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Author Topic: Vimeo; color and tonal problems  (Read 10028 times)
billy
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« on: June 07, 2012, 01:48:24 PM »
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I am using Vimeo for the first time and have a  question that have not been answered adequately by their tech support.

 I know 'web viewing ' is a crapshoot in general but when I upload my video it looks more saturated and darker than when I view it in QT or FCPX. I am using a wide gamut NEC PA 241 monitor on a MAC. What is the best way to minimalize this?
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fredjeang
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 02:17:38 PM »
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Welcome to the wonderfull Apple's world of QT gamma shift.

You're going to enjoy the tour indeed.

The first thing to verify on the monitor: 2.2 gamma and D65 whitepoint

On import (in the NLE) check also in wich gamma you're working.

Then you can try to open QT and go to the Preferences menu.
General section/"Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility". Enable that.




« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 02:54:19 PM by fredjeang » Logged
billy
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 03:05:13 PM »
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thanks but the problem is universal because I see it on a couple of different computers, not just the one with the NEC display, but I did confirm those settings you mentioned.

oh well, I guess I will just get used to losing total control.......... this video world is quite different than stills.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 03:08:22 PM »
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Yes, the problem is not just yours, it's universal.

For the footage you uploaded it's too late. I mean by that, that if you color graded with a "wrong" (unstandart) setting as a reference, then you get some surprises. This QT gamma is a plague and there are extensive material on-line on the subject. I recommend to read a lot and do some testings. I don't work with FCP so ignore the procedure to apply within this particular software, but we're all contaninated by the plague and all had to apply "remedies".

The thing is that Apple OS, except in the lastest OS, has a conflictive gamma (for video). Make sure that your monitor gamma is setted to 2.2 and not 1.8 (you say that it is so a problem less)

Also, I ignore that in FCPX, maybe Chris Sanderson if reads this could answer, but on import you have to verify in what you are working and-or in the exports settings. In Avid the import is dead important. But you'd need a FCPX guru's post.

As our friend Coot would say: it's the wild west.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 03:34:22 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 07:17:46 PM »
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Of course what it looks like on your machine is generally of little use

What counts is what it looks like on your client/customer machine

Lets say they have a newish imac

Probablity is that they didnt calibrate it - or even twiddle with the settings

Thats why I grade/judge on my Imac even though I have an eizo and all the calibration gubbins in a cupboard somewhere Smiley
--

A seperate issue is I believe the gamma thing - im pretty sketcy on the knowledge of this but I think (correct me if Im wrong) that the comuter gamma is 1.7 or something and the TeeVee gamma is 2.2 which seems to be darker (simply)

Now TeeVee people are obsesed with setting their monitors at 2.2 or even buying fandango boxes so that they can hook a TeeVee screen to their grading computer

This is cool if you are delivering for TeeVee but dumb if you are delvering for web

I watch a lot of Iplayer (on my out of the box mac) and a lot of the better stuff looks flat and dull - but great on the Mrs's 1990 Sony CRT TeeVee

It seems the whole TeeVee industry is set up to deliver to my Mrs's ancient Sony - which is crazy in EU/USA as every one chucked them into landfill a decade ago didnt they?

Moral..

One file for Web delivery, another for TeeVee.. IMO

S
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 07:30:46 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 07:24:01 PM »
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as for FCP QT Browser shifts - yep they exist

and you can read reams of fora about it

or you can pretend you are in a dark room and do a test strip

Grade a shot at 3 different levels and upload

Now you know - for example when Im in aplle colour I go for some serious mood.. that almost kills the washed out look of vimeo

S
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fredjeang
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2012, 07:49:45 PM »
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The 2.2 gamma isn't just vintage oscur teevees. It's a standart and "safe" practise. And Peecees are 2.2 too, so what you see washed actually isn't on pcs or tvs. So who's right? In fact nobody, it would be like saying who's right, the british driving to the left or the rest of the world to the right? but the "problem" was Apple's, and they implicitly recognized putting their lastest OS actually to corrects the 1.8 and now displays in 2.2.
As soon as Mac users upgrade, the old 1.8 would progressively become history.
QT is a mess. Nobody likes it. The only reason that it stayed in use is because of the ProRes manouver.

On Peecees, with Avid or Edius, no shift, even if you wrap to QT. What you see is what you'll get, and it's constant for delivery or for the web, in vimeo or youtube, on saturn or Andromeda, even if you write in QT. But on Macs and FCP you'll get a shift and have to take precautions. (but again, it seems that Apple solved that on the latest OS)

However, there is a white point limit or legal gamut when it comes to teevees and there is often the confusion with the QT gamma shift. So yes, teevees and webs are different but not related to the QT gamma.
Within a "wrong gamma" you can apply a legal tv colorspace or not, wich would in a way exacerbate it.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 08:37:04 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 10:48:15 PM »
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I know 'web viewing ' is a crapshoot in general

It's not as bad as people think. If you know your target audience you can estimate (to a certain degree) the kind of monitors they use - very similar to how audio engineers guestimate for consumer speakers.

Quote
but when I upload my video it looks more saturated and darker than when I view it in QT or FCPX. I am using a wide gamut NEC PA 241 monitor on a MAC. What is the best way to minimalize this?
Usually gamma shifted images look a lot different than ones with just higher saturation and brightness. A screenshot or link would communicate it better.

What are the values of color bit depth, color space, encoded gamma, compression codec, chroma subsampling, viewing LUT, display gamma for the following:
1. Source footage (+intermediate codec if used)
2. Project settings
3. Display card+monitor+connection protocol
4. Render settings+output file
5. Vimeo's settings

One quick test: open the output file in VLC player (take out QT and FCP QT from the equation) and ensure your gamma chain is set to about 2.2. Is this what you're seeing on Vimeo? If yes, you might want to change your color pipeline henceforth. If no, you need to list all the parameters as given above and investigate each link in the chain.

Without more information it would be a pointless exercise to speculate further.
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JonRoemer
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 11:53:51 AM »
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I am using Vimeo for the first time and have a  question that have not been answered adequately by their tech support.

 I know 'web viewing ' is a crapshoot in general but when I upload my video it looks more saturated and darker than when I view it in QT or FCPX. I am using a wide gamut NEC PA 241 monitor on a MAC. What is the best way to minimalize this?

This is my view and I'm no expert so here we go...

I don't think this is what always gets referred to as the Quicktime gamma shift. That occurred on Macs when doing something like editing in FCP (v. 7 and earlier), exporting your video, opening it in Quicktime and finding that it looks significantly different from you what you expected in terms of brightness and tonal scale.  The gamma shift or bug was seen when comparing the original footage in the NLE vs the output as seen in QT.

With FCP X and the last two versions of Mac OS, if you edit a movie in FCP X and then open it in QT it looks exactly as it did in FCP X. So, it is consistent.

That said I know exactly what you are referring to above.  Videos uploaded to Vimeo look darker and more saturated.  I, too, tried to get an answer from Vimeo on this but never got one. Some people replied with comments about TV standards vs computer displays but no one had a correction or workaround to offer. You should note though that it is not just Vimeo.  Is is also YouTube, JW Player, FLV Player, etc. They all behave the same way.

My work around was to create a preset in FCP X which boosts the mid tones and the highlights a bit.  It's not perfect, I arrived it at via lots of trial and error when reviewing footage.  But it gets closer to feel of the footage as I want it to be.  When I am making videos for myself or clients destined for YouTube, Vimeo, or one of the flash based players I apply the preset to a finished version of the footage and output it as such.  That's what gets uploaded.

I've got more info and a screen grab in a blog post from last fall.

A side note, something that needs to be factored in, the background color/tone of the web page a video is presented on makes a noticeable difference in how it appears in terms of tonal range and contrast.  Edit in a dark background NLE (as most are) and then look at the video in YouTube or Vimeo where it is on a white web page, it's going to look dark and have less dynamic range.

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fredjeang
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 01:25:03 PM »
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Jon,

It's difficult to offer a possible workaround because the informations provided by the OP are too laconic. As there are many parameters possibly involved, I'd point what Sareesh mentionned, to check each step and go by elimination until the source of the issue can be detected.

But you seems to (if I understand your post) say that it's probably a Vimeo, Youtube etc...behaviour. I'm not contradicting your experience on that matter because you might have experienced it the way you are describing. But I'm in the obligation to point that this is not everyone's experience.
I've seen original footage from 2 big fishes using vimeo for their web display, export in QT and the footage is absolutly identical to the master. No shift, nor darker-saturated but identical.
Also, some time ago I used a Vimeo account (that I don't use anymore) precisely to do some testings for web and the QT exported from my NLEs and the results in Vimeo were also absolutly identical.
So it's probably not a Vimeo issue but a Vimeo or web issue when...(and that's where the incognito is and without being next to Billy it's really difficult to enter in azardous solutions)

To be precise, the footage from the "big fishes" in question was edited in Avid by professional editors, broadcast monitors etc... and exported in QT and my Vimeo testings were editing in Avid and Edius, no broadcast monitor and also exported in QT. Both on peecees OS. No special settings-corrections for the web were applyed but a simple transcoding of the master. No shift, no darkening, no over satu. A perfect clone of the master except the artefacts due to web compression, and more importantly, the consistency stays if viewed on Mac (with gamma at 2.2!) or peecees once uploaded, in Flash or HTML5 (except if viwed on QT in Apple OS as a separate displayer but that's normal).
There is a reason why Sareesh pointed: take out QT and FCP QT from the equation

So I'd be very cautious about the fact that the issue could come from the web displayers or the editing lightning evironement and there is for sure something that is not setted well on the chain. IMHO.

Also, without the intention to go against Apple nor criticize blindly FCPX, it would be interesting to make sure if this FCPX (and I ignore it sincerely) is really a professional software and capable to provide the required consistency when it comes to do commerce with motion. Again, I'd write like if I was in the Red forum (with tons of previous caution words and diplomacy to maybe point a possible weakness because this is a still forum and a still forum is an Apple forum orientated to photography) and I know that Apple has a lot of fanboyism with the implications that we know. It's a question at least worth to be asked sincerely. I personaly do not have the answer because I ignore this NLE.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 01:55:29 PM by fredjeang » Logged
JonRoemer
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 10:18:33 AM »
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So I'd be very cautious about the fact that the issue could come from the web displayers or the editing lightning evironement and there is for sure something that is not setted well on the chain. IMHO.

Fred,

All fine and good points... and understood.

Here's my question -> why, in 2012, is this so complicated?  With stills I can shoot raw and convert the file into a known color space.  I can shoot into a known color space.  I can convert from one color space to another based on the end use of the image.  I can assign a color space if an image profile is missing.  I can pretty much predict how an image will look and get consistency in that look as it moves across platforms.

Why no equivalent with video? Why can't support at Vimeo, YouTube, etc. provide an answer or a workflow that ensures what you see in your NLE will be what is seen on their hosting platforms? (assuming viewed on same monitor, etc.)  With all the gurus out there leading seminars, blogs for the masses, workshops, bootcamps, why can't anyone address this issue in a clear manner? With all of the blogs which descend onto NAB, CineGear, PhotoPlus, and take the time to shoot and edit reports on equipment, stop for a moment and provide a roadmap of how to ensure consistent color & tone from capture to output with video? How is it that Hollywood movie trailers look great on a PC, a Mac, an iPhone, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.? What the secret sauce? Are they providing customized versions for each?

If the answer is a higher end NLE or a customized computer setup why is that not definitively stated? e.g. if you edit in ____ NLE, on ____ computer system, and avoid QuickTime, then your hosted film on Vimeo, YouTube, etc., will always match the film as seen in the NLE.

Looking at Sareesh's comments above:

"What are the values of color bit depth, color space, encoded gamma, compression codec, chroma subsampling, viewing LUT, display gamma for the following:
1. Source footage (+intermediate codec if used)
2. Project settings
3. Display card+monitor+connection protocol
4. Render settings+output file
5. Vimeo's settings "

For most of us #1 is set (e.g. H.264 on a Canon, MXF on a C300, etc.).  Depending upon the NLE #2 may be set.  #3 is usually set as well (other than calibrating your monitor,) and #5 is set.  "Set" meaning it's locked in and we have no control over it.

So, the only step where we have control over the parameters is #4.  How should it be set differently?  For Vimeo I follow their suggested settings but get the results the OP relates.  Consistently. Should the gamma in #4 be altered?  If that's the case then why doesn't someone who knows and understands what is going on under the hood with steps #1-#5 just say that?

Or should you edit in your NLE and at the end create a duplicate project, then look at the wave form/parade and set the range between certain IRE settings... and doing that will ensure an accurate rendition in third-party hosting services?

The questions above are meant to be rhetorical, you need not answer them. It just seems like the world of color management with HD video is the wild west and no one is providing a way out.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 10:34:01 AM by JonRoemer » Logged

fredjeang
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 12:39:53 PM »
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-> why, in 2012, is this so complicated?  
... It just seems like the world of color management with HD video is the wild west and no one is providing a way out.

John,

 
Yes it's the wild west and yes it's still too complicated.

I've been also through phases of such frustrations about that.

I don't know your background in motion so take the following words in general and not directed personaly.

The reality should be putten in its context: Motion is way more complicated than stills, we know it, and requires a higher technical training and time investment in learning curves to be at the level we would be in photography.
I've seen high-end photographers with superb technics and artistic recognition in stills that are having really tough time to catch-up in motion at an equivalent level there are in photography.
The chalenges involved are much more serious.

We are generaly entering in this game with very little technical background or history in motion, for the most part of us, and it corresponds to each one of us to recognize where we really are, and problems araise every single day. Once something is solved, another chalenge appears! It never ends because the medium is more complex than stills and much more colaborative.

Also, the recollection of information in the web is absolutly a time black-hole. In fact, we use much more time just to reach the right info and not that much to digest the info itself. That's probably the worst part.

The gap between the super-motion-pros and us as newcomers photographers is in general enourmous, both in terms of budgets, technical skills, experience... I've seen a really famous advertising cineast from Madrid and know that they generally shoot Alexas and 5D2 (yes, 5D2 too). It's virtually impossible to detect who's who, they know how to deal with the 8 bits limitations easily etc... How do they acheive this in post? Sincerely I don't know. I've been trying to know but those people don't talk easily and don't post in forums because they are too busy.
The TV guys are incredibly knowledgable ATM. The only thing I'm sure is that they know what they are doing more than I do and they know deeply the medium and the technical chalenges involved.

It takes time to catch-up, and I recognize it's often very frustrating, at least for me and many of my colegues. We regularly face issues in simple things, in things we normaly don't in stills where we have more experience. But it's so exciting and motivating also.

To be back to the OP issue, it really smells that there is a gamma issue (he grades from a "wrong" gamma, even if there may have consistency within FCP and QT). It could be as simple as enabling a check box. I don't know at all FCP, it's impossible for me to answer not knowing the NLE in question but there is a big probability that something's wrong in the gamma he's working with. It's apparently not the monitor so it could be an import setting or a FCPX setting or a QT setting. I don't think (or see) the render setting is in cause nor the Vimeo setting, but all options are open.
The gamma in #4 could be alterated if FCP makes the difference like Avid between RGB color space and Broadcast. Don't know if it's the case.
Personaly, to conclude, I tend to keep the scope in legal space always.

Cheers.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 02:27:00 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 01:01:19 PM »
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With stills I can shoot raw and convert the file into a known color space.  I can shoot into a known color space. 

.. and if a punter printed on their jackass printer it wold look shXt

I think we/I/you need to maybe start from the begining..

1) a mac what is the standard gamma
2) a Peecee what is the standard gamma
3) a TeeVee what is the standard gamma

Does your NLE apply a look (im begning to think FCP is designed to be viewed on CRT?)

Does your viewing SW aply a look (QT can be left 'as is' or check box for FCP compatible)

What about the web/on a pc/mac which browser

I think understanding this lot will start on the road..

S
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 01:01:56 PM »
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QuickTime is the biggest problem here. It displays differently and converts differently depending on the operating system platform, and also on the version.

So windows is different than Mac, and Mac is has changed over the years and versions. Both the qt player and the operating system. So it's just a big mess!

For example, I have a qt embeded on my website that looks good in my safari when the monitor is set to gamma 1.8 but dark when set to 2.2. It does look correct on vimeo at all time I think. It also looks different on newer macs than mine which is running 10.5.8 osx. It displays differently also on different web browsers.

I've finally decided to adjust so it looks ok on my iPad and let it go at that...

I don't think this has to do with secret pro video knowledge, there is no standard in effect for video at all online.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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fredjeang
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 03:38:08 PM »
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Bruce,

Isn't it more QT+the OS ?

What you point is absolutly truth about QT. But I remember for ex having transcoded one of your trailer originaly in QT to an HTML5 compliant format and in windows there was no shift viewed in QT or in HTML5 or in FLASH or in other players. However yes there was a shift if viewed in Mac with QT.
But, if I viewed your site on-line using windows OS, the transcoded footage stayed constant to your on-line QT.
So it's QT but in direct relation with the OS in use also.

There is no official standart for on-line video but there is probably an unofficial acceptance that QT can't really be taken as a reference, that's what Apple unofficialy recognized.

Yes, a big mess.


Example:
left is exported QT footage viewed on QT on windows (QT pro 7.7.2, version's numbers between windows and Macs aren't the same)
right is the same exported QT footage viewed on any other viewer, in Edius or Avid NLEs and it matches exactly with the original.
You see clearly the QT shift.

This shift however, doesn't bother me. I agree with Bruce, if it looks good on an-ipad that's enough IMO, if not we'd become crazy doing versions for each OS.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 04:21:03 PM by fredjeang » Logged
JonRoemer
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2012, 03:55:05 PM »
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There is no official standart for on-line video but there is probably an unofficial acceptance that QT can't really be taken as a reference, that's what Apple unofficialy recognized.

Yes, a big mess.

That may be the bottom line.
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2012, 11:45:16 PM »
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How is it that Hollywood movie trailers look great on a PC, a Mac, an iPhone, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.? What the secret sauce? Are they providing customized versions for each?

Yes. They color grade for each delivery standard separately.

Quote
Looking at Sareesh's comments above:

"What are the values of color bit depth, color space, encoded gamma, compression codec, chroma subsampling, viewing LUT, display gamma for the following:
1. Source footage (+intermediate codec if used)
2. Project settings
3. Display card+monitor+connection protocol
4. Render settings+output file
5. Vimeo's settings "

For most of us #1 is set (e.g. H.264 on a Canon, MXF on a C300, etc.).

On Canon DSLRs you can choose magic lantern and technicolor cinestyle. On Nikon DSLRs you have the option of uncompressed 4:2:2. On prosumer video cameras you can change a host of color settings (incl gamma), and on professional gear you can get 10 bit 4:2:2 or even 4:4:4 in various LUTs and LOG gamma curves.

Even a 'simple' choice like interframe vs intraframe can change color.

Quote
Depending upon the NLE #2 may be set.

The project settings can change codec, bit depth (8, 16, 32, 32 float), working color space, render engine settings, gamma, color profiles, and more. All modern professional NLEs offer these tools, or they should.

Quote

 #3 is usually set as well (other than calibrating your monitor,) and #5 is set.  "Set" meaning it's locked in and we have no control over it.

So, the only step where we have control over the parameters is #4.  How should it be set differently?  For Vimeo I follow their suggested settings but get the results the OP relates.  Consistently. Should the gamma in #4 be altered?  If that's the case then why doesn't someone who knows and understands what is going on under the hood with steps #1-#5 just say that?

Updating the driver for your display card can alter color. Choosing between DVI, Displayport, HDMI or HDSDI can alter color. Using poor connectors can alter color. Using low quality or unshielded cables can alter color. Your viewing environment and the color of your walls, monitor frame and light fixtures can alter color. I'm not even going to start on monitor profiles and calibration.

I feel I have an excellent array of choices to get the colors I want. I can understand how these choices can overwhelm a newcomer, but I'll take this anyday over a rigid system.

Quote
... and doing that will ensure an accurate rendition in third-party hosting services?

It just seems like the world of color management with HD video is the wild west and no one is providing a way out.

The world of online video is really very simple. 8 bit 4:2:0 sampled in Rec. 709/sRGB at gamma 2.2.  Vimeo and Youtube have automated encoders. I don't see why they will bother with manipulating color. One should remember the preview window in an NLE is not a web browser.
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