By: Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG Editorial Director
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 11:11 am
TNDV has enhanced color representation for live shoots on all three of its mobile production trucks, adding Sony PVM-1741 OLED monitors to boost color representation and contrast ratio while setting up cameras. The mobile production company has purchased six monitors: two for each of the company’s three trucks, used both on board and inside venues. The monitors give camera shaders, lighting directors, stage managers and other technical personnel an exact representation of video output quality in advance of live events.
One of the first successful projects included EntreLeadership, a live business and leadership event from financial wellness guru and radio host Dave Ramsey that was simulcast over the web from The People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee. TNDV president Nic Dugger and his team deployed four monitors to confirm accurate color and contrast ratio measurements of the eventual live feed well before the shoot — ensuring that all involved were confident that the signal on the screen was an accurate representation of the image quality being produced.
“We had a monitor available for a producer and lighting director at The People’s Church. It was pertinent that when they looked at images from our cameras they were seeing the same quality as our shader,” says Dugger. “It’s not good enough to get a 32-inch consumer monitor and use an HDMI conversion brick. When you are in a controlled environment with hundreds of moving and conventional lights, the difference in one light color temperature or another light being out of focus can be the difference in how good the shot looks.”
One of the main reasons for the exact precision is the true HD-SDI inputs of the monitor, which eliminates conversion requirements. Ultimately, the behavior of OLED monitors like the Sony PVM-1741 — which includes exceptionally accurate black levels, according to Dugger — is what sets it apart from less expensive LCD monitors that are often used in live production.
“Not having accurate black levels leads to inaccurate shading, and makes the lighting team push light harder than what is required,” adds Dugger. “The ability to get those accurate, real-life black levels to the point where it looks like the monitor is off when you set up your cameras at zero IRE raises the overall quality. It’s a big hit with our shaders, who know they see the most accurate possible representation when they can detect noise at black levels and make adjustments.”
TNDV Director of Mobile Productions Rob Devlin agrees: “Sony’s OLED monitor is by far the truest representation of what the end viewer is seeing. Trying to compare to any other flavor of monitor is apples and oranges. The blacks are very, very rich, and make shading and chipping cameras a pleasure instead of a chore.”
Price has curtailed Dugger to make the leap to this point, but the PVM-1741 brings the cost of an OLED monitor down to the $4,000-5,000 range — a sharp decrease compared to OLED monitors that advance on $20,000. Dugger also notes that the PVM-1741 is very “broadcast-friendly,” built with the ruggedness required for life on the road.
“The design includes rack ears and mounting hardware that make the monitors easy to incorporate straight into a TV truck rack,” says Dugger. “But the price point is really what makes this ideal for the mobile production world, given the benefits it brings to live production quality. I can tout our new technology to clients while providing the highest accurate color representation for all our projects.”