DPI: Too High?

The real question with a 24” UltraHD display is how well can you see/use it at native resolution? To me, it’s simply not usable at 3840x2160 resolution without DPI scaling. If you want to try and use it at this resolution you can, but I imagine you will stop after a short period of time. Scaled to 150% (or 2560x1440, which OS X Yosemite also supports as an option) it is easy to read and use everything. With applications that support DPI scaling correctly, like Lightroom, you can also have elements that are scaled while images utilize all the pixels that UHD offers.

Talking to NEC, they also realize that most people will be scaling images on the display. One issue, beyond OS support, is that applications that use custom UI elements take more work to improve for HiDPI and UltraHD displays. Those applications that only use standard OS elements (normal menus, no icons or images like Photoshop or Paint.NET) can migrate to supporting HiDPI far more easily.

There are many areas where UHD displays, even a smaller 24” one, are very valuable for their larger screen area. Content creation, including images and videos, can utilize the extra space. Financial users, who always want as much data on hand as they can have, are another large market. NEC includes DICOM support so the UHD display works for examining x-rays in as much detail as possible.

As I mentioned before, SpectraView II now works with the EA-series displays starting with the EA244UHD. Compared to the PA-series there are a few limitations to what SpectraView can do. It will calibrate the grayscale and color using the internal LUTs, but your only color gamut target is native. Since the EA244UHD has a large gamut that covers AdobeRGB, this causes issues. SpectraView II will create an ICC profile that lets ICC-aware applications see colors perfectly, but non-ICC applications will have a blown-out gamut. Since the EA244UHD also has an sRGB emulation mode, you can still use non-ICC applications and get an accurate gamut, but you must do so without calibration.

SpectraView II also now supports the BT.1886 gamma curve that is becoming more common in home theater use. One feature I was hoping to see, but NEC says will not be there, is support for 4:2:0 chroma subsampling over HDMI. Since HDMI 2.0 chipsets are just now becoming available, fitting a 60Hz UltraHD signal into the HDMI 1.4 bandwidth requires use of this chroma subsampling. For video content this is perfectly fine, Blu-ray and DVD content has always used it, and some vendors have used it with HDMI 1.4 chipsets. The NEC does not so the highest refresh rate you can achieve with an UltraHD signal over HDMI is 30Hz.

Meet the NEC EA244UHD Brightness and Contrast


View All Comments

  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    He's probably referring to using 200% scaling instead of setting 1080p resolution. Reply
  • MykeM - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    Too high of a DP? Not at 183ppi especially when this is the perfect display size/density if you're moving from a 24" display @ 1920*1200. With he exception of getting the more preferable 16:10 display, this is one fits the "Retina" terminology perfectly. Reply
  • thewhat - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    I thought it was common sense by now that high PPI displays should be used with scaling...
    Yes, it sucks that a lot of software still hasn't caught up, but hopefully hardware like this will help to push in that direction.

    I wouldn't want to use a monitor bigger than 24-27", because that wouldn't work well for my FOV (related to viewing distance). So I'm glad there are sub-30" 4k monitors.
  • CSMR - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    The difficulties of supporting widely divergent PPI displays well are very large.

    Currently Windows has a single dpi setting per user, and that works well for most software.

    However if screens differ widely in PPI, then a single dpi setting will not do, but supporting per-screen dpi is very difficult. Imagine having two screens, perhaps a laptop screen and external monitor, one with low PPI and one with ultra-high PPI. What happens when a window crosses both screens, or is moved from one to the other? You cannot expect apps to be able to deal with this, and only by removing the ability of apps to control pixels directly can this be dealt with. So both the OS and all apps need to be rewritten, and in a way that is not convenient for many apps.

    Until then the solution is to have screens with similar dpis so that a single dpi can be set in Windows.

    That is why I would avoid ultra-high dpi screens unless I know that there will be a single computer connecting to it and that computer will not need to connect to other screens. Moderately high dpi is best because their sharpness is already excellent and you can set say 125% or 150% in Windows and still connect to normal dpi screens without much problem.
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 8, 2014 - link

    Win 8.1 does support different DPIs for different monitors. AIUI Metro/WPF apps have the ability to handle it built into their UI library; apps using anything else can either set a flag saying they support per monitor DPI or are locked to render in the DPI of the first monitor they open on and are scaled when moved to one with a different DPI. Reply
  • jay401 - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    That sure is an ugly stand for such an expensive monitor. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    The DPI isn't too high; the applications are simply behind the times. Software engineers should have had this figured out by now and acted so that UHD @ 24" wasn't a problem. And, scaling is only going of become more of an issue if they don't in the next few years. Reply
  • althaz - Friday, August 8, 2014 - link

    Agreed. Developers (of which I am one), have the tools at their disposal to make applications scale well. For the most part however, they don't and I'm really not sure why. Reply
  • MikhailT - Friday, August 8, 2014 - link

    From what I can see, it has to do with the custom UI frameworks. If you stick with the MS's UI widgets as much as you can, you shouldn't have a problem scaling it. However, if you're using a custom coded one, you're going to have a bad time.

    In Delphi for an example, some components would render just fine by setting a manifest on it but some components require you to give it custom scaling calculations to make it work. So, you can see different reactions from different components that were coded differently at different eras. For them, they just don't have the time and/or resources to figure it out as the market for folks with HiDPI screens are still a niche.
  • Penti - Friday, August 8, 2014 - link

    Plenty of Windows components still doesn't scale at all except bitmap. If the OS it self can't do it well why should anybody follow? Reply

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