Friday, October 16, 2009

Eizo CG232W television monitor

I've been sent several monitors to look at over the last year that are essentially high-end computer displays that have been fitted with HD-SDi input and (with verying degrees of success) been sold as grading screens.
The first mistake that's often made is the amount of light output. The worst offender was the HP DreamColour range - peak whites at 500Cd/m2! BBC standard is to grade for TV at eighty and many film people are now setting monitors at sixty for long grading sessions. It is true that delta-E (the smallest perceivable colour difference on a standardised scale) decreases with overall illumination - at five hundred candelas per metre-squared you're nearly blinded. It might be fine for watching Toy Story but it's not what TV grading is about. I hear lots of colourist-wannabe's going on about how good a monitor looks without realising the most important thing is that a monitor is accurate - it conforms to the standard. Your TV at home should look good so you enjoy your movies etc. BUT your grading display should be brutally honest. Also - bear in mind that only about one in ten-thousand people have perfect colour memory (I don't) and so looking at a monitor for colour accuracy without a colourimetry probe (and not a £200 thing you bought for your Mac!) is pointless.

1. Whites - I'm so glad this display is kicking out a respectable sub-100Cd/m2! As mentioned we've seen several computer monitors that have been bent to look like TV displays that kick out many times more light than they should.

2. Blacks - Nothing special for an LCD - this looks like many LCD TV displays, the blacks are a bit lacking in detail. Ironically the cheap JVC DTV-20 series do blacks a bit better.

3. Interlace - the de-interlacer seems on par with the VuTrix Pro-24 - it struggles a bit with certain slow pans and zooms but seems to get captions (crawls and rolls) correct - better than the VuTrix. Some sub-frame events (fireworks going off, paparazzi camera flashes etc) upset it more than other monitors.

4. Resolution - looks fine. On a 0-15Mhz grating I can see the last section fine and there's no lacking in detail on real pictures.

5. Colour balance seems fine – next to a know good display both whites and blacks (well, 10% greys!) are v.close to D6500. It seems to track perfectly as well.

6. Backlight consistency – much better than the three VuTrix panels I’ve seen recently – as good as a Sony or eCinema DCM-23 (both >£15k panels).

I’d stress that I’ve looked at it very much as a TV monitor with my BBC / Illuminant-D eyes on. I’m not a film colour guy but TV colourimetry is my thing.

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