Why there are no 40" 4k monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ApplesAOranges, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. ApplesAOranges macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    Why are the 4k monitors only 32" or smaller? Doesn´t make any sense to me to have that crazy resolution in such a small monitor.

    I would love to have 4k in it´s native resolution in 40" or bigger monitor!
  2. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    Most of the 4K monitors for sale are not intended to be used at 100% size.
    While pixel density has been gradually creeping up on Apple's notebook displays, OS X's UI was designed around a target of 100 pixels per inch. So if your display is above 100 PPI, text can start to look quite small.
    Apple's current displays are a little bit above 100 PPI now, but not significantly.

    The 32″ Sharp 4K monitor that Apple are selling is around 140 PPI, so unless you're sitting very close to it, things are going to look rather small at 100% size.
    With 4K resolution, you need a display that is 44″ in size for OS X to be displayed correctly at 100% size. (4K at 44″ is 100 PPI)

    Now with that extra resolution, you can give up some workspace to increase the quality of how everything is rendered.
    The problem is that Apple only renders "Retina" graphics at 200%, so a 4K monitor becomes a 1080p Retina display.

    When you render Retina graphics on that 32″ monitor though, things are going to look too big, as text size becomes equivalent to a 70 PPI display. (though some people will like this)
    With the way that Apple does Retina scaling, an ideal 4K monitor would be 22″ in size.

    Apple does offer additional scaling modes on their Retina MacBook Pros, but it really reduces the quality of text and graphics, which makes it seem pointless to have a Retina Display in the first place, in my opinion.

    Windows on the other hand, is a lot more flexible in how it renders things.
    Rather than only rendering the UI at 1× or 2×, Windows can scale to 100%, 125%, 150%, or 200% size.

    At 125% on the 32″ Sharp monitor, text size is equivalent to a 110 PPI display - almost exactly the same as the current Thunderbolt Display. (109 PPI)
    You could also use 150% size, which would be equivalent to a 92 PPI display, and a nice balance between larger text, and workspace.

    There are an increasing number of 4K televisions on the market, and once we get past the limitations of HDMI 1.4a (some are now including DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0) they will be well suited for use as monitors at 100% size.
    I think the smallest 4K televisions are around 46″ in size right now. (96 PPI)
  3. OzExige macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2008
  4. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    Perfect. I want a 44" monitor with the 3840 x 2160 resolution. I love having lot of room on my desktop without the resolution looking bad and seeing pixels.

    Why doesn´t anyone make bigger monitors like this since now we have the high resolution?

    (What´s your problem OzExige?)
  5. OzExige macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2008
    My apologies - seriously

    It's just that who on God's Earth could afford one ??

    It wasn't intended as an insult.
  6. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    How much do you think something like that would cost? I´m sure many people could afford it, even if it would be like 5000-10000$ bucks.
  7. 2128506 macrumors regular


    Dec 28, 2013
    Heart of Mordor
    If it will be sub-$5K, add me to the waiting list!

    With sub-$1K 28" 4K displays presented on CES, that seems not that impossible.


    Anyone who's making money off their work on their computer? :)

    There is always EIZO with their big 4Ks for industrial use (air traffic controllers and medical apps) - but prices are just insane. Hopefully someone will do a consumer version.

    For me that would remove some of the Cmd-TABbing and "context switching" to second monitor = more productivity = more money.
  8. cs02rm0 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
  10. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    It's all about who's making the right sized LCD panel or panels as they are 'stitching' two together to make a 4k screen.

    40 inch at first I would imagine is more of a television targeted product might be better off looking at one of them..
  11. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    I'm in about the same boat. My current plan is to wait about 4 months. If nothing better comes along, I'll by a 50" Seiki HDTV and see if I can live with 30 Hz.
  12. Jim-H macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2013
    I've been waiting for a larger 4K monitor too. Something between 35-40" would be ideal for me. It seems most want a retina version of their standard monitor, I want the massive screen real estate. :D
  13. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    Me too. It´s crazy to me there are no bigger monitors available. I would want a 40" monitor even with the old 2560 x 1600 resolution, but now we have the high 3840 x 2160 resolution which would be perfect for bigger monitors like 40-44".

    Still the biggest ones are in the 30" range, so I don´t know what the hell the manufacturers are thinking. :confused:
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    They are thinking that producing displays like that is expensive and would target a very niche audience. Monitors over 24" are already a tiny part of the market, 27" make up the majority of the high end. The market is barely interested in 30" 2560x1600 panels.

    Not only are people not prepared to pay that sort of price, but for most it is an impractical physical size.

    The Seiki display previously mentioned has been out for ages now so buy that if you want or wait for some more TVs to come on the market, but the image quality is much better on monitors and they are smaller.

    I'll admit there is an advantage to having a large ~40" 4K panel in that for productivity you can use it in a way you'd use four 1920x1080 displays, but that's potential for some serious neck strain with even a 24" viewing distance.
  15. yauwing macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2013
    Me too.

    Just hope to get TV/monitor at about 40" with the right spec. like 60Hz and good color.

    They say the 4K TV market is going to grow to 10+ million this years. I hope a few more of them have TB support (I believe Panasonic has one DisplayPort at very high price and too big for me as a monitor)

    If Apple can support HDMI 2.0 there will be lot of choices soon.
  16. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Here are examples:


    Basically, the cheap dudes buy TVs, there aren't enough middle dudes, and what's left is $10k for 50 inches (1080p).

    Well, no more than buying 2 or 4 or 6 27" panels now. Which is another reason giant single panels are rare. Dudes already have big 4k, it's called 4x thunderbolt displays.
  17. ssls6 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2013
    You can scale cost with area (at a minimum) but the actual cost will be higher because of lower yields and panel boundaries. So, the lowest price would be around $5500 but more likely $10,000. Yields also decrease proportional to area so I think if someone tried today it would be north of $10k.
  18. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    Yeah. My viewing distance is 24". I made a cardboard mockup of the 50" Seiki and if I buy one, my head will be tilting to see the menu bar. I can't tell how serious a problem this will be without actually buying one. However, none of the people using a 50" Seiki have complained about this.
  19. Jim-H macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2013
    If the larger monitors don't go below $2K, this will likely be the scenario that I go down. But as you mention, it has to have decent color and 60Hz. Save monitors 2 & 3 for the color accurate displays. I was always against using a TV as a monitor, but pixel density was much lower with 1080p.
  20. ZnU macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006
    I'd think you'd want to position a monitor that big lower than typical desk height. So, maybe you have, say some 9" deep platform thing that supports your keyboard/mouse at the proper height and then another platform lower than that for the monitor to sit on, so the bottom of the monitor is below the height of your keyboard/mouse. Or just mount the monitor on the wall at that height.
  21. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    I really want to use the 3840 x 2160 resolution natively. I want all that desktop space!

    But that resolution on 30" or smaller monitors makes everything so small you need a magnifying glass to read text. It´s so stupid!

    40" or bigger monitors are needed!
  22. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    Those are good ideas, but my office/desk configuration doesn't permit it.

    I built myself a computer desk about 30 years ago. At that time I had a TRS-80. The desk top is only 25" inches high which puts the keyboard at a good height. This also means that the monitor is a bit lower than with a normal desk which will be good regardless of what my next monitor is like. The desk is 30" deep and 12' wide. This gives me room for up to three computers. Unfortunately the wall behind the desk is not suitable for a wall mounted screen. I estimate that the top of the monitor will be 8" above my eye height and the bottom 21" below, but tilting up is harder than tilting dow.


    I agree completely, but I think our needs are a couple standard deviations from the norm. I do very large logical data models. They can be 5' X 15' at full scale. I want to see as much of them as possible with readable text. Therefore, the largest screen I can sit on my desk with a pixel density of 90-100 is ideal for me. For me 45" would be ideal. I may go with the 50" Seiki if nothing better comes along.
  23. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    What is needed is useful resolution independence in the OS.

    Apple OSX is pitiful in this regard, with their lame "2X retina" cop-out.

    The other, more popular, desktop OS is much better - it gives you a slider to adjust the screen element sizes. (I have a 14" 1920x1200 laptop, and about 130% is good for me.)

    You should be able to buy the monitor that fits your workspace, and adjust the GUI for your habits and preferences.
  24. ZnU macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006
    I get where Apple is coming from on this. Even with vector drawing for fonts, most UI elements, etc. there are still a lot of bitmaps around and you're going to see scaling artifacts at non-integer scaling factors there. Even for vectors, at typical historical screen resolutions you'd want to do a lot of hinting to maintain fidelity at scaled resolutions. You don't want all of your crisp 1 pixel lines turning into blurry 1.3 pixel lines (i.e. 1 pixel black lines next to 30% gray lines when rendered with antialiasing) when running at 130%.

    However, once you have pixels so small you can't clearly distinguish them individually, these problems largely go away. With a pixel grid twice as fine, any scaling artifacts are half as severe. Current retina-class screens are not quite as high-res as you'd want them to be for these purposes (per Nyquist you'd really want pixels half the size of the smallest distinguishable features, not about the size of the smallest distinguishable features). But I think they're good enough that allowing non-integer scale factors is becoming the right choice.

    As I've noted before, Apple had functional if buggy implementations of arbitrary UI scaling available to developers in previous OS releases, so it's not like OS X's graphics engine fundamentally can't do this or something. They just need to decide to enable it, squash some bugs, and give third-party developers some time to squash bugs on their end. And I suspect just supporting 1x and 2x resolutions has resulted in a substantial fraction of the work required to support arbitrary resolutions having already been done.
  25. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    While true, Windows actually renders the UI natively at the scale you select—at least if you stick to the preset 100/125/150/200% options. Most things look crisp at all these sizes.
    You have the option to select an arbitrary scale factor as well, but I have never seen this produce good results—though I have not tried it on Windows 8.1

    When you are dealing with legacy applications that require the UI to be scaled up, moving to 2x definitely produces better results than 125% or 150%.

    In theory that's true, but I remain unconvinced. Current UI elements are already going beyond the Nyquist limit as they frequently consist of high contrast, single pixel width lines, so you would need a lot of resolution to hide the scaling artifacts.

    This is why I don't think the retina scaling options on the MacBook Pros are acceptable, and I wish they would offer higher resolution panels. (equivalent to twice the resolution of the previous "high resolution" panels)
    When using the scaled resolutions, Apple still renders the UI at 2× and then scales the final image down to match the display resolution. Text quality really suffers in my opinion. (based on the 13″ rMBP I own)

    I would be surprised if Apple changed the way they handle scaling. Rendering at 2× and scaling the final image does solve a lot of problems—particularly when dealing with non-retina applications.
    That being said, non-retina applications do still look pretty rough on OS X, even though it's being rendered at an "ideal" 2× scale. I think you really need to just accept that they are going to look bad no matter what.

    When dealing with these displays where 1× is too small, and 2× is too large, Windows' scaling does look a lot better than the way OS X handles it. (either not giving you the option, or rendering at 2× and scaling the image to fit)

    Application support for retina scaling is very far behind on Windows though, and there's a massive library of legacy applications that will probably never have scaling support added.
    Most Mac developers, if they are still updating their product, have already added retina support, or at least intend to. I have spoken with a number of developers for Windows applications, and most of them couldn't care less about adding scaling options.

Share This Page