Quite a bit ago, back on August 3, 2007, Alpha Dogs in Burbank CA had what they dubbed the “HD LCD Monitor Shootout.” This was a comparison of many HD LCDs…all presented side-by-side in a proper gray room, all showing the same footage…for people to look at and judge for themselves what is the best HD LCD.

The models displayed were:

TV Logic LVM 240D
Front Niche
Teranex ClearVue
eCinema DPX
Panasonic BTLH2600W
Sony LMD-2450WHD

Now, the eCinema wasn’t an HD LCD, but is what they call the “CRT Replacement.” And it wasn’t quite ready yet…the demo model didn’t dislay any real image. It was there just to show us that it could “do black.” Well, that it did. But priced at $37,999, that is a BIT out of the reach of most of us. This monitor is destined for Post Houses only…ones that can charge $350-$750 an hour for color correction. So I’ll leave this one out of the equasion.

Now, I have seen the Panasonic monitor in action at NAB and a few peoples editing setup, and I was impressed. But for this monitor shootout, it was REALLY CRANKED UP. Something that Terry Cullen (the host) dubbed “something you would see at Circuit City.” This was very disappointing to us, because we knew that the manufacturers representatives that brought the monitors also set them up. The Panasonic rep really did their monitor s disservice.

That being said, I would like to point out my favorites…my TOP THREE. The top three because these were ones that were easily head and shoulders above the rest. All the models presented were of the 24″ variety.

#3 – The Sony LMD-2450WHD. Good colors, decent blacks. Good controls. Off axis viewing made RED turn to SALMON…but, you get that with most (note I say “most”) of these monitors. This one goes for about $5500.

#2 – JVC DTV 24L1D. This is all around the best monitor I saw there. Good price range, decent off axis viewing (a little better than the Sony), good blacks, great colors. If I was pressed to give up my Sony PVM-14L5, this would be the monitor I would get, because it is in my price range…and looks very good.

But…the monitor that REALLY impressed me, the one that I would get if I could afford it, is:

#1 – TV Logic LVM 240D. This is a monitor by a Korean manufacturer and MAN, have they got it! This was an AMAZING monitor. Off axis viewing was by far the best. Very little color drop off. Great blacks, vibrant colors. Just an amazing monitor. Cost? $7999. Yes, a lotta scratch, but man, if you have it, get this one. I had the pleasure of seeing the LARGER models at IBC, and every one of them was just sharp. The 42″ is what I’d love to have in my bay…but the price was…a wee tad higher than the 24″.

So there. The best deal is the JVC, but the best of the batch (eCinema not ready for primetime at the time) is the JVC.

Oh, why did I mention “off axis” viewing? Well, this is because when color correcting with a producer or director of photography in the room, you both need to see the monitor, so it needs to be angled in a way that you both have a good view. But in doing that neither one of you is looking directly at the monitor, but slightly “off axis.” If a monitor displays RED as SALMON or PINK off axis…that isn’t a good thing.