Thread: What Monitor Setup to start with, what is everyone using?

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  1. #1 What Monitor Setup to start with, what is everyone using? 
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    Hi everyone, Thank you all for the amazing information on this forum. Been learning tons.

    We are just starting up a new production company and entering the crazy world of RED. We have a New Workstation being built very similar to the current X-99 builds that Jeff and Phil just did. We are also in the process of getting a Dragon. So diving head first into this.

    My questions is what kind of setups are you guys using for Monitors? We were looking at either 1 LG 31MU97 or maybe 2 of the Dell p2715q. Then down the line when funds allow getting a dedicated grading monitor for better color review.

    Am I thinking wrong here? Should I be looking at different monitors?

    What is everyone here using for their monitor setups???

    Thanks for the help!
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    Welcome to the boards. You'll find plenty of build info from the last couple months worth of X99 threads around here.

    For monitoring, it really depends on what you do or plan to do. I have the LG 32" and love it. But it never sees any sort of DCI work or stuff destined beyond web uploads. It can cover Rec 709 but needs some calibration to get you to a good reference spot if you're going to stick with a broadcast color space. Even then, it lacks the faster refresh of a true broadcast/color grading monitor so you can sometimes see motion artifacts from certain frame rates and it is harder to judge how your final will look when broadcasted on a traditional plasma or lcd. It makes a great GUI though, especially if you want something that handles Adobe or sRGB for photoshop. You can fit a lot of timeline across 32" and some manage to eliminate dual smaller monitors from all the extra real estate it creates.

    With that said, I would suggest Flanders or some of these other sub $2500 players that are now hitting the market. FSI is fantastic when it comes to customer service, calibrating, features and overall price so you'll see them highly recommended. Their CM171 is a good spot to start for handling local/regional spots that you know are destined for Rec 709 and other broadcast requirements vs getting heavy into color, projection, and so forth. It supports 3D LUTS, so you can load up some calibration or creative looks without buying into an additional box like the HDLink Pro. You'll still need to find someone with Lightspace or similar to create the actual LUTs though but at least your white point is landing where it should be and you can build more confidence from there.

    There are lots of users that make the Dreamcolors, LG, and similar work for them but that doesn't mean those panels are fit for everyone. Ultimately, you'll have to decide what the work entails and what your clients demand. The FSI CM250 at $6500 is an excellent OLED if you're stepping up into that price bracket. From there you approach the $12K and beyond bracket. The important part is consistency and being mindful of your room setup. Don't grade with bright tungsten overheads or off colored walls persuading your eyes from where they should be for making color decisions.
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    Wow amazing! thanks so much for the information. It really means so much to have someone help lend their brain power and wisdom.

    So, looking at our budget and our current projects I think it makes sense to set up our GUI great then when we dive more into color will get a FSI or similar.

    For GUI monitors, I guess it might be a personal preference thing but any advice on a single LG 32'' 4k or a dual Dell 27'' Ultra sharp 4k?? The price comes out pretty similar.

    Is the LG a much superior monitor? Are there any other monitors worth considering?

    Thanks so much,
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    Senior Member PatrickFaith's Avatar
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    Are you doing corporate work, commercials, music, shorts, low budget features, streaming tv, reality, etc ... I think the answers depend on what your current jobs are and where you want to go. Also are you sending your work to a colorist, or doing it in house (i.e. most corporate work doesn't send out to a colorist, and often the type of monitor it's seen on is a low budget work computer screen, which is totally even different from streaming). I'd say the range is everything between 300 dollars to 6k, depending on what you need to complete your jobs (there's enough people on reduser that if you spec out the jobs you do, there is someone that does that daily and they can give you some good options). Just because red is 6k, doesn't mean you need to work at 4k, also a good monitor that renders color correctly at 1080p is often better then a color monitor that is 4k.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Richman View Post
    Wow amazing! thanks so much for the information. It really means so much to have someone help lend their brain power and wisdom.

    So, looking at our budget and our current projects I think it makes sense to set up our GUI great then when we dive more into color will get a FSI or similar.

    For GUI monitors, I guess it might be a personal preference thing but any advice on a single LG 32'' 4k or a dual Dell 27'' Ultra sharp 4k?? The price comes out pretty similar.

    Is the LG a much superior monitor? Are there any other monitors worth considering?

    Thanks so much,
    I prefer the LG because it is a 4K DCI panel supporting full 4K (Great for viewing projects beyond 4KHD) and at 32" the OS resolution isn't sacrificed as much. At 27" you'll likely find that a 4K resolution doesn't serve you much better than 2.5K plus the additional inches of the LG give you more room for running a larger NLE timeline. You'll see the difference when your preview window inside your NLE is a full 1920x1080. Also, your eyes will likely prefer the larger screen from the scaling of the text that occurs with 4K OS resolutions. Windows and Mac are still fine tuning this so that your Apps aren't microscopic when pushed into 4K resolution.

    If you really wanted to skip on the color monitor, I'd likely stick with one LG and a separate 24" GUI monitor and get an x-rite color puck to calibrate the LG. Ideally, your GUI monitor would allow some hardware calibration too so that your timeline is in the same ballpark.
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  6. #6  
    The 31" LG is nice, IMO, the pixels are a bit larger than I would like for that resolution, given the current trend of how resolution is being used. I do highly recommend the monitor though. While some are doing it, I don't recommend using it for critical color work. OTOH, critical color work is subjective and the monitor can be dialed in to serve REC709 fairly well and it has a great picture. The actual 4096 pixel width is great if you need to view DCI spec 4K at 1:1 pixels. And yeah, that extra bit of screen real estate is a nice bonus at times.

    The Dell UHD monitors are really nice too. The current 27" P2715Q is a bargain and a great all-around desktop monitor. I wouldn't use it for serious color matching for video or print work, but as a high resolution workspace monitor, it's excellent. The 24" IPS UHD monitor is stellar with excellent color and response time. I really like 3840x2160 at this size -- vectors and text become quite sharp. This is actually my favorite display for writing or coding and I prefer using this display with Mac OS due to the better handling for higher pixel densities. I prefer the 27" UHD display with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The 31" LG works well either way.

    On a Windows system, I would steer you toward the 27" Dell. Or the 31" LG if the budget allows and you don't mind the little bit bigger pixels and overall screen size. Then pick up a good 4K UHDTV/ monitor for your color critical work and playback.

    You will need to allow something in your budget for calibration -- either from a reputable calibration person or the necessary tools to do it yourself.
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  7. #7  
    Member David Moffitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
    The Dell UHD monitors are really nice too. The current 27" P2715Q is a bargain and a great all-around desktop monitor. I wouldn't use it for serious color matching for video or print work, but as a high resolution workspace monitor, it's excellent. The 24" IPS UHD monitor is stellar with excellent color and response time. I really like 3840x2160 at this size -- vectors and text become quite sharp. This is actually my favorite display for writing or coding and I prefer using this display with Mac OS due to the better handling for higher pixel densities. I prefer the 27" UHD display with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
    This EXACTLY mirrors my experience - typing this on Windows 8.1 on my Dell 27 UHD and have a 24 UHD at work for color / monitoring. Love both of them, for the above mentioned use cases. I will add, a nit-pick, you can definitely tell the difference between the 24 being an UltraSharp and the 27, aka there's a reason they are priced nearly the same, the 24 is SO MUCH more solid feeling, less plastic-y, and includes a lot more re calibration. The 27 is a very nice "display" but feels cheap and while it looks GOOD I would never trust it for more than an NLE timeline / interface monitor.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Octave Zangs's Avatar
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    I just got the Dell 27 UHD for my X99 workstation, I really like it! Is there a trick to use it at full resolution (3840x2160) with apps that doesn't support high DPI screens, like REDCINE-X, Davinci Resolve or Nuke, for example? The UI is so small it's barely usable... Thanks!
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  9. #9  
    Member David Moffitt's Avatar
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    Nope, it just that tiny ;) I have it on my z87-soon-to-be-x99 setup and I just pulled it super close to the front of my desk so I wouldn't go blind. Tried it on our nMP 2013 and it ran gorgeous at 30xx (the resolution between 2560x1440 and native) - but the nMP had issues driving it and it would "flicker" every few seconds, incredibly annoying. Looking to pick up a Dell 32 4K so that I can use it at native res w/o squinting ;)
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Octave Zangs's Avatar
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    Haha got it, hopefully they do add the high-dpi support in those apps soon!
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