Why I Switched to OLED for Grading

Even if you’ve only been inattentively following my blog, you probably already know by now that I’m pretty dissatisfied with my Asus PA32UCX: bad haloing in spite of 1,152 dimming zones; poorly conceived design (ports are all but inaccessible, the OSD controls are all behind the display, the hood is attached with ten easily misplaced rubber plugs instead of just sliding on, no opening at the top of the hood for calibrating); requires a $1,600 Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K HDR to calibrate, aggressive sharpening that ruins the picture and which can’t be disabled, inaccurate colors, needs one-hour warm up for colors to stabilize, poor after sales support… In the video, I talk about how I ended up using an OLED TV as a grading monitor, why you should too, what equipment you’ll need, and how to set everything up.

Incredibly, there are next to no YouTubers talking about using an LG OLED TV for grading video in Final Cut Pro – there is only one as far as I know – and that was sponsored content. Lots of YouTubers going on about Apple’s $6,500 monitor, though! Not a single YouTuber to the best of my knowledge talks about precisely what gear you’ll need and how exactly to set it up for color correction. That fact alone is pretty incredible in my opinion. If there was one, I would not have felt it necessary to make another video. My goal is not to persuade anyone to squander more money on the latest and greatest tech, but how to save money. Many already own an OLED television. Even if you’re grading on a lowly iMac or laptop, it’s extremely useful to be able to check how your grade will look on the best display currently available. And I’m 100% positive you’ll want to go back and make a few changes to the grade if you do! And if you’re a wedding videographer making tons of money, it doesn’t hurt to know how to set up an OLED as a client display, even if you don’t do HDR. All SDR content looks radically better on an HDR display. As for brightness, don’t be deceived by marketing literature into believing that you need a 5,000 nit display. 99% of all HDR content is capped at 1,000 nits!

At the same time, I can be assured that when I grade using an LG OLED with Technicolor Expert picture mode and upload it to YouTube, it will look nearly identical to anyone else in the world watching on an LG OLED in Technicolor Expert – the mode with the least processing aside from filmmaker mode – and it should look okay on a laptop as well. And I think I can confidently assert that an LG OLED is better for grading than the XDR, with its dreadful off-axis viewing angles and color shifts, haloing, exorbitant price tag, uniformity issues, the fact that it only works within the Mac ecosystem, along with the inability to even calibrate it – many of the same criticisms I level at the Asus. LG OLED suffers from none of the preceding. LG does reduce the brightness of static images in order to prevent image retention but I haven’t found that to be a real issue and in spite of which the image quality absolutely destroys the PA32UCX, which has no such constraints! If it does end up being a problem, I’ll be sure to mention it in another video.

This video is the culmination of months of investigation, poring over hundreds of articles and hours of watching seminars on the Internet and emailing engineers and is made with the intention of saving the reader both time and money sifting through tons of often contradictory or even erroneous information online.

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