BenQ SW320 monitor is one of the first with HDR

The terms 4K and HDR are thrown around quite a bit in reference to TVs lately, but this combination of buzzwords hasn't really hit the PC arena just yet. BenQ is changing that with the SW320, a 3840 x 2160 31.5" IPS LCD display with HDR10 support. The SW320 is actually the first 4K HDR computer monitor that we have seen. The monitor is aimed at digital imaging professionals, and to that end, it can reproduce 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 87% of the DCI-P3 gamut. The monitor does not support the competing DolbyVision HDR standard.

The panel is not aimed at gamers, though. Its specified response times are a rather-average 5ms gray-to-gray and 14ms typical. The monitor has one DisplayPort 1.4a input and two HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2 support. The monitor also sports an integrated two-port USB 3.0 hub and a card reader primed to accept memory cards fresh out of an SLR camera. A display shroud and an OSD hockey puck control come in the box with the monitor. BenQ didn't indicate how much this trailblazing display will cost, but the SW320 should be available some time in January.

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    • jts888
    • 3 years ago

    I’m less excited by this monitor (nice as it is) than by the implication that DP 1.3/1.4 scalers are working their way towards consumers.

    UHD@120 Hz (or 96(?) Hz at 30bpp), here we finally come…

      • Airmantharp
      • 3 years ago

      Yup, I’m not planning to update my 27″ IPS 144Hz G-Sync panel until I can get >100Hz 4k IPS (or equivalent) with HDR support.

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t like what TV’s are doing with HDR advertisement. In my limited research it seems there are pretty loose requirements to being able to slap HDR on a TV’s feature list. Some implementations are massively better than others.

      • Airmantharp
      • 3 years ago

      I’m certainly in no hurry- I’ll wait for the halfassedness to subside and for producers to be held to standards via the review circuit, both in terms of televisions and content.

        • tay
        • 3 years ago

        And save a couple of hundred bucks in the process.

          • DPete27
          • 3 years ago

          I was out doing some Black Friday scouting this year. I was amazed that you could get a 55″ 4k HDR TV for something like $600. I spent some time looking at TVs at Best Buy. No doubt that some HDR TVs were more color-rich than others. Although you have to take that with a grain of salt because not all TVs are calibrated optimally or equally, even at Best Buy. By far the best looking picture was LG’s OLED TV though. Hands down.

            • kuraegomon
            • 3 years ago

            Amen to that LG OLED comment. The first time I saw one of those in person was like seeing the holy grail of television picture quality.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 3 years ago

      HDR is a combination of several features. Namely wider colour gamut, local dimming and higher peak brightness.

      It does make sense to introduce those features as and when they become available at each price point but as you say the marketing for it has been rather poor with meaningless branding that corresponds to each level. Is HDR Super better or worse than HDR Pro? And that’s just within one brand!

      Monitor makers do occasionally go for independent marketing efforts, they never followed TVs down the fake refresh rate route, so hopefully we’ll see more informative HDR marketing there.

      It’ll definitely help if hardware sites generally refuse to publish news articles about ‘HDR’ screens without any details on the level of support… hint hint.

        • Tumbleweed
        • 3 years ago

        HDR doesn’t have anything to do with color gamut, but with the darkest black, brightest white, and more stops in between those. Wider color spaces (like REC2020) will be coming along with HDR tech, though.

        I think the spec for brightness for ‘HDR’ as a techno spec is a minimum of 1000nits of brightness (which is far beyond what most displays are capable of). There are some on-camera displays (cinema cameras, that is) that are capable of that or better already, so the panels actually already exist in small sizes. There are also slightly larger panels for cinema teams (“field displays”). These are prices for cinema-making, and thus are NOT cheap, but they do exist.

      • psuedonymous
      • 3 years ago

      The problem is that no TV, not even a sell-your-car broadcast monitor, can display the ‘full spec’ HDR can encode. What current TVs CAN do is accept a HDR encoded signal and output their ‘best effort’ reproduction of it. Remember, the whole point of HDR encoding is not to just provide a percentage of range (as in the current 0-255 or 16-235 ranges), but to encode the actual intended luminance values for each channel.

    • tay
    • 3 years ago

    Need 100% DCI-P3 at a minimum. Rec 2020 preferably. [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._2020[/url<]

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      From that article:
      [quote<]HDR10 uses PQ, a bit depth of 10-bits, and the Rec. 2020 color space[/quote<]

        • tay
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, but this BenQ doesn’t.

      • meerkt
      • 3 years ago

      No consumer TV yet supports the whole Rec.2020 range. This will likely take a few more years, and maybe even some post-LCD technology.

        • brucethemoose
        • 3 years ago

        LG’s OLEDs don’t even cover all of DCI-P3, I don’t think.

      • jts888
      • 3 years ago

      Truly full Rec 2020 coverage isn’t physically possible, since with virtually monochromatically pure lasers you’d just get horrendous wave interference speckle. OLED gamut triangles can get close enough to the edges of a chromaticity horseshoe though, but it’ll never be 100%.

      LCDs, even with RGB LED backlighting, can’t come close to pulling it off, since there’s too much light bleed between subpixels. Quoted contrast ratios are always white:black on the macro scale, not how a subpixel can actually perform in the proximity of other lit subpixels.

        • brucethemoose
        • 3 years ago

        In theory, yes.

        In practice, finding the right OLED materials that form that perfect triangle AND fit other performance/manufacturing requirements is a PITA. I believe that’s why some LCDs technically have a wider gamut than LG’s and Samsung’s OLEDs right now.

      • DRJackson
      • 3 years ago

      Well, no… Rec2020 is a spec for the signal to use, but few displays will likely ever be capable of showing it. Ideally we’d get at least full coverage of Digital Cinema’s spec (since that’s a: possible to do with today’s tech and b: a set of colors we are likely to see in film content.) Few HDR panels will go beyond DCI color coverage, though, if only because nobody is going to aim for it and few will notice the extra saturation.
      HDR is like hi-fi digital audio. Color space is like the frequency range/sample rate; recording transients at 18kHz is cool, but the bit depth is the main thing. In audio, more bits means silence is quieter and there’s still headroom for the exceptionally loud parts; in video, bit depth means we can make the shadow areas even darker without seeing noise and banding, and still have room for scenes with intensely bright spots. More color saturation in outdoor scenes (grass, sky, flowers with color current monitors can’t show) but it’s not the primary feature of HDR. sRGB covers all the important colors, but if we’re recording in 12bit instead of 8bit, there’s no reason *not* to have the colors in the file… But the screens that cover 100% DCI will be very expensive, and screens that cover rec2020 basically don’t exist.

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