Ever since LCD displays came out, professionals in the Video and photographic industries have not readily adopted them because they were not very good at displaying true colors. Over the years they have gotten better, but not until today did they have something to get really excited about. Today HP announced their new Dreamcolor LP2480zx LCD display.
- 30-bit and one billion colors
- 6 Built-in industry standard color spaces.
- HP DreamColor Engine
- DisplayPort 1.1, HDMI 1.3, (2) DVI-I, analog, component, S-video, and composite inputs
- HDCP support for protected content
“The HP DreamColor LP2480xz is the first display to be introduced under the HP DreamColor Technology initiative, a two-year technology collaboration between HP and DreamWorks Animation. The initiative aims to deliver accurate color that remains consistent from application to application, device to device and medium to medium.”
The display has 30-bit color accuracy (10-bits per color channel) and can display over 1 billion colors. This is a huge step forward from the current LCD displays which are only have 24-bit color accuracy and can only display 16.7 million colors. The native resolution for the DreamColor LP2480xz is 1920 x 1200 pixels.
Having industry standard color spaces built into the monitor means that no matter what content you are working with you can quickly and easily switch to the best color space. The color spaces that are available are NTSC, SMPTE, sRGB, Rec. 709, Adobe RGB and DCI.
The ability to switch color spaces is what gives the DreamColor LP2480xz the ability to show so many colors. As you can see from the charts below a typical LCD monitor covers very little of the colors that are visible to the human eye, but by using different color spaces the DreamColor LP2480xz can show much more of those colors. Even with all the color spaces there is still quite a bit of the visible color spectrum that is not visible in this display.
The DreamColor engine and the RGB LED backlight is what makes all the colors possible. The RGB LED backlight uses HP Tri-color LED Backlight and gives you a greater amount of control over the the white point and luminance. With the use of the backlight you can make changes to the white point with no loss in the dynamic range. The DreamColor engine provides accurate color management and color space remapping
The DreamColor LP2480zx DisplayPort 1.1, HDMI 1.3, (2) DVI-I, analog, component, S-video, and composite inputs.
When you first see this LCD you are not going to think that it is very special. It looks very similar to any other display you would find on a store shelf. It is a 24″ widescreen with dimensions of 16.7 to 20.67 x 22.24 x 10″ and a weight of 27.5 lb. It is almost entirely black except for the base of the stand which is silver. When asked why they choose 24″ as the size, HP responded by saying that it strikes a good balance because if it were any bigger you would either have to move your head a lot to see everything, or you would have to push it so far back on your desk that the text would be too small to read.
On the front there are six buttons. These buttons include the power button and all the controls for the color spaces and other menus. Because a lot of professionals like to use their displays in the dark, these buttons light up so you can easily use them when all the lights are off. Using the OSD you have control over the Color Space, Brightness, Color Temp, Reset to Factory Cal., Reset to Last, Black Level, Overdrive, Custom Scaling, Crop (L-C-R), PIP Control, Auto Adjust, H Position, V Position, Clock, Clock Phase,
Hue, Saturation, and Language. These settings can also be adjusted via the USB interface using color calibration software.
Underneath is where you are going to find all the inputs. Included are a DisplayPort 1.1, DVI-I (2), analog, component, S-video, and composite inputs. There is also another USB port down here. This one is used to provide the connection to the computer and power the other 4 USB ports.
On the right side of the display there are four USB ports. All the USB ports are USB 2.0
The base is fairly basic and provides the usual adjustments. It can tilt, swivel, pivot and change height. Here are the ranges for each adjustment: Tilt range: -5 to +35 degrees; Swivel range: 45 to +45 degrees; Height adjustable: 3.94″ range; Pivot rotation: 90 degrees.
Like I said before, looking at the display when it is turned off is not going to reveal anything special. In fact, you may dismiss it as being an over priced consumer LCD. You actually need to turn it on to see why it really shines. When you do turn it on you are going to be surprised, it also helps to have another LCD to compare it to.
In the pictures below you can see the monitor being used in several different situations. The first picture is of the DreamColor LP2480zx being used with Digital Photography. Notice how close the monitor displays the true color of the objects and the color chart. The reason there is a slight difference is because the monitor is set to full color, so what you see here is actually the worst it will get. The next picture shows it being used for video where the monitor is serving as a HD-SDI broadcast monitor.
Next, I have a few pictures with the monitor next to an Apple Cinema display. The two monitors are attached to an Apple Mac Pro workstation with a Y splitter for the video. This ensures they are both receiving the same video signal. You can clearly see the difference in the color. When showing Black and White pictures the Apple display looks like it is blue when compared to the Dreamcolor LP2480zx. Even when showing color, the Apple display is more saturated and the colors are not true to life.
The next picture shows the DreamColor LP2480zx displaying dark pictures. With a contrast ratio of 1000:1 this monitor does a really great job, even when you are dealing with dark subjects. I would love to try out this monitor with Doom, I might actually be able to tell the monsters apart from the dark.
I am very impressed by the color quality and features in the DreamColor LP2480zx. It clearly out performed other monitors. I Think we can all agree that this is a huge step forward for LCD technology.
Warranty and Support
The DreamColor LP2480zx comes with a decent warranty and service plan. It is three years parts, labor, and on-site service. 24-hour, 90-day, toll-free technical support. Replacement options may include second business day on-site service, or next business day direct replacement, at HP’s sole discretion. With direct replacement, HP will ship a replacement display product directly to you. Using the prepaid shipping labels provided, return your failed display to HP in the same packaging as the replacement. Obviously, Certain restrictions and exclusions apply. You should always see your product warranty or contact HP Customer Support for specific details.
As I mentioned above the Dreamcolor initiative, also includes printers. When you pair up the DreamColor LP2480zx with a DreamColor printer you will have a complete publishing system where you can go from raw source to printed material and get the results you want every time. No more having to print out multiple copies of something just so you can tweak the colors. This alone will save publishing companies a lot of time and money.
I can highly recommend the DreamColor LP2480zx for any professional who works with video or photos. In fact, I would go so far as to say this is a necessity. At $3499 the price is too high for consumers, but professionals will appreciate the price because they know that other displays like this one cost between $15,000 and $25,000. As time goes by, the prices will come down and then we can all have one. I cannot wait to get one of these for myself. I am so impressed with the Dreamcolor LP2480ZX that I am going to give it my Editors Choice Award. The LP2480ZX can be bought from Newegg or Amazon
|JusTech'n editors' rating|