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Reference Monitors & LG’s OLEDs in The Color Suite

January 22, 2017

Team Mixing Light discusses choosing colorist reference monitors. Plus, using LG's consumer OLED televisions in our color suites.


Series
Day 22: 25 Insights in 25 Days New Year’s Marathon

Discussing Reference Monitors & LG OLEDs

Episode 36: From The Mailbag

Well, it’s the last weekend of our New Year’s Marathon.  We have a few days left, but we hope you’ve enjoyed the daily Insights!

2017 is going to be a big year for Mixing Light and we’re more dedicated than ever to bring you top notch color correction training.

Sunday’s are Mailbag days during the marathon and in this installment, we first revisit a subject that we’ve talked about before and is often talked about in colorist circles – reference monitors. We discuss in more depth OLED consumer displays from LG – these displays have been getting quite a bit of attention over the past year or so, and LG continues to improve them.

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get our opinion on please use the contact form. Your question may be included in a future episode of  From The Mailbag.

Your questions can be aesthetic, technical or even client related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From The MailBag.

Revisiting Reference Monitors

Yep, we’re talking about reference monitors again!

We got a question from a member named Luca, that was wide-ranging – but essentially he was asking for help picking a new reference monitor. He inquired about LED vs. OLED, HD vs. UHD, and if HDR monitoring was worth the investment at this point.

Although we’ve discussed reference monitors in various Mailbags, articles, videos and other podcasts here on the site, this is a question we get weekly (sometimes daily).

In part one, we take some time talking about reference monitors, what makes a good one, connectivity, HD vs. UHD, budget and other things to consider when looking for a new reference monitor.


Using LG OLEDs In The Color Suite

Over the past year, you’ve probably heard us (really Robbie!) talking about 2016 LG OLEDs and how good they are once properly setup.  But you’ve probably also heard us say several times they can be a bit of a pain to get setup properly.

Succumbing to peer pressure, Patrick recently purchased a 2016 LG 55″ B6 OLED, so because of that and because of Luca’s question, in part 2 we jump in and talk about these displays, how good they are, and essential setup steps.

This is a pretty dense Mailbag part so to help you out please check out these links:

When we originally recorded this episode it was nearly 45min so we cut down things quite a bit.  In the edited version, a few bits of vital information were left out:

  • Throughout the episode, Robbie refers to the LG as having a backlight.  Robbie was just having a brain fart! And late in the episode (the part we cut), he corrected himself.  Emissive displays like OLED, of course, don’t have backlights! In OLED speak, this is known as electrophosphorescence.
  • The built-in CMS is acceptable for minor adjustments like saturation, brightness, etc. The issues lie more with the grayscale and individual color adjustment settings. We clarified this in a bit that got cut.
  • The 2017 LG specs are better – better P3 performance, better HDR performance (peak white is near 1000nits).  The other interesting thing is LG announced a tick-tock schedule like Intel used to have.  Meaning 2017 is an improvement year, 2018 is a redesign year.
  • 2017 LG OLEDs will support 4 flavors of HDR – HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and Technicolor’s Advanced HDR

LG OLEDs aren’t perfect, and there is a lot of new competition from Panasonic, Sony and others.  But when it comes to professional use, it’s good to know OLED is alive and well, and that new options that can be adapted from professional use are continuing to be developed. One can only dream about what NAB 2017 will mean for professional OLEDs!

You guys have been quiet! We want your questions! Of course, you can use the comments below if you have more to add to the conversation. 

-Team Mixing Light

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Comments

Homepage Forums Reference Monitors & LG’s OLEDs in The Color Suite

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  • Patrick as an alternative to the the 2 boxes you bought, You could have purchased the $200 4k mini monitor card and used direct HDMI from the card to the TV since resolve supplies the meta data via the HDMI and can applied the luts beforehand. The resolve pattern generator supports HDR meta.

  • Patrick as an alternative to the the 2 boxes you bought, You could have purchased the $200 4k mini monitor card and used direct HDMI from the card to the TV since resolve supplies the meta data via the HDMI and can applied the luts beforehand. The resolve pattern generator supports HDR meta.

  • As far as the banding when adjusting the LG CMS here is a pic I of what I experienced in HDR mode. Reseting the tv fixed it.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1406c7084d11460a3f94fd1a15583d1f4164bebed98d068d966c4e0391c64b1.jpg
    https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=54674

    I have been able to successfully adjust basic 20 point grayscale in SDR mode. I was told from someone at spectracal that the CMS/White balance fails a part in HDR mode but is ok in SDR and it was best to adjust the 2 point white balance in the service menu.

  • As far as the banding when adjusting the LG CMS here is a pic I of what I experienced in HDR mode. Reseting the tv fixed it.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1406c7084d11460a3f94fd1a15583d1f4164bebed98d068d966c4e0391c64b1.jpg
    https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=54674

    I have been able to successfully adjust basic 20 point grayscale in SDR mode. I was told from someone at spectracal that the CMS/White balance fails a part in HDR mode but is ok in SDR and it was best to adjust the 2 point white balance in the service menu.


  • Robbie Carman
    Guest

    that’s a fine solution for running a single display (display LUTs in Resolve) but doesn’t really work in a situation with multiple monitors as you can’t decouple a LUT from different SDI/HDMI outputs. So having a 1D/3D Lut for the LG would work as you describe, his FSI would also be getting the LUTed signal as well and that would screw up that display.

    Because the BoxIO and AJA Hi5 are down stream of the FSI monitor this is not an issue. One nice feature of the BoxIO also is that it doesn’t have to be used as an end of chain device because it has clean loop outs – additionally the regular Box IO is actual dual channel allowing one to have two independent LUT paths if needed.


  • Robbie Carman
    Guest

    that’s a fine solution for running a single display (display LUTs in Resolve) but doesn’t really work in a situation with multiple monitors as you can’t decouple a LUT from different SDI/HDMI outputs. So having a 1D/3D Lut for the LG would work as you describe, his FSI would also be getting the LUTed signal as well and that would screw up that display.

    Because the BoxIO and AJA Hi5 are down stream of the FSI monitor this is not an issue. One nice feature of the BoxIO also is that it doesn’t have to be used as an end of chain device because it has clean loop outs – additionally the regular Box IO is actual dual channel allowing one to have two independent LUT paths if needed.


  • Simon Tingell
    Guest

    I suppose this is a good place to ask about this. I need a 42-48 inch monitor to mount on the wall above my setup so my clients can see from the sofa behind. I know, I have a really small room at the moment. Would you guys recommend a calibrated consumer monitor like Samsung UE40KU6405 or Sony KD-43XD8305 or should I maybe go for a FSI AM420? It is really a shame that OLED only comes in 55+ sizes. Any other recommendations?


  • Simon Tingell
    Guest

    I suppose this is a good place to ask about this. I need a 42-48 inch monitor to mount on the wall above my setup so my clients can see from the sofa behind. I know, I have a really small room at the moment. Would you guys recommend a calibrated consumer monitor like Samsung UE40KU6405 or Sony KD-43XD8305 or should I maybe go for a FSI AM420? It is really a shame that OLED only comes in 55+ sizes. Any other recommendations?


  • Robbie Carman
    Guest

    on my copies I’ve had similar results even in SDR mode – significantly worse on the B vs the E but that could be do to processing chip in B is a generic Qualcom and E its an in-house chip from LG.

    Now that I think of it what firmware are you on? I recall seeing a service bulletin about CMS performance but I don’ think I’ve updated in a while – that performance could have possible been fixed – which might explain why you’re getting good SDR results.

    When I’m back in front of the monitors I’ll see if an update is available.


  • Robbie Carman
    Guest

    on my copies I’ve had similar results even in SDR mode – significantly worse on the B vs the E but that could be do to processing chip in B is a generic Qualcom and E its an in-house chip from LG.

    Now that I think of it what firmware are you on? I recall seeing a service bulletin about CMS performance but I don’ think I’ve updated in a while – that performance could have possible been fixed – which might explain why you’re getting good SDR results.

    When I’m back in front of the monitors I’ll see if an update is available.


  • Patrick Inhofer
    Guest

    In addition to what Robbie said, the Box IO allows for both a 1D and 3D LUT applied to the input (and can change the order of which comes first). When Robbie does his tutorial on calibrating a client display, you’ll see this is a nuance that makes a difference.

    I did consider the 4K mini monitor – but with a single 6G output it can’t support the higher frame rates at 4K. I opted to go with the 4K Pro instead with 2x 12G plus 4:4:4 monitoring options.


  • Patrick Inhofer
    Guest

    In addition to what Robbie said, the Box IO allows for both a 1D and 3D LUT applied to the input (and can change the order of which comes first). When Robbie does his tutorial on calibrating a client display, you’ll see this is a nuance that makes a difference.

    I did consider the 4K mini monitor – but with a single 6G output it can’t support the higher frame rates at 4K. I opted to go with the 4K Pro instead with 2x 12G plus 4:4:4 monitoring options.

  • Great mailbag episodes, thank you guys! I know Dan mentioned the single Sony 4K OLED display in his grading room so I assume its setup in a way that clients can see and/or they sit next to you? I am thinking in my next grading setup to remove the client monitor from the scenario and remove the headache of matching two displays using a LUT box altogether. Having had some bad calibration experiences myself with perceptual match between displays, one less to worry about is tempting.

  • Great mailbag episodes, thank you guys! I know Dan mentioned the single Sony 4K OLED display in his grading room so I assume its setup in a way that clients can see and/or they sit next to you? I am thinking in my next grading setup to remove the client monitor from the scenario and remove the headache of matching two displays using a LUT box altogether. Having had some bad calibration experiences myself with perceptual match between displays, one less to worry about is tempting.

  • I did do the 2 point calibration in the service menu first, and only made slight adjustments to the 20 point white balance that really consisted mostly of luminance adjustments

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