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
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Andy Warman As the next big thing in video, from capture and production through to display in the home, 4K and ultra-high-definition (UHD) video offers many benefits. Most notable of these is an eightfold increase in resolution as compared with 1080i, the established standard for HD broadcast. A number of other significant enhancements to image quality are also helping to drive interest in the adoption of this format.
Tags: iss114 | uhd | storage | harmonic | Andy Warman
Submitted by Andy Warman Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
OTT A Multiscreen Environment
Sefy Ariely Just when pay-TV operators and content providers seemed to be facing an insurmountable number of challenges related to OTT multiscreen delivery, the cloud has emerged as their saving grace. During this Q&A session, Sefy Ariely, EVP Americas at Viaccess-Orca, discusses the advantages of using a complete cloud-based TV Platform as a Service (PaaS) for OTT multiscreen delivery, explaining the differences between relying on the CAPEX vs. OPEX model for broadcast delivery, from an infrastructure and cost point of view.
Tags: iss114 | ott | pay-tv | paas | tvaas | Sefy Ariely
Submitted by Sefy Ariely Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Pros and Cons of Archiving in the Cloud
Lee Sheppard Archiving content in the cloud provides a number of key benefits. However, many media companies and content owners are still hesitant to store their assets that way due to content security implications and cost concerns. So what are the pros and cons of storing content in the cloud?
Tags: iss114 | archiving | cloud | pfr | encryption | Lee Sheppard
Submitted by Lee Sheppard Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Content Security in the CLoud
Bruce Devlin Security is a difficult topic. There is no such thing a generic security. You always secure yourself against specific threats and hope the solution is generic enough to cover other similar classes of threat. For example - placing an expensive lock on the front door of your house prevents the specific threat of gaining access by using the door handle on the door. It gives you no protection at all from someone using a diamond tipped chainsaw to cut through the house to make a new door.
Tags: iss114 | cloud security | saas | paas | Bruce Devlin
Submitted by Bruce Devlin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
It is not is but when it will happen to you
Leighton Chenery Most businesses use "the cloud", either internally for services like payroll processing or an employee benefits portal, or externally for customer relationship management, data storage or payment processing. But how does this impact your Insurable Risk? No doubt, it definitely complicates things.
Tags: iss114 | insurance | cyber | cloud | Leighton Chenery
Submitted by Leighton Chenery Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Girl Power
Dick Hobbs. This month I was going to write about something important about the future technological platforms of our industry. It would have been incisive, enlightening and enriching. It really would have been.
Tags: iss114 | girl power | snh48 | Dick Hobbs.
Submitted by Dick Hobbs. Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Soutions for Portable Storage
Beth Zarkosh We all know how frustrating it can be to keep losing data because your hard drive keeps packing in, right? So, I 've done my research to help you choose the best portable hard drives with a focus for the 'on the go ' editor of today!
Tags: iss114 | storage | gtech | seagate | g-drive | transcend | western digital | toshiba canvio | seagate seven | istorage | lacie mirror | Beth Zarkosh
Submitted by Beth Zarkosh Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Bridging the Gap between Broadcast and Online
Petter Ole Social media and VOD services have increasingly become more important platforms for the telling of news and current affairs stories. Just a few years ago news producers would create a show for a particular time slot but now, news segments are published online almost immediately after being created. To do this however, each platform having its own format and preferred settings, content must be exported for upload in a specific way.
Tags: iss114 | vizrt | vod | Petter Ole
Submitted by Petter Ole Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Challenges of Streaming
Joseph Ail The purpose of this article to highlight the challenges facing small and medium streaming services. It is intended to look at how to achieve successful live and pre recorded content by means of streaming. In this article I would like to share the knowledge and the experience I have gained so far. I will also talk about the kit I use, how it is used and the methods I have developed. Another aspect of this article is LOGISTICS which is a very big part of streaming.
Tags: iss114 | streaming | iptv | vod | Joseph Ail
Submitted by Joseph Ail Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Bringing Realiability to the Unpredictability of Reality TV
Martin Bennett Synonymous with reality TV, Endemol 's 2015 production of Wild Island was set in a remote location off the coast of Central America. The German-produced series, supported by MoovIT production services, featured 14 ordinary citizens left to their own devices to survive on an uninhabited tropical island with no food or water for 28 days. With six cameras covering the action and antics, the production team, who were located on a neighboring island fours hours away by boat, brought an EditShare XStream EFS with integrated Flow to wrangle the 20 to 30 hours of footage they received per day.
Tags: iss114 | xstream | EFS | editshare | airflow | Martin Bennett
Submitted by Martin Bennett Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Networking with the GTC
Duncan Payne The annual Guild Of Television Cameramen ( GTC ) Open Day and AGM was held recently in the Oxfordshire countryside on a sunny Sunday. It's a while since I've attended one, and the welcome was as warm and friendly as it always has been.
Tags: iss114 | guild of television camermen | gtc | country | awards | azule | finance | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Meeting the Challenges of Media Assett Management
Dave Clack It's been 20 years since Microsoft founder Bill Gates uttered the words "content is king," and never has that statement been more true in media production environments. And yet, ask producers in any high-pressure broadcast operation to name their biggest challenges, and you can bet that managing video assets - finding them, accessing them, and using them efficiently and effectively - is high on the list.
Tags: iss114 | mam | hdr | nas | lfts | lto. catdv | Dave Clack
Submitted by Dave Clack Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Looking back at a typical day working on Top of the Pops
Graham Reed A few weeks ago I was watching television and caught a bit of 'Top of the Pops ' from 1984, and I thought, 'Was this one of the programmes I worked on? ' I was privileged enough to be a staff cameraman at the BBC for 20 years, during that time I was able to work on many great shows: Only Fools and Horses, Blue Peter and Two Ronnies to name but a few.
Tags: iss114 | top of the pops | totp | ittp | Graham Reed
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TVFutures looking back at the class of 2015
Charlie Watts In a review of the academic year, KitPlus looks back over all of the contributions from students (and staff) and asks for one last comment 'with an eye to the future'
Tags: iss114 | university | portsmouth | citv | education | training | Charlie Watts
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Canon C300 MkII Reviewed
Ben Sherriff It 's been just over eight months since the release of the updated C300 camera the C300 MkII and almost five years since Vincent Laforet shot Mobius with a pre-production C300. In a landscape dominated by self-shooters and the continued rise of internet video, the C300 perhaps surprisingly like it 's forefather the 5DMkII came to become a solid staple of broadcast / reality production, independent film and online content. In fact, it became the most hired camera in Great Britain, so when I was offered the opportunity to shoot for two weeks with the MkII on a job and review the camera for KitPlus, I was keen to really get to grips with the new offering.
Tags: iss114 | canon | c300 mkII | DSLR | steadicam | Ben Sherriff
Submitted by Ben Sherriff Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine