During last year HP presented a few incredibly high quality displays that are ideal to use by film editors and added a few new one recently. To learn more about HP displays, we had a conversation with Larry Mahoney. Larry is the worldwide product manager for HP’s performance displays.
CWB: Please tell us about the HP ZR24W Performance Display.
Larry Mahoney: The HP ZR24w is the sweet spot of our current ZR Performance Display offerings. It is a 24-inch diagonal display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. We find that customers in content creation and a lot of other fields really like this size. For content , the 1920×1200 resolutions accommodates Full HD content with extra room at the bottom for GUI elements like time sliders. Like the rest of the ZR line the ZR24w contains at least 25% recycled resin, and has an 85 percent efficient power supply. All HP Z Workstations have at least 85 percent efficient power supplies, so together they provide an environmentally responsible solution. The HP ZR24w also includes an 8-way adjustable stand, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA inputs and a very attractive US web price of $425.
CWB: Could you tell us a bit about what new displays HP has been working on and what do those displays offer compared to other existing displays right now?
LM: We actually just announced four new HP Performance Displays. The four new HP ZR-series Performance Displays are aimed at professionals in animation, game development, broadcast, computer-aided design, design and graphic arts, where performance and visual quality are imperative. The HP ZR2740w, ZR2440w, ZR2240w and ZR2040w displays come with light-emitting diode (LED) backlights for a slim industrial design, more robust colors and the elimination of mercury. They represent the broadest LED performance display lineup in the industry.
As I mentioned before, all of HP’s ZR series displays employ IPS technology for ultrawide viewing angles. The HP ZR2740w generates more than 1 billion onscreen colors for smooth color transitions that virtually eliminate banding artifacts. The HP ZR2440w, ZR2240w and ZR2040w show up to 16.7 million displayable colors. All four displays have sRGB-class color gamuts. The sRGB color space is the industry standard for web browsers, digital cameras and printers and also matches the Rec. 709 color space used for HDTVs and video editing.
To give creative professionals a complete experience, HP Performance Displays undergo extensive testing to ensure compatibility with HP Z Workstations and feature coordinated brushed-aluminum accents. HP Performance Displays easily connect to a variety of devices, with the HP ZR2240w in particular providing a full range of DisplayPort, DVI-D, HDMI and VGA inputs. The HP ZR2740w also features the HP Direct Drive Architecture that unleashes the graphics card to directly access the 1 billion colors available in the 30-bit panel.
CWB: So do these new performance displays replace the existing line?
LM: The HP ZR2040w and ZR2740w are new additions to the lineup, representing the industry’s first sub $200 display with IPS technology and the industries first LED 27-inch diagonal display with more than 1 billion colors. The HP ZR2240w and ZR2440w are newly announced and are positioned as the replacements for the ZR22w and ZR24w .
CWB: I noticed when I was doing some editing on the ZR24w display that you could instantly see that the image was much sharper than what people would see in broadcast, what gives the HP ZR24w such a quality image?
LM: The basic technology on standard monitors is called TN or Twisted Nematic. HP Performance Displays use IPS or In Plane Switching technology. This technology is used in places where color and wide viewing angle matters like HD TV’s. Images look good with both technologies when you look at them head on but when you look at them from an angle, the IPS display still has a quality image and but the TN the picture is corrupted, and the image is corrupted differently depending on the direction you go (up, down, left or right). TN displays are not suitable for creative professionals for this reason.
CWB: With IPS when you are working in a studio and the director or a producer comes into check the work; if they see it from a different angle they may assume that you will need to correct the work.
LM: Yes, that’s true that is absolutely right, the viewing angle makes a difference even if you are not viewing it at an extreme angle.For example, if you have one monitor and two people looking at it and they are each looking at it form a different angle. If the technical director wants to see the same thing as the artist sees then you need an IPS monitor The other thing about the ZR24W is that it has an sRGB-class color gamut. That means we target sRGB primaries right out of the box. The sRGB color space is the industry standard for web browsers, digital cameras and printers and also matches the Rec. 709 primaries used for HDTVs and video editing.
CWB: Please tell us a little bit more about different inputs that the monitor has and what they can be used for?
LM: The HP ZR24w features DisplayPort, DVI-D and VGA with HDCP on the digital inputs. DisplayPort is our strategic go forward interface between PCs/workstations and monitors, so DisplayPort over time will replace DVI and VGA as the standard digital interface for monitors DVI and VGA are included for legacy connectivity.
CWB: What USB ports are used on this product?
LM: The HP ZR24w along with all the ZR Performance Displays has a 4-port USB hub so that means it includes, one upstream connection to the workstation, two USB ports on the side and two more in the back.
CWB: I know HP has always been very keen on creating energy conscious products, how has this monitor been handled as far as saving energy?
LM: The HP ZR24w has an 85 percent efficient power supply, which again matches the HP Z Workstations, and means you draw less power from the outlet. All of the HP ZR Performance Displays incorporate HP Watt Saver technology that keeps the standby power less than 1 watt, saving energy costs.
CWB: You mentioned that the HP DreamColor Display has the advanced critical color features, what do those include?
LM: The HP DreamColor Display is defined by three things. The first is an ultra wide gamut; the DreamColor Display actually has the widest gamut among HP Performance Displays, covering 109 percent of NTSC. The second thing you need is a billion color panel; HP leads with three billion color displays, the HP DreamColor Display,the HP ZR30w and the new HP ZR2740w. The benefit of 30-bit color is very smooth color transitions which virtually eliminate contour banding. The final thing is the HP DreamColor Engine and only the DreamColor Display has that. The DreamColor Engine allows to you pick from any five industry standard color spaces with the press of a button and gives you very easy to use and accurate color.
CWB: Could someone who is doing 3-D animation work get the right results when they only spend $425 for the ZR24w or even $289 for the ZR22w?
LM: Yes, both the HP ZR22W and the ZR24W target sRGB/Rec 709 out of the box. The DreamColor Display has higher accuracy, but for a price conscious system for editing the ZR22w and ZR24w are both excellent choices. Additionally, we expect the new HP ZR2240w ($289) and ZR2440w ($425) LED IPS monitors to be very popular in the space, as well.
CWB: There are two systems that are offering HDMI connections, are they switchable HDMI connections?
LM: The HP DreamColor LP2480zx, HP ZR2440w and HP ZR2240w Displays all have separate HDMI inputs. You can select from any of the inputs with front panel controls.
CWB: What are the variations of the sizes are available?
LM: The HP Performance Display series includes the new HP ZR2040w, ZR2240w, ZR2440w, and ZR2740w, in addition the HP ZR30w and the LP2480zx DreamColor Display will continue to be part of the family. Customers can choose from a range of sizes – 20-, 21.5-, 24-, 27- and 30-inch diagonal screens – and resolutions ranging from 1,600 x 900 to 2,560 x 1,600, with the HP ZR2240w and ZR2440w providing 2-million-to-1 dynamic contrast ratios.