Blackmagic Design, and Matrox are good brands. Don’t get a GPU that has an HDMI output. That’s not the same.

    • #185884

      Thanks guys, this is a lot of help. I’ve looked at different I/O cards/boxes, and the MXO2 mini seems to be all I need at this point as well as the most economical. Any good?

      As for monitors, I took grinner’s advice and looked at Sony. This 20″ LCD was the most economical I saw.

      How would you rate this monitor? Basic? Solid? Very Good? Overkill? πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for your input!!

    • #185885

      “How would you rate this monitor?”


      You’ll needa

      very fast computer.

    • #185886

      XTR – Thanks for your help
      Can you tell me why I’ll need a fast computer for that monitor?
      Is a Mac Pro 8-core 2.93 GHz sufficient?

    • #185887

      A faster computer has nothing to do with your reference monitor. You need an I/O card. Common brands are AJA, Blackmagic Design, and Matrox

    • #185888

      Thanks, Rob. I’m putting together a system on a $6000 budget and trying to prioritize. The Matrox MXO2 Mini appears to be the “cheapest” avenue from the three brands you mentioned, but it also appears to solve my current monitoring needs. I’m a little confused. Is this an I/O card PLUS, or is it just a break out box (i.e. do I still need a card in addition?)?

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