October 17, 2016

Get Studio Reference Quality on Your Monitor for a Tenth of the Price

Consumer display technology finally has studio reference quality accuracy with LG's new line of OLED displays.

According to the most recent tests from DisplayMate, an independent display technology and calibration tool provider, the 2016 line of LG OLED displays (identified by E6 in the product name) qualify as Studio Reference Quality. This is impressive for monitors that price out at $5,000 for the 65' and $3,500 for the 55'.

If you are building a home theater or small editing/coloring suite, there is a strong argument to be made for considering an E6 product.

That level of accuracy is generally restricted to monitors that cost much, much more—such as the $50,000 Sony CRT Studio Reference Monitor. There are certainly monitors under $5,000 that are nearly that accurate, but they are usually smaller, and they don't typically reflect the typical consumer setting of larger TVs in the home. If you are building a home theater or small editing/coloring suite, there is a strong argument to be made for considering an E6 product for your "client" monitor.

Unfortunately, this level of accuracy still doesn't mean that it is guaranteed to absolutely match a smaller monitor. For instance, if you set up a 24" Flanders Scientific on your desk and the E6 for the client to view, even when full calibrated, they won't match perfectly. This is because of the limitations of human vision; we use a different part of our retina to view big images and smaller ones, and it is basically impossible to match your giant client review monitor precisely to your smaller monitor.


LG E6 Monitor Profile and OverheadCredit: LG

The good news, however, is that the E6 tests so high in color accuracy that a case could be made for making it your only monitor for image review. (Of course, you'll still need a computer monitor of some sort to see your editing or color interface.) If you connect through a proper signal chain putting out a clean HDMI video signal, such as a Blackmagic Ultrastudio, and you calibrate properly, you shouldn't need a smaller monitor to check against. In an ideal setup, your client monitor should be accurate enough to use as your only evaluation. Previously, it wasn't always cost effective to have a display that is both big enough for client review and accurate enough to fly solo. Now, it appears it is.

While LG is first out of the gate to bring this accuracy level, we have seen indicators that SamsungPanasonic, and Sony aren't far behind.

Additionally, it's always important to remember that no TV comes out of the box as a true reference monitor. One of the frustrations of shopping for a monitor is that the default settings on the vast majority of monitors are terrible. TV manufacturers know that many decisions are made by consumers after comparing the image quality of the TV against its competitors in the only environment that is available: the florescent lit big box store. They also know that salespeople at these stores generally pull a TV out of the box, plug it in, turn it on, and forget about it. So, they set up their TVs with default settings that are less concerned with accuracy—since that's something you have to test for—and more concerned with standing out against competitors on the show floor. This means the colors are often more saturated, the contrast is turned up, the skin tones are often tuned too magenta (to compensate for the green overhead lighting). Additionally, a horrible motion mode is often turned on to make things look more "dynamic." Before doing any work on this monitor, you'll want to calibrate it.

LG E6 BezelCredit: LG

However, keeping in mind that you always have to change the settings to get a good image on your monitor, the fact that you can take an under-$5,000 monitor and calibrate it to studio reference monitor accuracy is pretty amazing. It's particularly exciting since OLED isn't a technology that is exclusive or limited to LG.

A decade ago, plasma was the technology that offered the best price-to-accuracy ratio, and you were pretty much stuck with Panasonic's Pro Plasma line because the manufacturing costs kept many other manufacturers out of the market. LG is the current leader in OLED, but the other major TV manufacturers all have at least some interest in and capacity for OLED. While LG is first out of the gate to bring this accuracy level, we have seen indicators that Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony aren't far behind.

If you are currently shopping for a monitor, the full DisplayMate article is worth a read, especially for the number of times "visually indistinguishable from perfect" appears in the results. The OLED monitoring space is going to have a lot of activity in the next year, but you can't beat the fact that this studio quality display is available now from B&H.

Tech specs

  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 48.7" x 30.2" x 2.2", TV with stand: 48.7" x 30.2" x 6.9"
  • Inputs: 3 HDMI 2.0a & HDCP2.2, 3 USB, 1 RF, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 Optical, 1 RS232C, 1 Ethernet
  • HDR Enhanced Display, DolbyVision compatible
  • 4k Ultra HD native resolution
  • 40.8 lbs
  • webOS operating system
  • DCI-P3 and sRGB / Rec.709

For more information, check out the full test on DisplayMate.

Your Comment

16 Comments

In which parallel universe consumer = 3500k? XD
I have never seen all those money all togheter. :(

October 17, 2016 at 1:22PM

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65' is quite big. You'd need a small stadium to fit that in! :P

October 17, 2016 at 5:19PM

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Guido Gautsch
Education Person
286

I have the 55in version of this and wow, it's a stunning image. HDR footage looks really amazing - just so little content currently. Very glad to read the article and see that it's a worthy reference monitor!

October 19, 2016 at 10:42AM

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Andy
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A studio monitor with only HDMI... I suppose you could use an HDMI-to-SDI converter, but wouldn't that alter the color accuracy?

October 20, 2016 at 6:04PM

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Scott Ressler
Director of Photography
273

I'm hoping that they will start produce low-cost OLED monitors. According to http://www.144hzmonitors.com/technology/best-oled-monitor/ - they can be price competitive, but they need to use larger factories.

November 12, 2016 at 10:45PM

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If they could do something like this for gaming monitors http://www.toptengamer.com/best-200-gaming-monitor/ I'd die a happy man

December 5, 2016 at 5:42PM

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Hopefully it will not be too long until we see this type of technology in gaming monitors. http://www.thebestgamingmotherboards.com/ultrawide-monitors

January 6, 2017 at 10:36AM

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The optimal choice for the lion’s share of buyers is monitor for convenient work with the text or programs, to play games, watch movies in high quality and simple to master the Internet. https://thecomputerfinder.com/choose-monitor/

April 26, 2017 at 4:06AM

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When will these be released? I notice that a lot of the monitor buyer's guides out there (like this one https://elitegamingcomputers.com/best-gaming-monitors/) don't have too many of them listed yet.

May 11, 2017 at 4:29PM

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I’ve seen many people going bad behind high-end specs for gaming computers. Despite the ability of high-end hardware to render quality visuals, the monitor may not be good enough to display the same. Here this post is gonna help you to get some best gaming monitors which can fit your budget and play some high quality graphic games. Check the Detailed review here :- https://hometronix.net/best-gaming-monitors/

May 15, 2017 at 1:31PM

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here you can check out the best movie apps for android os
https://ourpick.net/3d-printing-pen/
http://scarpeairmax90.info/cartoon-hd/

July 31, 2017 at 3:33AM

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You need a 4K graphics card for these huge monitors to fully exploit them http://graphicscardhub.com/8gb-graphics-card/

August 8, 2017 at 4:42AM

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Akshat
Blogger
1

August 13, 2017 at 1:56PM

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Mehndi
1

http://rahuldigital.org Digital Marketing SEO Consultant India, a professional blogger and an established digital marketer. I have an experience of 5+ years in SEO ...

October 17, 2017 at 7:26AM

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that is a too expensive monitor. Along with a high-end GPU it requires a high end GPU. This list has some good CPU's that can run this monitor at good resolution I think. https://www.xtremegaminerd.com/best-cpu-for-gaming/

October 26, 2017 at 12:36AM

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Sarfraz Khan
Blogger
6

A studio monitor with only HDMI... I suppose you could use an HDMI-to-SDI converter, but wouldn't that alter the color accuracy? I also talked about Flexio 590

December 11, 2017 at 3:59AM

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Oled monitors are also great for programming purpose. Thanks for the great article.
This link says similar things about OLED on our eyes https://www.slothygeek.com/best-monitor-for-programming/

December 12, 2017 at 2:34PM

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