For anyone who has been working in broadcasting for just about any length of time, we’ve all likely noticed that new equipment nowadays is less expensive, has more features, is more energy-efficient and certainly occupies up much less space. All these observations apply to the new breed of professional video monitors as well. And today—just as in the past—a full function TV facility still needs a fairly number of monitors to operate; however today’s monitors have very little in common with their ancestors. With the battle between CRT and modern displays undisputedly over, monitors such as JVC’s DT-V17G15Z no longer have to “elbow” their way to the front of the line.
The JVC DT-V17G15Z is a near EBU Grade 1 LCD monitor, with (mercury free) LED backlight illumination. Color gamut, luminance ranges and color temperatures meet EBU specs. Factory default gamma is 2.2, but three other values are available: 2.35, 2.45 and 2.6. There are two modes of color gamut operation: ITU-709 (default), and “wide,” which covers 110 percent (NTSC) of the panel’s color space. The display provides 10-bit processing for smooth gradation. Optical characteristics include an 800:1 contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 1,073 million colors and 178-degree H and V viewing angles. The unit accepts both Dual Link HD-SDI and the latest 3G-SDI interface. It handles 1080p uncompressed video data at 60fps and 3 Gbps. Acceptable formats include 3G A-1 to A-4, 3G B-DS1 and DS-2, along with 3G B-Dual.
On-screen displays include waveform, vector, along with metering for up to16 channels of embedded audio. Other features include 1920 x 1080 resolution, a latency of less than once frame, AC/DC operation, JVC image processing, front LED dimmer, source ID input by ASCII code, LTC, VITC and D-VITC support, gold-plated HD/SD, SDI terminals, DVI-D with HDCP terminal, RS-232C, RS-485 remote, built-in speakers, a top handle, rugged-adjustable stand and more.
The JVC DT-V17G15Z operated from either 120 or 240 Volt AC supplies, or from DC sources ranging between 12 and 17 Volts. The monitor weighs at about 15.5 pounds with the stand.
The rear of the monitor provides an array of connectors including RJ-45s for remote control, a DB-9 RS-232 control port, three BNCs for Dual Link 3G feeds, along with 3G “switched output,” and there’s also a DVI-D (HDCP) computer display input. You’ll find eight BNCs for analog/component combinations, along with stereo RCA connectors for audio I/O. There’s also a power switch and an AC receptacle, as well as a “DC on/off” switch, and a four-pin XLR “DC-In” jack. A cooling fan vent occupies the top rear of the unit.
User controls abound for adjusting such things as volume, phase, chroma, brightness, contrast, area and safety markers, aspect ratio, “scope” functions and more. There are also the “standard” up/down/left/right menu buttons.
When I removed the DT-V17G15Z from the shipping box, I was quite surprised at the heft of the unit. It seems to be constructed quite robustly—the knobs are solid, the buttons have a “professional” feeling and the fan is very quiet. I made a place in my tech core for the monitor, placing it directly beside a competing brand 24-inch professional monitor.
As there’s no 3G signal source in my plant, all testing was to be with 1080i high-definition video (we’re an NBC affiliate, with an HD studio). I connected a feed from the plant router and the evaluation began.
After applying power to the DT-V17G15Z, I pressed the SDI 1 button and was rewarded with a beautiful picture.
During the next few weeks, I took every opportunity to compare the performance of the two monitors. I found the JVC’s 10-bit processing lived up to expectations—I never witnessed any “steps” between shades of blacks or whites. Also, one of our studio HD cameras generates a small amount of noise in the black region, which is almost imperceptible when viewed on a consumer HD display. However, it is visible on my 24-inch professional monitor and on the JVC as well. I also found that color tracking and gamut were outstanding on the DT-V1715Z and its built-in closed caption decoder (not included on my 24-inch monitor) performed quite dependably. The JVC’s vector and waveform displays are also a slick addition. They’re laid out nicely, and the waveform “monitor” includes a “limit” alerting feature that turns the display red when a user-defined video level is reached.
MORE INFO MODEL: JVC DT-V17G15Z 17-Inch Monitor
LIST PRICE: $4,395
As mentioned, the monitor includes both 4:3 and safe title overlays, which are easily turned on and off, respectively, with the “Area Marker” and “Safety Marker” buttons. And I found that these overlays did just what they were supposed to do.
While the monitor’s promised 178-degree viewing angle spec proved to be “right-on”; I found that as with most monitors, you’ll have a better viewing experience if you stay “front and center.”
My overall impression of the DT-V1715Z was very good. It stacked up very nicely against my 24-inch professional monitor. Colorimetry and tracking between the two were “neck and neck.”
Although multiviewers seem to be the dominant choice for television production areas these days, quality control and special purpose monitors are still a vital part of any TV facility. A couple of decades ago, a monitor with the quality level that this JVC possesses (an in looking back, I would have to question whether there were any) would have been well beyond the budget of many operations. Even in today’s market, the JVC DT-V17G15Z is quite a bargain, and is likely able to pass muster with even the most discerning eyes.