The Benefits of Using an External Video Monitor While You Edit

If you do a video editing for television broadcasts or another professional delivery format, using an external video monitor while you edit can improve the results of your productions dramatically. One of the biggest reasons you should consider an external video monitor is the fact that color is represented differently on computers than it is on video monitors.

Your computer's display progressively scans video that it is shown on the screen. On the other hand, popular television formats like NTSC and PAL are interlaced and will display more accurately on a video monitor. With that in mind, this how-to guide will show you how to enjoy the benefits of using an external video monitor with your editing system.

What You Will Need

  • An external video monitor that supports either HD, how or NTSC formats
  • A video card with your computer that supports the format and interface supported by your external video monitor

Step 1: Match Your Video Interface

Choose the correct video interface for your external video monitor, such as: analog, SDI, HDMI or DV. You may not be able to use some combinations unless you purchase additional equipment. For instance, if the video card on your computer only has an analog video output, and your video monitor has an NTSC composite input, you will not be able to connect the two directly. Therefore, you would need to purchase a monitor that supports your computer's analog input, or purchase a converter. Alternatively, you could purchase a VCR or a VTR that accepts your computer's analog input and outputs to your monitor's NTSC input. In short, you need to make sure that your computer and external video monitor have combinable connections.

Step 2: Know the Two Types of Video Monitor

In video editing, they are two classes of video monitors that are usually used. The first is the consumer class of video monitors that are frequently purchased at large retail stores or from online retailers. On the other hand, broadcast monitors are professional quality monitors that are usually used by professional production agencies, news companies or professional editing houses.

Step 3: Consider the Advantages of a Consumer Video Monitor

For most users, a consumer video monitor will be more than adequate, and any monitor that supports the NTSC or PAL standard will usually work for most amateur production applications. These types of monitors are relatively inexpensive and there are many different models to choose from.

Step 4: Know the Advantages of a Professional Broadcast Monitor

If you need to perform critical editing tasks, such as color correction, you should consider using a high-resolution broadcast monitor. These types of monitors allow for proper calibration to display the signal accurately and consistently. Broadcast monitors also provide you with manual control over most aspects of the video signal viewed on the display. With these types of monitors, you can manually adjust brightness, chroma, phase and even contest. These types of professional broadcast monitors do cost a lot of money; however, if you're looking for a professional editing monitor, they're certainly well worth the cost.

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