Every superhero knows that in transitioning from standard definition television to high def we've adopted a different matrixing function for component to/from RGB conversion. The numbers for (old-skool) Rec 601 are thus;
Y = 0.299R +0.587G +0.114B
Cb = 0.564(B-Y) + 350mV
Cr = 0.713(R-Y) + 350mV
And the new kids on the block (Rec 709);
Y = 0.213R +0.715G +0.072B
Cb = 0.539(B-Y) + 350mV
Cr = 0.635(R-Y) + 350mV
So, not only has the weighting of the colours that make up the luminance path changed but the weighting of the colour difference signals is different. I've heard varying accounts of why they felt the change was necessary - I think it's probably to do with cameras and telecines (now be entirely CCD-based as opposed to the ubiquity of tubes when 601 was being formulated) and display devices (are we going to be able to buy a tube'd monitor by the end of this year?!). The new values better reflect the tri-stimulus nature of human vision and are less bound by the very noisy response of the blue-tube in image acquisition devices of yester-year.
However, one of the upshots of this is that digital devices that can receive an SD/HD-SDi bitstream have to be able to switch in the appropriate matrix. If that isn't the case then you'd notice a green cast on pictures if you switched between standards (going from HD to SD) or a magenta error going the other way. In the case of a monitor you'd have to re-calibrate the white point to D65.
The reason this has cropped up is that a facility (where I've just started to offer them colour calibration advice) has noticed that a monitor that was lined up correctly for HD working is showing the wrong colourimetry when being sent an SD feed. It's gone green (and not with envy! - oh, and that isn't the facility in case you're wondering!). It's a JVC DTV1700 series monitor which (although a cheapie at <£2k) has an EBU-phosphored tube (so you can calibrate it to 6500k at the white point). It looks like JVC's input card doesn't do the matrix switch. So, I'm wondering what other monitors do - I was sure the Sony BVM-D range did (but those monitors started in the mid-teen thousands of pounds). Any comments from people who've hit this before? As an aside the image (right - click it!) is from a very good Tektronix poster entitled Understanding Colors and Gamut - I have many copies (along with the equally exciting Understanding High Definition Video!) - give me a yell if you want one.