LG and BenQ are the first two manufacturers to announce HDR PC monitors. BenQ’s monitor is the 32-inch SW320 with 4K resolution, HDR10 support, and partial support for the DCI-P3 color gamut. It is coming out it January 2017.
BenQ SW320 - HDR PC monitor
This is one of only two HDR-capable PC monitors announced to date. The other is LG’s 32-inch 32UD99 model that was announced just the other day. To date, HDR video has only been available in TVs.
BenQ SW320 is a 32-inch monitor based on a 10-bit IPS LCD panel. It can fully cover both the AdobeRGB and sRGB color gamuts but only 87% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which actually falls short of the UHD Alliance’s minimum requirements for HDR. However, these guidelines do not apply to PC monitors - at least not yet. It supports the HDR10 format but not Dolby Vision and HLG.
SW320 is designed for photographers and video editors. It features 3840x2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 1000:1 contrast ratio, and comes factory-calibrated to DeltaE <2 to ensure accurate colors. It can be connected via HDMI 2.0a, DisplayPort 1.4 or mini-DisplayPort 1.4. It also has a USB 3.0 hub, a card reader, and an ergonomic stand.
Obviously we have not had a chance to try any of these two new HDR monitors yet but as emphasized in the other article about LG’s model, we remain highly skeptic about reproducing HDR on an IPS LCD panel (unless it has local dimming). As you can see, the BenQ SW320 has a native 1000:1 contrast ratio, which is not a little but a lot lower than what is required for true HDR reproduction. Also, BenQ specifies brightness to 350 cd/m2, which is not exactly HDR territory.
Still, it is good news that HDR is finally coming to the PC ecosystem. BenQ SW320 will be available in January 2017. Pricing details for the US were not announced but it is said to retail for around £1500 in the UK.
BenQ SW320 specifications
31.5” IPS LCD panel
60 Hz refresh rate
350 cd/m2 brightness – 1000:1 contrast ratio
100% sRGB/Rec.709 99% AdobeRGB 87% DCI-P3
10-bit panel for 1.07 billion colors – 14-bit internal LUT