Calibration for Video Production

Hello. We have two Mac systems which are used for video production. One system uses Final Cut Pro and the other uses Avid (Media Composer v3.5 with Mojo DX hardware).

I am unfamiliar with video, other than knowing there are two basic color spaces (SDTV/NTSC and HDTV/Rec. 709). I need to calibrate the monitors on these systems, but I do not know what I should calibrate to. My thought is that the video software does not do any color managing, so I should create profiles for each of the video specs by setting the primaries and gamma that match the two video color spaces.

Does this sound correct? Any better suggestions?

Also, I don’t know what luminance I should set these monitors to either.

I appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks in advance!

Ken Fleisher

Does anyone want to take a stab at this?



  • if you’re going out of a video card (blackmagic, aja, matrox), FCP does not do any color management.
  • if you’re using the canvas or the “digital cinema desktop preview” to use a second display as your monitor, then FCP does color management, and the colors you see depend on your display profile (in system pref).
    You can turn off color management in FCP if BOTH your displays use “Generic RGB profile” (yes, BOTH, it’s probably yet another bug)

When you got rid of FCP color management, you have to calibrate to the targets of your color space ; fo HD white point (D65), primaries, and secondaries. For the gamma, anything between 2.2 (office environment) to 2.4 (dark room).