Flanders Scientific’s Bram Desmet on LCD Displays, Part 2

“The ‘Truth’ About 10-bit LCDs”

Bram Desmet - Managing Director, Flanders Scietific

Bram Desmet is the Managing Director of Flanders Scientific, Inc., based in Suwanee, GA just 30 minutes outside of Atlanta.

Despite holding a B.A.in Philosophy from GA State University – and being an instrument rated airplane pilot – Bram ultimately followed in the footsteps of his father, (a 30 year veteran of the professional broadcast industry) when he joined DDA (a sister company of FSI) and then later Flanders Scientific. Both companies focus heavily on professional display technology.

As Managing Director at Flanders Scientific Bram is a vocal advocate of FSI’s core philosophy of providing professional broadcast products that strike an ideal balance between performance, features, and affordability.

In Part 2 of Bram’s Interview we discuss:

  • Monitor Setup Specifications
  • Nits, Gamma Response
  • Choosing the Gamma Setting for your display
  • LCD and Rec. 709 / DCI P3
  • Types of LCD Displays
  • 10-bit color depth
  • LCDs appropriate for color critical viewing
  • LED vs CCFL Backlights
  • Contrast Ratios
  • “LED TVs”
  • What to avoid in LCDs
  • Lifespan of LCDs
  • The economics of buying an LCD
  • 10-bit native vs 10-bit via FRC
  • Viewing interlacing artifacts
  • CRT vs LCD
  • FSI’s dealer network (or lack thereof)

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Listen Now 

Part 1 | Part 2

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Show Notes:

This interview is part of an on-going interview series with the movers, shaker, and thinkers involved in the field of professional color grading for moving images. When I have new episodes to release, they are released on Tuesdays. To be notified you may follow me on Twitter (@patInhofer), via our RSS feed, and on iTunes.

You can find more interviews here: TaoOfColor.com interview series homepage.

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  1. Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 3:30 AM #

    I thought that these interviews with Bram Desmet were great, and that you both were able to cover some extremely technical information in a non-threatening fashion. Kudos.

    And to your question about having more interviews that get into the engineering behind colour grading, I would answer: Yes!

    • Patrick Inhofer March 10, 2011 at 6:19 AM #

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll start looking for opportunities to do more of these types of interviews. A lot of credit has to go to Bram. Once we started talking all I had to do was nudge the conversation – he did the rest.

  2. Nick Eason March 10, 2011 at 3:58 AM #

    I would love to see Charles Poynton on the show. He is a noted video engineer who often focuses on dispelling dispelling misconceptions about video, especially gamma. His excellent documents, “Frequently Asked Questions about Color” and “Frequently Asked Questions about Gamma” are highly educational.

    • Patrick Inhofer March 10, 2011 at 6:24 AM #

      Charles Poynton… I’ll see if I can hunt him down through connections. I will admit, talking to him intimidates me a bit. Kind’a like a serf consulting the kingdom’s wizard about the mysteries differentiating lead and gold (if that makes any sense). Still Nick, it’s a great suggestion and I’ll see what I can do.

  3. Scott Simmons March 10, 2011 at 4:47 PM #

    Great Interviews with Bram. I think since we are in both a creative and technical industry then a mix of both creative and technical interviews would be perfect!

    • Patrick Inhofer March 10, 2011 at 9:59 PM #

      Thanks Scott for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love the editblog. It’s also nice to know that others appreciate what I thought someone like Bram had to offer.

  4. Pepo March 13, 2011 at 1:24 PM #

    Really enjoyed the interview, very informative! The only moment I got very lost (and I keep getting lost with it) is the gamma topic. 2,2 or 2,65 or etc etc. I dont get it… And thanks for including my questions in the interview!!

    • Patrick Inhofer March 13, 2011 at 4:23 PM #

      Pepo, I’m glad you liked the interview. The gamma discussion is now on my list as either a blog post or interview topic.

      Thanks for the idea!

  5. Belegmar March 15, 2011 at 6:35 PM #

    Crap! what have I gotten myself into? I’m new to the world of colour correction (bought Digital Colour Correction 4 months ago). Listening to Bram was like stumbling into the wrong college class, over my head yet I couldn’t stop listening. Now I understand why you guys make such a fuss over gear. I just wasn’t getting it before. Please, please do have more discussions like that. Bram was so good at explaining what is a very technical subject and so open about everything. Actually, all of your guests have been really good about that. Thank you Patrick. Your site and podcast have truly accelerated my learning.

    • Patrick Inhofer March 15, 2011 at 11:49 PM #

      Thank you for your kind words. Your reaction is the entire point of this website! Makes me very happy.

  6. Camron Crouse July 17, 2011 at 5:18 AM #

    Hi Patrick, I’ve recently stumbled onto your blog and have been starting in on your fabulous podcasts. The two-part Bram Desmet interview was excellent and very informative. I would have loved to hear more of Bram’s thoughts on the future of Critical Color Displays, particularly OLED direct display technology.

    • Patrick Inhofer July 17, 2011 at 2:21 PM #

      I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Bram’s great. Even better – FSI is now a sponsor of the Tao of Color! I couldn’t be happier.

      I didn’t push too hard on OLED since it’s such an expensive technology. When OLEDs start getting into the $5k range for a 24″ display – then you can be sure I’ll have Bram back on to discuss it. For the crowd I target here on the Tao – OLEDs are mostly a theoretical discussion.

  7. Corey May 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM #

    great interview! i’m a bit confused with the talk about 10 bit monitors vs 8 bit monitors. If i have a 12 bit  raw cinemaDNG file, 10 bit R3D file or even a 16 bit TIFF file, with no lut, will I be looking at the full dynamic range on a 10 bit monitor or 8 bit monitor? i guess my question is how does the camera bit depth refer to the monitor bit depth?

    • Patrick Inhofer June 13, 2012 at 9:33 AM #

      Can you view the full range of a 12-bit image on a 10-bit display device? No. A 10-bit device can only display 1024 steps from black to white. A 12 bit codec can record up to 4096 steps. There’s a whole lot of detail between those two. What we can do is decide: Which of those 4096 grayscale steps contain the most important details that we want to reveal?

      Recording in a high bit depth gives us choices. We’re essentially over-sampling the image for the purposes of latitude.Of course, almost 100% of consumer devices display only 256 grayscale steps, so that 12-bit recording gets downsampled very heavily.

      The decision to work with 10-bit monitors has to do with the fact that many professional recording devices are 10-bit, including Digital Betacam. And most professional codecs have 10-bit variants. So if we’re delivering 10bit, we have monitors that can see the full range of the deliverable (and we want to see exactly what we’re delivering to the client).

      Also – by recording, working and monitoring in a higher bit depth than that of the audience: You tend to get a better result in the 8-bit world than if you had worked in 8bit through the entire post process.

      Does that make sense?

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