Exporting for TV’s gamma

I just hate it how the same video file looks so different on TV and on a computer screen. After lots of trial and error, I was able to get with Vegas a picture that looks good on my TV (playing h.264 via the Sony PS3), even if it looks weird on the PC screen. Vegas already has a “Computer RGB to Studio RGB” template under its “Color Corrector” plugin, but this was not enough to make my footage look good on our Sharp rear projection CRT TV.

So, you bring up the “Color Corrector” plugin, and you change the following:
Saturation: 1200 to 1250 depending on the scene.
Gain: 0.750
Gamma: 0.950
Offset: 16.0

Basically, you just need to f*ck up the RGB histogram by narrowing it down, and making it look completely unnatural and warm on the PC screen in order to look normal on (my) TV. Your mileage may vary, so you will have to do your own tests.

8 Comments »

Justin wrote on October 10th, 2007 at 4:21 PM PST:

It’d be helpful if all post production software had the filter “make it look really good on plasma/lcd/crt/hdtv/monitor”.

Can you hear me Adobe? Final Cut?


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Eugenia wrote on October 10th, 2007 at 4:26 PM PST:

Vegas’ “Computer RGB to Studio RGB” plugin template is just that. But it still doesn’t deliver perfectly on my TV (although it does things a bit better). My suggestions above are nothing but an “extreme version” of that template. TVs from different manufacturers are not calibrated the same way so it’s difficult to export a video in a way that looks good everywhere.


mikesum32 wrote on October 12th, 2007 at 6:50 PM PST:

Shouldn’t you calibrate your tv and your computer monitor ? I’m pretty sure they’d look nearly the same if both are calibrate correctly.

I found out about gamma correction years ago, and it’s like a light went off. I thought to myself, “so that’s why photos look too dark! I can’t stand a linux distros (or alternative OSes) that doesn’t have xgamma or other means of gamma correction. I sometimes run in to washed out pictures and video that people with CRTs and no gamma correction have “corrected” via brightness and contrast settings. Of course they look like crap for those of us in the know.


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Eugenia wrote on October 12th, 2007 at 7:04 PM PST:

>Shouldn’t you calibrate your tv and your computer monitor?
> I’m pretty sure they’d look nearly the same if both are calibrate correctly.

PC, Mac and TVs have all different gammas. If I calibrate my PC monitor to be like a TV, then it would look like a terrible PC monitor. Besides, to get proper monitor calibration you need special tools, and even if I do calibrate it the same as on my TV, it would still not be the same as on other TVs. There’s no way out of this mess.


mikesum32 wrote on October 13th, 2007 at 1:29 AM PST:

Macs, TVs, and PCs that use CRTS should all be set to 2.2, AFAIK. MACs used to be set for 1.8.


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Eugenia wrote on October 13th, 2007 at 7:32 AM PST:

Yeah, well, there is nothing that you can do on a TV to tell it to be 2.2, and nothing on my PC either. Only on the Macs you can give it such a value.


mikesum32 wrote on October 13th, 2007 at 2:23 PM PST:

Well, NTSC CRT TVs are set to 2.2, and as for PCs, have checked the control panel ?


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Eugenia wrote on October 13th, 2007 at 5:16 PM PST:

Speak for your own NTSC CRT TV. If all were the same, video professionals wouldn’t have a real CRT TV next to their PC monitors to test their videos. The reality is, TVs don’t look the same as PC monitors. Be it just a gamma issue or something more.


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