ON-SET MONITORS GE AR .
free connection to Teradek’s popular transmitter-receiver sets on some models, and a healthy range – from tiny, five-inch on- camera displays, to 24-inch models that belong in the video village. The 22-inch OLED, with full 4K resolution, sells for a comparatively modest £11,806, and is described as a reference display; the 350-nit output might make HDR grading a compromise, but OLED contrast is second to none. SmallHD has long done well with 13-inch displays, which are just big enough to make 4K relevant. The company’s new Cine 13 (£4260) is, as the name implies, a 13-inch display with a full UHD, 3840x2160 panel, four 12G SDIs and one HDMI 2.0 input. It’s been suggested that the minimum useful size for an almost-4K display is still a little larger than this, perhaps 24 inches. But at an effective 330-ish pixels per inch, it’s beginning to enter the area where an eagle- eyed person will benefit from the sharpness. It’s also a 1500-nit display, supporting Rec. 709 colour – a clearer replacement, perhaps, for the extant 1300 Series. Meanwhile, Swit’s range covers almost every display size, from five to 27 inches. Aware of the potential to be used in portable applications, the company offers a custom-fit flight case for its FM-21HDR. The extremely affordable CM-55C (£193) is a 5.5-inch display, that slips easily into a pocket and handles 4K signals (albeit on an HD panel) over HDMI. The larger FM-16B (£1162) is often shown with a sun
seen surrounded by the hair and makeup department, monitoring the skin tones of their subjects. LITTLE AND LARGE While Sony has made small, seven-inch SDI OLEDs and is very much the incumbent in high-end mastering, it seems less interested in the on-camera market.
hood and appears destined for use as a director’s monitor; though a focus puller faced with a tricky shot on a big-chip cinema camera might be just as keen. Sony has been building domestic and professional displays for longer than anyone currently in the industry can recall. Its high- end reference displays – the OLED BVM-X300 and BVM-HX310 (a mildly frightening £31,800) – are still the most common arbiter of what finally goes out. People don’t tend to drag those five-figure, 30-inch behemoths out on set, though, and the company’s cheaper, dimmer and smaller 17-inch PVM-A170 (around £4800) is often
SIZE THAT MATTERS SmallHD Cine 13 (above). The 30-inch BVM-HX310 (below) has long been the gold standard monitor
The tail wagging the dog
Until recently, standards that define how monitors should behave have been written with the capabilities of available technology in mind. The deepest available greens in conventional, Rec. 709 HD television are notoriously a little yellowish; because that’s what the green phosphors in cathode ray tubes could do. Recent standards, such as the wider colour gamut of Rec. 2020, have been written more as an idealised goal, with display manufacturers striving to achieve them in the acceptance that perfection is impossible, at least with current technology. The best options include emerging technologies such as LCDs with two layers: one to control overall brightness and one to control colour, available in 31-inch reference displays from Sony, Flanders Scientific and others. It remains some way from wide availability. MicroLED displays, effectively using the same massively capable technology as a giant LED video signboard, have enormous proficiency, but they’re barely experimental at the screen sizes we’re interested in. In the end, ambitious standards are good. They mean – among other things – we can finally render emerald green in film and TV projects. They also mean there are currently few ideal monitors.
“In the past, it’s been suggested that the minimum useful size for an almost-4K display is large, perhaps 24 inches”
51. OCTOBER 2021
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