4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2011 5:16 PM by PeteGould

    Issues with external HDMI monitor

    PeteGould Level 1

      Hi all.


      This is a somewhat complex problem to try to explain, so bear with me while I explain it in steps.  This involves Premiere 5.5 as part of the production bundle.  I have footage shot with a Panasonic AG-AF100 in AVCHD and footage shot with several different higher-end Panasonic cameras in P2 format.  All exhibit the same symptoms so I don't think the footage is the issue.  All footage in this discussion is shot in 1920x1080 which is the native resolution of both monitors in question.


      This is a two-display system based on a GEForce GTX470 display card.  Connected to the two channels on this card are a Viewsonic VX2739wm monitor on the desktop and a wall-mounted Sony KDL-46HX701 for viewing in the room.


      Outside of Premiere, if I open a raw video file from one of these cameras in Windows Media Player, it is displayed in a window (as expected).  On the Sony monitor in particular, the pedestal is running about 10IRE too high (visual estimate - could be even more), causing it to have that signature washed-out, milky look. If I then go to full-screen mode, the raised pedestal disappears, and the image looks the way it is supposed to (subjectively it looks as though the resolution also increases markedly; this could either be the subjective increase in resolution that comes with increased contrast or it could be that dynamically scaling the image down to fit a window has a significant resolution cost, or both).  I can toggle between full-screen and window (with the window maximized) and watch the pedestal jump up and down and the subjective resolution increase and decrease while the footage item plays.  The only way the image looks right is when it is in full screen mode.  On the Viewsonic monitor, the pedestal level remains elevated regardless of whether the footage item is in a window or in full-screen mode.  In other words, playing footage subjectively looks much better on the Sony than the Viewsonic display, but only when in full-screen mode on the Sony.


      Inside of Premiere, the Viewsonic monitor is used as the editing monitor and the Sony is activated via Sequence/Sequence Settings/Playback Settings/External Device.  When activated in this way, it is always operating in full-screen mode.  Yet when operated in this mode, the pedestal is raised by about 10IRE and the subjective resolution appears decreasde as it is when playing in a window inside of a Windows Media Player window.  There is no obvious way to get the Sony monitor to output from Premiere with the levels seen when playing the raw footage item directly in Windows Media Player in full-screen mode.


      Any thoughts on known issues or areas to check would be appreciated.  I've looked through the forums for similar issues but it's not always easy to figure out what to search on, so mea culpa if this is already covered somewhere.





        • 1. Re: Issues with external HDMI monitor
          Jim_Simon Level 9
          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Issues with external HDMI monitor
            PeteGould Level 1

            Hi Jim,


            I checked out the other thread and put in a feature request (though I would argue this is closer to a bug report).


            What do we currently know about the signal pipeline through Premiere Pro as it currently stands?  Load/play a 1920x1080 clip into a 1920x1080 monitor and your observation is exactly what I'm seeing - on playback it behaves as though it is being scaled instead of passed through.  Is this a monitoring issue only?  Say the sequence is rendered out to a 1920x1080 file and contains 1920x1080 clips.  Does it go through pixel to pixel or is there internal scaling and rescaling involved?  Either one is a serious limitation but obviously the latter is the more serious of the two.



            • 3. Re: Issues with external HDMI monitor
              Jim_Simon Level 9

              Currently, PP doesn't do monitoring properly.  You need to either clone or extend the Desktop for it to work, which means Windows gets involved in the signal chain.  That needs to go away.  PP and other Adobe apps need to access the video port directly, so that Windows has no part in the signal processing.

              • 4. Re: Issues with external HDMI monitor
                PeteGould Level 1

                Now that I'm actively poking at this problem I found a partial workaround, but it's pretty darned ugly.


                Let's start with this: if I load a raw video clip into Windows Media Player and take it to full-screen on the secondary display, Premiere can no longer output to that display because it has been captured by WMP.  So when I toggle to Premiere, the WMP image remains displayed on the secondary display even though Premiere has been told to use it.


                BUT: if I load such a clip into WMP, go to full-screen, pause it, and then "worry it" for awhile (click the skip ahead button, right-click in the video to open a menu and select some choices, etc., etc.), eventually there will be a visible glitch in the secondary display.  After that glitch occurs, the WMP file remains paused, but WMP no longer has the display captured.  I can then toggle to Premiere, which will output to that screen.  At that point the 10IRE boost to the pedestal is gone and the image has the correct tonality.  It still looks rescaled (very close inspection shows stairsteps that are not present in a direct full-screen playback of the file), but a client sitting at the client table wouldn't see that.  What they WOULD see is the correct tonal rendition of the image as opposed to the washed-out elevated-pedestal look.


                The problem is that there is no set way to make this happen.  It appears that I'm exploiting a bug in WMP to work around another bug in Premiere.  I seem to be able to make it work 100% of the time, but it can take anywhere from two to five minutes to get WMP to "burp" in the right way.  And since this is just some experimentation that I've done over forty five minutes or so, I don't know if this behavior would hold for an entire edit session.  Naturally the process of trying to trick the display hardware into doing what it should do in the first place is something I wouldn't want to do in front of a client.


                If this helps anyone's thought process on what the underlying issues might be or what a better fix might be, I figured it was worth posting.