Any opinions on ShopMagenta.com?

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Steamage
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Joined: Nov 11 2003

I just wondered if anyone has had any dealings with Shop Magenta (http://www.shopmagenta.com/default.aspx), and if so, what you thought of them? I notice that they have some of the Sony MFMHT205S 20" HD TVs at a not-excessive price.

TIA

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Duuno about the firm, but that monitor is nice, I've got one.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Steamage
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Joined: Nov 11 2003

Thanks Alan. I saw in an earlier thread that you had one. That, and DVC's endorsement, made me go looking for it. Can you tell me a little about what it is (and isn't) good at? To what extent can I trust its colours, for example? My thinking is that it should be a "good enough" HD monitor for a non-professional like myself. I don't feel like spending £2K on something like a JVC CRT broadcast monitor.

BTW I still have my old Philips 14" CRT screen for SD 4:3 monitoring - long may it soldier on!

(Oops - wandering away from the "bargains" subject. Mods: feel free to move this thread to a better place if you like.)

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Funnily enough, you've just described my sitiuation very well. I used to edit on a Win98 PC, using a 14" Philips CRT monitor (originally bought for use on a BBC micro) on the analogue output of my DX100 or Walkman 300. Now I use laptops with XP, a Panasonic 14" monitgor on the end of a TV-1-Task adc/dac, and the MFM on the VGA or DVI output, the TV1task also feeds components to the MFM for checking. It's a beautifully flexible system.

I don't do professional editing, and I reckon that this combination's good enough for me, I'm not cedrtain of the primary chromatricities of either display, I lost the facility to do that when I retired (but I know where the meter is and can get access to it when I need it), but it looks reasonable to me. The display gamma is close enough to the crt for this sort of use.

I also use it to watch Freeview via an external box, and direct viewing of Sony A1 HDV via components. I've got a real forest of cables permanently connected to it. I don't think you'll b e disdappointed. Incidentally, I got mine through DVC when I got the latest laptop, as a result of a show they did in Crawley. I trust those guys.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Steamage
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Joined: Nov 11 2003

In the end, I couldn't make the Shop Magenta web-site work over my dial-up modem - something kept timing out when I tried to pay! So I went to More Computers of Sheffield instead, and they delivered the TV in less than 24 hours. £366.nn including delivery. http://www.morecomputers.co.uk/extra.asp?extension=&product_number=MFMHT205S

Apparently, this model is no longer made, and the replacement does not have such high resolution (though it does have HDMI and a digital tuner). More Computers still had 19 left at 3pm yesterday.

I spent quite a long time yesterday evening playing stuff from my Canon XH-A1 through the new Sony's componant input, and it is quite fantastic. Subjectively, I'd say it's the best HDV picture I've seen, certainly from a sub-£1000 screen. I'm less impressed with SD material from the old XM1, played through the S-Video input. It's very grainy, and the edges look unnaturally sharp. I have to move a long way back from the sreen before it starts to look believable. The TV insists on expanding the image to fill the screen. I can't find a way to make it display it at the "native" resolution. So I'll keep the old 14" Philips CRT for DV and S-VHS work.

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

PP
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Joined: Jan 30 2004

Steamage,
" The TV insists on expanding the image to fill the screen. I can't find a way to make it display it at the "native" resolution. So I'll keep the old 14" Philips CRT for DV and S-VHS work.

Look at the remote, third row of buttons, third from left. This alters the size of the screen, you can scroll through the different sizes.

Peter

Peter

Steamage
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Joined: Nov 11 2003
PP wrote:
Steamage,
" The TV insists on expanding the image to fill the screen. I can't find a way to make it display it at the "native" resolution. So I'll keep the old 14" Philips CRT for DV and S-VHS work.

Look at the remote, third row of buttons, third from left. This alters the size of the screen, you can scroll through the different sizes.

Peter

Thanks Peter, I'll try that. I found one that changed the aspect ratio (4:3, 14:9, Zoom, auto...)

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

Steamage
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Joined: Nov 11 2003
SD images on the Sony MFM-HT205

Further fiddling with the remote and the menus failed to provide a way to show SD video at its natural resolution (e.g. 576 x 768), not up-res'ed. I even read the user manual (supplied on a CD-ROM)! However, you can get close, if you also use the screen as a PC monitor:
The display has "Picture In Picture" (PIP) and "Picture And Picture" (PAP) functions, where one of the video inputs can be shown either overlaying (PIP) or alongside (PAP) the PC screen. The largest PIP video window is slightly smaller than "native" SD, whilst the PAP window is slightly bigger, so there's a certain amount of re-sizing going on, but the image looks pretty good. Of course, you have to have a PC input running at the same time.

The best SD image that I've displayed, so far, was using the PC input: I played a DV AVI file in Windows Media Player at native resolution, and it looked very good indeed - natural colours, sharp (but not over-sharp) image, no noise speckles. The diagonal size of the picture was just under 10", which is what you'd expect on a 20" HD screen.

I'm not upset - the HD image is marvellous; I'd consider it very good value even if it did nothing other than show my HDV footage.

Just a thought: does anyone know of a gadget that accepts SD video input (S-video, composite, SCART etc.) and outputs 1080i component without resizing the picture but with a black boarder? Time to browse through the Keene Electronics catalogue, perhaps...

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.