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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #1
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Monitor Choice Help! Apple vs Dell?

I know there have been a few posts like this before but I'm still not convinced and am still stuck.

In the next 48 hours or so I'm going to buy a Mac Pro, I know what spec im going to get etc... but I really don't know what monitor to get.

Its between the obvious Apple Cin 23/4 " HD Cinema Display

or the new Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP 24".

Literally someone please help me. I will be using the monitor for HD video editing. I own a Canon XHA1 and am currently making a film for the British Army.

The other annoying thing is that I believe Apple are working on a new monitor which could be released at anypoint so is this more reason to go for the cheaper Dell now?

Also, from someone with a Dell, is the colour "offness" really that bad, in the big scheme of things is it that much of a con?

Would appreciate any help,

Best,

Giles B

Last edited by Giles Buchanan; May 27th, 2008 at 01:27 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #2
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Also can I plug a PS3 into the Dell?
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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You've no doubt read all my stuff on my Dell 2408. Yes, it has every input you'd ever want so PS3 will plug in. However, the component in is not good at all for direct input from a HDV camera.

Regarding colour, yes it has a warmer/redder hue compared to most of the competition. I'd say it handles normal video (std definition) OK and HD video OK.... but not spectacularly well. I honestly think my Samsung 32 inch HDTV makes a better job of HD video playback. However, as a PC monitor it's stunning (i.e. for really, really sharp graphics like when you're editing and have a huge screen of intricate clips/complex multi-track timeline in front of you....sheer bliss!)

I've no idea about the Apple option. Not sure if the above helps or not as I'm sure you'd want several views before making the plunge but I offer mine anyway...nothing is perfect and it will be instantly superceded by something better the moment you buy it for sure!!!!!

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=116972
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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The DELL has more inputs including HDMI for connecting your PS3 although you can also use component.

Some like the Apple better, most are really happy with the DELL.

I don't think you can go wrong either way. However, you can't hook up your PS3 to the Cinema Display.

George/
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #5
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Cheers for the tips Andy, much appreciated, but my lack of tech knowledge lets me down in situations like this. When it comes to words and stuff like component in and out I have no idea what is going on :)

All I know is that I plug my camera in via firewire, log the clips and begin editing, then onto dvd and I'm very competent with all that tech stuff, its Hardware tech that I'm bad at. Thats as far as it goes for me. In terms of how you describe how the monitor 'handles' the video, to me I start thinking of the physical computer handling it. I don't understand how the monitor 'handles' it as such. Everything looks so stunning on the apple and I know it works, I just dont know if I should go for something a little more up-to-date though, or go for the cheaper Dell and wait until Apple reveal their new monitors then buy one?

I think what I need is advice from someone whos had hands both of the monitors, not sure how likely that is going to be though.

The more I read also, the more it seems like these Dell monitors are a nightmare with colour, they sound terrible out of the box and I keep seeing all of these graphs by DeltaE I dont understand :) How easy is it to configure them? Is there a program that can do it?

Lastly, Andy where did you get your 2408 from, I just saw this but the price seems too good to be true, especially as the Dell website has it up for around £600, you reckon you could take a look for me? (Scroll about half way down)

http://www.pcbuyit.co.uk/dept.asp?de...pt%5Fname=Dell

Thanks again,

Giles
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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OK, I know from a long thread on AV Forum that many have bought from PCbuyit. I personally bought from Dell (at 430 quid a while back).

Regarding firewire - yes, that's what you do when you capture (to your computer's hard drive) from the camcorder - the firewire plugs into the graphics card and then software enables you to get it into your NLE.

What I was talking about is component which is basically the 3 video "components" of the picture for when I just want to view stuff off my camcorder WITHOUT capturing it to the computer (the PC box does not even need to be turned on for doing this, just the monitor....of course!)

The way the Dell 2408WFP "handles" this video coming in on component or from say .m2t files on my hard drives and watched with the VLC player is a bit less sharp, a little more "jittery" than the otherwise stunning high resolution picture I get if I just plug our HDV camcorders (HC1 and V1) into my Samsung HDTV - that has a lot more clarity and smoothness with any movement and is always razor sharp. Mind you, the Dell is still pretty good and will get a "wow" response from Joe Public, it just depends how anal you are about all these things. I'm no expert in all this but my guess would be that the video processing chip in the Dell monitor is inferior to the very good one that Samsung put in my TV (which cost a lot more than my Dell monitor, by the way!) It's not just about lots of pixels on a big LCD, it's about how a moving HD video is portrayed on all those pixels (scaling etc.)...this is how I see it anyway and some makers do it better than others.

Now for still (or mostly still graphics images) the Dell is a stunner and this is what I bought it for and use it primarily for - basic PC use and NLE of increasingly complex projects on a lovely big screen. Just for reference, the Samsung HDTV is awfull - just has not got the resolution/clarity needed for PC work (in my opinion).

When I want to watch HD video I'll go and watch my Samsung (via PS3). When I'm creating HD video using my NLE (Vegas) I do it on my Dell monitor. Both are ideal for for MY specific uses and these might be different to yours. Hope this helps!!!!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #7
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ah ok cool cool thats good info thank you again for that. Gosh what a dilemma :)

I really wanted to buy it all today but I think I'm going to have to sleep on it. Hopefully afew more bods will post their opinion which might help.

Cheers again for the help Andy,

Giles
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Giles Buchanan View Post
ah ok cool cool thats good info thank you again for that. Gosh what a dilemma :)

I really wanted to buy it all today but I think I'm going to have to sleep on it. Hopefully afew more bods will post their opinion which might help.

Cheers again for the help Andy,

Giles

same boat here. waiting for WWDC or look for second option...dell 24 or samsun 24. So far. can't wait longer for apple.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #9
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Anyone know how easy it is to calibrate the Dell so that the colours are right? Is there a program I can download to do it?
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #10
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Hi again. If you look in the sticky section at the top of the "SDTV/HDTV Monitor" part of this Forum (one of the topics in the Tools section) you will see lots of information on how to calibrate monitors for either NTSC or PAL land use in a long thread called "Calibrating Monitors". As always DVinfo is a mine of information.....it's just knowing where to look (or do a quick search).

That being said, I have n't done this on my Dell for the reasons already stated regarding how I use this particular screen. I actually monitor my video on a second LCD display anyway as Vegas easily allows 2 monitor working - assuming you have a good enough dual output (" dual head") graphics card.

This thread is becoming mostly me and my experiences with my Dell 2408WFP....surely there are many more of you who have this monitor and can comment!
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #11
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Giles, I've had the same concerns about a LCD monitor as you seem to be having, and had high hopes for the 2408. Having read all I could find on it and pouring over the manual as much as possible, I came to the conclussion that it wasn't going to be sutable for honest color reproduction, simply because it doesn't have all the controls necessary for calibrating as I would like to have.

A lot of it comes down to how you will be driving it out of your mac... if you're just going to hook it up like a standard computer monitor, I'm sure it would work quite well for normal NLE work, just don't expect too much from the color side of the equation. If on the other hand you're going to connect it thru a matrox box and calibrate as a video monitor (not PC) then it might be closer to acceptable. Same can really be said about the ACD.

For what it's worth, I'm saving up my sheckels for a LaCie 324, which has much better control of the color space, and suits my connections and application better.

Mark
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Old May 28th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #12
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Giles, I've had the same concerns about a LCD monitor as you seem to be having, and had high hopes for the 2408. Having read all I could find on it and pouring over the manual as much as possible, I came to the conclussion that it wasn't going to be sutable for honest color reproduction, simply because it doesn't have all the controls necessary for calibrating as I would like to have.
Mark, I believe you are setting the bar pretty high. Basically no LCD connected to you Graphics card will give you broadcast monitor suitable for "pro" color correction. One exception is using a Matrox MXO with your Mac (and then the Dell or Apple will do equally well). The LaCie has the same (or very similar) LCD panel as the DEL 2408 using the same "wide gamut" backlight.

Giles, if you want a no fuss good quality "system" just add the Apple display to your Mac Pro order. If you believe the Dell is a better deal, you can use that too; at the very least it has more connectors.

You will be happy with either. [that's an order, not a promise ;-) ]

If you need a broadcast level monitor for color grading, add an MXO to the mix. It will allow you calibrate either display and will even show interlaced footage correctly. Beats shelling out $4k+ for a dedicated monitor. Read more about the MXO in other posts here and reviews all over the net. You will need a 2nd monitor.

If your color grading is not "critical" you can probably get by just fine with the computer display of your choice. Both of these are prety much "on par". Don't use Samsung "home" line of monitors or the 3-digit Dells.

George/
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #13
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I believe you are setting the bar pretty high. Basically no LCD connected to you Graphics card will give you broadcast monitor suitable for "pro" color correction.
That was kinda my point... by itself it just isn't going to cut it.

The LaCie basically has the same limitations in technology but makes up for it (somewhat) with electronics. Specifically, it has 10 bit internal LUTs for both gamma and color which will allow for better gradiant reproduction. Also it has the capability to adjust both the primary and secondary colors to some degree. Something not found on many monitors in its price range. So with this kind of adjustments possible and a BM intensity card (which I already have) one should be able to come close to what the matrox would provide without the expense. I suppose if I didn't already have the intensity I'd be saving up for the mxo as well. I make no claims that this configuration would be as good as a broadcast monitor, but for less than a grand ($1250 if you include the intensity) it would be as good as I could get for HD playback and color.

Mark
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Old May 28th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Giles Buchanan View Post
Anyone know how easy it is to calibrate the Dell so that the colours are right? Is there a program I can download to do it?
For starters you can just use the software which comes with every Mac. Go to System Preferences and click on Displays. Click the Color button at the top, then click the Calibrate... button on the righthand side. This will open the Display Calibrator Assistant. Before proceeding, click the Expert Mode checkbox on the lower lefthand side of the window. Now just follow the instructions and you should have your monitor in the right ballpark.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #15
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Boyd do you think this would work if I attatched the Dell 2408? Or would the mac only recognize the ACD?

The most annoying thing about all of this is that I know Apple will release some bad ass state of the art new HD monitor as soon as I click buy on either of them.

Thats why I'm almost tempted just to grit and bare the colours of the Dell until Apple release their new screen, and also as its slightly cheaper. What do you think?

Also, I'm just wondering whether all of this colour stuff is far beyond my needs. After all I'm still not a professional, so I don't need to conform to all of this broadcast colour stuff, in the big scheme of things, what I see on either screen will pretty much be what I get on the finished DVD when played on a television or another computer no?

Giles
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