Originally Posted by jonpais
Dual LCD and micro LED professional reference monitors are still years off. It’s all well and good to fantasize about upcoming developments in display tech, but studios needing to finish work for clients now don’t have the leisure to wait till 2026. hehe The new tech will find its way into televisions, tablets, watches, and phones long before it reaches professional reference monitors. And costs of first products will be higher, as usual. What many fail to understand is that, for example, OLED panels are not the same in monitors as they are in television sets and they’re produced in smaller quantities.
I own the Asus PA32UCX and am inclined to think that 0 nit blacks, 4,000 nits sustained brightness and 8 million local dimming zones are not necessarily an absolute requirement for content creation. For one thing, 1,500 nits is already uncomfortable to look at sitting a couple feet away from the monitor! In an age when reference monitors cost $35,000 and up, ~ $6,000 is a relative bargain. Off-axis viewing on my Asus is quite good and nobody in their right mind is grading footage at a 180-degree viewing angle. I would expect the XDR to meet or exceed the viewing angle of the Asus. For clients needing to see work in progress, studios can and do pick up 55” OLED TVs for as little as $1,500. As far as the number of local dimming zones goes, it remains to be seen whether double the zones means twice as good. It would depend on a lot of factors, including the implementation. Theoretically, the Asus should have deeper blacks than the XDR, as it has double the number of zones and 1,400-1,500 nits brightness. But I am inclined to believe that the differences will be negligible.
It’s not a bargain, it’s a massive waste of money. Because ultimately it’s just a tiny FALD TV masquerading as a reference monitor. No FALD display can hold a candle to the accuracy of an actual reference monitor, let alone even an off-the-shelf OLED in terms of pixel by pixel accuracy (not counting total brightness capability).
Even a regular LCD display with no local dimming will be more accurate
for mastering than any sophisticated FALD LCD. (Though of course black levels will suffer without FALD).
Imagine for a moment you try use the Apple XDR in a dark room to tune a space scene with bright single-pixel stars on a completely black background. At best, you’ll be aware enough of the technical limits of FALD and stop yourself before editing anything based on what you see from this monitor. But if that’s not your first reaction, then something even worse will happen:
At worst (and more likely) those who buy this will fall for Apple’s lies and believe this is a reference class monitor. It is not. It’s just a very nice FALD HDR monitor.
But without knowing the dangers of mastering on an FALD display, you’ll end up screwing up your content by either boosting or decreasing the brightness of the stars incorrectly vs how you would have wanted on a proper monitor.
Which direction you err will depend on whether their FALD algorithm prefers crushing blacks or crushing highlights. But you WILL find yourself wanting to adjust the image incorrectly
, since this monitor is not capable
of representing this kind of local contrast accurately: it will either add bloom, crush blacks, crush highlights, or some combination of all three (most likely) and your attempts to compensate for this will screw up the quality of your content.