When Sony asked if I wanted to review this gem of a professional video monitor, I wasn’t really sure in which realm of production I wanted to work in. Should the Sony PVM-X2400 be my set check down monitor? Or maybe I should think of it as a post production monitor as in editing/color/scene corrections?
What would you say if I told you that the Sony PVM-X2400 would be an excellent choice for an “on set” monitor, while also working like a charm in the edit/color correct suite? This is quite a true statement actually.
Needless to say I have looked at literally thousands of monitors, (yes, thousands) over many years of life and the Sony PVM-X2400 is one of the best I have seen. Even though I am not a professional colorist (those folks have way too much patience for me) my use of the Sony PVM-X2400 as my primary edit monitor did leave me quite impressed.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s get into some of the things that make the Sony PVM-X2400 a cut above the rest.
Built to Last
This truly is a “professionals” Professional Monitor—from the metal body, to the back panels, to the connectors, I don’t think there is a weak link. The mere fact that the unit even had a built in carrying handle spoke volumes to me. Why does that matter? Ever been on a shoot and you are trying to set up and you are the one schelping gear all over the place? When we had to break down one set up and had to move pretty quick, I had total confidence picking the Sony PVM-X2400 by that one handle and walking all the way across the ball field for the next set up.
There were other things that may seem unimportant until they do become important. Things that I came to appreciate on both the shooting days and in the edit suite. The Sony PVM-X 2400 was pretty quiet on location for the most part and generated very little heat over some pretty long days. Seriously, who wants to worry about a noisy monitor overheating?
Overall, I would rate the Sony PVM-X2400 very highly in quality. I didn’t have the unit that long but I would be willing to say that it would be a good investment.
Under the Hood
What does the Sony PVM-X2400 have under the hood? Let’s take a look.
The PVM-X2400 has a UHD 4K display resolution and supports 4K and HD signals via four SDI inputs and an HDMI input. You can also create a quad-view of four HD signals for comparisons. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try that feature out because I ran out of signals.
However, each signal can have a different EOTF and different LUT applied. An HDR workflow is supported by a 1000 cd/m² brightness and wide color gamut. A wide range of supported HDR EOTFs include 2.4 (HDR), ITU-R BT.2100 (HLG), SMPTE ST2084, S-Log3, and S-Log3 (Live HDR).
The PVM-X2400 also supports a wide color gamut. By design, it replicates the same color space as that of Sony’s BVM-series monitors, including the Trimaster BVM-HX310 color grading master monitor.
With spot on accurate color reproduction between the two types, content creators can be confident that the stuff they shoot on the will be what they get in the edit suite.
Check out this excellent end user story from Sony that does a really good job of explaining how the PVM-X2400 can work in the post and color grading workflow.
The monitor provides two 12G/6G-SDI and two 3G-SDI inputs in addition to an HDMI input. This enables support for a 4K signal using a single cable. The inputs also support four 3G quad-link inputs for 4K, four independent HD inputs, or four HD signals fed to quad-view display.
The monitor also supports 3D user LUTs in .cube 33x33x33 and 17x17x17 formats. LUT files can be loaded via the USB port located at the front of the monitor. Up to 30 files can be stored. A user LUT can also be applied to signals connected over HDMI. I know a lot of people that build their own luts will like that feature.
The Video Payload Identifier (VPID) is ancillary data that can be set in the SDI input signal to assist a device to quickly decode the incoming video format. It is part of the SMPTE ST352 standard and is used to identify video format, color encoding, colorimetry, aspect ratio, and other factors. If a signal contains VPID data and the VPID feature is switched on, the PVM-X2400 monitor will automatically detect the flag and set monitor settings such as EOTF, RGB range, color space, and matrix to display the content correctly.
Of course I saved the best for last, because these are some of my favorite features!
The PVM-X2400 provides internal scopes that can be used to measure and verify incoming signals. From my perspective these were some of my most favorite(and useful) features. These include: waveform (Luma (Y), RGB parade, YCbCr parade, and RGB overlay), SDR/HDR scales, vectorscope, and audio level meters, and all can be displayed simultaneously. Scope position is also selectable, but I was quite happy with my scopes down in the left hand corner of the display.
I really liked how the PVM-X2400 is laid out for “real professional users”. The push button menu was the easiest and fastest. At first I thought the monitor would be too small but for what I was doing it worked out just fine. Some of you will moan about the price. Yes, it is moderately expensive. But as I have always said, you need to figure out what will work best for you—both in the field and in the edit suite. I might not be a colorist, but I know a good monitor value when I see one.
As a shooter, and in the edit bay, I go by a few basic rules. When I am shooting can I “trust” my monitor to show me an accurate representation of what I am shooting. If I don’t have confidence in the monitor my whole day can become shaky. In the suite I want to know that the monitor will provide a faithful color reproduction. Based on my experience with the Sony PVM-X2400, I believe what you shoot and see in the field will be what you see in the edit/color suite.
About Mark Foley
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB.com. He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest and most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.