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CRT vs. LCD


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#1 Erwin Landau

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 04:51 AM

Let's refresh that topic... Shall we.

Is the Green Screen CRT dead, going out for good?

Is the Flat Screen going to replace the CRT for our Steadicam purposes? Soon, not for long, never?

Lately the technology has made huge steps and came up with quite some nice products like the OLED technologie. The roll up screen, the foldeable screen...

What's the pain or gain for us Steadicam operators...

Headache balancing the rig with no mass left underneath the Gimbal... or actually a blessing for 7 pounds Viper style Cameras.

Thoughts... Comments... Ideas...
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#2 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 02:53 PM

im working with mk-v lcd monitor...and im very happy about it ...i also try the new lcd from tiffen on the soa workshop in october 2003...and it was also great...
i think that all its teaste thing..of each one...


my rig

mk-v
lcd monitor mk-v
efp upgrade arm by mk-v
10 proformer batts
marrel video link
bartech /heden 26p
3a modify vest /with rachets from ultra vest
(happy as a 2 tale doge)
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#3 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 05:38 PM

Its been my belief that CRT has been dead or on the way out for about 8 years. This has never been the popular opinion. But clearly, the technology is here and still improving. Is it better then the green screen? Depends on what you mean by better. I cant imagine operating with CRT after getting used to a larger color LCD screen. And by the way, This is not a Film or video discussion since monitoring is video in any format. Resolution, sharpness, contrast, brightness, bla, bla bla... Color LCD is it for me, very happy with it and looking foward to going HD very soon. Give me a 7 inch 16x9 HD/SDI/NTSC/PAL/Switchable LCD, that I can see in daylight, and Im done. Tiffens UltraBright is just to darn big, Im sorry, I know this isnt the popular opinion. The image looks great, but its a monster. Make a smaller one and you got me.

Jeff
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#4 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 06:18 PM

Im with Jeff. Although i still have days where i wish i could go back to my old CRT (harsh sunlight exteriors mainly) i have gotten so used to seeing things in colour, and in 7 inch widescreen, on my MK-V lcd that any minor quibbles i have with the technology quickly dissapear. Im really looking forward to a HD compatible version as well (but it needs to be way brighter!).
I agree that the Tiffen Ultra brite is too big, i like howards size a lot better, and ive added my mini-DV playback to the back of his weight cage to help with Dynamic balance.
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#5 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 07:21 PM

I have used an LCD for the past several years.......... Do I miss the CRT. YES. But the idea and the technology have so much going for it that I think that I'll stay with the LCD. You have to look back at what Larry was saying about the Tiffen VS the best CRT on the market, the TB6. I think the post was towards the end of 2003. He put it pretty perfectly......... There are some things that an LCD cannot compensate for, specifically certain angles, and certain glare situations. Because of that the CRT or TB6 in this instance is superior. Can you make great pictures using either? Always remember, some of the best shots in Steadicam history were performed on 2's,3's and 3a's. The tools only serve to make the job easier. Its up to the operator to create the magic.
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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 08:53 PM

I own a TB-6 and a Panasonic 7" LCD, modified with frameline generator, junction box, and optional weights. The J-box allows for 8-pin Lemo power/video input on two channels - in short it lets me send my XCS level through it, as well as video from my onboard deck to channel 2.

Verdict. Never and I do mean never use the LCD. The TB-6 is simply too good. LCD is great to carry with me though - just in case.

Like I always say though, to each their own. Preference.
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 09:22 PM

Never and I do mean never use the LCD. The TB-6 is simply too good. LCD is great to carry with me though - just in case.

Well to be fair, have you ever actually pulled the LCD out and decided to use it to really try out the difference? Or are you so generally happy with the TB-6 and afraid of having a problem with the LCD on a paying client job that you've simply been unwilling to give it a chance? Something to think about although it does split the argument both ways--that TB-6 does work great.
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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 09:27 PM

Never and I do mean never use the LCD.  The TB-6 is simply too good.  LCD is great to carry with me though - just in case.

Well to be fair, have you ever actually pulled the LCD out and decided to use it to really try out the difference? Or are you so generally happy with the TB-6 and afraid of having a problem with the LCD on a paying client job that you've simply been unwilling to give it a chance? Something to think about although it does split the argument both ways--that TB-6 does work great.

I tend to Agree with Alec, I have used both and the TB-6 is too good not to use. LCD's still have a long way to go before they are bright enough, reject sunlight well enough and have a large enough viewing angle before they displace CRTs.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 10:25 PM

I'm not disagreeing, I just wonder what the real world experiences are. Lots of experience with both style monitors and have a solid opinion, that's one thing. Use just one and can't bear to bring oneself to part with it to try the other is another, isn't it? Not that I blame anyone...
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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 10:30 PM

I'm not disagreeing, I just wonder what the real world experiences are. Lots of experience with both style monitors and have a solid opinion, that's one thing. Use just one and can't bear to bring oneself to part with it to try the other is another, isn't it? Not that I blame anyone...

I have used both, I think my answer is clear.
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#11 Larry McConkey

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 10:58 PM

There are so many factors here that it can not be reduced to a simple verdict about one being better than another without lots of qualifications, and as new options for monitors continue to emerge the number of factors will also continue to grow. There is one very important factor that is hard to ignore and that is cost... I think this fuels more of the opinions about the worth of various monitors than anything else. But in addition, size, weight, form factor, controls and ease of use, color or B/W, sunlight viewability, contrast ratios, brightness, viewing angles, resolution, framelines, mounting options, power input voltage and wattage, reliability and durability, weather resistance, reflective coatings, connectors for video and power and nowadays signal input, i.e., NTSC, PAL, HD, RGB/SDI are all things to consider, and the list could continue with things like color and styling...

I think it is pretty safe to say that Steadicam ready CRT's are still decidedly better with resolution, brightness, sunlight viewability, and contrast ratio, but at the expense of expense, size, weight, and lack of color. There is no serious R&D going into tube technology anymore, so it is clear that LCD, Plasma, etc are where new developments will come from. I have tried using the Tiffen Ultrabright in demanding film situations and found it wanting in certain aspects compared to my TB6 and returned gratefully to the CRT, however some of my decision-making depended upon factors unique to my personal camera and B/W video tap. I offered a detailed account in the 2003 forum. If I primarily worked in video I would definitely be using the Tiffen monitor - I have not seen a better LCD. I might also like it better for use with a color video tap, especially with anamorphic formats. I found the size to be a wonderful improvement over the more conventional smaller size and in no way a limitation, especially at a little over one half the weight of my TB6!! The fine points of my operating were so obvious I did not need as many takes to refine them (headroom, level horizon, placement of set at the edge of the frame, etc.) I wish I could get that size and weight with the performance of the CRT. The only serious limitation overall to the Tiffen compared to the TB6 for my operating style was viewing angle - it is as good as I have seen for an LCD, but way, way less than any CRT offers. My Assistant and some Directors and DP's who like to walk alongside during the shot complained about this problem as well as limiting where I could move the Steadicam relative to my body and still see well.

Everyone's situation is different - and all of the factors mentioned need to be considered, especially the cost. I have 3 monitors at the moment besides the TB6 and although I use the TB6 about 95% of the time, the others all have their place in my operating needs. If you can only afford to have one, then the decision is indeed more difficult than it used to be... certainly a better place to be in than having only one choice as in the old days.

Larry
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#12 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 09:08 AM

Extremely well put Larry, I would just like to add this: I believe we are all creatures of habit, at least I am. We get very comfy in our equipment and operating style, change, including this forum, is extra work. My point is, If you are buying new, I would consider the technology that is advancing. I am sure that you will be pleased and grow very comfortable with a top of the line LCD. The features missed or lacking from a CRT, wont be missed as much as with veteran ops, because you would'nt have goten used to them in the first place. This would be me advise to new operators. As always, just my opinion.

Jeff
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#13 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 11:51 AM

Larry and Jeff, both well put. Greg Bubb (maker of the TB-6) will even tell you that LCD companies are trying to put tube manufacturers out of business. Very hard to get custom made tubes today, thus each new run of the TB-6 gets more expensive (also, he sells less then he used to because of market saturation). Meanwhile LCDs are getting better and better. I, too, agree that the future rests in flat screen technologies (maybe not LCDs though) - for me, it has just not arrived fully yet. And I think it will be a while before they provide an image comparable to a high end CRT. I have switched to a flat panel display on my computer though (something I was very skeptical about at one time). So yes, we can change. I think Larry and Jeff have very valid points about cost and that new operators should indeed look into LCD screens.

Originally, I was thinking of using my LCD on some video jobs, but most of the time I am also the DP in these situations and having the relative exposure change as one's viewing angle changes is just too disturbing for me. Not that I set my exposure off my TB-6, but I can easily judge if there is a change during the shot or something is way too under or over. This too can be challenging, as the TB-6 is designed to see in any lighting condition, but if I set it up to bars before hand, I have learned to be able to interpolate the information. Again, I use it only as a reference, but one that I find more important than a color image - at least for now.

Where I would consider using the LCD would be in a live (or live to tape) indoor concert hall situation. Less weight for those long hauls and easier to identify who the director is talking about while he screams "go for the guy in the red shirt!".
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#14 Erwin Landau

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 03:39 PM

I have switched to a flat panel display on my computer though (something I was very skeptical about at one time).


I'm using and was using a flat panel display on my computer since 1997 now. I think for straight ahead view where you don't change your angle at all (office) it's great... also used less space on the table, or you just can suspend it over the table as my wife does or hang it on the wall... And the displays are getting better and cheaper by the day.
I'm all for LCD set ups for your home use... some of the flat panel displays for your TV are great... I hate the rear projection monsters...

Anyhow...

The issue that I have is again the new NONO sentence : "It's good enough..."
Back in the 80ies when they forced the CD's onto us without asking and just stopped making vinyl records... that still sound better, more generic...
The Same again with DVD's that are way less quality versus LaserDiscs... They still sell VHS... again worse then BETA Max or Video 2000...

So once again they stop a Technology (CRT) before they come up with an equal replacement. The LCD technology, and you have to admit, is not there yet, it's advancing at an accelerated rate but not there yet... Guys buying the 7" Panasonic paid almsot $2000.- for the first run... now they are better and cost... what? $400.-for the basic model...

I don't care what I use as long as I can see and be able to frame... The LCD's that I have tried, did not match the performance of my TB-6...

If they ever do supersede the performance, I'm sure that many if not all will switch... Including me... but until then...

Same with HD, it's not there yet. If they would say that it's a new format, okay. I have no problem, but when they claim that it is a replacement for 35mm and the quality is fair to say the least. I have problems...

Actually I will start a new Threat for that topic...
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#15 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 04:43 PM

Erwin, you offer a compelling argument. But I will still offer this question to all, Do you really need the performance of a TB-6 to operate Steadicam? Clearly, the generic answer is, no. Many People have proved that, myself included. The next question is, do you want the performance of a TB-6? This is a very different and individual question that has no right or wrong answer. It certainly seems that those who have it, need and want it. It has always been my position, that high-end LCD (I am not refering to the $400 panasonic), offers a very exceptable image for operating. I cant imagine operating any better with a sharper or brighter screen. Would I like it sharper or brighter, sure... do I need it, nahhh. All very interesting opinions. Sorry to drag this thread on.

Jeff
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