Plug and Play

Exhausted from weeks of struggling to get the colors of the Dolby Vision certified Asus PA32UCX to match those of my LG OLED C7, last night, in a fit of desperation, I connected the Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4K Mini directly to the television, opened up a long dormant project in Final Cut Pro, began grading, and unbelievably, the picture looked absolutely stunning, with sizzling highlights, beautifully sculpted mids, and insane amounts of detail down into virtually noise-free shadows – all without the hideous edge enhancement that disfigures the image and which can’t be disabled on the Asus. Just kidding. I connected the TV, but of course it didn’t display a picture.

Both LG and Blackmagic boast about plug and play in their literature; there are dozens of breathless articles online about how incredible LG OLEDs are for monitoring, how they’re the closest thing to a reference monitor that a mere mortal can hope to afford, that even Hollywood uses them. I suppose on the set of The Irishman, the DIT is responsible for making sure everything works as it should. Digging around in the forums, I’m guessing I’ll need to purchase an HDCP splitter to get the LG to work. But should I?

I’ve been around long enough to know that even if I got the Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K HDR to use as a LUT box for calibrating both displays, there’s still not a chance in hell they’re going to match. I guarantee it. Can anyone point me in the direction of a single test proving otherwise? The Teranex has been available for eight months, and still not a single video online showing the highly touted calibration engine in action. Come to think of it, the Asus has been around a lot longer than that and not a single review shows it being used to grade HDR footage. hehe

So, what are my alternatives, aside from ditching HDR altogether? 😅 I could go on using the Asus as my primary display, compare how the the grade looks on a half dozen other devices and end up having my landlady check me in to a local mental institution. Or, I could sell the Asus, use the money to buy a brand spanking new 55” LG C8 in Vietnam for $400 less than the Teranex, and pick up the world-renowned Calman calibration software for LG ($145.00), saving thousands on 3D LUT boxes. The software can be used to calibrate HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision using widely available probes. But naturally, it’s only available for Windows. 🤣 Alternatively, I could simply calibrate my C7 following the recommendations, use it as my primary grading monitor and keep the Asus around as a grim reminder. What do you think? Option A?

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