Whether grading Rec. 709 or HDR footage, the colors of the Asus are too warm; and in order to calibrate the monitor, I’d need to shell out another $1,600.00 for the Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K HDR, with no guarantee that the colors would be any better. For only $1,300.00, you can pick up a 55″ LG OLED.
For now, that’s my recommendation to anyone looking to upload the occasional video to YouTube. If you’ve got a Mac, you’ll want to connect it to the Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K Mini by Thunderbolt 3, then connect the LG OLED to the UltraStudio by HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 cable. To use the UltraStudio, you’ll first need to download Blackmagic’s Desktop Video Setup. If you’re editing with Final Cut Pro X, set the library to Wide Gamut HDR and choose either Rec. 2020 PQ or Rec. 2020 HLG for the project settings. In the Window tab, select A/V Output and in Preferences > General the Blackmagic device should appear.
Turn on the LG OLED and enable HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color like so:
When the picture is first displayed, a flag will appear in the upper right corner of the LG OLED notifying you which flavor of HDR is being used.
It is also possible to click up on the arrow wheel of the remote, then press ‘enter’ to display information about the video.
Dynamic metadata through HDMI 2.1 is not available through the UltraStudio 4K Mini as of yet, meaning that HDR10+ (not an option on the C7) and Dolby Vision will only have static metadata. I only had a chance to play around briefly with the settings, but Technicolor Expert appears to be best for 2020 PQ and Rec. 709, whereas HLG seems to shine in Standard mode. If you’re editing Rec. 709, you’ll either have to turn off HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color or use another HDMI input. If you are buying one of LG’s more recent OLED TVs, CalMAN offers calibration software made specifically for their sets that works with a number of widely available calibration probes and sells for only $145.00. Unfortunately, the software is only compatible with Windows OS.
Aside from the colors, the Asus has far too many usability issues: the hood has no opening at the top for use with a colorimeter, meaning that the hood must be removed each time the monitor is calibrated; rather than attaching by sliding in a groove on the monitor, the hood itself is secured by eight or so easily lost little rubber plugs, making removing it a chore; the ports are at the back and underneath instead of on the side of the display, making them maddeningly inaccessible; although it’s got 1,152 dimming zones, blooming is very noticeable; the power switch and OSD are activated by reaching around the back of the monitor rather than having the controls conveniently at the front of the panel – and you’re constantly reaching around because modes must be changed manually each time you go from Rec. 709 to HDR10 to HLG (the LG OLED detects the signal and switches automatically); the picture is destroyed by aggressive sharpening that can’t be disabled; and the Asus has to be warmed up for an entire hour before color temperatures settle down. As if all that were not bad enough, Asus after sales support is some of the lousiest I’ve ever experienced.