Let me describe the set-up

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Let me describe the set-up I use for my primary edit suite.

My computer is a VAIO laptop with a variety of AV outputs. I have an Advent LCD TV/monitor purchased during “Black Friday” of 2006 for $125, about half price. It is an SD television set with a number of other input options. Generally speaking, I use the S-video (not the composite) input connected to an older digital camcorder which connects to my computer via the Firewire (or IEEE 1394) port when I’m editing to view the program out from my NLE. But I can also connect the S-video directly to my computer’s S-video out or connect it to the computer monitor out. This let’s me use the monitor as an extension of my desktop or as an alternative to the laptop LCD screen. Which I almost never do. But I’m able to leave any input connected and can switch between inputs with the remote. So I could use the monitor as a desktop extension, then switch to watch my NLE’s program out with ease. And I can use the Advent as a TV when I’m working on non-editing applications. I find it works quite well for me.

But as others mentioned, to be a useful monitor for the NLE output, it has to be properly adjusted. Now I’ve been at this for decades and adjusting a monitor using color bars is almost second nature to me. If you don’t know how to adjust a monitor to color bars let me know and I can run through the steps (even on monitors without a “blue” switch.) Using SMPTE bars, I’m able to make accurate brightness and contrast adjustments. I can adjust color by eye from experience, but even that isn’t too difficult learn. Then I am able to confirm the accuracy of my monitor by watching the video on my big TV set (which I also adjusted using SMPTE bars.) Because I frequently produce programs for cable, I’m also able to check out the image when it’s cablecast. So I know my monitor is properly adjusted and accurate.

My secondary edit suite uses a VAIO desktop which I connect (using IE 1394 & a camcorder) to an older CRT monitor, but it only accepts composite video signals. But I find it adequate for my needs. But the important thing to remember about any monitor you choose is that it must be properly adjusted, especially the contrast and brightness settings. (which computer monitors are notorious for improper display of NTSC video, even when adjusted.)

So that’s what I’ve got going on. Hope it helps you make a monitor selection of your own.

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