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The Pro Display HDR… for PC

Right now you’re watching the very first Linus Tech Tips video in high dynamic range or HDR or if that you’re watching it in HDR if you’re on an HDR 10 compatible display and video platform. One reason it took us so long to do this was that we didn’t have the budget for an appropriate HDR mastering monitor.

That is until now. Introducing the product that we are both reviewing today and creating Today’s video on the Asus PA32UCX. It’s a 32 inch, 4K Mini led monitor with over 1000 full-array local dimming zones and support for HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Vision all at a whopping 1200 nits of brightness. But at a too expensive for normal people, somehow still cheaper than the Apple Pro display XDR price of $4500. Who exactly is this monitor for? The answer is fascinating. Almost as fascinating as today’s sponsor. The Aorus 15G, featuresIntel’s 10th Gen processors and is a pro gaming notebook with strong performance, battery life, and features. Check it out today at the link in the video description. (upbeat music) Here’s something fun let’s start with who should not get this monitor. If you’re a professional doing color-critical work, but you’re not doing HDR video. Or if you’re like a tech trendsetter showing off for your friends, then there’s no reason to buy it. Save your money graphic artists, buy a TV influence your gamers. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re mastering a $200million Hollywood feature film in HDR, well, it’s probably not wise to bet the farm on a consumer display. You’re better off with a SonyBVM-X300 mastering monitor or one of the newfangled ones with dual-layer LCDs.

This is for the inbetweeners, independent filmmakers, VFX artists, or even colorists or quality control personnel at large YouTube channels. Really? Which don’t you get any ideas? Other potential customers game developers who want to see how their work renders in multiple HDR standards on a display that can fit on their desk. Now many TVs would fulfill this function but think about it. A studio can’t exactly put a 55 inch TV in everyone’s cubicle. Though that may change with LG is new 48-inch CX OLED which is on its way right now. Subscribe for that review ’cause I’m excited about it. For now, let’s see what the PA32UCX can do. Out of the box with no additional calibration, our set performed, well there’s just no other way to put it phenomenally. I mean, we’re already used to seeing 95 plus percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut on OLED and other displays that have quantum dot films but check out this coverage of 2020. That is huge. In terms of accuracy, ours did over saturate blue and under saturated red a little bit, but it still managed to keep the delta E average under two. So we’re talking about deviations that would be imperceptible to the human eye. And if you want to go to the next level, you can immediately calibrate it yourself, which will be especially easy given that the North American models are gonna have an X-ray I want display pro calibration device right in the box. That’s a pretty good value considering that there are $285 on x rays store. Even if you don’t calibrate it right away, you’re gonna need to do it at some point, though, you might not know but monitors don’t stay tuned forever. And you should be recalibrating the modes that are important to your workflow at least every couple of months. One thing that’s cool about this monitor is that calibration profiles can be saved on the scalar’s integrated circuit rather than on the PC.

So you don’t have to fiddle around with any settings. If you move this puppy in between devices. Not that you would want to, the PA32UCX is straight chunk at nearly 15 kilograms including the stand, which by the way, I’ve got to say I’m a real fan of, it’s not sold separately and has a wide stable base 28 degrees of tilt, 120 degrees of swivel, 13 centimeters of height adjust and full 90-degree pivot both ways. The reason this thing is so big and so heavy is because of the backlight technology. The PA32UCX has full-array local dimming, which means that the lights are right behind the panel as opposed to at the edges. And it uses many LEDs, which at 200 microns wide are about a fifth the size of traditional LEDs. So this army of around720,000 little lights is then divided up into1152 dimming zones, meaning that in theory, this display should be able to illuminate objects as small as five millimeters wide while leaving the rest of the screen inky black with no halo effect. Now in practice, the blooming is a little bit bigger than that, but it’s still very good. And this is fun. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this before, but you’ll even still get blooming on an OLED display where each pixel is an independent light source. Turns out that’s because of something called veiling glare, which can occur in your eye. So to some extent halos are inevitable kind of light colors to Speaking of LEDs, the brightness of this monitor is something to behold. It holds vases displayHDR 1000 certification, which means that it’s to be able to hold 1000 nits across 10% of the screen or a full-screen flash, but it takes it to another level. Not only does it do 1000 it does 1200 nits and it can sustain that brightness across the entire screen for long periods, not just flashes. Now that will cause the display to heat up to the point where its cooling fans kick in.

But the good news is that in our testing, the monitor stayed pretty quiet even after 20 minutes of blasting pure white. So the thing is even though many movies are mastered using 4000 nit displays, there’s only about 20of those in existence. So more and more features are being mastered at 1000 nits which means that the PA32UCX can handle that nicely plus a little bit of headroom. On the flip side, for content consumption, Asus has given us three options for how to interpret HDR signals that contain values beyond 1200 nits. You can either hit the ceiling and display everything at 1200 nits, you can roll the top end off so that at least you get some gradation at the highest brightness levels or you can normalize the whole curve. So if you own this monitor, and you’re wondering what the heck these options mean, you’re welcome. One other feature that clutches when you need it is HDR preview mode. Now, Asus advertises this as a function that triggers all content to be HDR simulated. Which sounds like a weirdoSDR to HDR conversion that nobody should use. But it turns out it’s for situations where your source is HDR, but the metadata isn’t sending because like let’s say your SDI to HDMI converter isn’t passing it through or something. So this mode lets you manually configure the monitor to have the same settings as the source and force it to display HDR without a handshake, pretty cool. Now to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Apple’s Pro Display XDRhas some clear advantages, it’s higher resolution, it boasts a higher peak brightness, it’s software control through Mac OS is way more convenient than mashing buttons on your display. And despite having half the number of dimming zones, we observed similar levels of bloom looking at the side of our unit by side.

But the thing is, the decision between them is kind of made for you because once you plug thePro Display XDR into a PC, most of its benefits evaporate, plus it’s anywhere between 500 to $2500 more depending on the glass option you choose and whether or not you want a stand. The good news is that even if it’s not quite at the level of the pro display XDR it’s close enough that PC shops who don’t want to switch their whole ecosystem over to Apple and final cut have a legitimate choice. – [Man] Woo! – Which still doesn’t mean that I’m buying one for you. – [Man] Aa aah! – Today’s video is brought to you by and the Sennheiser PC37X gaming headset. It features angled drivers and opens back design and the drivers come from the same family as the HD 598 and Hd600 series headphones. It offers excellent stereo imaging and locational accuracy and comes with a noise-canceling microphone. They’ve sold over 40,000 of these things. And new users who sign up to the website are gonna get 20 bucks off their purchase if it’s over $50 which these headphones would be. So go check them out at the link in the video description. So thanks for watching guys. If you want the full scoop on the other pro display, the Pro Display XDR, go check out our complete review of that it is a fine piece of machinery as well.