Why choose a broadcast or professional monitor


Just as it’s unlikely that anyone would purchase a family vehicle to set trailblazing records around a race track and a sports car is not going to be the best choice for off-road use, the same principle is true of monitors – the key is to match the product to the demands of the task.
So what are the differences between the major monitor families?
Consumer TVs
Consumer TVs are designed to satisfy users in a domestic setting, offering a combination of rich, vibrant pictures and fashionable cosmetic design. Although they deliver an enjoyable experience, their video performance is generally only as good as the demands placed on them by the limited quality of terrestrial, cable or satellite transmissions. Invariably consumer TVs do not possess the accuracy, consistency, transparency, or the colour range (gamut) required to faithfully reproduce video source material.
Computer Monitors
Most computer monitors are intended to display text and still images; consequently they are optimised for copy readability and the vivid display of pictures. In the case of specialised gaming monitors, they can also deliver good moving picture rendition. However, as with consumer TVs, their video circuitry and display panel performance is inevitably compromised by usage considerations and will not allow professional picture quality decisions to be made with any degree of confidence. Furthermore, in the case of LCD computer monitors, the viewing angle is often very restricted and as a result it is unsuitable for production gallery or multiple viewer purposes. Computer monitors also have a different colour space to video monitors, which makes those monitors not accurate enough for video material.
Professional Monitors
Professional monitors are designed to display moving and still images in accordance with international performance standards. The best are designed to be as neutral, transparent and as consistent as possible, within their price sector, and can be relied upon to deliver faithful picture representations suitable for quality control (preview) monitoring performance, sufficient for all but the most critical decision-making situations. Professional monitors also possess the dedicated user features and robust chassis design required by commercial users.
Broadcast Monitors (Reference Monitors)
Broadcast monitors take the standards and features set by the best professional monitors to the next level. As with Professional Monitors they are designed to be neutral, transparent and consistent, but for this sector compromises are not acceptable. The best broadcast monitors do not add, or subtract, anything visually significant to, or from, the original source. They are the only true option where critical decisions have to be made based on image quality.
What questions should you ask when choosing a Professional or Master Monitor?
Picture Resolution
Does it match my needs? Not all monitors display full 1920x1080 HD resolution.

Viewing Angle
Is colour shift visible as I walk around the monitor? Would the producer and client see the same image if say viewing in an edit suite? Is the viewing angle wide enough?

Colour and Greyscale Accuracy
Is it accurate enough for my applications? Can I see hue shifts when brightness changes? How accurate is the white balance? Can I see step transitions between luminance levels and colour changes? And if so how problematic is this?
Picture Consistency
Will these monitors all look the same in my production monitor wall? Do they have a colour management system which determines this?

Operational Features
Does it have appropriate and straightforward operational features - parameter change buttons, menu structures, etc - and how well do they meet your needs?
Colour Reproduction
Does the monitor provide the colour reproduction you require?Broadcast and Professional LCD monitors can easily be switched to emulate a wide range of different international colour gamut standards such as EBU, SMPTE-C, ITU-709 – and even the colour-rich D-Cinema standard, thus increasing the range of applications they can be used on. (Colour space and gamut are designations for the range of colours that a monitor can display).
Picture Processing
Does the monitor have an 8 or 10 bit panel? (10 bit has 1024 colours per channel versus 8 bit which has 256 colours per channel; therefore 10 bit has 4x more bit depth) Does the monitor have 8, 10 or 12 bit colour processing? (12 Bit will therefore have 4096 levels of processing per RGB colour channel) Does the performance of the picture processing meet the requirements of application I need, reference or professional? How is text used in rolls, crawls and graphics displayed?
SD and HD Performance
Is the performance of the monitor good enough at both SD and HD and does it have any modes to enhance the SD picture performance? Most monitors provide resolutions up to HD and therefore provide great HD pictures. However scaling of SD pictures has varying results. Some monitors have ability to enhance the SD picture performance and separately replicate a true Interlace mode.
Versatility of Input Type
Does the monitor support a wide variety of input types from HDMI to HDSDI, from analogue composite to DVI? Different applications require different input types and. not all monitors support a wide range of inputs with future proofing for 444 and 3G
Ambient Light Reflection
Will the glossy finish on the monitor annoy me in my daily operation? Is the contrast ratio compromised? Will I have to work in a darkened room to avoid reflections? How will it impact on my working environment?

Display Response Time
Is their an unacceptable blurring effect when viewing moving images? How does it change with brightness and colour saturation levels? Does it look like it’s in line with the manufacturer’s specification?

Video Delay (Latency)
Is delay excessive? Will it cause lip sync problems. On adjustable systems, is the trade-off between minimising delay and picture quality acceptable?

Black Level Reproduction
How good is the contrast? Can I see sufficient detail in the black areas of the picture? It’s best to check using a variety of different pictures, not just test signals.

Picture Noise
How much noise and unwanted artefacts are visible? Is their excessive judder on moving images? Will it affect my operation?

Versatility and Future-Proofing
Will it cope with all the different applications and standards I deal with? Will I be able to adapt the monitor if broadcast or video standards change? Is my investment really future-proof?

Robustness
Is the product strong enough? Will it survive the inevitable knocks and bumps it will experience in daily commercial use? How would the display panel react to an impact?

After-Sales Support
How long is the product warranty? Does the manufacturer have a rigorous service infrastructure in place? What is their response time? How will they help if the product cannot be repaired quickly?

Tags: sony | iss032 | monitor | experts | consumer tv | computer monitor | professional monitor | broadcast monitor | how to choose a monitor | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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What is Next for Broadcast
David Schleifer The Broadcast industry is always chasing new technology. Some of that technology is further than it appears to be, and some of it is closer to adoption than it seems. In part, early adopted technology is accelerated because of customer or business demands, and in the case of IP based environments, the driving factors are speed, cost reduction, and flexibility of workflow. To counterbalance these efficiency-based factors is a desire by content creators and customers to see more 4K HDR content on their new big screens. In some ways the push to deliver 4K workflows also makes the need to manage cost/performance even more urgent.
Tags: iss131 | 4k | primestream | hdr | hls | mpeg dash | rtsp | rtmp | streaming | David Schleifer
Contributing Author David Schleifer Click to read or download PDF
Betting Industry Transformed by Video Technology
Chris Thornton In the betting and gaming industry, the streaming of live sports from across the globe is a big business. It’s proven that revenues increase when bettors are able to watch the event that they have placed a bet on, providing a far more engaging experience.
Tags: iss131 | sis | betting | latency | satellite | jpeg2000 | Chris Thornton
Contributing Author Chris Thornton Click to read or download PDF
Delivering on the 4k Promise
Lorna Garrett It’s happened. Consumers are demanding 4K UHD content. They have the TVs, smartphones, tablets and other devices they need, and with much of Netflix and Amazon original content in 4K, as well as sports coverage from BT and Sky, consumers have tasted the future of content quality and are hungry for more. But broadcasters need not worry if their customers have enough bandwidth to receive 4K content - the solutions are ready to make 4K distribution a reality. New viewers are waiting if you’re ready to get to them first.
Tags: iss131 | garland | 4k | uhd | hevc | hc11000 | media excel | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF
Security, Identity and Privacy
Bruce Devlin - new Put your hand up if you have more than one online-identity. Keep your hand up if the adverts for your latest online purchase follow you between identities as you surf the web. You can now let your hand fall into your lap because adverts that follow you indicate algorithms that have merged your multiple identities into the one and only you.
Tags: iss131 | class | Security | Identity | Privacy | gdpr | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read or download PDF
What is Serial Communication
Mike Colyer

Don’t get me wrong - the advent of IP technology has done wonders for the broadcasting universe, especially here in Special Cams land where changing a setting could have involved a rather long walk and climb to a remote camera location! Nevertheless, this said, I still feel that serial communication is a huge contender - not only just in the realm of odd robotics systems, but also across broadcast in general.

In this article, I will walk through the very basics - introducing a few different types of serial and how they work.

Tags: iss131 | rs422 | rs232 | parity | rs485 | Mike Colyer
Contributing Author Mike Colyer Click to read or download PDF
How to shoot the perfect lighting mix
Alan Ipakchian Advances in high-quality LED lighting over the past couple of decades might be one of the best things that’s ever happened to broadcast and cinema production. Compared to traditional tungsten fixtures, LED lights offer powerful operational and financial benefits from longer life and lower energy bills to brighter, more consistent light and greater control over color temperature. LEDs generate much lower heat and are relatively cool to the touch, meaning they can be used in much smaller rooms and studios without sweating out the talent and crew or damaging property. Plus, compared to traditional tungsten bulbs, LED lights are virtually maintenance-free and can deliver tens of thousands of hours of lamp life.
Tags: iss131 | litepanels | led | lighting | 2 person interview lighting | Alan Ipakchian
Contributing Author Alan Ipakchian Click to read or download PDF
Tips and Tricks to Giving Sci-Fi a New Look
Mathieu Marano From Terminator to Blade Runner, Alien, and even E.T., science fiction is a genre that will never fail to capture an audience’s imagination. It’s also a genre that encompasses so much more than just space crafts or time travel: frequently providing filmmakers with a platform from which to not only highlight social and political issues, but also explore innovations in the world of filmmaking itself.
Tags: iss131 | sci-fi | blackmagic design | vfx | resolve | 4k | cinemadng | davinci | ursa mini | Mathieu Marano
Contributing Author Mathieu Marano Click to read or download PDF
TV Futures, Tales on Location
Georgia Thirtle If I think back to last May, I was just finishing my second year at the University of Portsmouth, studying Television and Broadcasting, and winding down for the summer. Then out of the blue I got a message from my course leader, saying I might be getting a call from someone who was a location manager working for Raider productions, you know, the production company behind the upcoming Tomb Raider film, I mean, what!?
Tags: iss130 | portsmouth university | tomb raider | cci tv | ccitv | Georgia Thirtle
Contributing Author Georgia Thirtle Click to read or download PDF
Transforming asset management and monetization
Chad Hamilton FremantleMedia is one of the largest global television-production companies in the world — with one of the biggest and most valuable catalogs. We operate in 36 markets, creating, producing, and distributing content across traditional TV and digital platforms at a rate of more than 10,000 hours of programming per year.
Tags: iss130 | freemantlemedia | core | wazee | Chad Hamilton
Contributing Author Chad Hamilton Click to read or download PDF
Tried and tested: DPA d:vice
KitPlus KitPlus recently took delivery of an interesting piece of equipment for review. We like our iPhone gadgets here. For us, useful iPhone gadgets started when the Olloclip lens gave us a wide angle adaptor. This was a good start, finally evolving into a proper tool when Ziess produced the Exolens system for the 5,6 & 7 series iPhones. Around the same time as the Olloclip came out we were testing the Fostex AR4i which was a very exciting development at the time. You have a portable device, that you carry everywhere with you, connected to the world but with very limited audio capabilities. A stereo interface with decent microphones was a real boon!
Tags: iss130 | dpa | dvice | iphone | journalist mic | filmic | ios | microdot | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
The shining star of Dancing On Ice
Rod Aaron Gammons Lighting is an incredibly important part of any TV production, and it can make a huge difference to what is seen on-screen. If the right lights are used in the right way, it can create a mood, set a tone and convey a certain atmosphere.
Tags: iss130 | rotolight | led lighting | anova pro 2 | chris yacoubian | Rod Aaron Gammons
Contributing Author Rod Aaron Gammons Click to read or download PDF
Reliable back-up at the Music City Bowl
Sam Gordon WLEX – LEX18 – is the NBC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, and part of the Cordillera Communications Group. As a very popular local station with a broadcast area that covers 40 counties across central Kentucky we have a big commitment to news, broadcasting more than seven hours of live programming on a typical day.
Tags: iss130 | wlex-tv | dejero | engo | gobox | cellsat | Sam Gordon
Contributing Author Sam Gordon Click to read or download PDF
NAB is all about people
John Smith -new The relative success of NAB is down to people. The individuals we meet, the relationships we make and renew with customers and the desire to work together to develop a technology solution to any given challenge.
Tags: iss130 | media links | nab | mdp 3020 | md8000 | John Smith -new
Contributing Author John Smith -new Click to read or download PDF
Grand slam IPTV and digital signage platform
Joe Walsh Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, is home to major league baseball’s Kansas City Royals. Built in 1973, “The K” has a proud baseball legacy, and goes down in history for winning two World Series championship titles; one in 1985 and another in 2015 — exactly 20 years apart. The most recent win brought a resurgence of baseball fever to the stadium, hosting more than 2.7 million fans during its 2015 winning season.
Tags: iss130 | iptv | vitec | eztv | Joe Walsh
Contributing Author Joe Walsh Click to read or download PDF
VR and the importance of tracking
KitPlus I would like to begin this article by clarifying what we at Shotoku mean when we talk about VR in live production. It’s not the production of immersive, 360 content where you need to wear a headset; we are talking about virtual studio (VS) and augmented reality (AR) work, such as placing graphics into a green screen environment or physical set. The technology used for this work is entirely different, though equally specialist – therefore it is important to understand the challenges of this kind of production in order to make informed kit choices.
Tags: iss130 | shotoku | vr | live production | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Technological advances in the broadcast industry
Alan Wheable Since it is Omnitek’s 20th anniversary this year, I thought it would be interesting to look back over the technological advances in the broadcast industry over the last few decades and look at the similarities between then and now.
Tags: iss130 | omnitek | test and measurement | smpte 2110 | untra tq | 2022 | sdi 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Six steps for award winning sound design with Jungle Studios
Chris Turner Few can argue that great sound design is one of the most important elements to any moving picture. Mute most horrors, and the difference in fear factor will be enormous. Visualize Jaws or Star Wars, and John Williams’s iconic score will instantly come to mind.
Tags: iss130 | jungle studios | fairlight | blackmagic design | davinci | Chris Turner
Contributing Author Chris Turner Click to read or download PDF
How IP-based KVM can improve workflow in broadcast control rooms
John Halksworth One of the most significant shifts the broadcast industry has seen over recent years is the adoption of IP technology as a standard infrastructure across the entire broadcast workflow. IP provides a network suitable for routing audio, video and control around a broadcast facility and is providing the answers to many industry challenges.
Tags: iss130 | kvm | adder | adderlink | alif100t | John Halksworth
Contributing Author John Halksworth Click to read or download PDF
Out of the box: Sennheiser Ambeo VR microphone
Jon Pratchett 2 The use of 360 video, especially on platforms like Facebook and YouTube is really starting to take off. Gone are the days when you needed to buy multiple GoPros and rigs in order to get something decent looking. Now players like Insta360 and even GoPro with their fusion 360 camera are providing single camera, high quality solutions, enabling the masses to put out reasonable quality, certainly watchable, 360 video.
Tags: iss130 | vr | virtual reality | audio | ambiosonic | Jon Pratchett 2
Contributing Author Jon Pratchett 2 Click to read or download PDF
Why OTT needs multicast ABR
Damien Lucas Last year, Netflix’s global revenue reached $11 billion, with 24 million new names added to its subscribers’ list. Viewers are certainly making their preferences heard – and voting with their remote controls to show that over-the-top (OTT) content is here to stay.
Tags: iss130 | ott | abr | adaptive bit rate | cdn | dsl | lte | Damien Lucas
Contributing Author Damien Lucas Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation
Dick Hobbs - new

On the most recent occasion I was trimmed, my hairdresser had just returned from a holiday in Hawaii.

Where she thought she was going to die. She thought this because the state’s emergency alert system was triggered, sending messages across all available platforms, for 38 minutes, that a ballistic missile was about to strike. That, I suspect, is the sort of thing that casts a pall across your holiday.

Why did it happen? Essentially it happened because an operator selected the wrong menu item. “I feel very badly from what’s happened,” he is quoted as saying, in a somewhat mangled version of English which may at least in part explain his difficulties with menu items.

Tags: iss130 | alertsense | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Interview with Peter Rowsell, Polar Graphics
Polar If you don’t recognise the name Peter Rowsell instantly you no doubt would recognise him in person, from the famous ‘Pink Coconut’ parties during IBC (Brighton) in the 80s or the name ‘Polar Video or Polar Graphics’ both companies which he’s built up over the years.
Tags: iss130 | polar graphics | apantac | bluefish | cinedeck | focalpoint | mediaproxy | stardom | storagedna | Polar
Contributing Author Polar Click to read or download PDF
Somewhere down the latency river
Ben Hawker Some people have been, understandably, getting fairly excited over the prospect of being able to deploy wireless cameras to capture and transmit 4K UHD. Manufacturers and developers are closing in on the ability to deliver systems that will offer up almost endless creative options at the highest – to date – possible picture quality.
Tags: iss129 | latency | 4k | wireless | rf | presteigne | Ben Hawker
Contributing Author Ben Hawker Click to read