2015 NAB Monitors Review

There was a lot to see at the NAB Show, and a lot of it was seen on new monitors. But this year it was not just about more pixels, it was also about better pixels and the race for high dynamic range displays.

In front of a 4K Theater Dome, ATOMOS displayed the new 7-inch 4K Atomos Shogun, which combines a 4K/HD ProRes/DNxHR/DNxHD recorder with a 1920x1200 325ppi LCD IPS monitor with playback deck and cut edit suite.

Emil Moldoveanu of Globo TV International shoots a video of Sony’s new Trimaster 4K reference monitor.BLACKMAGIC DESIGN brought out the Blackmagic Video Assist, a portable, all-in-one five-inch professional monitor and video recorder that can be used with any SDI or HDMI camera. The built-in touchscreen allows simple swipe gestures to display camera information, change settings and evaluate audio and video levels.

Used as an on-field play-by-play monitor during Super Bowl XLIX, BOLAND’s PVBL32 32-inch monitor accepts video via SDI, DVI, HDMI, or analog inputs. The PVBL32 includes waveform, vector scope, and 16 channel audio meters, closed-caption decoding, and 10-bit processing.

CANON was again in Central Hall with its remarkable DP-V3010 4K Reference Display for digital cinema color-grading and 4K/2K postproduction and effects monitoring.

CONVERGENT DESIGN announced all of the five separately available RAW Record Options for the Odyssey7Q+ and Odyssey7Q will be combined into the Odyssey RAW Bundle, resulting in a significant cost savings over separate purchase.

DOLBY LABORATORIES announced it has struck a partnership with Vizio to bring the glories of Dolby Vision to the consumer market through the Vizio Reference Series 65-inch and 120-inch Ultra HD Full-Array LED Smart TVs.

The ColorEdge CG318-4K is a new 31.1-inch color accurate DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) 4K LCD monitor from EIZO that is designed for 2D and 3D CGI, VFX, compositing and color grading thanks to its built-in calibration sensor, housed right in the monitor’s bezel, that provides network and remote auto-calibration capabilities.

FLANDERS SCIENTIFIC announced that starting this year all their CM and BM series monitors will include powerful new features including a Video Data Analyzer, CIE Scope and new Dual Input Viewing Modes that provide real-time decimal or hexadecimal readout of video data at the pixel level.

IKAN’S new VX9i features a 1920x1200 IPS LCD panel providing dazzling imagery from all angles. The 8.9-inch monitor has both 3G SDI and HDMI input and output signals with lossless component and lossless composite. It’s also offered with waveform as the VX9w.

IKEGAMI introduced two new monitors: the HLM-1751WR HDTV/SDTV Multi-Format LCD Color Monitor that employs a 17-inch Full HD LED backlight panel (1920x1080); and the HLM-1705WR 17-inch HDTV/SDTV Multi-Format LED backlit monitor built with a liquid crystal panel for reduction in thickness, weight and power consumption.

MANFROTTO created a bit of a stir with the introduction of Digital Director, the only Apple-certified interface that helps users to intuitively manage their photo and video workflow via a tethered iPad application. As a hardware and app technology, we can expect regular feature upgrades.

The high resolution (1024x600) camera-top monitor from MARSHALL ELECTRONICS boasts HDMI, 3GSDI, composite, component inputs and Marshall’s Peaking Filter focus assist all in one monitor. Features of the V-LCD70-AFHD include multiple inputs, Picture-in-Picture, Image Flip, Screen Markers, Peaking Filter, False Color and Zebra filters.

MUSTHD displayed their series of professional broadcast and on-camera monitors including five-inch/5.6-inch/seven-inch/10.1-inch/17-inch/27-inch models, with features including HDMI/Component/Composite/SD-SDI/Loop through/Focus Assist and Waveform displays.

Right atop the stairs in mid-Central Hall, PANASONIC showed us their new BT-4LH310, a 31-inch, 4096x2160 resolution, LCD monitor for critical 4K/2K monitoring. The BT-4LH310 would be very useful in a video village for live viewing of 4K cameras and graphic devices, as well as of 4K or HD dailies.

As the industry’s largest 4K touch display, PLANAR’s UltraRes 98-inch Touch was seen presenting a multitouch experience with impressive 4K image clarity. Planar UltraRes 98-inch Touch displays offer 500-nit brightness, flawless 2D and 3D viewing, and 32 simultaneous touch points, facilitating multiple users to collaborate and interact at the same time.

PLURA showcased its 4K Series of monitors, which support resolutions up to 3840x2160 and offer intelligent connections for calibration alignment, adjustable colorimetry, gamma correction and audio monitoring in an exceptionally slim form factor.

SMALLHD introduced the 500 Series of five-inch slimline HD monitors that deliver 1080p images with superior sharpness and detail. The first of the series includes the 502 monitor, which provides a dense, 441 pixels per inch display; more than Apple’s iPhone 6 or 6+.

SONY’S new BVM-X300 is its first OLED master monitor to combine 4K resolution, High Dynamic Range and a Wide Color Gamut display. The 30-inch model expands Sony’s Trimaster EL series and provides an OLED option for professional video applications including color grading, on-set monitoring and quality control in a 4K workflow.

SOUND DEVICES is getting into the oncamera monitor game with its new Video Devices PIX-E Series recording field monitors, the 1920x1200 seven-inch PIX-E7, and 1920x1080 five-inch PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H. Each combines easy-to-access controls with an intuitive touch screen interface.

TVLOGIC brought 12 new displays to NAB Show, including a 31.1-inch 4K reference monitor, a 17-inch broadcast model, a new studio wall monitor series comprised of six sizes from 17-inch to 55-inch, and a rack monitor range offering four configurations. The 4K LUM-310A provides wide color gamut up to DCI and true 10-bit color.

The StarliteHD, a 5-inch 16:9 smartphonesize professional monitor was debuted by TRANSVIDEO INTERNATIONAL. Its technological innovations include an interchangeable front system, built-in recorder/playback with Auto-Rec, and a removable 3X magnifying eyepiece.

The WOHLER iAM-MVAM is a single system for monitoring audio and video from SDI and MPEG transport streams. Unique by handling inputs from multirate SDI, ASI and IP interfaces, the iAM-MVAM multifunction confidence monitor is available with four 4.3-inch displays or two 7-inch displays.