Affordable Colour Grading Monitors

Affordable Colour Grading Monitors

Sony BVM-E250 OLED

Last Update – May 2021 (Complete rewrite!)

If I was to recommend an affordable colour grading monitor it would be the ASUS Pro Art PA329C (2019) because it delivers a true 10 bit panel, 3840×2160 resolution, 600 nits of peak brightness and a spacious 32″ display.

Plus it offers a wide range of connection options and five USB ports for connecting essential peripherals, all for around $1000/£1000 but read on to learn a lot more about choosing an affordable colour grading monitor and to understand how I came to this decision.

One of the most searched for and hotly debated topics on colour grading forums, websites, podcasts and tech shows is that of “Affordable Colour Grading Monitors”.

The search for a cheaper option, most often a high-end calibrated computer monitor or high end television, used in place of a (relatively) expensive, purpose-built, professional colour grading reference monitor, still remains a holy grail quest, of sorts.

In this post my aim is to dip a toe in the water, share some expert opinions (not my own), present a case for and against, and suggest some possible solutions. Along with a bucket load of caveats. The first being, I am only an editor with a blog, I am certainly not presenting myself as a professional colorist nor colour science expert, so, with that out of the way, let’s get started!

Here’s a shortlist of the best affordable colour grading monitors, mentioned in this post, with my top picks highlighted in bold:

The monitors are listed by brand in alphabetical order but be sure not to miss the final section on LG OLED TVs and their new 32 inch OLED computer monitor.

Unsurprisingly, I haven’t personally purchased all 14+ monitors in this post to compare them side by side after extensive testing, but I hope this comparison of the listed specification and detailed information on the things to consider when buying an affordable colour grading monitor, leaves you better informed to make your own decision.

TLDR: When you put ‘affordable’ in front of colour grading monitor, this is like saying ‘affordable luxury car’, the real deal is expensive for a reason. Professional reference monitors cost many (tens of) thousands and can be calibrated to a fine degree with an equally expensive specialised probe by a fully qualified technician, for a reason.

But that is not what you are looking for when you Google “Affordable colour grading monitors” so with that in mind check out the ASUS Pro Art PA329C or the LG 32BN67U-B for 32″, true 10 bit, UHD monitors with solid colour accuracy at an ‘affordable’ price.

This post is detailed and long but please read through each section carefully, it will be worth it!

  • Caveats you should accept
  • Why confidence is what matters most
  • Professional Colour Grading Monitors ($$$)
  • What to look for when choosing an Affordable Grading Monitor – Key Terms and Concepts
  • Affordable Colour Grading Monitors – A Few Options ($-$$)
  • What about HDR?
  • How to connect your affordable colour grading monitor correctly
  • Calibrating a Colour Grading Monitor properly

You may also find it helpful to read these two other posts: How to use an OLED in Post Production and a detailed round up of 4K Video Editing Monitors.

First, A Few Caveats

Here’s the thing… buying a display is a highly personal decision that has as much to do with you and your clientele’s preferences as it does with a given display technologies’ level of accuracy.

Don’t buy a display because you read that I like it, because my reasons may not be your reasons.

Instead, you should evaluate the different legitimately color-critical options for yourself, and then get what suits your particular needs.

This is the approach I’ve tried to take when describing the various display technologies that are currently available in chapter two of my updated Color Correction Handbook, 2nd Edition, and I think it’s the only way to be honest about this frequently debated subject.  

– Alexis Van Hurkman, colorist

The first thing we need to clear up are a few philosophical framing issues when discussing this topic.

Firstly, as Alexis so eloquently points out, everyone is starting from a different spot and will end up at very different destinations. Budgets, creative needs, technical requirements and promises made to clients will vary wildly from person to person.

So everyone should evaluate their choice in light of their options.

Secondly, the most slippery aspect of this topic is that it’s an endless rabbit hole of a search for perfection. There is always more that can be done to make the monitor, grading system, viewing environment, source footage etc. more technically accurate:

  • Is your background wall 18% grey?
  • Is your room lighting the right colour temperature?
  • How much reflected light is bouncing around your room?
  • How black are you blacks?
  • How recently was the display calibrated?
  • How old is the technology?
  • What format is the footage?
  • What is your output device?
  • What software are you running, on what operating system?
  • And on and on it goes.

I would wager that *most* people who are looking to buy an ‘affordable grading monitor’, are probably not going to be trying to persuade their clients to pay them vast amounts of money per hour for their colour grading skills, founded on the promise that the display in front of them is 100% perfectly accurate. Although some may have the audacity, I think a lot of people just want to have a decent display that they can work with, reasonably confident it looks ‘pretty good’.

Notice what just happened.

In one sentence we slid from ‘total professional perfection’ to ‘pretty good’. These days, as with so many advancing technologies, ‘pretty good’ is actually very, very good.

But this is still doesn’t negate the vast difference between a professional reference monitor and an ‘affordable colour grading monitor.’

That said, colour-critical monitors which can be accurately calibrated and will get you most of the way there, are now very ‘affordable’, for example $1000-$3000 instead of $6000 – $30,000.

What matters most – Confidence

The real purpose of the display is peace of mind.  Because that’s what as a colourist drives you nuts. You can work on any display, but you need the confidence that the display is showing you something that is accurate to the specification, so that you can have that peace of mind.

There’s so much else that needs to fit correctly to give you that peace of mind, that could go wrong with those (cheap) displays, that unless you have a real display that does give you that peace of mind to compare it to, you’ve kind of lost… But if you don’t have that comparison device, and it’s off, you won’t know it’s off.

– Juan Salvo, colorist

This brings us full circle.

What really matters most, in professional colour grading suites, is that you can point at the display and say “This is accurate”.

So the question becomes, how confident are you?

And how much are you willing to pay for that peace of mind?

Now, as soon as you take your project off that display and out into the real world, it doesn’t really matter anymore, as everyones iMac, TV, projector, iPad etc. will make it look completely different anyway. But at least you’re starting from a comfortable position.

But again, I’d expect that the majority of people reading this are editors, photographers, cameramen, budding colorists and DITs etc. who want to have a decent display to work on and who know that for 100% accuracy they need to take their project to a reputable colorist for the final polish. Or rent a real monitor for the final pass themselves.

Which Colour Grading Monitor Should I Buy?

$40,000 worth of reference monitor – The Dolby PRM-4200

So what should you look for when choosing an affordable colour grading monitor?

While you can buy a Sony BVM-HX310 31-inch TRIMASTER HX Professional Master Monitor for about £30,000 or $41,000 as the pinnacle of colour accurate perfection, many colorists are opting for the latest generation of LG OLED TVs as their colour accurate client monitor or even their main reference monitor.

These OLED TVs deliver a large screen, ranging from 55″–83″, with perfect blacks, a wide colour gamut and capable of displaying both SDR and HDR content. And best of all they come with a consumer price tag.

I’ll get into OLEDs in more detail later on.

Often colorists may also have a smaller, more expensive and more accurate display in front of their control panel as their main point of reference, but if both displays don’t line up together exactly you can get into the troublesome situation of the client asking “Which one should I be looking at?” i.e. what can I trust?

Flanders Scientific Grading Monitors

If you can afford it, the consensus seems to be that a Flanders Scientific is the more affordable of the high-end. While their flagship 3000nit 10bit 4K HDR monitor, the XM310K will set you back $25,000

The Flanders Scientific DM170 drops down to a bargain price of $3,495 for a 17″ 1920 x 1080 10bit LCD display. For comparison the cheapest FSI monitor is the 2021 AM211, a 21.5″ HD 8bit monitor for $1,995.

One benefit of buying a cheaper model from a more expensive brand is the trickle-down tech effect, where the AM211 features a “new backlight uses a very similar LED element to that found in our higher-end DM170, DM240, and XM310K monitors.

But ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ the man says. And in many ways he’s right.

If you’re aiming to become for becoming a serious colorist, this is a much better direction to head in, instead of wasting $1000 on a computer monitor, when you could save a bit longer, or rent in the meantime, for a ‘real’ colour grading monitor, that costs (quite) a bit more.

But looking at these prices, *most* people switch their thinking to a ‘high end computer display’, which is where the rest of this post will be heading.

Colour Grading Monitor Shootout

Watching a colorist and a calibration technician judge a collection of different monitors whilst sat directly in front of them, is another really helpful place to start.

In the course of about 50 minutes Colorist Warren Eagles and Stuart Pointon cover the monitors listed below as well as five ‘monitor myths’ such “It’s just for the internet so I’ll colour grade it on my laptop…

I’ve included time stamps (left link) and prices (right link), accurate at the time of writing, to give you a quick point of comparison:

They also cover the real world implications of uniformity, viewing angle, factory calibration and other details that should help you make a more informed purchasing decision.

What to look for when choosing an affordable grading monitor – Understanding Terms and Concepts

Colour Gamut of Flanders CM171

There are quite a few things to take into consideration when choosing an affordable grading monitor, not least the final price tag. Here are some thing that you should weigh up when making your selection.

Display Resolution – You want to be able to monitor the kind of footage you regularly work with at it’s full resolution. If you’re often working with 4K footage then you’ll want a 4K monitor. If you’re only ever delivering HD then a 1920 x 1080 monitor will do just fine. (See my 2018 update below for more on this!)

Inputs – Depending on the monitor you choose it will come with different inputs. The most common are SDI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Outputs – You’ll also want to look at whether it has downstream Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 and audio capabilities as these make the monitor even more useful day to day.

(Upstream connects monitor to computer, downstream connects monitor to peripherals.)

Size of display – If you’re the only one who will be looking at the display, having a 30-50″ monster will be overkill. If clients need to be viewing it from the comfort of a sofa, having a bigger display might be helpful. Personally I like something around the 27″ mark – plenty of space to work with, but not unwieldy.

Gamut & Gamma – This is the range of colours (gamut) and luma range (gamma) that a given specification requires. For example, can the monitor accurately display common specifications such as Rec 709, Rec 2020, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB etc?

Viewing Angle – What you don’t want is your image looking different when you move your head or seat around. The image should look exactly the same no matter which angle you’re viewing it from. Most displays these days declare that they have a ‘wide viewing angle’ of around 178 degrees. Although technical specifications and real world testing can be quite different things.

Contrast Ratio – This will probably make the biggest difference to your perception of the images on display. Glossy displays tend to have a higher contrast ratio than matte displays. According to chapter 2 of Alexis Van Hurkman’s Color Correction Handbook 2nd Ed. (paraphrasing here) for an LCD display 1400:1 (glossy) or 1100:1 (matte) or better, is a good ball park. For OLED 5000:1 is a good ball park.

Black Levels – Having deep blacks is what colorists are always looking for, not muddy grey ones. Deep gorgeous blacks with plenty of detail still in them. Partly this impacts on your perceived contrast and partly it’s a sign of a good display panel. OLED panels beat LCD in this and the contrast department.

Brightness – SDR (Standard Definition) is mastered to a 100 nit brightness range. HDR is usually mastered to 1000 or 4000 nits. True HDR reference monitors are incredibly expensive. My focus in this post is on SDR use-cases.

Calibration – That you will be able to calibrate your monitor with either in-built tools, and/or an external probe and software should be an essential element in your choice. Otherwise you won’t be able to maintain the accuracy of your images over the lifetime of your monitor. (Which, by the way, will also be a moving target, as display’s performance changes as they age.)

1D vs 3D LUT – Even if your display can be calibrated the precision with which that can be achieved will be dictated in part by the complexity of the calibration LUT, which bridges the gap between the colours the display is receiving and what it should be sending. A 3D LUT is preferable for colour accurate calibration. But only a few monitors make this user accessible.

understanding 8BIT vs 10BIT

Colorist David Torcivia has a really helpful explanation of some of these key terms in the first of his two-part post on Colour Grading Monitors. He also offers some practical suggestions on how monitors of different capabilities will alter your image, according to their specification.

In practice, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a display that offers anything besides 1.8 and 2.2 (Gamma settings) without stepping up to professional models.

Once you do find a display capable of a wide range of gamma power functions, it can be tough to know which multiple to use as BT.709 has no set standard.

Typically, the deciding factor is based on the general ambiance of the room. A darker room requires a higher power (the reason why cinema projections in a completely dark room use gamma 2.6). A good rule is to use a value around 2.0 for daylight uncontrolled lighting, 2.2 for dim lighting, 2.35-2.4 for a dark controlled room, and 2.5-2.6 for pitch black.

– David Torcivia, colorist

In part 2 of his post David considers several professional monitors that he thinks you should be saving up for including brands such as Flanders Scientific, Dolby, Panasonic, Sony, HD2Line and a few others. All in all, very much well worth listening to what a professional colorist has to say on the matter.

Affordable Colour Grading Monitors – a few options

Affordable colour grading monitors 2020

At long last we have come to the point where I round up a few potential high-end computer monitors and suggest that you use these as a pretty good way of viewing your images.

Hopefully given all the caveats, conditions and explanations that have preceded this point, you’ll understand me when I say these displays will all do a fine job of displaying your work pretty accurately at an affordable price.

It goes without saying that there are likely plenty of other excellent monitors out there but I’ve chosen to focus on the main brands and models that I would most likely choose from, when selecting a new monitor, to use for editing and grading on my Mac Pro.

Here’s a shortlist of the best affordable colour grading monitors mentioned ahead, with my top picks highlighted in bold:

What to look for when buying an Affordable Colour Grading Monitor – Specifications

Part of my purchasing philosophy (for anything) is to buy the best I can afford and keep it for as long as possible, whilst also trusting in ‘trickle-down-tech’, whereby a cheaper model from a higher-end brand is likely to be a good choice due to the fact that it is often the same tech/expertise that’s gone into the top of the range, just with a few more compromises in the cheaper models.

Personally I would be looking for these requirements;

  • True 10 bit panel
  • 32″ screen
  • UHD resolution (3840 x 2160)
  • Around the £1000/$1300 price point

It’s worth noting that very few displays these days offer the 4096 x 2160 true 4K resolution, but the price bump to monitors that do, doesn’t seem to be worth it.

All the monitors in this post are using IPS panels except where noted for mini-LED or OLED.

If you’re looking to compare several options after your own research I would highly recommend plugging them into the excellent – DisplaySpecifications.com – for a side-by-side comparison of the spec.

What am I still using?

I originally wrote this post back in 2015 and updated it regularly over the past few years.

In 2016 I bought the LG 31″ 4K 10bit monitor (LG 31MU97-Z) and have LOVED using it every day since then. I can’t even begin to calculate how many hours I have stared at this screen!

I’ve really enjoyed having both 4096 x 2160 resolution to work with – allowing me to see my mostly HD projects in pixel for pixel resolution, whilst still having plenty of space for timelines, scopes, bins etc. and 31 inches of screen to look at every day.

Along side my Yamaha HS7 studio monitors, I don’t have much more desk space for anything bigger than the LG 31MU97.

True 10bit vs 8bit+FRC in 2021

In all of my research of the ‘best colour grading monitors’ or the best ‘video editing monitors for 2021’ most sites are still recommending monitors which are not true 10-bit, but rather 8bit +FRC.

But it seems like 8bit+FRC isn’t quite what it was. It used to be a lesser brother (and in some ways technically still is) to 10 bit but according to Flanders Scientific Bram Desmet you might not be able to tell the difference anyway…

“You have pure 8bit, you have 8bit+FRC. Now there’s different types of FRC; there’s high speed switching between the bit value over and under and this can happen both in a spatial and a temporal state. So it allows you to, through this rapid switching, get a perceived higher bit depth than the panel may actually have.

At some time this was a much cheaper way of giving you 10 bit appearance and most people with good FRC are unable to actually tell the difference.

So it’s actually a mute point whether it’s FRC or true 10 bit.”

Bram Desmet, Flanders Scientific

You can hear more from Bram in his conversation with Patrick Inhofer from Mixing Light.com.

So it’s up to you how much weight to put on a true 10bit panel vs an 8 bit+FRC panel when making your own purchasing decision.

ASUS ProArt Affordable Colour Grading Monitors

Buy on Amazon Global Stores | Buy on B&H Photo

The ASUS ProArt series has an impressive spec, with the higher end, mini-LED HDR models having an equally impressive price tag. When it comes to finding a more affordable option in the range, it appears that the Pro Art PA329C (2019) is currently the best bet.

For just over £1,000/$1000 the PA329C delivers:

32″ | True 10bit | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB, 98% DCI P3 | 600 nit peak brightness | HDR 10

This is not to be confused with the PA329CV (2020) which has an 8bit+FRC panel and a lower peak brightness.

Importantly, the PA329C supports hardware calibration, a 14-bit LUT and the ability to store custom colour profiles on the monitor. It comes with a VESA DisplayHDR 600 certificate.

However the PA329C can only be calibrated with Asus’ own software via this LUT. In contrast the more expensive PA27UCX, PA27UCX-K, PA32UCX, PA32UCX-K, PA32UCX-P, PA32UCX-PK, PA32UCG, and PQ22UC also have a user accessible 3D LUT which means they can be calibrated with third party software like ColourSpace from LightIllusion.

The PA329C comes with a plethora of connection options:

  • 3 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-C) – Upstream
  • 5 x USB 3.0 (Type-A) – Downstream

I would say it’s pretty tricky navigating the various models in the ProArt range as they have very similar sounding model numbers with only slightly different extensions, such as the PA329 vs the PA329CV or the PA278CV vs the PA279CV.

So just make sure you’re ordering the right one!

Having considered the spec of all the monitors in this list the ASUS Pro Art PA329C (2019) is my top pick for the specification it delivers at an affordable price for a colour accurate monitor.

Asus ProArt PA32UC-K and PA27UCX-K

If you can stretch your budget up a notch it might be worth considering the PA32UC-K (approx £1,800) or the PA27UCX-K (approx $2,200) which are pretty similar to the other two ProArt models I’ve listed here, except for the fact that they use Mini-LED and have local dimming zones (384 for the 32″ and 576 for the 27″) and a higher peak brightness of 1000 nits.

These monitors can also be accurately calibrated via their 3D LUT.

But I’d wager you just save your money and focus on the PA329C for now until mini-led monitors drop in price.

Buy on Amazon Global Stores | Buy on B&H Photo

If you wanted to go even cheaper for about half the price ($500/£500) you could pick up the Asus ProArt PA279CV which is ‘Calman verified’.

27″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB | 350 nit brightness | HDR 10

This also features slightly newer port specifications:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) – Upstream
  • 4 x USB 3.0 (Type-A) – Downstream

Personally, I would aim for the 32″ over the 27″ just to have a greater amount of screen-space to work with all-day long, despite the fact that they have matching UHD resolutions.

You’re also getting a much more capable monitor in terms of its hardware calibration and true 10bit panel.

Buy the Pro Art PA329C (2019) on Amazon Global Stores

BenQ Affordable Colour Grading Monitors

Buy BenQ SW321C on Amazon Global Stores | Buy on B&H Photo

There are a couple of BenQ monitors that look like they would be good contenders for our needs; the BenQ PV270 (2016) that Warren and Stuart mention in the monitor shootout (above) stating that it “Calibrates really well“, which was replaced by the SW271C in 2020, as well as the larger SW321C (2020), the PD3220U (2018) and the newer PD2725U (2021).

BenQ SW321C (2019) – Approx $2000/£1,579

32″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB, 95% DCI P3 | 250 nit brightness | 16 bit LUT

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) – Upstream
  • 2 x USB 3.1 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 1 x SD Memory Card Slot

The SW321C is also capable of hardware calibration and comes with a factory calibration report (for what it is worth) and has a ‘verified by Calman’ certificate.

According to LightIllusion’s website it has a user accessible 3D LUT, which means it can be calibrated by their third party software.

BenQ SW271C (2020) – Approx $1,099/£1,299

27″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB, 90% DCI P3 | 300 nit brightness | 3D LUT 16 bit

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) – Upstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-B) – Upstream
  • 2 x USB 3.1 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 1 x SD Memory Card Slot

The SW271C is also capable of hardware calibration and comes with a factory calibration report (for what it is worth) and has a ‘verified by Calman’ certificate.

Don’t confuse this with the SW270C which is the 2019 model with 2560 x 1440 resolution.

BenQ PD2725U (2021) – Approx $1,100/£900

27″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB, 95% DCI P3 | 400 nit peak brightness | HDR 10

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) – Upstream
  • 2 x USB 3.1 (Type-A) – Downstream

The PD2725U is not capable of hardware calibration and comes with a factory calibration report (for what it is worth) and has a ‘verified by Calman’ certificate.

It does also ship with a Hotkey Puck, for easier access to display settings.

BenQ PD3220U (2018) – Approx $1,200/£1,059

31.5″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB, 95% DCI P3 | 300 nit brightness | HDR 10

  • 1 x USB (Type-C, Thunderbolt 3, 15W)
  • 1 x USB (mini)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-C) – Downstream
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (Type C, Thunderbolt 3, 85W)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-B) – Upstream
  • 3 x USB 3.1 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4

The PD320U is not capable of hardware calibration and comes with a factory calibration report (for what it is worth) and has a ‘verified by Calman’ certificate.

It does also ship with a Hotkey Puck, for easier access to display settings.

If I were to choose a BenQ monitor from this shortlist I would likely opt for the SW321C due to the larger screen and hardware calibration options, even though it doesn’t go as bright as some of the other options.

Although it doesn’t have a Thunderbolt 3.0 port to help connect multiple monitors, this isn’t a big problem for me as a 32″ display is all I can fit on my desk!

It is however pushing the top of our ‘Affordable’ budget at $1,999 and the Asus ProArt 329C offers true 10-bit and 600 nits for just over half that price!

Dave from Post.Color.Gear has a helpful review of the BenQ SW321C, which covers all of the main features in under 10 minutes.

Buy the BenQ SW321C on Amazon Global Stores

CalMAN Verified Displays

The Verified by CalMAN program ensures each display to be accurate out of the box and true to multiple industry-standard colour gamuts…displays are brought into the colour lab at Portrait Displays (creators of CalMAN, formerly SpectraCal) and put through a rigorous testing process to determine each display’s performance.

Only those displays that meet the program’s specifications for colour accuracy can wear the Verified by CalMAN mark.

The BenQ monitors I have included now come with a ‘Verified by Calman’ certificate, which you would hope means that they stand a chance of being colour accurate in the real world.

Dell – Affordable Colour Grading Monitor

The nicer looking UP3221Q – but it’s $3k more!

The Dell UltraSharp series always seemed to be a useful option for many colorists, especially as a calibrated GUI monitor, given their decent spec and low price.

For context the 2020 Dell Ultrasharp UP3221Q, a 4K UHD display with a true 10 bit, mini-LED backlit panel delivering 1000 nits of HDR ready peak brightness costs close to $4,000/£3,600.

For about $3000/£3000 less, you can pick up the Dell Ultrasharp U3219Q.

Buy U3219Q on Amazon Global Stores

Dell Ultrasharp U3219Q (2018) – Approx $900/£800

31.5″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 99% sRGB, 95% DCI P3 | 400 nit brightness | HDR 10

  • 4 x USB 3.0 – Downstream
  • 1 x USB 3.0 – Upstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C, 90W)
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4

Unlike the more expensive UP3221Q, the U3219Q doesn’t feature a built in calibration probe, but you can quite happily calibrate it with an external probe like an X-rite i1 Display Pro Plus.

For a monitor from 2018 the 4K 400 nit USB-C spec for less than $1000/£1000 makes it fairly appealing low-cost purchase.

Alternatively you could look at the 27″, 4K, 10bit, Thunderbolt 3 UltraSharp UP2720Q instead.

UltraSharp UP2720Q (2019) – Approx $1,600/£1,450

27″ | True 10bit | 3840 x 2160 |100% sRGB, 99% DCI P3 | 250 nit brightness |

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4

To be clear there is the UP2720Q (2019) which has a 10bit panel and 250 nits of brightness and greater colour accuracy is about $1,600 and then there is the U2720Q (2020) which has a 8bit+FRC panel with 450 nits of peak brightness and a very slightly lower colour accuracy which is about $700. You can compare their specifications here.

Apparently the UP2720Q and the UP2720QM are the same monitors, although I found the same UP2720Q listed for about $100 difference on Amazon.

Eizo Affordable Colour Grading Monitors

Buy on Amazon Global Stores | Buy on B&H Photo

Eizo monitors have always seemed like a premium option to me, whenever I ran into one at a post house or client edit suite. They always looked great and had professional calibration features and options at hand.

But it’s not entirely clear to me whether their performance and features still commands that premium relative to other options available today. There also seems to be quite a substantial difference between the UK and (higher) US prices.

It’s possible that I am however glossing over some of the finer details, build quality and nuanced features that make them worth the money. Either way I respect Eizo so I’m including them here!

Eizo has two different ranges aimed at creative professionals. The ‘entry level’ CS and the high-end CG range.

The CG range has a greater contrast ratio and a retardation film, providing a more even black level across the screen and reducing the effect of light leakage.

Then we get onto the sensors, with the CGs having a self-calibration sensor allowing the monitor to be calibrated without the need of an external device, whereas the CS monitors can be calibrated, but only using an external device such as a Spyder or iOne Display.

Eizo marketing

Although built-in calibration is handy, they tend to only measure a patch near the top of the screen rather than the middle (or wherever you like), which is more commonly used with an external probe.

For our purposes EIZO don’t make an ‘affordable’ 32″ model with the CG319X coming in at close to $6k, while the latest Eizo ColorEdge Prominence CG3146 HDR reference monitor will set you back over $30k.

So looking at their 27″ options these two stand out:

Eizo ColorEdge CS2740 (2019) – Approx $1,700/£1,200

27″ | True 10bit | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB | 350 nit brightness | 16bit LUT

  • 2 x USB 2.0 – Downstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-B) – Upstream
  • 2 x USB 3.1 – Downstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C)
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x DVI-D Dual Link

Here is a quick overview of the CS2740 from Eizo (with some rather clunky editing).

Eizo ColorEdge CG279X (2018) – Approx $2,400/£1,500

27″ | 8bit+FRC | 2560 x 1440 | 100% sRGB 98% DCI P3 | 350 nit brightness | 16bit LUT

  • 2 x USB 2.0 – Downstream
  • 1 x USB 3.0 – Upstream
  • 2 x USB 3.0 – Downstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C)
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x DVI-D Dual Link

Here is a similar introduction, which does a good job of explaining some of the extra features in the CG range.

HP – Affordable Colour Grading Monitors

HP Z27xs available for pre-order here

HP offer a wide range of monitors creative professionals might be interested in under their Z Displays series, a subset of which are (more well known) Dream Color monitors.

From my research there are two that seemed the most promising. The 2021 Z27xs G3 4K DreamColor and the 2017 DreamColor Z31x Studio, both of which can be calibrated with an external probe.

Z27xs G3 4K DreamColor (2021) – Approx $700/£600

27″ | 8bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 99% sRGB 98% DCI P3 | 256/600 nit peak brightness |

  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C 15W DP Alt Mode) – Upstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C 100W DP Alt Mode) – Upstream
  • 3 x USB 3.2 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 1 x Ethernet RJ45
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 (In)
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 (Out)

DreamColor Z31x Studio (2017) – Approx $2500/£1,900

Expensive if you can still find it at about $2500 this is a true 4K 4098 x 2160, 10 bit monitor. Whether it’s still worth the money today, given other ways to spend that kind of money, is highly questionable!

32″ | True 10bit | 4098 x 2160 | 99% sRGB 98% DCI P3 | 250 nit brightness |

  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C 15W DP Alt Mode) – Upstream
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C 100W DP Alt Mode) – Upstream
  • 3 x USB 3.2 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 1 x Ethernet RJ45
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 (In)
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 (Out)

LG – Affordable Colour Grading Monitors and OLED TVs

Using an OLED C8 E8 for Film Editing

I’m writing this on my (now discontinued) LG 31MU97B 10bit 4K (4096 x 2160) monitor, which I have loved using for the past few years. From my experience, LG monitors and OLED TVs are superb.

Having previously written a detailed review and guide to working with an OLED in post production with an LG 55″ E9 OLED TV here, I can attest to how incredible the picture quality of an OLED really is and nice it is to have such a large screen to watch your work on.

In this last but not least section of the post, I’m going to cover LG’s OLED TVs, their brand new OLED monitor and some of their ‘regular’ computer monitors too.

The LG 55″ OLED TVs are incredibly popular with editors and colorists as client monitors, and suffer less from uniformity issues than the larger 65-88″ screens. You can also calibrate them to a professional standard and each year LG seems to add further functionality to assist with this.

The 2021 LG OLED 55″ C1 is the model most post pros are likely to consider, although the flagship 2021 55″ G1 OLED does come with improved technology that drives a 20% increase in peak brightness and a more relaxed approach to ABL (automatic brightness limiting), but it’s more expensive.

The 2021 LG 55″ C1 OLED is about $1,800/£1,700 which is about £300/$400 cheaper than the flagship G1 55″, with its EVO technology.

You can of course pick up a 2020 CX 55″ and 48″ at a discount, at around $1,300. Vincent Teoh from HDTV Test compares the G1 to the CX and GX here.

Excitingly last year LG added a 48″ OLED TV to it’s line up and these are about £400/$400 cheaper than the 55″ at around £1,300/$1,300. These look to be an ideal choice for anyone with a smaller edit suite or who might want to consider using it as their main monitor.

Although I would have concerns about burn in from the static elements of the GUI if you did that.

LG’s First OLED Monitors

LG are launching two new OLED Monitors in 2021, the 32″ EP950 and the 27″ EP950. If they have essentially the same spec other than the screen size it will be:

LG 32EP950 OLED Monitor (2021) – Approx $4,000

32″ | True 10bit | 3840 x 2160 | 99% sRGB 99% DCI P3 | 540 nit peak brightness | HDR10

  • 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-B) – Upstream
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-C 90W DP Alt Mode) – Upstream
  • 3 x USB 3.0 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 2 x DisplayPort 1.4 (In)

These are RGB-OLED panels instead of WRGB OLED used in LG TVs, which means that they will have better RGB separation.

Sadly these don’t fit into our ‘affordable budget’ listing for pre-order on B&H Photo at $3996.99 for the 32″ and $2,996 for the 27″. They are expected to be available in mid June.

There will also be two other versions of the same monitor, the “UltraFine 32BP95E, which matches the 32EP950’s specifications but includes a light protection hood and a self-calibration option.

I wanted to include them here as a potential nod to the future and it will be interesting to see how they compare to other similarly priced mini-LED monitors designed for professional HDR use. (See next section below)

LG Affordable Colour Grading Computer Monitors

Buy on Amazon Global Stores | Buy on B&H Photo

When it comes to directly comparable IPS panel monitors, LG have a couple of interesting options that meet our requirements.

LG UltraFine Ergo 32UN880-B (2020) – Approx $600/£600

32″ | 8 bit+FRC | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB 95% DCI P3 | 350 nit brightness | HDR10

  • 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-C 60W)
  • 2 x USB 3.0 (Type-A) – Downstream
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4

The 32UN880-B can also be hardware calibrated.

One of the really cool things about this monitor is the ergonomic stand that it comes with which allows you to clamp it to a desk and then swivel, pivot and extend/retract the monitor to your hearts content. It looks pretty great.

I’m pretty sure that the model variants are just down to where you live, such as the 32UN880-A being the UK version compared to the 32UN880-B in the US.

As one of the the cheapest monitors in my list, the LG looks like an excellent budget purchase, even if it doesn’t have a true 10 bit panel.

Buy on Amazon Global Stores | Buy on B&H Photo

LG 32BN67U-B (2020) – Approx $500/£450

32″ | 10 bit | 3840 x 2160 | 100% sRGB 95% DCI P3 | 350 nit brightness | HDR10

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4

For the money the 32BN67U-B looks like a great deal. It doesn’t have the fancy stand of the 32UN880-B or the ability to connect USB peripherals, but it does have a 32″ display, true 10bit panel and a UHD 3840 x 2160 resolution.

At this price point the ASUS Pro Art PA279C (2020) – Approx $500/500 and the Z27xs G3 4K DreamColor (2021) – Approx $700/£600 are also considerations but they both have 8 bit+FRC panels and a much smaller 27″ display.

I’ve not seen any reviews of the monitor online but from the specs it looks like a solid choice.

What about HDR?

The premise of this article is that you’re likely looking for a really solid SDR (standard dynamic range) monitor for colour grading in the Rec.709 or sRGB colour spaces, and possibly even P3.

When it comes to stepping up to an ‘affordable’ and reliable HDR monitor, right now you’re still looking at several thousand pounds/dollars. The technology is rapidly improving and the prices slowly falling but we’re not there yet.

If you’re on the look out for one here are three quick options each around or above $4k

In Warren Eagles monitor shoot out earlier in this post, he suggests that the ASUS PA32UCX is a solid choice. But that’s still well over $4000. You can watch Vincent Teoh’s detailed review here.

In these two videos colorist Kevin Shaw gives his first impressions of the ASUS PA27UCX-K and the Dell UltraSharp UP3221Q. One thing to take into consideration with an HDR monitor is just how much power they consume!

Vincent Teoh from HDTV Test walks you through why your OLED isn’t suitable for HDR grading – mostly because it just doesn’t get bright enough.

With mastering of HDR movies sitting at around 1000 or 4000 nits, consumer OLEDs can’t match this getting to only 650-700 nits in their brightest areas. Whilst also being hampered by ABL (automatic brightness limiting – to protect the panel) bringing their full-screen brightness to around 100-150 nits.

Although you can turn off ABL through the service remote on an LG TV and void your warranty.

The point of all this brightness is that it allows for more detail to be displayed in the brightest parts of the image, without being blown out.

Apple’s XDR Display and the new 2021 iPad Pro with ‘Liquid Retina’

This Twitter thread from colorist Juan Salvo points to the fact that the new 12.9″ iPad Pro (2021) could be a great solution for HDR reviews.

Here are the display specs from Apple for the 12.9″ iPad Pro (2021)

  • Liquid Retina XDR display
  • 12.9-inch (diagonal) mini-LED backlit Multi?Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2D backlighting system with 2596 full?array local dimming zones
  • 2732-by-2048-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • ProMotion technology
  • Wide color display (P3)
  • True Tone display
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Fully laminated display
  • Antireflective coating
  • 1.8% reflectivity
  • 600 nits max brightness
  • 1000 nits max full-screen brightness; 1600 nits peak brightness (HDR)
  • 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio

In a previous Twitter thread, Juan had more cautionary things to say about the previous XDR display, specifically with regard to Apple’s claim that it can compete with a professional colour grading reference monitor. The very low number of local dimming zones makes for a bad high contrast image with a lot of haloing.

It will be interesting to see if Apple updates the desktop display at some point, with the new tech.

Vincent Teoh from HDTV Test also delivers a thorough review of the Apple XDR display.

How to Connect Your Affordable Colour Grading Monitor to Your Computer Correctly

While you might be able to connect your new monitor or TV directly to your Mac or PC via Thunderbolt, mini-display port or HDMI, should you?

The reason you might also want to invest in an input/output box or card (IO box) is that you can quickly and easily guarantee the purity of your video signal path as it winds it’s way from your hard drive to your eye balls.

Examples of IO boxes would be the Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Monitor 3G (approx $115 – HD video – full tech specs) and the older more expensive, AJA T-Tap (approx $295 – HD video – full tech specs). If you want 4K i/o you’ll need to jump up to the more comprehensive BMD UltraStudio 4K Mini.

This also (mostly) assumes you’re using one screen to monitor your video image as a full screen output (with a clean signal path) and another screen hooked directly to your computer view your software user interface.

As an example of why you want to avoid letting the OS and software manage this process for you is that if you load up the same image or video file in a bunch of different apps and browsers it will likely look different in every one.

It’s not that these things can’t be tackled. Ostensibly you have bits sent out and bits received and you should be able to get a clean signal path whether that’s via HDMI or SDI.

It’s a lot more difficult with HDMI. You have to be really good at knowing what you’re doing. You have to be able to analyse the signal to know if what you’re sending out is the correct thing.

With a PCI card like a DeckLink or an AJA you’re much more guaranteed of that, because it bypasses what the OS is doing, you’re not using a consumer graphics card that may be doing things to the frame rate, things to colour and you’re not relying on colour tags or anything like that in video streams to trigger certain things on the display.

Bram Desmet, FSI Monitors

I’ve written another extensive article on Colour Management for Video Editors, which goes into using IO devices (and many other topics!) in a lot more detail, which you can read here.

Here is a brief snippet to cover the basics.

Understanding Colour Pipeline Management

Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 4K

Video Signal Chain: Source Footage > Video Editing Software > OS > IO/GPU > Cable > Monitor

Video Processing/Viewing Chain: Source Footage > Video Editing Software > Export Codec/Bit Rate > Viewing App > Web Service Compression > Web Browser > Monitor

Let’s say you want to get a Rec.709 10bit video image to your eye-balls the whole time, what would you need to do?

You would need to take a Rec. 709 10bit video file, edit it in your video editing software maintaining that bit depth and colour space, output that video signal to your external monitor in 10bit and in Rec.709 and view it on a monitor with a 10bit panel, calibrated to Rec.709.

The reason to use a dedicated IO box (like the UltraStudio 4K Mini) is that it gives you a properly managed colour pipeline that by-passes the operating system’s GPU and colour profile settings and gets you straight from the video editing software to your monitor without alternation (unless you’ve got some hardware calibration going on too).

That way, if you know you’ve got a 10bit Rec. 709 video file and you’re outputting it via the IO to a 10bit Rec. 709 calibrated monitor you should be good to go.

Correctly connecting an OLED TV to your Computer

Connecting grading monitor to mac pro correctly

Another important thing to get right is connecting your new OLED to your editing system in a way that provides the cleanest video signal path from the clip on the hard drive through to the monitor itself.

In this image from the Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Configuration Guide you can see that they recommend connecting the 2013 Mac Pro via Thunderbolt to an I/O box like the 2020 UltraStudio 4K Mini and from there via HDMI 2.0 to the OLED.

Although the Mac Pro has an HDMI port built in, (1.4b UHD) the reason that you need to use something like the UltraStudio 4K Mini ($995/£785) in between, is so that the video signal goes directly from the software to the monitor and by-passes the GPU (and it’s drivers) and the operating system ICC profiles.

Although I’m talking here about the 2013 Mac Pro, which is what I’m still running as my desktop machine in my home edit suite, the principal is the same regardless of your system.

With HDR, every bit counts. Since HDR is about smooth gradation in an expanded luminance range, you need at least 10-bits to properly display HDR.

– Patrick Southern, Lumaforge

The need for an external IO box is especially true when working with HDR material as it requires all the bit-depth and bandwidth you can give it, you can read more about this in the ‘What About HDR?’ section of my Colour Management for Video Editors post.

Calibrating a Colour Grading Monitor

how to calibrate a display

Getting into the detail of how to calibrate a display is beyond the realms of this already lengthy post. But clearly an integral part of purchasing a monitor that can be calibrated, is that you actual do calibrate it and fairly regularly.

Some high end computer monitors feature in-built calibration devices, although one would (safely?) assume that a dedicated probe will deliver far better results. The two main industry standards are Light Illusion’s ColourSpace and Portrait Display’s Calman.

Although there is a baffling range of product segmentation from both brands, essentially the LTE version of ColourSpace (£525) should cover most use-cases related to this post and will work with an X-rite probe and most non-high-end professional displays from brands such as Eizo, BenQ, NEC, ASUS and FSI. It will also work to calibrate LG OLED TVs. You might need to bump up to the £1,275 ColourSpace CAL version for a fuller range of displays.

Calman Studio is $1,995 for their professional grade calibration software, although they do offer a $145 brand-specific TV calibration option. Calman Studio should cover all of the likely hardware choices for readers of this article.

It’s worth noting that all updates to ColourSpace LTE and CAL are free, whilst after one year Calman’s require a $495 annual fee.

The X-Rite i1 Display Pro Plus is the most recommended low-cost probe, and some of the HDR monitors above, for example the ASUS ProArt ships with one included. Warren and Stuart discuss working with the X-rite probe and how to ‘hack’ it here. But the safest bet is to buy a Rev.B OEM version from LightIllusion. I would recommend reading this entire thread on LiftGammaGain to discover the ins and outs of that.

Understanding the LUT your display uses to apply that calibration 1D vs 3D

A traditional LUT system has one LUT for each RGB color and refers to the LUT for each RGB color when displaying a certain color and calculating the target color using the three RGB colors from each LUT. (3x 1D LUT)

In contrast, a 3D-LUT is a three-dimensional LUT blending each RGB color (i.e., a three-dimensional table assigning R, G, and B to each of three axes). Since the LUT includes points of intermediate gradations blending R, G, and B, it offers improved color representation for intermediate gradations and improved gray-scale accuracy.

This quote comes from Eizo’s article on understanding how the different types of LUT used to calibrate the display effects the final level of colour accuracy.

Most ‘lower-end’ monitors can only leverage 3x1D LUTs instead of the more comprehensive 3D LUTs, some of these are only accessible to the internal (own-brand) calibration software, as opposed to accessible to something like ColourSpace or Calman.

The up-shot of all this is, is that it will have an impact on the quality of the calibration that can be achieved.

Further reading on this topic would include this clear breakdown of the video signal path and impact of a 3D LUT in it, from Calman. As well as this comment in a Dell forum, discussing how much LUT bit depth really matters, relative to other QC factors.

For a clear and practical overview of calibrating a monitor head over to this post from colorist Alexis Van Hurkman, on his process for grading his plasma display with LightSpace CMS and a probe. For more resources on monitor calibration check out this previous post – Colour Grading The Technical Stuff.

Monitor calibration is an obscure corner of the already obscure profession of colour correction.

However, once you know how things work, automated calibration should be a simple and straightforward procedure.

Essentially, you use colour management software to control both a colour probe and a pattern generator (which can be either hardware or software) that work together to measure your display.

The pattern generator outputs a series of colour patches to the display you are calibrating, the colour probe measures each patch, and the software saves the resulting measurements.

Alexis Van Hurkman, Colorist

Pat – When we talked about this four years ago not only was it a dark art but it was expensive. The meters were expensive, the software was expensive, and the thing you needed to generate the test patterns were expensive.

Now with DaVinci Resolve there is a built in test pattern generator to perfectly test your signal path and use it with Lightspace or CalMan.

Bram – Especially for Resolve users there is literally no better way to test your actual signal path and make sure that not only is your monitor calibrated but the signal is getting to the monitor in the way you intend.

Colorist Patrick Inhofer from Tao of Color.com, recently interviewed Bram Desmet, CEO of Flanders Scientific, on the detailed technical ins and outs of calibrating a monitor. If you want a lot more details than I’ve included in this post, and to learn a tremendous amount about the current state of grading monitors and calibrating, you should definitely take the time to listen to both interviews.

In Part 2 of the interview, the topics they cover include:

  • Is self-calibration of your reference attainable ‘for the rest of us’?
  • The new fast profiling options in CalMan and LightSpace
  • DaVinci Resolve’s test patch generator
  • Low cost hardware test patch generators
  • What is the point of reference monitors when ‘grandma’s TV’ is blue?
  • Can a pro colorist rely on a sub-$1000 probe for accurate calibrations?

Part 1 of Patrick’s interview is also well worth a listen and covers similar topics to what I’ve covered in this post, but in much, much, greater technical detail!

  • What is the lifespan of an LCD and OLED?
  • What is 10-bit FRC and is it still being used?
  • Are there 8-bit OLEDs?
  • Are consumer panels 8-bit or 10-bit?
  • Are there different types of OLED technologies FSI can choose from?
  • What’s in the near future for OLED technology?

100 Comments

  • Hi Jonny, thank you for this guide!

    Quick question: the ProArt Calibration Software would use the HDMI out of your GPU to output the image, correct? Doesn’t that kind of defeat its purpose, since you would connect the monitor to a dedicated breakout box like the BM mini monitor? The calibration would be depending on whatever macOS outputs via its HDMI and is therefore not accurate when connecting the monitor to the breakout box afterwards. Right?

    • Hi Gabe, thanks for checking out the blog.

      I’m not sure I’ve fully unpicked your question but this FAQ from ASUS says if you’re using a Mac not to use HDMI to connect the monitor when calibrating due to ‘limitations with the OS’

      https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1043069

      So possibly the answer is ‘Yes’. BUT surely it also depends on what you’re using to send the calibration image. For example if you use the I/O box and Resolve won’t that by-pass the OS/HDMI issue?

      Also Steve from LightIllusion makes this comment (lower down) about how some of the ASUS monitor’s calibration software functions:

      “Any display model not listed doesn’t have user accessible 3D LUTs.
      And that means they use 1D LUTs and 3×3 matrix for colour calibration, if they have in-built hardware display calibration, and do not rely on OS based ICC profiles.”

      This ASUS ProArt microsite describes the calibration process in the same way Steve does.
      https://www.asus.com/Microsite/ProArtMonitor/experience-calibration.html

      Depending on the ASUS model, you can also find more how to calibrate info here:
      https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1043733/

      and here:
      https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1042443/

      • Jonny, thank you for your reply.

        The thing is that the monitor you are suggesting is compatible only with the ProArt Calibration Software by Asus. It doesn’t work with any of the other hardware suggested. I don’t see the Asus software using anything but the regular monitor outs that are managed by the OS. So as soon as you connect your monitor for calibration, the
        OS will get in the way and manipulate the output. Which is probably ok if that’s also the way you are going to use the monitor. But once you connect the monitor to your breakout box afterwards, the data collected from calibration is useless and wrong. You see my point?

  • So how does everyone feel about using the LG C1 TV’s as a full screen color referencing monitor? It seems like a budget friendly option for a home studio setup I am seeking.

  • Hi Jonny,

    I think you have mistakenly named the Dell U3219Q as the UP3219Q. The latter doesn’t appear to exist, and being (nominally) a PremierColor monitor, would probably cost more than £800 if it did.

    Thanks for your work.

  • Johnny, great article thank you! You really understand the needs and desires of us looking for an ‘affordable’ monitoring solution. You have covered so many aspects of monitoring but if I may ask, what do you actually base your ‘top highlight picks’ on? Particularly as you say you have not evaluated all the monitors? Thank you.

    • Hi Jacek, thanks for checking out the blog (and by the way – great editing work on your site!).
      My top picks are based around my requirements (32″, 10bit, UHD, colour accuracy) and something that seems like an ‘affordable’ price to most people. And kind of the best bang for your buck compared to the others in the list.

      I toyed with the idea of adding in more user reviews but for everyone who says one brand is terrible, you find other people saying it’s great. It’s also hard to know how much of a selection bias there is in the reviews that actually make it online.

      One thing I will say – to anyone else reading this – is that most brands come with a 3 year dead pixel warranty, so if you get a dud unit, return it!

      • Thank you Johnny. I have worked as a freelance commercial editor and colourist for twenty years in Los Angeles and work in several different high-end Resolve grading suites but need something for my home system as I work mostly from home these days, with no client ion the room. As a filmmaker of thirty years experience I know most of professional post-production is about the client experience (to justify the outrageous prices!).

        So in looking for an “affordable” solution for my home system I need, as you so very correctly say, confidence and consistency in my panel. Most of what is considered ‘professional’ equipment is taking things to the n’th degree that is way beyond daily use and requirements. I just finished grading and finishing a national spot that was shot in 8k for a 1080 deliverable. This took 3 days of work because rotoscoping frame by frame over 5 deliverables. And I kept asking myself, why? So the DP could get an erection from shooting 8k? Meanwhile the producer had to spend two thirds more on finishing – no complaints, I earned two thirds more money but it was a complete waste.

        I have worked in the major studios in Hollywood and whilst I will readily agree that it is amazing to see an 8K projection of a film in the finest post suites in the world, the reality is that for commercial work with both broadcast and social distribution, the work will be viewed on home TV sets, computers and phones with zero calibration and all that is important from the grading point of view is to have a reliable and neutral panel to grade confidently by with repeated accuracy.

        And in searching for that panel over the last few days my brain is exploding from the plethora of choices, models and reviews, which is why I am so thankful for having a voice of reason such as yours. And having said that I am huge fan of Asus ProArt panels and in fact have graded a good number of TV spots on my home system using nothing more than a $200 Asus ProArt PA248 cross referenced to a Sony LMD232W and a Sony BVM 20L5 (which was a $!0,000 monitor back in 2005) for confidence. I do calibrate everything regularly with a my iOne Pro spectrometer which is what gives me the confidence to do what I do. And quite honestly there is very little discernible difference in colour between any of them And I do mean colour only, excluding contrast range and depth of blacks and whites. In terms of picture quality the 2005 Sony PVM has the best picture I have seen anywhere, ever. But I need something to better monitor the high resolution footage being shot today so am very drawn to your choice pick of the ASUS Pro Art PA329C and I thank you again for your incredibly reasoned and rational blog.

  • Just for information, the suggested ASUS Pro Art PA32C9 doesn’t have a user accessible 3D LUT for calibration.

    This information is from ASUS themselves.

    The only ASUS displays presently with 3D LUT based calibration are the PA27UCX, PA27UCX-K, PA32UCX, PA32UCX-K, PA32UCX-P, PA32UCX-PK, PA32UCG, and PQ22UC

    • Thanks for taking the time to input on the post Steve, I already wove some of your feedback (appreciated!) into the post so it literally says this already. But good to clarify!

      • Yeah – its one of the questions we get asked a lot about any display – does it have user accessible 3D LUTs for calibration?

        Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers do not make this obvious, and that includes ASUS.

        The LUTs ASUS mention in the link you provide in your text is not factually accurate, which is rather annoying… ASUS actually state elsewhere the LUTs mentioned in the link are for range scaling, not for colour calibration…

        For all the manufacturers we work with, we list all 3D LUT capable models within our user guides: https://www.lightillusion.com/guides.html
        And for ASUS the direct link is: https://www.lightillusion.com/asus_manual.html

        Any display model not listed doesn’t have user accessible 3D LUTs.
        And that means they use 1D LUTs and 3×3 matrix for colour calibration, if they have in-built hardware display calibration, and do not rely on OS based ICC profiles.

        It really can be a can of worms…

    • Hi

      Sorry to be a pain. There’s so much info in this post and even more in the comments. My monitor has just gone kaput, and I’m in the middle of multiple projects, but also broke.

      I’m looking for a monitor with the following specs:
      – 24-32 inch display
      – rec 709 (I’m mainly making content for web – music videos etc)
      – <£400 – I'd rather get something used from a few years ago than something sub-par and new, unless something exists
      – hdmi/dvi connectability
      – Doesn't need to be 4k, but would prefer this

      Thanks to anyone who responds.

  • Fascinating article and comments.

    Am I insane? Or is this a thing…

    Used to work in Broadcast. My broadcast monitors were always rock solid reference with all the pro features you could want, and when calibrated could be trusted for color (quick and dirty color! But broadcast legal).

    I’m more of an Editor but usually do my own Color. It is never client-critical. Trying to put together a home system with a decent (but inexpensive…$1K or less) reference monitor that would also be my primary grading monitor (separate ‘client’ TV monitor for real-world checks). Also, I actually want it small! 24″ would be perfect, 17″ acceptable, nothing bigger than 28″. I’d be sitting pretty close to it and don’t have infinite desk space.

    So I’m looking at large broadcast production monitors. First of all, is that nuts? I mean, is a compromise IPS desktop computer monitor, or even one of the cheapest 1080 Eizo’s (which are still kinda out of my price range), really a better choice than something with real I/O that can take 3D LUTS, has full adjustability, can output color bars and test patterns, maybe even has built-in scopes? Then if needed it could even be packed up to take on set (heaven forfend)!

    Obviously, broadcast production monitors can be expensive too, so there’s a Part 2 to this question. If you’ll grant my premise that this isn’t a terrible idea to start with, would it be better to go with a low-end 4K (well, UHD) monitor, such as the 23″ Lilliput BM230?:
    https://www.markertek.com/product/lil-bm2304ksabbp/lilliput-bm230-4ks-23-8-inch-4k-hdmi-carry-on-broadcast-v-mount-monitor-with-sdi-hdr-and-3d-luts

    Or an older but proven HD unit, like the 17.3″ Panasonic BT-LH1710?:
    https://www.panasonic.com/in/business/broadcast/professional-monitors/bt-lh1710.html
    I mean, that’s really old, so we’re talking used, but to demonstrate the range of options. Still 10-bit IPS with all the trimmings, despite the lower resolution.

    Or would it be too big a risk to split the difference on a 21.5″ Full HD Feelworld PD215?:
    https://www.adorama.com/fep2159dsw.html
    Chinese. Crappy? I dunno. 3000:1 contrast, built-in scopes.

    I’d be coloring some 4K and some 2K/HD footage, though more and more 4K with every project. So obviously, with the HD monitors I’d need to convert the 4K down from my computer, probably with a box from AJA or Blackmagic:
    https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/miniconverters/techspecs/W-CONM-27

    Are any of these notions legitimate?

    (Btw, I saw somewhere someone recommend just buying a used Flanders and having it recalibrated, that it would “keep its value”. Yeah, well I can’t find one. Linky linky if people still think that’s a better idea, though I’m betting it still blows my budget.)

    • Hi Benjamin, thanks for checking out the blog and taking the time to leave such a comprehensive comment.

      I’m not sure what the best answer is but for price and 4K you could look into an OLED TV – 48″ LG is the smallest they make, but as you’ve specified, too big for your needs.

      I’m not sure you want to go the HD route if you’re going to be editing/grading more and more 4K and making a new investment. Also if it’s not client critical then do you need 3D LUTs, test patterns and built in scopes? (Other than it being a reliable monitor obviously!) But if you can get all that too then why not…

      What about an LG UltraFine? They are £1100 and has 5K? I’ve not checked the specs/reviews though.

      Hopefully someone on here will see your comment and provide some better insights!
      Jonny

  • I’ve been using a Ezio ColorEdge CX271 and calibrating with and i1 and DisplayCAL for a while.

    I finally swopped over to a Flanders Scientific and was surprised to see the Ezio display was noticeable more yellow by comparison. When I checked the source across a few TVs I noticed the Flanders, as expected, better matched them.

    In conclusion while you can get close with computer monitors it’s probably worth renting something like a Flanders at least for a day to see how your set up compares to an industry standard properly calibrated monitor, especially if you’re a colourist charging for you work. Especially given the hours and hours of research and calibration that I put into getting the computer monitor to what I thought was close.

    And FYI, I wouldn’t necessarily worry about a 10 bit reference monitor, unless you really need it. I can’t see a difference using 12bit RAW footage. Most displays the audience is going to use will be 8 bit.

  • Hi there. Thanks for the great article.

    The LG 31MU97 monitors you mention I see come with additional letters at the end such as ‘b’ or ‘c’. Do all of these meet the requirements equally or is there a specific model that is best.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Peter, the LG 31MU97Z-B is the one I have. From memory I vaguely recall seeing the -c designation as something to do with a commercial version of the monitor, (I think for in-store displays etc.) which I think might have a slightly different spec. But that’s from the back of a failing memory… I would aim for the Z-B if you can get one!

  • Did you ever look at the HP Z31x 31.1″ DreamColor Studio Cinema 4K IPS Display if so what is your opinion? They use to be over $3000 USD now they are down to $1300 USD
    Thanks

    • It looks like a great monitor! Perfect size, true 4K, true 10 bit, 100% sRGB, 99% P3 – but where have you seen it for that price?

      • On eBay.de you can find them for 1000-1500 EUR, I have even found one for 700 EUR in a serious reseller but they did not have them in stock to order.

  • How would you connect one of the 2560×1440/QHD displays to an I/O card to get a clean signal? From what I’ve read the BM and AJA cards only handle broadcast (HD/2K/4K) resolutions. Would you get a Blackmagic Mini Monitor and output an HD signal (that would be scaled up to 1440P)? Scale the monitor down internally to 1080p? Or get a 4K card that would downscale to 1440p? There are some nice, affordable options in that resolution range, but it’s not obvious how to get a clean signal to them. Thanks.

  • Hey mate, been reading some of your articles.. real interesting. loved the DIT article.
    Question, I’m traveling a lot and need portable film equipment. I’d love to have a dedicated color grading monitor, but just wondering, the 2019 Macbook pro just came out and the screen is considered very good. Would using a monitor calibrator like Datacolor SpyderX Elite with my macbook pro be adequate for basic color grading? (ps you mentioned you needed to calibrate your LG monitor, would this also work for you or do would you need to get a factory hardware calibration?)
    P.s. nice Wimbledon advert! I used to live near by stadium and recognized some of my neighbour’s houses!

    • They stopped selling it this week, there only a several of them left in some warehouses. I’m glad that I’ve bought two of them last month!

  • Wish I read this earlier as I spent days on the internet searching here and there for an affordable monitor to start up. Was quite happy with the BenQ monitor but the price in NZ here is crazy, almost 2 times than in the US.

  • hi sir…
    i am going buy a new monitor for color grading(TV & Film)….. I have 2 options
    1. Hp dreamcolor Z27x
    2. BenQ PV270
    what is ur opinion Sir….

  • Such a great and important article! Thanks so much for consolidating all this info and recommendations! SO, I’m about to buy a monitor for my home editing suite… Would like something BIG and 4k. Thinking about something along the lines of the LG’s. I’ll do basic correction, and need to see good color for mograph, etc., but for super critical or high-end stuff I’ll send to colorist. Any recommendations as of April 2018? Is the LG31 really no longer available?

  • hey!
    What preset you use on your LG monitor to grading? sRGB or calibrated 01? I own this monitor and still think if I am using it right. Maybe you use some other settings?

    • For web work you want it set to sRGB which closely aligns to Rec.709, although the gamma curve is slightly different, which makes the image a little brighter.

  • Hi Jonny – thanks for the great rundown 🙂 I’m curious about what you think of using a consumer OLED for colour grading?
    Something like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-OLED55C7P-55-Inch-Ultra/dp/B01MZF7WCT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511785912&sr=1-1&keywords=LG+OLED55B7P&linkCode=ll1&tag=jonelwfiledi-20&linkId=40772dcd1966e3c1835255ed7c7a2e47

    I’m wondering what is the effect of grading on a computer monitor vs. on a television monitor? I thought that it was necessary to use a television since broadcast is Y Cb Cr as opposed to RGB (computer monitors).

    Thanks in advance for your assistance 🙂

      • Sorry for the slow reply John, Craig has just replied to your comment too, which is hopefully helpful.
        A lot of colorists tend to have several monitors in their suite – a calibrated grading monitor, a big client TV monitor (also calibrated) so that you can get a sense of how it might look at ‘the consumers’ end.
        That said, I’ve not done a lot of research into the various new OLED TVs so I’m not best placed to give you an informed opinion!

    • If you’re serious about accurate colour, you should install a Decklink card (or TB version) in your computer to guarantee a proper Video signal out to your monitor, rather than a computer’s interpretation of a video signal. Most of these units have SDI and/or HDMI outputs but we prefer to run SDI cables as they run longer and at higher speeds. BMD now offer a cheap 6G SDI to HDMI converter with LUT capability so it might be possible to correctly calibrate your Consumer TV, assuming the screen ‘uniformity’ is not too horrible. Panasonic’s new 55″ OLED is highly regarded in this respect.

      • HDMI has greater bandwidth (depending on spec) but shorter cable lengths. You can see this in BMD’s Ultrastudio Mini Monitor, whose HDMI outputs have greater capability than the SDI output.

    • You need to be careful about buying OLEDs. While the contrast will be great the technology in of itself doesn’t always lead to greater colour volume. Some cheaper LED technology can actually surpass OLED.

      Look at extensive reviews and comparison sites to get an idea which one is best.

  • Hey Jonny,

    Thanks for this post, very useful information since I am currently looking for a good reference monitor for video editing and color grading. At the IBC 2017 here in Amsterdam Atomos introduced the monitor version only of the Sumo 19, the Atomos Sumo 19M:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1361553-REG/atomos_atomsumo19m_19_sumo_monitor_unit.html

    What do you think, am I on the right track or should I go for the Flanders CM171 or TVlogic LVM-170A instead?

    Would be great to hear your opinion,
    cheers,
    Wytse

    • Hi Wytse
      Thanks for checking out the blog. Having had a really quick look at the specs of the Sumo, I would steer towards something like the Flanders CM171 for a reference monitor. Here are a few quick thoughts, but I would caveat all of this by saying that it really depends on your own preferences, use-cases and requirements!

      1. The Sumo is not true 10-bit. It’s 8bit+FRC. The Flanders is real 10-bit.
      2. Depending on what you’re delivering (HD or 4K?) then the Flanders is only HD (1920 x 1080) and can only handle HD signals. The Sumo can down-convert 4K.
      3. Flanders offer free life-time calibration and their monitors are compatible with the Spectracal range of calibration tools. Does Sumo offer that?
      http://flandersscientific.com/calibration/

      Hope that helps a little!
      Jonny

      • Thanks so much for taking the time to respond Jonny, this truly helps in making my decision. I recently discovered your website/blog and will be keeping a close eye on it.

        Best,
        Wytse

  • Jonny,

    Thank you for this post. Very informative.

    I’ve got an iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) with AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB. I was recently speaking with an X-Rite representative about settings for the i1 Display Pro monitor calibrator. I use my monitor heavily for video editing and color grading.

    I was surprised when the X-Rite representative told me that my monitors contrast ratio is 1324:1 and that is too high. He suggested a contrast ratio of 500:1. Is this accurate? What I’m going for the color grading work that I do on my monitor to be as faithfully represented as possible.

    He also suggested that my monitor be set to 6500K instead of 6800K.

    I greatly appreciate any help or suggestions you can offer.

    Best Regards,

    Lance Childers

    • Hey Lance
      Thanks for checking out the blog and taking the time to comment. Did the X-rite rep not give you any answers to your questions about this recommendations?

      Also what is the viewing environment of your end viewer? Are you producing work for online or broadcast?

      cheers
      jonny

  • Hi Jonny, Thanks for a great info. I’m looking at the LG you mentioned you bought. I notice you list it as LG 31MU97Z-B (with a z in it). Where as I also see it listed without the z (https://www.pbtech.co.nz/search?sf=31Mu97). Do you know if there’s a difference and are you still happy with it. Very keen to know what it’s like to grade on?
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Kelly, thanks for checking out the blog. I’ve written more about the LG monitor here too.
      https://jonnyelwyn.co.uk/film-and-video-editing/4k-video-editing-monitors/
      (scroll to the bottom too)

      The difference between the Z and B versions is that the Z version has Thunderbolt 2 ports and is more expensive, and is newer than the B model.

      I bought it as an editing monitor and it does look lovely. I love the matte screen. However if you’re super discerning then it’s not ‘perfect’ for grading as there is light fringing/bleeding around the edges and so the colour consistency from edge to edge isn’t what a colorist might want to live with.

      But then again I’ve not had any complaints!

  • A big thank you Jonny for writing this helpful article.
    With just over two year since you wrote this, are you aware of recent articles current for 2017 ?

    Or have you researched the current market for someone looking to buy now?

    • Hi Rupaji

      Thanks for checking out the blog. Yeah it’s definitely on my to-do list to update this post in the near future!

  • Great overview, Jonny. I’ve been using BenQ’s under rated PG2401PT now for about two years. It is a 24″ 16:10 10bit IPS screen with inbuilt 3D Luts for calibration but I have been able to successfully use it for 4K grading where I run it out of DaVinci using the latest 12G Decklink 4K SDI Pro card which has two SDI outputs, one of which down scales 4K to HD for a 10bit 4:4:4 4K video display at up to 60P frame rates. (I’m using a SDI to Display Port converter as the BenQ is only 8bit on HDMI)

      • I have both BMD HD-Link SDI converters: the DVI-D version and the Display Port version. Both offer a 10bit signal to the PG2401PT and the DVI-D version has the advantage it will also offer a 10bit HDMI conversion. (plus of course the 6 x RCA audio outputs so you can strip audio out of the SDI signal. I’d choose the DP version first. Running SDI has the advantage of longer cable runs and being able to hire in an FSI or Sony OLED for more critical work but good quality, 10bit PC monitors which can be accurately calibrated fro REC.709 are an affordable solution for those people producing web, cable or TV content.

        • Thanks Craig! Quite tempted to get the PG2401PT. Does it matter what connection you’re using to the monitor at this point? DP or HDMI? I guess it might be a moot point once you’ve got the converter…

          I notice CVP have a few ex demo HDLink Pro in stock.

          • Irrespective of what BenQ’s published specs say, I’ve confirmed the PG2401PT is only 8bit on HDMI and 10bit on DP and DVI-D. My BenQ is an early build so later models may have changed the HDMI to 10bit but I would recommend HDMI anyway. (we do have a BMD 4K SDI to HDMI 2.0 converter for our 55″ Sony 4K ‘client’ TV running from SDI output #1 from our 12G Decklink SDI 4K Pro card but that HDMI converter is placed right at the set with a very short, high quality HDMI cable) I picked up our HD Link converters very cheap on ebay but from the specs published by BMD, the ‘DP 3D Pro’ version should have better features as it seem to support ‘deep colour’. Either way, we do get 10bit 4:4:4 on the PG2401PT with both our current converters.

          • Irrespective of what BenQ’s published specs say, I’ve confirmed the PG2401PT is only 8bit on HDMI and 10bit on DP and DVI-D. My BenQ is an early build so later models may have changed the HDMI to 10bit but I would not recommend HDMI anyway. (we do have a BMD 4K SDI to HDMI 2.0 converter for our 55″ Sony 4K ‘client’ TV running from SDI output #1 from our 12G Decklink SDI 4K Pro card but that HDMI converter is placed right at the set with a very short, high quality HDMI cable) I picked up our HD Link converters very cheap on ebay but from the specs published by BMD, the ‘DP 3D Pro’ version should have better features as it seem to support ‘deep colour’. Either way, we do get 10bit 4:4:4 on the PG2401PT with both our current converters.

            PS: using the HD Link devices as LUT boxes is not recommended

  • I really don’t understand why anyone buys the Sony PVM-A250; it’s neither fish nor fowl – not cheap enough for most people’s budget and terrible RGB linearity for folks who value grey-scale accuracy above price.
    For my money the Boland BVB25 OLED is the best display in the edit suite/small grading room range with the Flanders CMS250 a close second. I spend a lot of time calibrating and setting up rooms to be colour accurate and have really enjoyed working with the Boland and profile matching big plasma sand OLEDs using LightSpace CMS.
    http://philtechnicalblog.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/colourimetry

  • Am looking for dell monitor pls suggest dell U2715H s better or
    dell P2715P 4k monitor suitable for color grading.

  • Thanks for a great article.

    For those on a very tight budget, I was wondering about a setup with the all new Dell UltraSharp UP2716D monitor. Goal: a representative rec709 image. Working on a macbook pro with a Blackmagic ultrastudio, I can output an HD-image via HDMI to the Dell monitor.

    Specs are misleading, and they won’t impress compared to the pro sollutions here, but just for reference: Delta-E < 2 factory calibration. Color Support: 1.07 billion colors. Color Gamut: 100% Adobe RGB, sRGB, REC709, 98% DCI-P3

    For USD 800 on Amazon, would this new Dell monitor be the good budget candidate?

    • No. Not unless it’s calibratable to a known standard. Don’t trust the factory settings — they’re going to be off. The FSI monitors are among the rare exceptions where they do adjust each display by hand before it’s shipped, so those actually can do Rec709.

    • Hi Carl, thanks for taking the time to check out the post and comment.

      Just to say, the Dell Ultrasharp UP2716D is the 2015 update to the U2713H mentioned in the post above, which has Dell’s Premier Color and a resolution of 2560 x 1440.

      I would go with Marc’s advice on the Rec709 front. Plus your calibration is only going to be as good as your probe and your knowledge of how to use it.

      You might want to check out this post by colorist Jason Myres on using a Eizo CX271 to grade with http://www.jasonmyres.com/2014/07/using-the-eizo-cx271-as-a-color-accurate-grading-monitor/

      It’s about $1300 on Amazon US http://amzn.to/1OIE8nr

  • I was thinking about a HP z24x as an affordable monitor for on-set use (grading live camera feeds and QC offloaded footage) but I’ve heard some bad things about the quality of the screen which put me off them. After that I started looking at the Dell Ultrasharp PremierColor monitors (specifically the Dell Ultrasharp U2413) but I’ve heard some negative impressions of those too).

    I tend to get bad cases of buyer’s remorse when I make big purchases, but in this case I can’t make a decision before I press the order button. All I really want is a 10 bit display that I can use onset to preview and QC footage from indie productions.

    On the big jobs I have no problem renting out the equipment on an as-needed basis but for the indie productions I’m having to rely on the equipment I have on-hand, which makes the decision a bit difficult.

    • The HP Z24x isn’t 10-bit. You have to go with the Z27x for that.

      Can you rent a few different options to try-before-you-buy?

      • Oh, I know the z24x is 8 bit. I was just thinking of the feature-set and size (I prefer not to go over 24 inches due to anything larger becoming somewhat cumbersome when carting it around the country – for DIT purposes).

        It didn’t actually occur to me that I could rent out non-broadcast equipment, but I’ll definitely inquire into UK based rental companies.

        Thanks.

  • Thanks for the very informative post.
    Regarding HP DreamColor Z27x/Blackmagic UltraStudio XX— Is there any way to get use the full resolution of the monitor in true 10-bit, or do I have to get keep my grading monitor at HD and run my UI on another monitor? It would be very handy to just load up Resolve and use the color page on one screen. It looks to me like the UltraStudio devices won’t drive the DreamColor at full res.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Andrew, what makes you say that you can only run the HP in HD from the ultrastudio?
      You need to have a two screen set up to output 10bit video on a Mac as being in Resolve will be in the OS which on Mac is 8-bit.

      • I guess I wondered if you could just send the UI over the same 10-bit channel so as to combine the 2 elements on one monitor. Thanks for the answer.

          • OK, I now understand a little bit more what your question is referring to. The top resolution output of the UltraStudio Express and Mini Monitor devices is 1080 HD. So you would only get 10-bit HD monitored on the Z27x. If you want higher resolutions in 10-bit you would need to buy something like the UltraStudio 4K which is super expensive.

            Either way you would still need two screens.

  • Thanks for the great article.

    I was wondering if anyone had evaluated the iMac 5k Retina for grading purposes?

    • Very bad idea. You have to use a color-managed output outside the operating system. As long as the operating system has an effect on the monitor you’re viewing, it won’t tell you the truth. An inexpensive video card will allow you to set up a color-managed output, but then you have to calibrate the monitor.

      I’m unconvinced that either an iMac or a laptop is enough to do color-correction. Maybe if it was very lightweight HD-only, but beyond that, you’ll get in trouble very quickly.

  • Very well-done, Jonny. I would also give props to Sony’s higher-end consumer 4K displays, which are actually being used in several LA post houses as “client monitors.” The Panasonic HD plasmas are getting old these days but are also still used by some companies, particularly the BT-300 broadcast series. I’m expecting that the new “reference series” RS monitors may be pretty decent, and they’re said to be able to handle Dolby Vision. I’d like to just see them be able to handle normal Rec709 video in a predictable and reliable way.

        • Hi Alex, I’ve just had a quick look and it seems like very capable feature rich monitor. I couldn’t find the price though so it’s hard to say how it compares to the other monitors I’ve talked about in that regard. That said it is a purpose built broadcast monitor with SDI inputs and lots of useful pro features. It looks like a good monitor to me, but it’s all in the eye of the beholder. If you are thinking of buying one can you go see on in person somewhere?

          • Hi Johnny, thanks for your time. The price is about 2300 dollars.
            I’ve seen one here in Barcelona Spain. The issue is how to calibrate well, tell me that well either factory calibrated.
            thanks
            Alex

          • For that money you could buy a Flanders scientific… As I don’t have any experience with the monitors you are looking at I couldn’t tell you much more I’m afraid.

  • Thanks for sharing Jonny!! I’m a huge fan of Eizo monitors, specially the CG series. Although not quite as high end as an FSI and certainly not as good of customer service, they make really high quality reference displays that can be easily calibrated with Calman or Lightspace due to the built in LUT. Thumbs up for Eizo!

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