Topics

Computer screen settings vs. REC709?

niclaw@...
 

Hi All,

forgive me if this has been discussed, I've just joined the 'post' group to see what's happening about this, if anything.

I'm shooting a drama series for Fox and I've just finished grading an independent feature. I've come across the same issue on both. All the colour work is being done in REC709, whether on set or in the post house. However, everyone is watching on computers. Just looking at a new Mac, the colour setting is "Color LCD", which is nothing like REC709. Saturated and high contrast images are ending up washed out and thin by comparison.

We must be in a time when the scales are tipping from content being consumed on television to computers. I'm sure there must be people looking at how we deal with this. Is there anything realistic for the computer manufacturers and the public on the horizon?

In the meantime, how are you all dealing with this on a day to day basis? Without asking all the HODs and Execs to change their screen settings, what's the way forward?

Many thanks in anticipation,

Nic Lawson

DP, London UK

Steve Shaw
 

The 'standard' for computer screens is sRGB,
That is exactly the same as Rec709, but with a power law 2.2 Gamma (Rec709 is today 2.4 gamma).
So the difference is very small.
(The difference actually works to allow an image seen on a sRGB screen in a brighter home environment to 'look' more like the inage during grading in a draker environment.
See: https://www.lightillusion.com/viewing_environments.html)

The difference you describe seems far greater, and suggests the screens are just uncalibrated...

Nothing you can (or should!) do about that when grading.

Steve

 

As a matter of interest Steve, what are your thoughts about viewing on iPads/Tablets?  How good are the screens in your opinion?

Michael Sanders
London Based DP.

+ 44 (0) 7976 269818




On 5 Sep 2018, at 08:32, Steve Shaw <steve@...> wrote:

The difference you describe seems far greater, and suggests the screens are just uncalibrated...

Steve Shaw
 

Appalling.
The colour management on such devices - Mac especially - is not at all good.
You can easily test such screens (any tablet/mobile phone screens) using LightSpace Connect, as a patch generator with LightSpace.
See: https://www.lightillusion.com/lightspace_connect.html

Steve

 

Thanks Steve.  Thats interesting to know.

I was talking to the developers of an audio app and the one thing they really liked about working with iOS is that once you know what device and iOS version the device is running, you can deal with any delays as they are all identical.  I was curious if video was the same so you could have a LUT which would adjust for each device etc.

I’m doing anything app related but occasionally I need to use my iPad to view material on so was just curious.

Michael


Michael Sanders
London Based DP.

+ 44 (0) 7976 269818




On 6 Sep 2018, at 07:47, Steve Shaw <steve@...> wrote:

Appalling.
The colour management on such devices - Mac especially - is not at all good.
You can easily test such screens (any tablet/mobile phone screens) using LightSpace Connect, as a patch generator with LightSpace.

niclaw@...
 

Hi Steve,

thanks for your reply.

I see what you mean. Apple system preferences offers an sRGB option, which is no different to their 'Color LCD' standard option. However, it's still a jump to the 709 options they offer (HD709A & ITU-R BT.709-5).

I guess this is simply a universal issue and one that has no current solution. As I said before, nobody wants to send images out to execs with a series of instructions on how to set up a computer screen. There's no doubt the same issue has plagued televisions for ever, but I was hoping there would be someone working on a clever 21st century solution. Maybe an 'instruction' embedded in a video file that gives the viewer an option to click accept or decline on changing the screen settings to 709 and some sort of 'medium' brightness. I'm no computer expert, but that doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility.

Thanks again.

Nic Lawson

DP, London, UK

Bob Kertesz
 

I guess this is simply a universal issue and one that has no current solution.

Sad but true. Even if one were adopted as soon as tomorrow in the form of embedded metadata that would 'set up' the viewing device in use, it would take more than a few generations of hardware (years) before it made the slightest dent in the installed base of devices.

And even then, it would have to cover many brands and types of desktop displays, laptop displays, phones, and tablets to be even vaguely useful.

There is simply no way to predict what the viewing environment will be in terms of both the screen and the color of the ambient lighting, which also has a great effect on how things look.

An impossible task from a practical sense for the foreseeable future.

The only venue where you have a decent chance of having footage displayed as intended is theatrical, where many if not most of the parameters that affect the footage are under control.

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

DIT, Video Controller, and live compositor extraordinaire.

High quality images for more than four decades - whether you've wanted them or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *

Eric Wenocur
 

This is not unlike the situation with aspect ratio, where AFD (active format descriptor) was
formalized and added to the spec for broadcast signals (and others, I think). But it also requires
the TVs to detect and act on it, and the content providers to include it as metadata. I honestly
don't know whether AFD has been beneficial or not. I will say that I no longer see all the aspect
ratio problems I used to see on television, but I'm not sure if AFD is the reason.

When I build a production system, such as studio or editing, I still try to include a "reference"
display in the equipment list so that there's at least ONE monitor that takes SDI and can be trusted
meet a standardized spec. I'm not talking about digital cinema color-grading, so the display might
be only a few thousand dollars. But I get a lot of push-back from clients who don't want to spend
the money, especially if the final output is only going to the internet. In some cases the most
"accurate" display in the system is on the camera.

Truth be told, I'm amazed that so much random internet video (Youtube, Vimeo, embedded website
players) actually looks pretty good on my computer screen at home, despite what I know is a
production chain that has gone entirely off the rails. I have to believe that camera manufacturers
deserve some props on this; anyone can get a decent looking picture--not accurate, but at least
watchable. Unfortunately that only makes it harder to sell the idea of a reference display!

Eric Wenocur
Lab Tech Systems
301-438-8270
301-802-5885 cell


On 9/10/18 12:45 AM, Bob Kertesz wrote:
>> I guess this is simply a universal issue and one that has no current solution.
>
> Sad but true. Even if one were adopted as soon as tomorrow in the form of embedded metadata that
> would 'set up' the viewing device in use, it would take more than a few generations of hardware
> (years) before it made the slightest dent in the installed base of devices.
>
> And even then, it would have to cover *many* brands and types of desktop displays, laptop displays,
> phones, and tablets to be even vaguely useful.
>
> There is simply no way to predict what the viewing environment will be in terms of both the screen
> and the color of the ambient lighting, which also has a great effect on how things look.
>
> An impossible task from a practical sense for the foreseeable future.
>
> The only venue where you have a decent chance of having footage displayed as intended is theatrical,
> where many if not most of the parameters that affect the footage are under control.
>

Gavin Greenwalt
 

We send everything out as sRGB mo4 and then ship final deliverables as correct gamma on ProRes.

Also we’ve noticed that not all rec709 gamma curves are pure gamma. Many applications will also shift blacks and whites to the limited range which is probably the more substantial shift than the gamma.

Gavin Greenwalt
Straightface Studios 

On Sep 10, 2018, at 7:53 AM, Eric Wenocur <eric@...> wrote:

This is not unlike the situation with aspect ratio, where AFD (active format descriptor) was
formalized and added to the spec for broadcast signals (and others, I think). But it also requires
the TVs to detect and act on it, and the content providers to include it as metadata. I honestly
don't know whether AFD has been beneficial or not. I will say that I no longer see all the aspect
ratio problems I used to see on television, but I'm not sure if AFD is the reason.

When I build a production system, such as studio or editing, I still try to include a "reference"
display in the equipment list so that there's at least ONE monitor that takes SDI and can be trusted
meet a standardized spec. I'm not talking about digital cinema color-grading, so the display might
be only a few thousand dollars. But I get a lot of push-back from clients who don't want to spend
the money, especially if the final output is only going to the internet. In some cases the most
"accurate" display in the system is on the camera.

Truth be told, I'm amazed that so much random internet video (Youtube, Vimeo, embedded website
players) actually looks pretty good on my computer screen at home, despite what I know is a
production chain that has gone entirely off the rails. I have to believe that camera manufacturers
deserve some props on this; anyone can get a decent looking picture--not accurate, but at least
watchable. Unfortunately that only makes it harder to sell the idea of a reference display!

Eric Wenocur
Lab Tech Systems
301-438-8270
301-802-5885 cell


On 9/10/18 12:45 AM, Bob Kertesz wrote:
>> I guess this is simply a universal issue and one that has no current solution.
>
> Sad but true. Even if one were adopted as soon as tomorrow in the form of embedded metadata that
> would 'set up' the viewing device in use, it would take more than a few generations of hardware
> (years) before it made the slightest dent in the installed base of devices.
>
> And even then, it would have to cover *many* brands and types of desktop displays, laptop displays,
> phones, and tablets to be even vaguely useful.
>
> There is simply no way to predict what the viewing environment will be in terms of both the screen
> and the color of the ambient lighting, which also has a great effect on how things look.
>
> An impossible task from a practical sense for the foreseeable future.
>
> The only venue where you have a decent chance of having footage displayed as intended is theatrical,
> where many if not most of the parameters that affect the footage are under control.
>