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Old December 4th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #1
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Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

I would like to upgrade my monitors to 25 maybe 27 inch. I was looking at a 27" Samsung (LED) at TigerDirect for $349 with 2ms response time. What do I need to be concerned with in choosing a couple of good desktop monitors for color accuracy?

All suggestions greatly appreciated! Thank you....
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Old December 4th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

For starters I would look at a higher resolution monitor, 1920X1080 wont give you much workspace in Vegas. You won't be able to expand your preview window to a larger size and still have space to view your timeline, at least if you do mulicamera edits.

I prefer to have one good monitor than two cheap ones. I suggest looking at fuller-featured models like the Dells and some of the HPs, which offer higher resolution and more features. Look for higher resolution in the specs, that's the key thing.

I have both the U2711 and U3011, and they are very nice.

Dell UltraSharp U2711 Review - Watch CNET's Video Review
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Old December 4th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Thanks Jeff!

So the specs like "2ms Response time" and the "Contrast Ratio" are not factors? I noticed the Dell was 12ms. Also, what about the refresh rate? Does it matter?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

The Dell will destroy the Samsung, but that's not to say you'd not like it. The Dell response is 6ms, not 12, see here: Dell UltraSharp U2711 69cm (27") Monitor with PremierColor Details

The response time is important if you're a gamer. The Samsung has 16.7 million colors, the Dell has over 1 billion, that is part of why it costs more, it's a higher quality unit. They are built like tanks compared to the Samsungs.

The Dell is slower because it is a higher resolution, it cannot be as fast, but the difference is insignificant for video editing.

Don't get me wrong, the Samsung is pretty, and would look nice. But if you want an adjustable stand that tilts and swivels, the best onboard picture adjustments, built in card reader, built in USB hub, dual link and HDMI and VGA connectors (the Samsung has only HDMI and VGA) the higher resolution,, etc., the Dell is a better choice.

You get more for your money with the Dell plus a more customizable picture controls.

There are two ways to look at it: That the Dell is expensive or that the Samsung is cheap.

No one would be mad at you if you got the Samsung, it would work fine. Like anyone else, I push what I have because it helps me justify my purchase in my mind! But in truth the Dell is a very nice unit.

I bought my last three from Printers Plus on ebay, and I recommend them highly. I bought one used, and the 30" I bought cheap cause it had a damaged box. Still cost $1K.

Let me put it this way, when you open the box and put it on your desk, you will not be sorry you spent the extra. The Samsung has a shiny black casing, and looks cool, but you lose so much real estate from the lower resolution, it's just no contest to me.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #5
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Jeff, I should add that I've seen the Samsungs a few months ago at Micro Center, and they looked nice, just like many other monitors in that price range. The shiny case is attractive, but it ultimately felt kind of cheap, at least to me. It hardly weighed anything, or so it seemed.

I bought a similar one a couple of years ago, it looked so shiny and nice, and I thought it would have to be better than my old Dell 24". I took it home and it next to the Dell the Samsung's picture just couldn't compare. I was disappointed and took it back to Best Buy. I still have that 24" and it still looks very good. Just my 2 cents.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Thanks Jeff. That was the kind of review I was looking for. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences. I will be looking at the Dell a whole lot closer now. I may pick up the 27 for a playback - preview monitor and stay with my 22" LG's for work flow. Good info to have and I really appreciate it!
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Old December 4th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #7
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

I use the 30" for main and my old 24" for secondary. The 24" is about 8 years old is still good. I boxed up my 27" cause it's too big next to the 30", plus it's just obscene having that much monitor space. I actually feel guilty having both. The 30" was an indulgence, and was the main thing I wanted. It is my second 30" Dell, and I recommend you not buy one, because once you do you never want anything smaller than 30".
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Many response times are faked because monitor manufacturers put their monitors into a special mode that is optimized for the response time benchmarks. In this mode, you'll see sparkling artifacts on video, and even these are visible on TV sets currently selling in BestBuy.

To me, color accuracy is preferable to a fake response time. There's little that can be done about sluggish response times, and at least the color is authored properly. Some of the panels with better color (wider gamut) such as S-IPS do not switch as fast. I purchased a NEC Spectraview 21" for photo editing as well video editing. It showed much less ghosting than my previous LCD monitors, but still, I'm not sure exactly how much it blurs the video.

Dell repackages LCDs, so if you're able to identify the manufacturer of the panel (Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, etc), you may be able to buy a version with better electronics supporting the panel. Dell is able to sell their monitors for a lower price because they have lower tolerances for manufacturing errors. In the past, this was apparent with color or brightness variations across the panel when the monitors used fluorescent backlighting.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Gints, the lower end Dells may be manufactured with lower tolerance than some, I have no idea, but the U2711 and U3011 are their premium offerings. The closest thing to them are sold by HP and Apple, and the Dell are considered pretty much superior to both in every review I've read, and feature wise there is no comparison.

The Panels are made by LG, and if you can buy the U2711 or U3011 in a better version made by someone else, I would love to know who makes it and how much it costs.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

I have two U2410s in a dual monitor setup, and love it. Often on sale, and two will give you 4608000 pixels,
while one U2711 will give you 3686400 pixels. More real estate for practically the same price.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #11
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Jeff, it appears it's hard to beat the value and high performance of the modern high end Dell and Apple monitors. So, thanks for the endorsement. For higher end monitors at higher prices, the models would be Eizo Coloredge and NEC Spectraview II. They list 12-14 bit internal monitor look-up tables for 10 bits/channel color explicitly while Dell is evasive about this with their 1 billion colors. I've read reports about visible dithering on Dells, but I'm not sure if they apply to the latest offerings. The difference in bits reflects the money spent on the DACs in the monitors. These companies and their customers are willing to pay more for less variance across their product line. Still, there is no way to tell if a medical grade monitor will display video as we like it.

The price of the higher end monitors typically include longer 4-5 year warranties, supported calibration. NEC has appeared to wise-up and include Spectraview Calibration software and a color measuring device bundled with their monitor. In the past, they didn't, probably because the customers for these monitors bought them in larger lots and purchased only one copy of the software and one hardware colorimeter. I found the Spectraview color calibration method faster and more reliable than using the same EyeOne2 process with only the graphics card.

According to this site, even the NEC monitors use LG panels, though they use the newer panel technology :
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/

Manufacturers are still deceitful about # of colors specified vs. # of colors displayed.
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles...chnologies.htm
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Old December 4th, 2011, 10:32 PM   #12
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

2 X 23" ips panels @ hd and a spyder and you're good to go. a third on bd intensity pro and you have perfection ;-)
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Old December 5th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #13
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Re: Suggestions on a good dual monitor set-up under $1000?

Some more info on monitors.
IPS panels, will run around the 10-16 ms response time, due to the 10bit panel they are using. 10 bits = 1billion colors. = 40bit color in windows = deep color ( several buzzwords = same thing )
As of the beginning of the year, to access 10bit colors, you needed to have a pro video card, quadro or firegl with a displayport. You had to turn on Deep color in the driver section and the software you are using had to support it. Jeff is right on, they blow the tar out of the TN panels which accept a 8 bit input but are only 6 bits per color which = about 262000 colors. This is how they can achieve the gamer buzzword of 2ms ect.

HDMI 1.3, 1.4 support 10bit color, but I am not sure any non pro cards support that standard since gaming monitors are 99.9% based on the TN panel.

Dell does not make monitors that I know of and I am sure they are buying a IPS panel from another company. Apple is in the same boat, for many years they used LG TN panels. ( pull the cover off, look at the sticker yourself )

If you do get a IPS panel, as Leslie said you will need a spyder or some other color corrector device to calibrate it and the right video card to access the 10bit colors...

Hope it helps.

Last edited by Joe Kollee; December 5th, 2011 at 03:43 PM. Reason: typo
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