Latest post Mon, Mar 12 2012 7:42 PM by MikeyB. 3 replies.
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  • Sun, Mar 11 2012 7:30 AM

    HDTV as a reference display for color correction

    Hello all,

    I'm trying to figure out how to use my HDTV as a reference display in Avid MC 4.0.5 for color correction. Hey, don't make fun of me! I don't have enough money for an Avid upgrade. Here are the specs:

    MacBook Pro - Mac OS X - Version 10.5.8 - 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - 4 GB RAM - Avid Media Composer 4.0.5 - Samsung HDTV

    I've already hooked my MBP up to the television using a DVI-D to HDMI cable. I went to the Sys Pref > Displays menu and set the arrangement to "Mirror Displays" and that's pretty much the only time where the display (in general) has worked correctly for me. I can use my computer perfectly fine and see the same exact mirror image of whatever I am doing on the television. I've never done this berore, so it's pretty cool (there you go making fun of me again).

    Here is the problem: I want to be able to color correct using the 3-screen Avid color correction toolset while seeing the image I am coloring in fullscreen on my television. I was assuming that I could just go to the "Video Output Tool" and set it to "Reference" but that option was not available when I tried it. I'm not sure if the reason for this is because a) I don't have Symphony or 2) I don't have an upgraded version of Avid. I also went to "Video Output" in the Avid settings menu and when I double-click on it it says "the selected video output device has no configurable options".

    Any suggestions? HALP! I've been color correcting this short film for the last few weeks and I haven't even started color correcting yet! 

  • Sun, Mar 11 2012 10:02 AM In reply to

    • MikeyB
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Edlesborough, UK
    • Posts 482
    • Points 5,975
    • Avid Certified Instructors - Video
      Moderator: Avid Certified Instructors - Video

    Re: HDTV as a reference display for color correction

    Set your MBP to non-mirror mode - ie 2 separate displays. Then in Media Composer, go to the Full Screen Playback settings, drag the dialog box onto the HDTV display and click 'Select Monitor'. Organise your Colour Correction tools, timeline, etc on the MBP display and then press /Command/F. The HDTV will switch to show your output full-screen.

    There are various options in the Full Screen Playback settings to consider:

    If you're working in an interlaced project (i rather than p), it's probably best not to select 'Display Both Fields' - you'll get motion combing artefacts if you do.

    You also need to be careful of video levels. Does your TV switch to full-range RGB when it's connected to your MBP? If so, you should select 'Expand Luminance For Computer Displays'. If not, don't (!)

    If you're not sure, import the SMPTE Bars test pattern from the Avid/Media Composer/Supporting Files/Test Patterns folder. Be sure to import with 601/709 levels selected in the File to Video Pixel Mapping section of the import options. Display the SMPTE bars full-screen on your HDTV, and check the black level by checking that the right-hand of the black stripes in the bottom right corner of the omage is just visible, and that the black around it is - er - black (ie not grey). The left-most black stripe should not be visible (because it's below black level).

    Try both modes in 'Expand Luminance for Computer Displays' to see which gives you the best result. If neither is right, you need to adjust the brightness and/or contrast on your TV to get it right.

    Then you should be good to go - good luck!

    MacBook Pro 15" 2016 2.7GHz i7 Radeon 455 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Mar 11 2012 8:28 PM In reply to

    Re: HDTV as a reference display for color correction

    MikeyB, you just saved my life. I feel like I should pay you. Seriously, this is the best advice I've received in a long time. Thank you SO MUCH. 

    I'm a little confused with how to tell if my HDTV display is RGB or not. 

    When 'Expand Luminance for Computer Displays' IS checked, the bottom right bars are ALL BLACK

    When 'Expand Luminance for Computer Displays' is NOT checked, the bottom right is all black EXCEPT that one of the bars is gray and the rest are black. 

    Again, thank you. You are a life saver. I mean it. 

  • Mon, Mar 12 2012 7:42 PM In reply to

    • MikeyB
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Edlesborough, UK
    • Posts 482
    • Points 5,975
    • Avid Certified Instructors - Video
      Moderator: Avid Certified Instructors - Video

    Re: HDTV as a reference display for color correction

    No problem - and it sounds like Expand Luminance for Computer Displays off is the right choice, if you hadn't already guessed Smile

    MacBook Pro 15" 2016 2.7GHz i7 Radeon 455 [view my complete system specs]
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