Testing 4K Monitors for Surveillance

Author: Derek Ward, Published on Jun 19, 2014

4K televisions and monitors are becoming increasingly available and affordable. 

We tested a 4K monitor vs a 1080p one.

For testing, we purchased a 39" 4K Seiki SE39UY04 for ~$400 USD online, which is one of the lowest priced 4K displays available. We compared differences in quality versus a 40" Seiki 1080p monitor for ~$200.

Below, we have the two monitors set up in our office displaying surveillance feeds side by side:

We tested single camera views, 2x2 and 4x4 views with cameras ranging from 1080p to 10MP. We had a focus group of surveillance and non-surveillance specialists view the 2 monitors to provide feedback.

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Comments (6)

Great and relevant report. Thanks!

You should try the monitor with Apple's latest 10.9.3 update to OS X. Supposedly they made huge improvments that helps with display scaling that benefits the viewing of a 4K monitor. Aside from that, any monitor under a $1,000 will have a cheap pannel. But at this time and date, I would say none of this matters. Try the test again in 2-4 years. Right now, 4k is marketed, but the full spectrum of parts for everything is not there yet. Right now, it is about making the quick buck with early adopters.

Update - Link

Derek,

I agree with your conclusions. 40" is just too small to take advantage of the increased pixel count anyway.

There have been a number of studies done in consumer electronics (TV displays) which basically point out that, if you are unable to discern the individual pixels of a display, increasing the pixel count yields zero benefit.

4k monitors will shine for very large or very close-to-viewer displays but their resolution increase is lost for most applications.

This is a Ultra HD TV, are you sure that it does not do any image processing on the incomming signal? Some TV's do.

I have read some recommendations to turn the sharpness all the way down when using this display for PC to create a sharper image for text. Was the sharpness or any settings on the display modified for the test?

Andrew, thank you for your question.

The sharpness of both monitors was left at the default 50. The brightness, color, and saturation were slightly altered to match each other.

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