Another question on calibration and monitoring.
My business is producing and selling photos and videos, which are distributed entirely online. Currently the format of choice is full HD 6 Mbps H.264. I edit in FCPX, grade in Resolve from the original R3D, output to a ProRes HQ "master" back to FCPX to reunite with the audio, then prepare H.264 MP4 clips using Compressor for sale from the ProRes.
Is there any sensible way to approach calibration and monitoring when the final destination is online?
I know it is quite "bargain basement" to you guys aiming for the cinema screen!
However I've got an insatiable fetish for image quality which means I really want to make sure the final version looks as good as possible for as many of my customers as possible, even given the constraints of online distribution. I don't want to throw my hands up and despair.
Clearly, if one is heading for cinema or TV as one's final output, a properly calibrated broadcast monitor is the correct solution. But the fact of the matter is that my customers will only see the films on a TV if they burn a DVD or Blue-ray for themselves, which they don't. The vast majority of my customers are watching on cheap computer monitors or iPads/iPhones/etc.
I'm not convinced in this scenario that a broadcast monitor is actually the correct solution. Surely the best one can hope for is that it might sit sorta in the middle of the variation of people's computer monitors? Broadcast standards don't actually seem relevant since at no point does the video ever reach a broadcaster, DVD or TV screen.
I'm grading with an Apple 30" cinema display calibrated with a Colour Spyder 3. My only aim doing it that way is to get my monitor somewhere in the middle of the vast variation in screen properties that my viewers will be seeing the footage under. I'm under no illusions that this method is capable of any sort of rigour.
On the plus side, I can say that my informal test shows it works OK. Whenever I get chance to view some of my work on a random PC at a friend's house, I do so. I sometimes find people with extraordinary settings on their monitors- the most common being the contrast and brightness whacked right up and the white balance at eyebleeding levels of blueness. But those aside, my stuff usually looks acceptable most places I view it.
On the minus side, I'm operating largely in the dark, except to say that FCPX seems to have fixed QT gamma shift issues for me.
Anyone got any clues? Is there a better procedure?