The big market surge toward HD production is yielding a plethora of new broadcast-quality LCD monitors for our viewing use. Always a major player in anything broadcast, Ikegami has introduced an excellent 17-inch LCD monitor, compact, convenient, and accurate. The HLM-1711WR is a rack mountable, AC-powered wide-aspect monitor, suitable for use in studio, truck, or field applications where AC power is available.
This monitor uses a WXGA (1280x768) LCD display, and accepts two standard- and/or high-definition inputs with pass-through. An optional audio demux module is necessary to decode the embedded audio for on-board monitoring. DVI-D analog component and PC input ports are optional extras, as is the 19 inch rack mounting kit. The monitor comes with a VESA mount (100 mm) for standard desktop use. It has a specified 800:1 contrast ratio and a viewing angle of about 170 degrees in both horizontal and vertical planes.
Accepted input signal formats, which can be automatically recognized, include SD at 480i, 480p, and 575i; 720p, 1080i, as well as 1080p.
The Ikegami HLM-1711WR multiformat color LCD monitor Front panel controls include the usual adjustment controls for hue, chroma, brightness and contrast. These are two position knobs—when popped out, they serve as manual adjustments; when pressed in, they engage the factory set preset values. Front panel buttons engage and control the menu selections (about which more in a moment), aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9, or zoom), a selection of area markers (determined by menu selections), input select, over/under scan, monochrome or RGB channel display, delay (horizontal, vertical, or both) and test signal (staircase wave with pluge, or color bars with pluge). There is also a dedicated Utility button, a sort of user-defined button, which engages one of a number of useful functions pre-selected from a menu. These may include marker select, enabling a waveform monitor display function, comb filter (for Y/C decoder settings), sync settings, audio preferences and backlight settings, among others.
Menu items include setting input levels and formats, timecode display, waveform monitor display, audio meter display, split picture mode, as well as marker configuration and display, along with remote control functions and more. Several items from this list indicate significant features that bear explanation. The monitor can provide a readable and accurate waveform monitor display in your choice of two sizes, three positions (left, center, right), three levels of brightness and two colors (white or green). Audio meters read embedded SDI audio, and can be configured to display across the top or sides of the image at three levels of brightness. This same menu item also allows configuration of the embedded audio for monitoring through the front panel speakers. Split picture mode is becoming a standard feature of broadcast grade LCD monitors (as is the inclusion of a waveform monitor); Ikegami's implementation of this useful feature is simple and straightforward—one press of the button to capture a still from an input, a second press to compare it to a live input and a third press to return to single input mode. Parallel or serial remote control of as many as 99 monitors is possible, with user defined pin assignments. The display can be set to show pixel for pixel input, without scaling.
Fast Facts Application
Critical video evaluation
Wide viewing angle; accepts a variety of video formats; user-friendly controls
$4,300 MSRP; various options available
Ikegami Electronics | 201-368-9171 | www.ikegami.com I used the Ikegami 17-inch LCD monitor in my edit suite on a variety of SD and HD post-production projects over the course of several weeks, and was very sad to see it go. Positioning it on my crowded edit desk was no problem, as it has a very small footprint and a wide effective viewing angle. Once it was shoehorned into position, I made one SDI connection to my Kona 3-based Media 100 output and the other to an AJA analog-to-SDI mini converter. Right out of the box, the monitor, at its factory default settings, looked excellent—sharp and well balanced from a variety of not-too-acute viewing angles. It automatically configured itself to whatever video format I threw at it.
I found that a little tweaking, with the aid of the built-in waveform monitor, of the image controls and backlight levels, helped the image considerably in the specifics of my viewing conditions and usual angle. In terms of ergonomics—being able to use the monitor effectively with the least physical effort necessary—the HLM-1711WR is well designed and easy to operate. I am a big fan of knobs instead of menu selections for often-used controls. It's kind of a given, but not all monitor designs honor this fairly standard assumption, and I'm glad to say that the Ikegami does. The addition of the Utility button, as a user defined shortcut, is especially welcome.
Audio monitoring is for confidence only, as the tiny front panel speaker really isn't built for high quality audio. However, between the presence or absence of audio confirmed by the speaker, along with the audio level meters displayed alongside the picture, that's really all you need to know at the picture end of the edit. I found myself wishing for a bit more configurability with the audio level meters, such as being able to display only a single stereo pair, to save on screen real estate on such a relatively small monitor. My only other audio related complaint has to do with the built-in fan and the additional noise that it added to my edit suite. It is not a loud fan by any measure, but I am acutely aware of every noise addition when editing.
LCD monitors at the broadcast grade level have come a long way in terms of their accuracy, usability and affordability. The Ikegami is a fine example of the newest generation of high quality monitors, in both features and price point. The designers have produced a high performing and accurate monitor with easy-to-use features. It is not the least expensive monitor of its grade in the marketplace, but neither is it the most expensive. Part of the price is the Ikegami name and guarantee of quality, and those aspects are well worth it.
Michael Hanish operates Free Lunch, a video/audio/multimedia production house near Guilford, Vt. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.