Ultra Wide 21:9 vs UHD 16:9 Monitor from an Editor’s Perspective – Which One to Choose?

There is a substantial reason why more and more seasoned editors prefer a single ultra-wide monitor setup that allows them to work more conveniently and efficiently in the editing bay. The useful screen real-estate is one of the essential factors when it comes to productive video editing as it gives content creators enough space to keep everything in sight. The more conventional 16:9 UHD monitors, on the other hand, are far more suitable for watching 4K content in its native resolution and typically sport higher pixel density displays. Obviously, the user experience on both screens is completely different as each of them provides unique characteristics and functionality on its own. So, when it comes to editing which one of the two monitors or aspect ratios respectively should you choose? Dmitry Novoselov of HardwareCanucks looks for the answers in the video below by comparing the LG 27UD88 and the ultra-wide LG 34UC98 in particular.

The LG 27UD88 boasts a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz and loads of professional features such as wide color gamut, 10-bit IPS panel, USB Type-C support, factory calibration along with free sync support for extra smooth visuals. The LG 34UC98, on the other hand, provides a maximum resolution of 3440 x 1440 up to 75Hz. It also features 10-bit IPS display and comes equipped with dual Thunderbolt 2.0 ports, two HDMI (ver. 2.0) ports, one DisplayPort, and a dedicated USB 3.0 hub.

As a video editor, you probably would appreciate more the horizontal screen real-estate that an ultra-wide monitor provides, especially when it comes to the uncompromising visibility of all elements on your timeline. Plus, such a display eliminates the necessity of dual monitor setup as it provides enough space for all essential panels of your favorite NLE. This type of monitor is also convenient for color grading, as it successfully deals with colour shifts often found with dual screen configuration, even when both screens are the same model.


Regarding media consumption, it’s pointless to say that all media that come in 2:39 cinemascope aspect ratio looks awesome on an ultra-wide screen. Unfortunately, all other pieces of video content leave annoying black bars on either side of the display. Considering the fact that 99% of the media available today has the ubiquitous 16:9 aspect ratio, it’s an important point that shouldn’t be overlooked before you make your final decision.

Furthermore, one of the biggest advantages of the ultra-wide displays, and the one of the LG 34UC98, in particular, is the higher refresh rate the monitor provides due to the lower resolution. You can expect such a monitor to yield up to 75Hz of refresh rate, whereas most current UHD 16:9 monitors can be cranked up to 60Hz at the most.

So, if the refresh rate is an essential factor for your workflow, the ultra-wide monitor is going to be the better option. Unlike its sibling, the LG 27UD88 display provides higher resolution, looks incredibly sharp and supports most of the UHD content natively, so there is no scaling or any other type of additional image processing involved along the line.


It’s also worth noting that the ultra-wide LG 34UC98-W is curved which is a positive feature in most of the time. But, when it comes to editing this feature could be a little bit distracting, as curved monitors tend to skew the lines displayed on the screen thus making things a little bit more sensitive in regards to line composition.


Ultimately, both monitors support 10-bit colour space which means that can produce much smoother gradient and more accurate colours. If you’d like to keep your setup simpler and more minimalistic than go with the ultra-wide monitor. But, if you prefer the conventional real-estate that every 16:9 display provides and don’t mind utilising two or more monitors for your editing setup, then the LG 27UD88 might serve you better.

If you have more experience with other unconventional formats and screen sizes, feel free to share your insights in the comments below.

[source: HardwareCanucks]

B&H Links:

LG 27UD88-W 27″ 16:9 4K IPS Monitor – $ 599.00

LG 34UC98-W 34″ 21:9 Curved IPS Monitor – $ 949.00

Amazon Links:

LG 27UD88-W 27″ 16:9 4K IPS Monitor – $ 599.00

LG 34UC98-W 34″ 21:9 Curved IPS Monitor – $ 890.99

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