Ask the experts - Monitoring


What are the latest innovations in monitoring?
For both film and broadcast work, in addition to the fact that the picture must be true, without motion artifacts or aliasing, for a lot of applications you can also add that the picture must be processed in real time - less than one frame or one picture in progressive mode – so the main innovations are in the tools associated with the monitor.

Today we have access to a veritable toolbox to display the metadata coming from the camera, such as lens information with focus, focal point and depth of field, as well as embedded audio monitoring, a time code reader, waveform monitors with measurement tools, and vectorscopes or histograms to qualify the video signal. There are also frameline generators of virtual horizons for body-rig operators.

On the side of pure monitoring we now have wireless HD monitors, providing up to 300ft of clear, interference-free, pristine HD pictures in real time without compression or artifacts. The wireless capability allows directors, ADs, DPs, script supervisors and many others to remain near the camera, rather than being tied to a power source away from the action. It is also ideal for live broadcasting and DSNG operations.
What are the latest innovations in display technologies?
In the 25 years that Transvideo has been in existence, a lot of new technologies have appeared in the flat panel display domain. The Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is certainly one of the most promising developments for the next five years; the current low brightness displays, which sustain non-reversible damage and suffer overheating issues and a short life span, remain a major handicap for most matrix manufacturers.

The Thin Film Transistor (TFT) technology has continued to improve since its inception, with higher resolution, faster response time, wider viewing angles and now 10 bit matrixes, plus 1024 levels for each colour, which gives excellent smoothness in shadows and gradations.

Today’s most impressive innovations are certainly in the backlight management for TFTs, which are transparent displays. LED backlight generally reduces the power consumption for higher brightness, and allow startup even at very low temperatures down to -40°C. The use of coloured LEDs in the backlight increases the possibility of reproducing more colours. Some displays also use active lighting - thousands of LEDs behind the display with a light modulation that reproduce a low-resolution picture behind the high resolution one; it provides high-dynamic and high-contrast pictures.

Do you need different monitors for studio work compared with location work? Or for different types of work, eg film vs live sport?
A good field monitor will offer high brightness to work in full sun and a colour calibrated mode to work in a studio environment. It should also be an ‘all-weather’ product with water resistant housing, no noisy fan, and no holes where dust or water can get in. The power must accept a wide range of voltage levels and be protected against wiring mistakes. The picture must have no motion artifacts and be displayed with the shortest processing time to allow focus pulling and fast camera action.

The needs of live sport and film are actually more or less the same – the key features of monitors are real time processing and no motion artifacts together with a high brightness picture to preserve the blacks.
What are the key issues to monitor HD on the field?
The key issue here is to have a picture you can trust, with no motion artifacts. To reduce the motion artifacts it is best to use a display showing pictures with the same frame rate as the camera. This is not always the case, as a lot of low end monitors use home theatre processors that display with a variable frame rate from 60 to 70 hz, which means that it is very difficult to determine if the artifacts come from the camera or the monitor. It is important to have native resolution to avoid scaling artifacts, or if we are talking about small screens, then a display that shows details and transitions. A Focus Helper might be useful, especially when using long focal lenses; it must discriminate clearly what is in focus and out of focus. A good test to perform is to shoot some content that includes vertical and horizontal lines and to see if the system processes both identically.

Enough brightness is essential for a lot of outside takes. However, it must also be possible to reduce the backlight brightness enough so that if you are shooting in a dark environment, you do not blast everybody with the light of your monitor! A good hood is often useful for night conditions.
What about monitoring for stereoscopic 3D?
The challenge of shooting pictures in 3D is to have a clear view of what we expect on the target screen, and a clear understanding of how to proceed to get it in the best condition for the majority of the audience in the theatre. From our point of view it seems impossible to work without the advice of an experienced stereographer.

The needs of a stereographer to make 3D pictures are very specific and it is why we created the “3DView” monitors. A good approach of the requirements comes from with the work of Alain Derobe, a French researcher, filmmaker and teacher of stereography, with whom we enjoy a good relationship.
3DView is a global concept of tools for stereographers. In 2007 we met some stereographers trying to shoot in digital, which was not so easy for them. We designed the 3DView monitors to give them an all-in-one tool allowing them to shoot everywhere without heavy equipment. The conjunction of the 3DView with the development of some methods like “Natural Depth™” from Alain Derobe, allow the audience to be comfortably immersed in 3D without the legendary headaches from the 60’s. The best result we have seen on screen so far is certainly the magisterial work of Wim Wenders on his new 3D film, Pina.

The 3DView family also covers HD transmission. In December 2010 we did three days of live, worldwide Steadicam transmission, with all pictures shot in 3D through the TitanHD 3DView, transmitted by Eutelsat with the technical resources of the RTBF (National Belgium TV). It was a great team success, producing perfect pictures composed live with the 3DView RF monitors.
Do I need polarized glasses to use the 3DView monitors?
No. It is simple to explain. We are not in the home theatre or postproduction business, but in making products for those making the pictures.

When you shoot a 3D movie, the WYSIWYG concept (what you see is what you get) doesn’t exist. If you are the stereographer, what you see on a small screen is not at all what you are hired to obtain for the target screen at the theatre or on TV. The stereographer should see an abstract picture to evaluate the global rig settings, the fringes, the far plane separation and the screen plane location. You cannot do that on a conventional polarized display. This is why 3DView uses false colours and other representations.

There is sometime a confusion with the anaglyph term: yes, we can preview the depth with anaglyphic or shutter glasses but the product is not designed for that.
Transvideo is very specialized in monitors for the Film Industry, isn’t it?
As mentioned before, the needs of film and broadcast work are not dissimilar.
Our background in the traditional Hollywood film industry has given us some good comportment in design. Basically, products must work when you need them and be rugged enough to last for a long period of time! If you buy an Arri camera, you can expect to use it for the next 20 to 30 years. Our main customers are rental houses, they expect to invest their money in trustworthy companies and products, it is what we give them and what makes our reputation. We service some Transvideo monitors which have been used every day during the past 20 years, though fortunately for us some new video formats are coming on the market to push our first users to replace their products!

We are very close to outside broadcast teams with our field monitors and HD/SD transmission systems. To give you an example, many Japanese broadcasters have had access to our products to compare the performance with what they generally use and to experiment with how we improve their working conditions with the CineMonitorHD. We are also extremely present in the High-Speed digital for scientific, security and advertisement market segments.

The growing stereoscopic market is a good opportunity as TV channels and advertising agencies are really looking at this new media. We are also known worldwide and respected in the Steadicam™ market.

Something you might not know is that a significant part of our turnover comes from avionics, for example the cockpit of the Airbus A380 includes several Transvideo displays - not at all the same style as for filmmaking of course, but with a lot of similarities with the technologies developed for field use in harsh environments.

Tags: iss050 | monitoring | transvideo | display technology | tft | led | stereoscopic 3d monitoring | 3dview monitor | N/A
Submitted by N/A Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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Submitted by Chris Smeeton - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Pushing the Boundaries for OTT
Yaniv Ben-Soussan -new OTT video consumption is gaining traction in Western Europe, with 55 percent of UK broadband households and 51 percent of homes in France watching TV programming and movies online, according to Parks Associates. OTT subscriptions are especially popular with today's Millennial population, as Parks Associates found that 23 percent of Millennial heads of household in the U.S. are OTT-only households.
Tags: iss123 | ott | cloud | harmonic | pure compression engine | Yaniv Ben-Soussan -new
Submitted by Yaniv Ben-Soussan -new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Live Remote Production Over IP
John Smith -new As broadcasters migrate to a more ubiquitous IP transport and switching network infrastructure, a key benefit is that the variable expenditures of remote on-site live productions can be dramatically reduced, as it is no longer necessary to carry the high field costs associated with these activities.
Tags: iss123 | medialinks | ip | remote production | John Smith -new
Submitted by John Smith -new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
5G Streaming - The Rollout
Steve Plunkett - new 5G will bring significant improvements in bandwidth per device, capacity per network and reduced latency per session. These are all very important features for video both today and going forward. The growth of new formats such as UHD, AR, VR and 360 video place much greater demand on the networks that serve consumer devices, so 5G will be essential to accommodate this demand.
Tags: iss123 | vod | 5g | ott | ericsson | virtual reality | vr | 360 | Steve Plunkett - new
Submitted by Steve Plunkett - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
OBs are still outside and so are broadcasts
Mike Ransome - new With the advent of new and emerging technologies, and with the one getting the most oxygen at the moment being video over IP, a number of people are asking whether the ability to move control rather further way from an event has, or will, change the nature of OB production.
Tags: iss123 | remote production | ob truck | presteigne | ip | Mike Ransome - new
Submitted by Mike Ransome - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Does the cloud have substance?
Ciaran Doran - new Just at the moment, every customer we talk to wants to move to the cloud. It is not just a techno-buzzword: people are really attracted by it. The idea of getting rid of all hardware and letting someone else worry about keeping machine rooms alive seems like a good plan.
Tags: iss123 | pixel power | cloud | aims | virtualization | Ciaran Doran - new
Submitted by Ciaran Doran - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
New workflows floating on the horizon
Lee Sheppard - new The way in which we consume content has fundamentally changed. We want to watch what we want, when we want, where we want and how we want, and we want to find programmes quickly, preferably in HD or increasingly UHD. Content is king and in order to satisfy consumer requirements it is essential media companies can locate their material quickly and easily.
Tags: iss123 | mam | pam | sgl | Avid | Grass Valley | Marquis | SAM | VSN | CatDV | Lee Sheppard - new
Submitted by Lee Sheppard - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Sennheiser Digital 6000 review
KitPlus Originally founded in 1945 from a university research lab Sennheiser is of course a globally respected brand and have recently launched the Digital 6000 series as an addition to its pro wireless range. KitPlus were invited to a take a look together with a live music event featuring the system in Hannover last month.
Tags: iss123 | sennheiser | d6000 | microphone | d9000 | digital 6000 | em6000 | dante | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Being a Content Creator
Josh Round When I began the Television and Broadcasting course at the University of Portsmouth, I had my mind dead-set on what I wanted to do in the world of television. More than anything, I wanted to work for Children's BBC, ideally as a presenter, and as I come towards the end of my second year, I am still very much in pursuit of this dream.
Tags: iss123 | citv | portsmouth uni | student | Josh Round
Submitted by Josh Round Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Libec HFMP out of the box review
KitPlus Just before we all broke up for Christmas we took delivery of a new 'thing' at KitPlus HQ. Our first reaction was surprise and a little curious as to how it was going to make itself useful. What's the point?
Tags: iss122 | libec | hfmp | monopod | idx | hands free monopod | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Future of Bournemouth Air Festival
Georgia Tolley For the past two years I have had the opportunity to present live at the Bournemouth Air Festival (BAF), which, as a Television & Broadcasting student from the University of Portsmouth, was a fantastic way to see first-hand how an outside broadcast works...whilst getting paid!
Tags: iss122 | portsmouth uni | citv | baf | bournemouth air festival | Georgia Tolley
Submitted by Georgia Tolley Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Transistion in Audio Monitoring
Shane Toven As signal chains have become increasingly complex, the challenges involved in managing and monitoring these paths have multiplied exponentially. Over the past few decades, we've migrated from handling a single channel of content using composite video and analog audio pairs, to elaborate multi-channel facilities routing HD video with embedded audio over SDI or in many cases discrete AES pairs. These audio signals are often a mix of 5.1 and stereo programs and in many cases encoded to or decoded from Dolby at some point in the chain.
Tags: iss122 | aes | ebu r128 | atsc a85 | aes67 | Shane Toven
Submitted by Shane Toven Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
How to illuminate a better shot
Chuck Edwards LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology built for the general lighting market is designed to meet very different criteria than the critical lighting requirements for image capture. While LEDs may be a suitable lighting option for some photography and videography, critical applications, such as feature film, production requires users to understand the limitations, capabilities and advantages of the many types of LED technologies and fixtures available on the market today.
Tags: iss122 | led | lighting | cct | rpt | remote phosor technology | Chuck Edwards
Submitted by Chuck Edwards Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The now and how of LED Lighting
Tama Berkeljon LED lighting has come a long way from the days when companies like Outsight were ridiculed by major manufacturers at trade shows because, the manufacturers asserted, technology couldn't be entrusted with the requirements of our industry.
Tags: iss122 | led lighting | outsite | cri | tlci | dmx control | Tama Berkeljon
Submitted by Tama Berkeljon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Polecam user review
Phil Vinter When it comes to filming from above, drones have dominated in recent years. But restrictions on where and when they can be used means there is still a demand for traditional style jibs.
Tags: iss122 | polecam | review | Phil Vinter
Submitted by Phil Vinter Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Libec TH-X Tripod review
Nick Robbins It is worth highlighting that I am primarily an Editor. Like many of us, over the years I have regularly been involved in the entire creative process in some capacity but increasingly I am asked to go out and film the simpler corporate jobs such as exhibition stands or a 'piece to camera' for YouTube, Vimeo etc. and embedded into the customer's web site. These tend to be the jobs which wouldn't happen at all if the client had to pay for the whole package; camera, sound, director, kit hire, etc.
Tags: iss122 | libec | th-x | tripod | Nick Robbins
Submitted by Nick Robbins Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine