Which card should I buy for monitoring?

Do you have questions about Desktop Video, Converters, Routers and Monitoring?
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Iwo Bobul

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Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostMon Mar 19, 2018 10:46 pm

Hey guys. I'm making my first steps to get a proper colors for grading, and am looking to buy a grading monitor. I'm not sure which one will fall under my budget. It depends on the price of the other I/O I need to buy.

I work on an iMac 5k 2015, so only have thunderbolt 2.0

I need a simple REC709 coverage, no fancy DCI-P3 or adobe RGB. My footage is mostly HD 10bit 422 or 444 (from sony F3 camera), but also I will have some Alexa 2.8k footage coming in soon. Having 5k imac, I have a way to preview resolution, but no way to preview color properly.

I can either get a good HD panel (like older Eizo), or a consumer 4k panel (like LG 31mu97).

As far as I understand Eizo can store 3d LUTs, so all I need is to buy a Mini Monitor PCIe card and Enclosure. Or Ultrastudio Express. Or standalone Ultrastudio MiniMonitor. I have no idea if they will all allow me to preview my 10bit footage with no loss.

Can anyone help me out with understanding which one should I get for HD to get best color?

For 4k it seems to be more simple and PCIe Mini Monitor 4K + PCIe enclosure seems to be the only option, but again, LG cannot store LUTs, so I assume the PCIe card can?

I would be really grateful if someone can help me figure this out. Thank you!
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Paul Willis

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostFri Mar 23, 2018 1:41 pm

I would stick with a good quality HD panel and go with the Eizo. For this you will only need the Mini Monitor Thunderbolt.

You won't get 10bit into the CG247x panel via HDMI, it just doesn't work properly. The newer 4k models do work with 10bit via HDMI. It will still work ok for grading on a budget, but I would highly recommend buying an i1 Display Pro and calibrating it with that rather than the built in probe, you can use the ColorNavigator software that comes with the monitor to do this.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 6:36 pm

Why 10bit doesn't work?
Monitor itself definitely supports 10bit over HDMI, so if it doesn't work with BM card then it's some specific issue.
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Paul Willis

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostThu Mar 29, 2018 12:18 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Why 10bit doesn't work?
Monitor itself definitely supports 10bit over HDMI, so if it doesn't work with BM card then it's some specific issue.


This is what I gathered from various discussions in the past, although it seems like things are working now. Previously it seemed no one was able to get 10bit working over HDMI and had to route through SDI - DP using more expensive gear. It seemed to be an incompatibility between Blackmagic and Eizo.

Although I can't get 10bit over HDMI on my CG277 via Mini Monitor, it seems users are now getting 10bit using the newer DeckLink and Intensity cards on the CG247x. I have 10bit working on a CG248-4k via Intensity 4k on another setup, just not sure if it's the newer generation of monitor or card that's solved it.
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Erik Wittbusch

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostThu Mar 29, 2018 10:47 pm

The Eizo's only accept 10bit RGB over HDMI, which the UltraStudio Mini Monitor does not deliver.

But 10bit is nothing you should worry about in the first place, accuracy is.
You can also put a Decklink Mini Monitor 4k into an Akitio Node and connect that to your iMac...
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostSat Mar 31, 2018 7:48 pm

Is it the same thing which can be switched in Eizo special menu? There was post about it on this forum- don't remember if it was about exactly this issue.
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Erik Wittbusch

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostSat Mar 31, 2018 9:46 pm

No. Can't be switched.

If you want 10bit over HDMI you need a RGB 10bit signal.
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Ian Henderson

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostSun Aug 12, 2018 2:05 pm

Erik Wittbusch wrote:No. Can't be switched.

If you want 10bit over HDMI you need a RGB 10bit signal.


Hey Erik - I saw you posted something about this on Lift Gamma Gain too... does a Decklink Mini Monitor 4k definitely support 10-bit over HDMI to the 247X? This seems like the best reasonably priced monitor setup on the market for now...
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which card should I buy for monitoring?

PostMon Aug 13, 2018 12:41 pm

Erik Wittbusch wrote:No. Can't be switched.

If you want 10bit over HDMI you need a RGB 10bit signal.


This is strange. So YUV mode is 8bit only? Does it affect any signal or just the ones from BM cards?
What Eizo said about it?
I have hard time to believe Eizo won't accept 10bit YUV signal over HDMI (specially this new model).
Have you tested it with AJA (BM and HDMI is the last thing which I would trust)?

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