Evaluating Video Monitors


Video monitors have always been a critical component in any broadcasting operation — but they have evolved significantly as the industry-wide migration from analog broadcast to digital SD and HD has placed new demands on the monitoring function. Current products include feature sets that mirror the complexity of today’s monitoring operations, with richer functionality, smarter design, and greater flexibility for different types of inputs and for handling and analyzing those signals. For mobile broadcasting, these attributes come packaged in a lightweight, rugged construction that stands up to the extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and rough handling that often accompany OB productions.
Innovations in flat-panel display technologies are also impacting monitor design. To succeed in today’s challenging economy, vendors are employing new materials and manufacturing techniques to expand feature sets while maintaining or lowering price points. As a result, next-generation video monitoring displays and their benefits are now within reach of the full range of broadcasting operations.
Robust functionality for today’s digital operations
Thanks to these innovations, it’s now possible to find cost-effective video monitoring solutions that offer the robust, sophisticated functionality required to effectively monitor the complexity and variety of today’s digital signals. A display should be capable of handling multiple formats and sources and offer detailed information about the content. In addition, the unit should provide markers and visually-oriented analytical tools to complement this data, as well as capabilities for evaluating accompanying audio signals. For multiple inputs, the operator should be able to select and view images in color, blue-only, or monochrome.
For audio signals accompanying the video feeds, state-of-the-art monitors typically provide an integrated display of audio level meters and a built-in headphone jack. Other on-screen display features should provide valuable at-a-glance data, such as markers that allow the user to highlight a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio with safe areas according to user-configurable settings, and key identifiers that indicate video format, source, and time code.
Monitor manufacturers are placing greater emphasis on units that save space, reduce external device costs, and enhance convenience — with features such as a waveform display of the input signal within an in-monitor window — which provides a complementary monitoring tool. An on-screen vectorscope is another newly introduced feature that adds additional value to the video monitoring system.
OLED: the green and cost-effective option
Display vendors are also emphasizing “green” features such as OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display technology, which uses a set of thin organic films, placed between conductors, to emit bright light when electric current flows through the conductors. Since they can operate without a backlight, OLED displays offer significant power savings — and an “off” OLED element produces no light and consumes no power. This very low power requirement makes OLED displays ideal for any cost- and green-conscious broadcast facility. For the mobile market where power, heat, and weight issues are always a factor, OLED technology’s lightweight and much thinner design make it especially appealing.
In addition, the display quality of OLED is superior to any other type of screen currently on the market. OLED technology offers a better contrast ratio, and since it emits light directly, OLED provides a greater range of colors, gamut, brightness, and viewing angles than does LCD. The incredibly sharp colors of an OLED display yield a visible difference that is clear to the professional and to the untrained eye. In addition, the response time for OLED displays is significantly better than that of standard LCD and plasma monitors.
When first introduced, the shorter usable life of OLED materials limited their use. This is no longer an issue, however, since advances in manufacturing have significantly increased life expectancy. The size of OLED displays is also increasing, making their use in OB vehicles as well as fixed broadcast facilities ever more attractive.
Making a future-proof choice
It goes without saying: the best investment in video monitor technology (or any other production equipment, for that matter) is one that will stand the test of time. One way to future-proof your monitoring operations is to choose systems with 3G capability, since the transition to HD operations is paving the way for 3Gb/s infrastructures requiring 3Gb/s-ready or 3Gb/s-capable devices.
Systems that can be easily adapted to the higher-bandwidth requirements of a rapidly evolving industry are critical in today’s operations — and video monitor manufacturers are cooperating by striving to keep prices level while introducing features for improved efficiencies, greener and more cost-effective operations, and compatibility with new IT-based broadcast systems and infrastructures. After evaluating their own specific needs, broadcasters should be able to find the functionality they require and the value that their budgets demand.
###
Jeff McNall is director of product development for Wohler Technologies, a San Francisco Bay-area manufacturer of confidence monitoring and signal management solutions for the broadcast and pro audio/visual markets.

Tags: wohler | iss050 | monitoring | monitors | oled | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

  • Wohler at IBC 2016

    Wohler at IBC 2016

  • Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

    Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • WohlerGateway at IBC 2014

    WohlerGateway at IBC 2014

  • Wohler at IBC 2012

    Wohler at IBC 2012

  • Wohler at IBC2011

    Wohler at IBC2011

  • Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

    Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

  • JVC monitoring solutions DT-G, DT-E, DT-U, and DT-V range at BVE 2018

    JVC monitoring solutions DT-G, DT-E, DT-U, and DT-V range at BVE 2018

  • IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

    IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

  • Apantac monitoring over IP at NAB 2016

    Apantac monitoring over IP at NAB 2016

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

    The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

  • Phabrix Qx at IBC 2015

    Phabrix Qx at IBC 2015

  • Phabrix TAG and Rx at IBC 2015

    Phabrix TAG and Rx at IBC 2015

  • NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

    NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

  • Phabrix RX series at IBC 2014

    Phabrix RX series at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

    Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2013

    Sound Devices at NAB 2013

  • TSL Products at NAB 2013

    TSL Products at NAB 2013

  • TSL Systems at BVE 2013

    TSL Systems at BVE 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2012

    Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2012

  • RTW at NAB 2012

    RTW at NAB 2012

  • TSL at NAB 2012

    TSL at NAB 2012

  • Qualis at NAB 2012

    Qualis at NAB 2012

  • Digital Nirvana at NAB 2012

    Digital Nirvana at NAB 2012

  • Leader at IBC2011

    Leader at IBC2011

  • Murraypro at IBC2011

    Murraypro at IBC2011

  • DK Technology at IBC2011

    DK Technology at IBC2011

  • CueScript show their IP CSM Monitors at IBC 2018

    CueScript show their IP CSM Monitors at IBC 2018

  • JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

    JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

  • Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

    Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

  • Marshall Monitors at IBC 2013

    Marshall Monitors at IBC 2013

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • Datavideo on the Holdan stand at BVE 2013

    Datavideo on the Holdan stand at BVE 2013

  • Autocue at NAB 2012

    Autocue at NAB 2012

  • Autocue at BVE 2012

    Autocue at BVE 2012

  • Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

  • Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2011

    Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2011

  • Pixelution at BVE North 2011

    Pixelution at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Sony monitoring at BVE with Den Lennie

    Sony monitoring at BVE with Den Lennie


Articles
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Future proofing post production storage
Josh Goldenhar Advancements in NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), the storage protocol designed for flash, are revolutionising data storage. According to G2M Research, the NVMe market will grow to $60 billion by 2021, with 70 percent of all-flash arrays being based on the protocol by 2020. NVMe, acting like steroids for flash-based storage infrastructures, dynamically and dramatically accelerates data delivery.
Tags: iss135 | nvme | sas | sata | it | storage | post production | Josh Goldenhar
Contributing Author Josh Goldenhar Click to read or download PDF
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
Grading BBC Sounds
Simone Grattarola

The BBC has launched its new personalised music, radio and podcast app with a campaign that follows one listener’s journey from meeting Kylie Minogue in a lift to Idris Elba on a bus. 

BBC Sounds offers a single home for the BBC’s thousands of hours of audio content, including live and on-demand shows and special music mixes curated by artists.

BBC Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative division, took the brief to agency Riff Raff Films and Megaforce directing duo of Charles Brisgand and Raphaël Rodriguez who in turn brought on board regular collaborators Time Based Arts.

Tags: iss135 | bbc | grading | bbc sounds | davinici | resolve | blackmagic | editing | Simone Grattarola
Contributing Author Simone Grattarola Click to read or download PDF