Dolby’s New 42-inch Video Reference Monitor Now Available

HOLLYWOOD: Dolby this week officially released its new PRM-4200 pro reference monitor. The San Francisco company, known primarily for professional audio gear, debuted the 42-inch LCD monitor at the NAB Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Dolby says the monitor is “the first LCD-based video display to accurately reveal true black levels with exceptional dark detail, and higher contrast across the entire color gamut.” Mark Schubin, who saw the monitor demonstrated at NAB, said it was “already superb, and they’re still working on it.”

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the monitor is $54,950.

Dolby launched the product at an event in Hollywood, where it collected comments:

“I believe that the Dolby monitor can become the industry standard, based on Dolby’s commitment to excellence and the drive to create a great product,” said Bob Wilson, director of engineering for The Post Group in Hollywood.

“There has to be a professional reference monitor that we all agree on as an industry that is accurate, repeatable and reliable. And I believe that Dolby’s professional reference monitor is a very serious contender,” said Ron Burdett, general manager of film/data DI restoration & mastering at Laser Pacific.

According to Dolby, patented dual-modulation technology is a key component of the monitor. I.e., the backlight, composed of red, green and blue LEDs, “is modulated individually on a frame-by-frame basis and in concert with the image displayed on the LCD panel in real-time.”

Dolby claims the PRM-4200 is the only LCD-based monitor capable of displaying true black, as well as the full dynamic range of the latest digital cinema cameras. It also allows for color grading without the use of a digital project, Dolby says, and displays “precise color accuracy across all luminance levels.”

The 42-inch screen--far larger than typical video reference monitors--reflects what people are seeing at home.

The Dolby PRM-4200 is now available for the North American market and will be released to other regional markets in 2011. 

Editor’s Update (January 2012): the MSRP on this monitor has changed to $39,995.