Evaluating Video Monitors


Video monitors have always been a critical component in any broadcasting operation — but they have evolved significantly as the industry-wide migration from analog broadcast to digital SD and HD has placed new demands on the monitoring function. Current products include feature sets that mirror the complexity of today’s monitoring operations, with richer functionality, smarter design, and greater flexibility for different types of inputs and for handling and analyzing those signals. For mobile broadcasting, these attributes come packaged in a lightweight, rugged construction that stands up to the extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and rough handling that often accompany OB productions.
Innovations in flat-panel display technologies are also impacting monitor design. To succeed in today’s challenging economy, vendors are employing new materials and manufacturing techniques to expand feature sets while maintaining or lowering price points. As a result, next-generation video monitoring displays and their benefits are now within reach of the full range of broadcasting operations.
Robust functionality for today’s digital operations
Thanks to these innovations, it’s now possible to find cost-effective video monitoring solutions that offer the robust, sophisticated functionality required to effectively monitor the complexity and variety of today’s digital signals. A display should be capable of handling multiple formats and sources and offer detailed information about the content. In addition, the unit should provide markers and visually-oriented analytical tools to complement this data, as well as capabilities for evaluating accompanying audio signals. For multiple inputs, the operator should be able to select and view images in color, blue-only, or monochrome.
For audio signals accompanying the video feeds, state-of-the-art monitors typically provide an integrated display of audio level meters and a built-in headphone jack. Other on-screen display features should provide valuable at-a-glance data, such as markers that allow the user to highlight a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio with safe areas according to user-configurable settings, and key identifiers that indicate video format, source, and time code.
Monitor manufacturers are placing greater emphasis on units that save space, reduce external device costs, and enhance convenience — with features such as a waveform display of the input signal within an in-monitor window — which provides a complementary monitoring tool. An on-screen vectorscope is another newly introduced feature that adds additional value to the video monitoring system.
OLED: the green and cost-effective option
Display vendors are also emphasizing “green” features such as OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display technology, which uses a set of thin organic films, placed between conductors, to emit bright light when electric current flows through the conductors. Since they can operate without a backlight, OLED displays offer significant power savings — and an “off” OLED element produces no light and consumes no power. This very low power requirement makes OLED displays ideal for any cost- and green-conscious broadcast facility. For the mobile market where power, heat, and weight issues are always a factor, OLED technology’s lightweight and much thinner design make it especially appealing.
In addition, the display quality of OLED is superior to any other type of screen currently on the market. OLED technology offers a better contrast ratio, and since it emits light directly, OLED provides a greater range of colors, gamut, brightness, and viewing angles than does LCD. The incredibly sharp colors of an OLED display yield a visible difference that is clear to the professional and to the untrained eye. In addition, the response time for OLED displays is significantly better than that of standard LCD and plasma monitors.
When first introduced, the shorter usable life of OLED materials limited their use. This is no longer an issue, however, since advances in manufacturing have significantly increased life expectancy. The size of OLED displays is also increasing, making their use in OB vehicles as well as fixed broadcast facilities ever more attractive.
Making a future-proof choice
It goes without saying: the best investment in video monitor technology (or any other production equipment, for that matter) is one that will stand the test of time. One way to future-proof your monitoring operations is to choose systems with 3G capability, since the transition to HD operations is paving the way for 3Gb/s infrastructures requiring 3Gb/s-ready or 3Gb/s-capable devices.
Systems that can be easily adapted to the higher-bandwidth requirements of a rapidly evolving industry are critical in today’s operations — and video monitor manufacturers are cooperating by striving to keep prices level while introducing features for improved efficiencies, greener and more cost-effective operations, and compatibility with new IT-based broadcast systems and infrastructures. After evaluating their own specific needs, broadcasters should be able to find the functionality they require and the value that their budgets demand.
###
Jeff McNall is director of product development for Wohler Technologies, a San Francisco Bay-area manufacturer of confidence monitoring and signal management solutions for the broadcast and pro audio/visual markets.

Tags: wohler | iss050 | monitoring | monitors | oled | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

  • Wohler at IBC 2016

    Wohler at IBC 2016

  • Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

    Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • WohlerGateway at IBC 2014

    WohlerGateway at IBC 2014

  • Wohler at IBC 2012

    Wohler at IBC 2012

  • Wohler at IBC2011

    Wohler at IBC2011

  • Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

    Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

  • KVM over IP with Video Monitoring Wall from Apantac at IBC 2019

    KVM over IP with Video Monitoring Wall from Apantac at IBC 2019

  • Mediaproxy LogServer for compliance monitoring and analysis at NAB 2019

    Mediaproxy LogServer for compliance monitoring and analysis at NAB 2019

  • Glensound 4 x Loudspeaker monitoring subrack at BVE 2019

    Glensound 4 x Loudspeaker monitoring subrack at BVE 2019

  • JVC monitoring solutions DT-G, DT-E, DT-U, and DT-V range at BVE 2018

    JVC monitoring solutions DT-G, DT-E, DT-U, and DT-V range at BVE 2018

  • IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

    IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

  • Apantac monitoring over IP at NAB 2016

    Apantac monitoring over IP at NAB 2016

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

    The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

  • Phabrix Qx at IBC 2015

    Phabrix Qx at IBC 2015

  • Phabrix TAG and Rx at IBC 2015

    Phabrix TAG and Rx at IBC 2015

  • NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

    NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

  • Phabrix RX series at IBC 2014

    Phabrix RX series at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

    Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2013

    Sound Devices at NAB 2013

  • TSL Products at NAB 2013

    TSL Products at NAB 2013

  • TSL Systems at BVE 2013

    TSL Systems at BVE 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2012

    Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2012

  • RTW at NAB 2012

    RTW at NAB 2012

  • TSL at NAB 2012

    TSL at NAB 2012

  • Qualis at NAB 2012

    Qualis at NAB 2012

  • Digital Nirvana at NAB 2012

    Digital Nirvana at NAB 2012

  • Leader at IBC2011

    Leader at IBC2011

  • Murraypro at IBC2011

    Murraypro at IBC2011

  • DK Technology at IBC2011

    DK Technology at IBC2011

  • CueScript show their IP CSM Monitors at IBC 2018

    CueScript show their IP CSM Monitors at IBC 2018

  • JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

    JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

  • Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

    Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

  • Marshall Monitors at IBC 2013

    Marshall Monitors at IBC 2013

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • Datavideo on the Holdan stand at BVE 2013

    Datavideo on the Holdan stand at BVE 2013

  • Autocue at NAB 2012

    Autocue at NAB 2012

  • Autocue at BVE 2012

    Autocue at BVE 2012

  • Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

  • Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2011

    Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2011

  • SmallHD shows the Cine 7 monitor with camera control and integrated Teradek Bolt at NAB 2019

    SmallHD shows the Cine 7 monitor with camera control and integrated Teradek Bolt at NAB 2019

  • Pixelution at BVE North 2011

    Pixelution at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Sony monitoring at BVE with Den Lennie

    Sony monitoring at BVE with Den Lennie


Articles
The Making of Zero
Keith and David Lynch

The Brothers Lynch explain how they created the sinister atmospheric world for their new sci-fi short

In a post-apocalyptic world where humankind has emerged victorious in a war against artificial intelligent machines, a young girl dares to venture into the unknown. This is Zero, the new sci-fi short film from acclaimed British writer-director duo The Brothers Lynch which has premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tags: iss139 | blackmagic design | davinci resolve | editing | grading | grade | mk2 zeiss | superspeeds | cinema 4d | molinaire | Keith and David Lynch
Contributing Author Keith and David Lynch Click to read or download PDF
To Remotely Go - TVFutures
Michael Parsons One of my biggest concerns as an academic responsible for the education of hundreds of students is the ‘appropriateness’ of much of the technology we purchase and implement within the curriculum. The last few years have seen tremendous change in all sorts of technologies, and the broadcast industry is just one sector that has seen some significant leaps in innovation.
Tags: iss139 | university | portsmouth | graduation | guildhall | newtek | streaming | pxw-fs7 | ndi | ip | ndihx ptz camera | Michael Parsons
Contributing Author Michael Parsons Click to read or download PDF
Keeping Pace with the Content Revolution
Kevin Fitzgerald These are uniquely challenging times for broadcasters and their technical teams. Not only are they having to negotiate the move to IP-based infrastructures and the introduction of new formats and techniques such as 4K and HDR, they are also having to generate more content than ever before to support OTT and web services as well as traditional linear broadcast.
Tags: iss139 | streamstar | streaming | case 800 | ipx | ipx-3g | Kevin Fitzgerald
Contributing Author Kevin Fitzgerald Click to read or download PDF
Original KVM or KVM over IP
Jochen Bauer Will the technology used in broadcasting solely consist of IP devices? For years, IP has been entering all areas of life. Especially control room applications as they are typically deployed in broadcasting benefit from the IP revolution in many ways. But an “IP-only broadcast world” is not yet here. Nevertheless, the trend clearly moves towards IP transmission, even though a large part of content production still uses traditional transmission paths. And therefore we continue to live in a hybrid world, using both original and IP-based technology. KVM experts Guntermann und Drunck still rely on both original KVM and KVM-over-IP™ to be able to offer their customers the best of both worlds.
Tags: iss139 | kvm | gdsys | guntermann and drunck | kvm-over-ip | Jochen Bauer
Contributing Author Jochen Bauer Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF