Which monitor is for me?
August 24, 2009 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Best affordable external monitor for HD video editing?

I would like an external monitor to extend my desktop real estate and, on occasion, serve as a television/output monitor for HD video editing playback, color correction etc. It will presently be used with a Macbook Pro (DVI) and eventually become the second monitor to a iMac (DisplayPort.) I'd like to spend £500 or less. Is this doable?

A friend recommended this, though it's a bit beyond my price range:

Thank you!
posted by timshel to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, I was thinking 23-inch but am open to other sizes.
posted by timshel at 6:56 AM on August 24, 2009

Best answer: The Dell 2408WFP has always done a brilliant job for me. It was about $700 when I got it, but is now $550 on the Dell site. Be careful going cheaper, as you'll lose a lot of colour accuracy and response time.
posted by sixswitch at 7:01 AM on August 24, 2009

Best answer: Know your LCD types

Watchout for big and cheap LCD's, as they're usually TN type LCD. For comparison, the Dell 2048WFP is VA, while the 24" iMac is PVA, 20" iMac is IPS. Be good to your eyes and spend a few more bucks now, the screen will last 4+ years. After working on my 24" PVA LCD, any TN screen looks cheap and washed out.
posted by limited slip at 9:03 AM on August 24, 2009

Best answer: Actually, if you keep an eye out for deals and can wait it bit, I think the Dell 2048WFP can be had for about $400 these days—I was looking for an LCD panel just two weeks ago and at the time there was a coupon-deal where you could get it for $397, but it looks like that's expired now. As limited slip notes, it is supposed to be a very nice panel, and it does support display port (note though, that you will still need an adapter to go from the "mini-display-port" port on your Macbook to the full-sized display-port port on this display)

However, given how cheep TN panels are these days, I think you should ask yourself, is it really worth paying double for better quality LCD panel? Unless you are really going to be doing professional level color correction, I think for most folks the answer is no, and any one of the many cheap TN-based panels that can be had for about $200 these days will probably meet your needs. I just bought this 23" wide screen Acer display from Newegg last week (With DVI, HDMI and VGA) for $169 and I could not be happier.
posted by dyslexictraveler at 8:35 AM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: Followup: Dyslexictraveler's logic was sound, I went for the same (£110!) Acer TN panel and am pleased as punch for the time being. Thanks everyone!

In a somewhat-related-to-the-original-question discovery, there appears to be a product called the Matrox MXO which will transform a mid-range monitor (Apple Cinema Display and the like) into a broadcast-monitoring monitor. I obviously haven't tried it out but it could be an option for cash-strapped color correctionists if it does what it says it does.
posted by timshel at 4:50 AM on September 28, 2009

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