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Andrew Reid

LG Digital Cinema Display Review - 4096 x 2160 IPS impresses!

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The catchily named "LG 31MU97-B" is in fact not a submarine but a 10bit IPS 4K DCI display with 99.5" Adobe RGB colour gamut.

Is this a better option than the 5K iMac display? I think it could be...

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I love your quick monitor reviews from a budget indie filmmaker pov. Nobody else has that and you have to scroll through pages of gaming/photo/web oriented talk. Looks like a lovely monitor from these photos alone for so little money. 

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Awesome. I've been using 2 Dell 4K IPS panels now for a few months and there's no going back! Great color and res right out of the box. Blows away the old Dell Ultrasharps that I used to have.

​Which models?

The more we can evaluate the better.

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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1106149-REG/dell_p2715q_27_3840x2160_dh.html

This one Aaron? lovely price! Did you see a 5k Imac so you could reference to us how worse/better it looks overally for a normal viewer, starck difference anywhere?

​Yes that is the one. I have not seen the 5K iMac unfortunately. I can only compare to some of the best old HD monitors. To be honest I thought there would be some catch b/c it was so inexpensive, but I tried one out for 2 weeks, loved it, and ordered a second one.

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Still like the LG, but I wouldn't buy it again, LG seems kinda flakey to me. The panel isn't really firm in the housing, you can push it in and every now and then it makes a loud cracking sound, have never experienced anything like it before. Besides that I don't like the issues you have with 4K under Windows with a multi monitor setup (probably not LG-specific). Windows get resized all the time and the scaling gets fucked up regularly, too.

Next time I will save up for an Eizo.

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Still like the LG, but I wouldn't buy it again, LG seems kinda flakey to me. The panel isn't really firm in the housing, you can push it in and every now and then it makes a loud cracking sound, have never experienced anything like it before. Besides that I don't like the issues you have with 4K under Windows with a multi monitor setup (probably not LG-specific). Windows get resized all the time and the scaling gets fucked up regularly, too.

Next time I will save up for an Eizo.

​Eizo = rip off.

The build of the consumer LGs is indeed flakey, or appears so on the surface.

This one is different. The 4K DCI build is miles better. MILES.

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I have that one, told you about it in January or so. :P I find it sub-par. Try pushing gently on the panel around the edges. Didn't have an LG before, though. A friend who buys display technology professionally told me that LG has horrible service, that might have influenced me, too. 

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Pushing on the edges isn't part of my everyday usage of the screen :)

See what you mean though.

But LG + Philips along with Samsung are THE leader when it comes to the panels.

Happened to me by accident, but I'm kinda alarmed by the screeching noise it makes every now and then. Well, will have to wait it out.

How about the red tint to the sides, you have any of that? Oh, and I don't wanna ruin your experience, sorry if that's your impression. I'm just a bit picky, especially if I pay a premium (it's still a consumer display, I guess).

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I've recently just purchased a full 8 bit IPS panel which is the NEC EA234WMi. The colour rendition, gamma and viewing angles are great but contrast is appalling. It is better than the tn screens on my laptop of course, when I walk into a showroom in curry's, despite the heavy lighting, in what should be a black part of the screen the laptop screens still show a lot of light, the 23inch ah-ips panels from hp and aoc look gray but to a lesser extent.

You mentioned a contrast ratio of 10m:1 in your review, but that is a dynamic ratio achieved by dimming the backlight when the screen should be black, and has no effect whatsoever, most ips panels are rated at 1000:1.

My Ips panel also has ips glow especially at the corners which is really frustrating when watching in the dark, especially a cinemascope movie.

I wonder why va panels aren't more popular for computer monitors, they have deeper black levels around 3000:1.

Tv's have much better black levels than computer monitors since they tend to use va panels and have local dimming whether it's edge lit or the rarer fald.

Having seen LG's new 4k OLED however, it's ruined everything for me, every other tv looks appalling, computer monitors a million times worse.

If LG can create a 55inch Oled tv and Samsung a 10inch tablet screen, surely someone must be able to make a 21" computer monitor, or a laptop screen, I don't think burn-in is as much of an issue anymore, and computer monitors can be fixed more easily than laptop screens.

It's probably not going to happen anytime soon as unlike a tv which can still be possible, most people use laptops rather than desktops so the market for computer monitors is poor.

It makes me think whats the point in earning the money I have if I cannot spend it on a monitor with good black levels? My Ips monitor which probably has the same contrast as yours looks dull next to my tv.

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If LG can create a 55inch Oled tv and Samsung a 10inch tablet screen, surely someone must be able to make a 21" computer monitor, or a laptop screen, I don't think burn-in is as much of an issue anymore, and computer monitors can be fixed more easily than laptop screens.

​We're about ~2 years out from OLED panels being printed which will greatly improve manufacturing yields. Expect the market to be flooded by late 2016.

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I also have a very similar setup to your own as you described here.  I have the LG 31MU97-B, and I also have it connected to a late 2013 Macbook Pro.  Using the monitor in conjunction with the Macbook Pro closed lid and externally with BT Keyboard and Magic TrackPad is just so awesome!  I also have the iMac 5K Retina as well.   I love the LG 4K because for one, it provides 31" of display versus 27" of the iMac.  I purchased mine here in Japan for just under ¥120,000 which is a steal in comparison the USD prices which is current stonger versus the JPY.

We use 50Hz and 60Hz in Japan, with Tokyo area being 60Hz.  How can I confirm what display I am actually achieving?  I check system preferences and for 'Resolution' it only provides (1) Default for Display (and the screen fonts get really small) and (2) Scaled.  In case (2)  the 'More Space' (far right) maintains the same setting as I have in (1) with the tiny screen fonts.  I usually keep it set to the second from right option to have the fonts display slightly larger. But in any case, I don't see any where to confirm if I am getting 60Hz or not.

In the monitor's menu system,  Screen > Picture > Super Resolution+ > Middle.  Should that be set to high? low?  I am using Thunderbolt / MiniDisplayPort v1.2 out to DisplayPort on the monitor.  Should I use MiniDisplayPort to MiniDisplayPort here rather then to the standard DisplayPort?  I have such a cable, but when I connect it (mini to mini) the monitor returns a dialog of 'no signal' and then it goes black.

On a somewhat sidenote, I've been using my iMac retina as the primary machine, but increasingly am thinking to use the Macbook Pro with this external 31" LG as the primary.  The iMac 5K retina is not bad by any means but the biggest thing that concerns me is I am still uses spindle drive even if it is the fusion drive internally.   The Macbook Pro, where it might lack in specs (I have core i7 and max'd to 16GB) it makes up for any performance degradation by having the internal PCIe SSD rather then spindle fusion drive.  Any thoughts on that idea?  Perhaps the most processor / graphics intensive usage I might have might be running Windows 8.1 as a VM (Parallels) or editing in FCP-X.   Externally I have SSD over USB3 to make up for only 512GB internally. 

Apprciate your comments on the above if you have a bit of time. 

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​Eizo = rip off.

The build of the consumer LGs is indeed flakey, or appears so on the surface.

This one is different. The 4K DCI build is miles better. MILES.

​Eizo are not a rip off at all !

At least the CG series are not, if you need to be colour critical (and i mean critical, not "overall ok"), those are some of the best you can get for the money ! Can you elaborate why you don't like them ?

The LG you present seems very cool for a GUI display at best, but the backlight uniformity is atrocious, it really make you wonder abour about gamma and colour accuracy too !

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Does the colour match your macbook screen?

I find it a complete bitch to match colours with apple and non apple screens. I have an LG with Adobe software and the calibration never, ever matches.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

​Eizo are not a rip off at all !

 

​Yup. They are the most colour accurate calibrated monitors made on earth. Not for me though I guess it can be very appealing to highest-end productions. We're talking consumer panels here that work 90% great

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