Tuesday, November 18



Dell's new 4K monitors are out.  24" for $600 and 27" for $700.

They already had a $600 28" 4K monitor, but it uses a cheap TN panel (the type where the display colours shift when you look at it from an angle) and is limited to 30Hz refresh.  And they have a 24" 4K model, but it's a professional version and costs $1000 even after a year of price cuts.

These new models are IPS and support 60Hz refresh from DisplayPort signals; they also have HDMI input but I think it's only version 1.4, which would limit it to 30Hz.  They're not wide-gamut and don't support colour calibration hardware (as far as I can tell), so they're not intended for professional video editing or design work, but for the typical web developer they're absolutely perfect.  They completely remove the year-long tradeoff between the beautiful but super-expensive 4K IGZO monitors and the cheap but colour-shifting 4K TN models.

So the plan for the new year at PixyLabs is to clear off my desk (who needs a printer any more?) and install a new Retina iMac and two of these 27" 4K monitors.  Each monitor has three inputs - two DisplayPort and one HDMI - so I can plug them into the Mac and my Windows PC and my Linux box.  The Mac will thus have three screens and Windows and Linux two each.  I can either switch screens or run Synergy and have a multi-OS multi-monitor desktop.

And when my credit card recovers from that surprise, I'm hoping to get that Philips 4K 40" monitor to use as a TV, and run HDMI from my PC to it.  (Or maybe DisplayPort, but that would require a new graphics card.)

Oh, and of course my brand new notebook has neither DisplayPort nor HDMI 2.0, and can't drive one of these displays without reducing either the refresh rate or colour depth.  (Or a little of each.)  But then, to make the most of a 4K external display, you really want a laptop with a good mid-range or better dedicated graphics chip and an operating system and software that handles retina resolutions well.  Currently, the number of laptops that fit all those requirements is zero.

Edit: Hmm, HDMI 1.3/1.4 has a usable bandwidth of just over 8Gb/second.  You could do 18-bit colour at 50Hz, or 24-bit at 40Hz.  Or use YCrCb 4:2:0 sub-sampling, which will give you 24-bit colour at 60Hz, just not for every pixel...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:17 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 How is compatibility with something like NVidia's 3D glasses?

Posted by: Mauser at Wednesday, November 19 2014 09:10 PM (TJ7ih)

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