Good monitor for professional video editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Pritchardly, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Pritchardly macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2011
    *I'm reposting this from Mac peripherals as I didn't realize there was an editor's forum on here. Forgive me, I'm new here.

    I'm a professional editor myself but I've typically just had whatever the current Apple monitors were to work with. Now I'm going off on my own as a freelancer and I'm looking to get a relatively inexpensive monitor with good NTSC fidelity to compliment my brand new quad-core MBP. After shelling out so much on the laptop I just can't justify going for the $999 Apple monitor no matter how great they really are. My target range is between $200 and $300.

    The models I am looking at so far are the Dell U2211H, U2311H and NEC EA232WMi.

    I'm liking the Dells best but I've read a few things about them not always playing nicely with Macs but nothing about them with the newest MBPs. It's nice that the NEC is also LED but it's 14ms response time seems painfully slow.

    Does anyone have any other models or tips on things I should be looking out for? Personal experience with any of the above monitors would also be greatly appreciate. Alternatively if there is a standard Macrumors thread for these kinds of questions I'll gladly take a look there. Thanks!
  2. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    You shouldn't anyways when you can get a better Eizo for the same amount. I'm puzzled how you can call yourself professional when you want to cut down at any area... The screen is just as important. It's what you do you final grading by, and if you go buy yourself a **** monitor for 200 dollars, how can you ever be sure that what you render out is what is actually going to be on the end users screen?

    If you don't do gradings, then bygones :)
  3. Pritchardly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2011
    As I said I'm just starting out on my own and that leaves for MANY new expenses. I simply don't have the money right now for a $1000 monitor no matter how important I know it may be to have one down the road. I can work up to one but for now I'm looking for a stopgap. In the mean time I don't even have any clients who require that level of accuracy in their color grading. I don't see how this should call my professionalism into question...
  4. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Wait you're a pro editor going on freelance and you only have a laptop and a budget of $300 on a monitor? Good ****** luck buddy.
  5. Pritchardly, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    Pritchardly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2011
    My goodness, what is it with this place? Can anyone just give me a little advice WITHOUT critiquing my business model or do I need to submit a resume and business plan to get anything? I feel like I'm applying for a bank loan here...

    All you know is that I'd like an inexpensive but solid monitor to accompany the laptop, you have absolutely zero insight into what other equipment I may already own other than I obviously am not an expert on choosing a monitor.
  6. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Dude, I don't care what equipment you have. What I meant was, that isn't the type of budget to be going out on your own. It's hard and even though you may have solid work now doesn't mean you will have it in the near future. Can you absorb 6 months off, 100% bills paid for, food, utils and everything? Until you can, don't buy another thing.

    And if you want monitor advice, the Dells are good. My edit suite is based around the U2711.
  7. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    I use two 24" monitors, both in your price range. One is a Dell the other is a Samsung. Both perform exactly as expected with an early 2008 Mac Pro. They are both a couple of years old so I doubt the model numbers would be the same as current models. After 2+ years neither has any bad pixels or fading. The Samsung may have a cooling fan in it that I do notice on occasion, but usually it's by the unit's silence when I turn it off.

    (Because they are exactly the same height when I use them I'm unaware of the brand difference.)

    Good luck.
  8. bluap84 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    LOL @ gameface - sorry but it did make me chuckle...but i happen to agree! And i know nothing...but those Dell monitors do look sweet!
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Computer monitors are just good for looking at your programs and they shouldn't be used to judge video image quality. FCP isn't designed to display a broadcast accurate image in the GUI, the gfx card isn't designed to output a broadcast accurate image and the computer monitor isn't designed to display a broadcast accurate image.

    I have a Dell 2408 and a 23" ACD and if I was going to buy another computer monitor today it would most likely be another Dell.

  10. smokescreen76 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    As Lethalwolfe says - what you're after is just a secondary computer monitor - it has nothing to do with video editing. Go for a brand you know and trust. I would recommend Dell or HP.

    You could also buy a HDTV with DVI or HDMI in from someone like Samsung.

    But you have to understand that without a video interface (such as a product from Kona, Blackmagic, Motu or Matrox) all you are doing is looking at another computer display. For video monitoring you need different hardware (and that's when it starts getting a little pricier).
  11. Pritchardly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2011
    Thanks for the advice, this is the kind of information I needed. I've worked with AJA converters before but never a Kona card as I was never responsible for final color graded masters.
  12. Richardthe4th, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    Richardthe4th macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Below Sealevel

    As stated above, just buy a second computer monitor to attach. Don't invest a lot in that. But to be able to fairly judge the output you need a broadcast monitor. And they cost a lot and you need additional hardware.

    Check the matrox mxo2 mini, very versatile and a lot of bang for the bucks. You can even connect an lcd tv and adjust that to come close to a calibrated monitor. (Or buy a crt monitor on ebay.) That works really good. Has your MBP an express34 (17")? Or thunderbolt (then you have to wait until they have thunderbolt interfaces). Even a cheap tv/crt through a video interface gives a better impression than a computer screen (different color room etc and fcp just doesn't send all the information to the computer screens).

    Good luck

    (PS look further than just this advice, but it can be a starting point)
  13. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    That's the kind of gear the professionals use when creating stuff for HD broadcast.
    At work, I have a little Panasonic standard def broadcast monitor that I wouldn't trade for any computer monitor for as long as I keep doing SD work. CRTs rule!

    Aprat from that, everything Lethal said. I'd get a Dell Ultrasharp because they are as good as Apple's monitors, but cheaper.
  14. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I have a pair of these attached to my 3D Workstations (Dell and Boxx). My Dual 30s on my Mac Pros are getting old and showing wear (yes they wear down).
    Im not too keen on using the new Apple 27s in the cubicles but would deal with them in the controlled lighting in our NLE/DAW studio.
    For wide open space lighting, go with the Dells.
  15. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Thanks for providing a constructive well thought out response. :rolleyes:

    I get your point, but perhaps a little bit more tact next time. The line separating professionals and amateurs has gotten so blurred that it hardly exists anymore. So while some of us need expensive color accurate production monitors and AJA cards, others are perfectly fine on just a single laptop. There are different levels of "professionalism" in this field. It was pretty easy to gauge where the original poster was coming from.

    I'll echo Lethal's recommendation. Most of what you'll find in your budget range will have similar performance. But I've used Dells for a while now and have been pretty satisfied.
  16. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Yep Dell monitors have stood the test over time in my books. Too bad the computers didnt but thats another topic.

    Love my Dell U2711 here :)
    Great for home too. It has DVI, Display Port and HDMI as well as VGA.
  17. Kevin Monahan macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    Unfortunately, many newcomers to pro video never hear of needing to use broadcast monitors and are shocked that their $299 computer monitor isn't suitable for color accuracy. Video monitors were fairly affordable in the SD era, but never, ever were they cheap. I had this one: I think I got it used and paid over $2000 for it.

    In today's market, you have to spend much more for an HD broadcast monitor. Many prosumer/low end pros usually can't justify the cost of such a monitor. That said, you should endeavor to get such a setup so that you can deliver a quality, color accurate product to your customers. If you deliver to broadcast television, you'll certainly need one.

    If you must use a computer monitor for color accuracy, go with handsome pete's suggestion: a fully featured Dell.
  18. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    It's true that a professional reference monitor is different than a computer monitor. Given that, there are still dramatic differences in the quality of computer monitors. Right off the bat, I'd recommend the Dell U2412 which can somewhat regularly be found for under $300 (well, $299 certainly). A 24" 16:10 monitor with a matte IPS screen and great stand adjustability. Certainly one of the best you'll find close to your price range.
  19. smali macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2010
    Don't listen to this. Focus on internet video, that's where the freelance money is at and to be honest as long as you have a fairly accurate screen noone gives a ****.

    99.9999999999% of the time your internet video will be viewed on a cheap TN panel/ non colour accurate display, so who cares.

    Focus on telling a good story, don't listen to the dinosaurs.
  20. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I want to agree with you smali and I have preached the same to my students and fellow videographers. However, its still a must to be able to deal with both. From my experience the Internet Guerrilla Video folks are usually at the bottom of the pecking order in both budget and professional use. Why not learn to deal with NTSC broadcast on the cheap since the trickle down (as you mentioned) tech is good enough (so you say) for the web.
    But of course, watch some of the work done (uploaded) on Vimeo. Im pretty most of that wasnt geared straight for the web :) IMHO
  21. mr.dirden macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2012
    what about the response time?

    The Dells IPS's you are all talking about are 6-8 ms.
    Isn't there a good IPS with response time of 2-3 ms? or perhaps I over estimate the meaning of that value - is it not that important for video editing?
  22. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    You don't really need a solid response time as that would be more applicable to something like gaming whereby you are interacting with the screen whereas for video editing you are basically playing back footage.
  23. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    I am not surprised by the responses you have got, there just are some people that need to kick people, it just makes them feel better about themselves.

    Anyhow, I know of an editor that I will collaborate with from time to time on bigger projects and he too went freelance after working for years a a major post house. He too had budget concerns when he went out on his own, yet saw a bigger picture and not just today. He started out with a Dell U2311H and all the projects we collaborated on worked out well with him using this Dell monitor. Then 4 months after going out on his own that monitor got him through the lean start up days until he had sufficient resources and got 2 Apple monitors to replace that Dell monitor.
  24. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    question - how accurate are those "preview monitor's" when using something like a matrox MXO2 mini connected to your standard household TV?
    I know it won't be like using a broadcast monitor like someone posted above but will it offer a better idea on what one would see once it is broadcasted?
  25. Padaung, Dec 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2012

    Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    Another vote for the Dell U2412. I use mine for pro photography work, and a friend uses one for video work (running their own business). Ignore the posters who responded at the start of the thread - they clearly have no idea about prioritising costs when starting up in business. Not everyone has unlimited funds, and even if you do have a healthy bank balance it's best not to blow everything on equipment, but to keep some pennies tucked away for a rainy day...

    Best of luck for the future.

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