Plenty of different monitor options are available for video editing. You can go for a basic, high-quality display, a curved one, or even pick up a tiny TV to get the job done. One of the more interesting options is an ultra wide monitor, like the Gigabyte M34WQ.
Still, even though they look interesting and potentially super helpful with video editing in particular, ultra-wide might not always be better. Matt WhoisMatt Johnson goes in depth on the topic while highlighting the Gigabyte monitor in particular. It’s a nice relatively affordable pick if you are curious about ultra wides in general and want to see a potentially good option as well.
Matt is approaching this review from the perspective of a video editor. Getting into why to use an ultra-wide monitor right away he explains how most NLEs have a lot of panels and information up on the page.
This is what makes bigger screens so valuable to editors. Moving to specifically ultra-wide displays, a large portion of editing is working with a long, horizontally-oriented timeline. With a wider screen you get to see more of it at once or view it in greater detail.
Specifically referencing this Gigabyte monitor is that it is huge at 34”. Sitting at an average distance you will feel that this display is large and requires turning your head to go from edge to edge – that’s an immersive experience.
Also, unlike many other ultra-wide monitors this one is not curved. Considering you might be trying to check and make sure your footage is straight having a curve isn’t ideal. It also can introduce color shifts or just make it difficult to perfectly guarantee your footage will look just how you like it.
Another reason manufacturers use curved displays is that they use a VA panel. VA panels are good at getting contrast, but are bad with color at any off axis viewing. This Gigabyte panel is IPS which has very wide viewing angles. There is still a subtle shift at the edges, but it is a lot more controlled. Just be aware that grading previews might be better suited to the center of the display, or you can center yourself to the preview window.
The M34WQ is an 8-bit panel, which is generally fine for general-purpose use. This panel will hit DisplayHDR 400 spec, so it can work with very limited HDR imaging. Still not good enough for high-end professional grading or any HDR work.
Fortunately, this monitor does calibrate well to the sRGB/Rec.709 color space. This is most online video today and means you will be just fine with most everyday work.
If you do film in 16:9 you will run into the issue of having black bars on the side. Not a big deal for most. But, if you shoot in a wider 21:9 aspect ratio you will actually get the magic of a true, full-screen image. If you love the widescreen look in your video it is nice to see them at their best.
One limitation of many ultra-wides is that they haven’t quite gotten to true 4K resolutions. This Gigabyte offers 3440 x 1440. It’s a decent jump over 1080p. It also means that it has a balanced size to resolution that shouldn’t require a lot or any scaling and the issues that can introduce.
As a side note, this is being targeted to gamers as well. It even hits refresh rates of up to 144Hz. That means you will be getting ultra-smooth movement as you work. If you game this is an awesome monitor.
The extras on this monitor are a built-in USB hub and KVM switch. These are nice to haves but maybe not going to sell you on it one way or the other.
The key limitation Matt has with this ultra-wide monitor is the resolution. Getting to view your 4K footage on a true 4K display is awesome. He actually recommends pairing a true 4K display with an ultra-wide monitor for his own personal setup. That might be overkill, but if you just need a solid display for your work in Premiere then an ultra-wide seems to be a stellar pick.
What is your take on ultra-wide monitors for video editing?
[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]
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