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Activity Forums AJA Video Systems LCD HD monitors…are any of them any good?

  • LCD HD monitors…are any of them any good?

    Posted by Jeremy Garchow on October 3, 2005 at 3:22 am

    A guy that I do a lot of work for is slowly upgrading his suite to HD as more and more projects are coming in. He is asking as to an HD reference monitor that he can buy and I really don’t have an answer for him. I know the 20L5 is good (it’s what I use) but we all know those are discontinued. I recommended the 14L5, but he wants something that’s bigger. Does anyone have any experience with the SOny Luma series, or the Panasonic BT1700? Are there any other suggestions for affordable and professional (sub $4000) HD monitoring out there?

    Thanks in advance.


    Mitchji replied 17 years, 11 months ago 7 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • David Battistella

    October 3, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    I use the JVC DTV. It is an excellent solution and a beautiful monitor that is easy to configure for both HD and SD applications. It is the sister to the SONY L5. I think it is worth taking a look at.

    this isthe model number
    DT-V1910CG 19″

    scroll to the bottom of tihs page to see it.


  • Del Holford

    October 3, 2005 at 3:57 pm

    I’m sorry but “reference” and “sub $4000” don’t equate. If you want a monitor to color correct HD video and a monitor to see what the final product will look like at home (discounting those who misalign their plasma, lcd and projection HDTVs) you really need something akin to the Sony DVM 20F1U or larger. A post house doing HD episodic TV or documentary work relies on glass CRT monitors to get reliable, true color.

    I do use a plasma (Sony BVM-510 – $13000 when it was purchased) for HD Display in my suite but have a CRT in the suite also for critical “reference” choices. Hopefully someday soon the quality of LCDs will get to the point they can be relied on, but currently only monitors sold as reference monitors are truly reliable. Unfortunately they are very pricey.

    My $.02. Those wishing to disagree may do so and keep the Cow interesting.


  • Jeremy Garchow

    October 3, 2005 at 4:49 pm

    [Del Holford] “I’m sorry but “reference” and “sub $4000″ don’t equate”

    Well, my PVM20L5/1 (CRT) is considered a reference monitor and it was under $4K. The Sony Luma series is under $4k as is the Panasonic BT1700. It is possible to have a ‘reference monitor’ for under $4K, whether or not you want to believe it is up to you. I seriously doubt there’s anyone out there in consumer land that is buying these monitors to watch “The Sopranos” in HD on cable.

    I am simply asking what’s out there and what’s good and if anyone has taken a gander at the LCD models as I’m trying to help out a company that is giving me a lot of work. The guy who is inquiring is interested in an LCD monitor becuase he likes the idea of it taking up less space, but doesn’t want to sacrifice quality for space. I was just wondering how the LCD market is shaping up since it’s not going away, it gets better by the minute, and I have not been able to look at any other monitor besides the 20L5 in person. We can argue the LCD vs. CRT debate again if you want to, but I honestly don’t feel like it. Thanks a lot for your insight.

    …and David, thank you for the suggestion, I’ll look into that JVC you are talking about, as it seems to be what I’m looking for and it’s in the proper price range.

    Maybe this is all a game of semantics that can be easily misunderstood on forums such as these.


  • Tony

    October 3, 2005 at 7:16 pm


    Currently the only color critical LCD available is from Ecinema along with their HDSDI-DVI converter box.

    The unit is around 15K with both units. The feedback from major telecine and colorists here in LA has been quite well.

    But if you are on a budget then picking up a used PVM-20L5/1 is a good buy.

    Tony Salgado

  • Jeremy Garchow

    October 3, 2005 at 11:55 pm


    Thanks Tony. Looks like I’ll recommend the JVC unless something else comes up. I think the Ecinema is a bit out of his range, but I’ll run the price by him and see if he pukes or not.

    Thanks for your time.


    G5 Dual 2Ghz <> 4GB RAM <> FCP 5.02 <> Kona 2

    ATTO 42XS <> Huge Systems 1.25 TB 4105 Fibre

  • Walter Biscardi

    October 4, 2005 at 9:39 am

    [JeremyG] “The Sony Luma series is under $4k as is the Panasonic BT1700.”

    I have the Panasonic BT1700 monitor coming in here next week to do a side by side comparison of the Sony PVM-20L5/1 to see how close it is to the SMPTE-C phosphors.

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    Creative Genius, Biscardi Creative Media

    Now in Production, “The Rough Cut,”

    Now editing “Good Eats” in HD for the Food Network

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” – Adam Savage, Mythbusters

    G5 Dual 2.0, AJA Kona 2, Medea FCR2X

  • Del Holford

    October 4, 2005 at 1:14 pm

    I hope I’m clarifying and not beating a dead cow. The monitors you are refering to range from 750 to 900 lines of horizontal resolution. My point is HD has 1080 lines of resolution and it’s my view that for color correction and critical monitoring the monitor ought to have native resolution. When I go to Sam’s Club and see the plethora of products being sold, plasma and LCD, in 20 – 50″, not one has the same setup, nor do any have the same resolution, which is often noticable and nasty. If we start with correct color rendition, by the time they are played thru such monitors they might still look OK.
    Finding Nemo ought to look good on anything.

    The monitors shown are great monitors, just not HD even though they have HD inputs. I also agree that LCDs are coming along quickly and I expect to buy an LCD monitor for my HD viewing at home thru a PCI card or a BOB. At some point soon LCDs will give critical monitoring, but not this week.

    Price does become an issue and you do what you can to drag the bucks out of the budget.


  • David Battistella

    October 4, 2005 at 4:38 pm

    So where does the waveform monitor and vectorscope fit into this equation. The last time I checked these are the ulitmate QC tools and any monitor is just for “reference” because our eyes differ in their subjectivity to color and resolution. This is why we have these tools. So maybe it is better to have a good reference monitor but ultimately trust the scopes for the color values in the image.

    Just a thought 🙂


  • Tony

    October 4, 2005 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Walter,

    I did a side by side between the 17″ panasonic and Sony 20″ for use as a field production monitor. The Panasonic was unacceptable due to the overall image size and lower resolution when compared to the Sony 20″.

    Tony Salgado

    Tony Salgado

  • Tony

    October 4, 2005 at 4:49 pm


    FYI HD spacial resolution versus CRT monitor resolution are two different things.

    Currently there is no CRT monitor that offers full spacial resolution of 1920×1080. The only solution for viewing high resolution is to use a LCD monitor such as Ecinema Cinema Display (sorry I forgot the model number) which is a color critical as well as high resolution monitor.

    Consumer HD monitors are indeed down rezzed models which is similar to what current NTSC consumer display monitors do. For example in the field a color critical NTSC high res model may be offer 800 lines of resolution whereas a consumer monitor may be as low as 250-300 lines of resolution.

    The point being the final end of the distribution chain ends up with the lowest resolution delivery image.

    The term HD in the consumer or professional world can be quite misleading in terms of what exactly the vendor implies.

    Tony Salgado

    Tony Salgado

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