New Marshall Monitor with HDMI loop-through and DSLR Ratio Adjustment

I’m very excited to share with you the new V-LCD70XP-HDMIPT monitor from Marshall Electroncs. It offers two new functions which many will find incredibly useful in the world of HDDSLR filmmaking.

The first feature is the HDMI loop through function – this is the first monitor on the market to offer this capability and it’s a pretty substantial feature for HDDSLR users. It’s one that many of us have been waiting for since the initial release of the 5D MKII.

With this new feature, you can now easily have an operator using a primary monitor to shoot, and a second person using a second monitor simultaneously - all through HDMI, and without the need for a converter or splitter box.

In other words – you can operate with any number of Marshall monitors – from the 5″ V-LCD50-HDMI, the 6.5″ V-LCD651STX-HDMI all the way to the 7″ LCD-70XP-HDMI – the new Marshall monitor will allow you to loop the signal through to any of these monitors from your camera’s HDMI output (as well as any of the upcoming EVFs)

If you choose to mount a second monitor on your rig, your 1st AC can pull focus from it, or you can of course share the signal with a director / DP / Producer now with a longer HDMI cable to a larger 17″ or 20″ monitor. That monitor can be used as a video village monitor for the Director, DP or even the 1st AC to work from.

You can of course daisy chain as many of these monitors together as you want – ergo it’s possible to have two on-board 7″ HDMI loop-thru monitors – and also have a happy video village looking on from a second monitor.   Gone are the days of having only one person being able to see the signal off of the camera at a time.  Everyone can see the image simultaneously – and all through HDMI.

This obviously eliminates the need for the use of converter boxes.  For two years, I’ve been using a set of Black Magic Mini Converter to convert the the HDMI signal to HDSDI. This has allowed me to loop monitors together via the HDSDI standard – and to use wireless video transmitters as well. (You can now go straight to a Teradek Cube HDMI transmitter by the way – another great solution to share video wirelessly.)   There are two things to consider when using the Black Magic converter that you should be aware of:

1. The Blackmagic really was never really meant to travel out in the field – it’s not shielded against rain/dust/etc. –  and wasn’t designed to take the abuse of exterior shoots, especially when we’re rough and tumble.

2. The Blackmagic requires external power – which means you’ll need to use a cage system such as the viewfactor cage, a series of cables, or a battery plate with PTAP cables or customized cables – ultimately meaning you many need yet another battery / power system weighing down your rig.

This HDMI loop through therefore eliminates a lot of those pieces and thus potential points of failure.  It streamlines the process pretty incredibly – and is significantly more economical for the average shooter.  This is a great solution for those getting into this who don’t need wireless systems or cages, and don’t want to deal with the issue of powering a convertor box.

Click on this image for a larger view.

The second new feature for this new monitors is what Marshall is calling the DSLR RATIO ADJUSTMENT feature.

This will allows users to scale video that does not completely fill the monitor’s screen when connected via HDMI in “Record” mode on certain Canon DSLRs – notably the 5D MKII.

This new feature allows us to scale their DSLR video output, fill the screen, and eliminate grey/black pillar bars with a variety of options to choose from.  You have the option of choosing between NORMAL, 3:2, 16:9, and FULL SCREEN. The DSLR RATIO ADJUSTMENT feature can be programmed to one of the front panel’s four-button presets for quick and easy access.

This is a great feature – not only does it allow for more critical focus pulling, but it will eliminate an all too common problem:  when you’re in a rush, or you work with someone new to HDDSLRs – it’s not uncommon to think that everything you see on the monitor (including the image beneath the grey letterboxes) is being recorded – and find out that you’re cropping the top and bottom of your frame when it’s too late.  This is especially true when working off of a steadicam or in bright daylight – when you can’t really make out the grey lines very well.

The unit retails for $1199 and is available as of TODAY (but not listed in stores yet – this should happen in the next few days) as this is the first public announcement of this product – check it out on the my gear section HERE and on the Marhsall Electronics site HERE.