Thursday, June 21st 2018

Your 1440p Monitor Could Be Using a 4K Panel

German site Prad.de reports that sources close to monitor panel manufacturers told them that the production cost of a 27" 4K 3840x2160 panel is lower or at least equal to that of a 27" 2560x1440 QHD panel. This drives monitor manufacturers to use 4K panels in monitors that are specified as QHD - when panel supply is low, or monitor demand is high.

The sources did not mention any specific monitor manufacturer or model, but it's highly probable that some 1440p monitors in the hands of customers today use a 4K panel. Obviously you're not gonna get 4K resolution when paying for a QHD monitor. Rather the panel firmware is configured to report its maximum capability as 1440p, and internally scale the input signal accordingly, which may result in reduced image quality.
In order to scale a 2560x1440 image to 3840x2160, the scaling factor is x1.5. This means that a single pixel in the lower-resolution original image gets mapped onto one and a half pixels, which increases blurriness. This is vastly different to a 4K display running with 1920x1080 input, where each pixel simply gets doubled in width and height, so a 1:1 mapping exists and everything stays sharp.

When looking closely, visual quality differences could appear in text, which does get smoothed by all modern operating systems, though, so it comes with some inherent blurriness anyway. Media playback and gaming shouldn't be affected in any noticeable way. One potential method to detect such a monitor is to look for the pixel size specification, which should be around 0.23 mm. For a 4K panel that number is 0.16 mm, so if the specification of your 1440p monitor lists that number, it probably comes with a 4K panel.

The image below (by Prad) shows a simulated monitor test image, with native 1440p on top and 1440p scaled to 4K on bottom.
Source: Prad
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46 Comments on Your 1440p Monitor Could Be Using a 4K Panel

#1
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Damn. I was hoping you were gonna say there were people offering a firmware or software hack to make 1440p into 4k.
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#2
Vayra86
Oh wow, this is a new all-time low in LCD panel production lows, which already characterize the business ever since the first TN.
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#3
Basard
Damn, I'd be pissed if I had to deal with scaling like that. Must only be on the cheapest monitors or people would bitch loud about that.
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#4
Vya Domus
1440p on a 4K panel is going to arguably look worse than a native 1080p one. TV/monitor manufacturers always tried selling overpriced panels and technologies that aren't anywhere near as expensive as they make them out to be but this is on another level.
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#5
Ubersonic
Disgusting business practice if true. The manufacturers involved should own up and issue firmware fixes to unlock 4K on the screens or offer refunds if buyers didn't want 4K.
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#6
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
Some one will find a list of Monitors and a list of Panels then there gonna be a firmware hack / flash made available
( many will hope this)
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#7
kastriot
Well i guess i am lucky owner of HP Envy 32 QHD monitor for 2 years now :)
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#8
jabbadap
So just using custom 4K EDID won't work on these?
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#9
silentbogo
FreedomEclipse, post: 3859372, member: 38411"
Damn. I was hoping you were gonna say there were people offering a firmware or software hack to make 1440p into 4k.
It might be possible, but eDP scalers with 4K support aren't cheap, and the ones under $60 usually can do no more than 30Hz. 2k scalers are now relatively cheap.

Ubersonic, post: 3859415, member: 153458"
Disgusting business practice if true. The manufacturers involved should own up and issue firmware fixes to unlock 4K on the screens or offer refunds if buyers didn't want 4K.
dorsetknob, post: 3859417, member: 8331"
Some one will find a list of Monitors and a list of Panels then there gonna be a firmware hack / flash made available
( many will hope this)
Pretty sure that you can't solve this with just a firmware update. Not all scalers are fast enough to handle 4K@60Hz.


P.S. Good thing I went from 1080p to 2160p straight away. Even managed to overclock my monitor to 72Hz (can do FHD@90Hz, but no more...).
Posted on Reply
#10
W1zzard
dorsetknob, post: 3859417, member: 8331"
Some one will find a list of Monitors and a list of Panels then there gonna be a firmware hack / flash made available
( many will hope this)
The claim by panel makers is that they can't be flashed for unlock. Not sure how many times I've heard that :)
Posted on Reply
#11
RH92
What strikes me the most is this : " German site Prad.de reports that sources close to monitor panel manufacturers told them that the production cost of a 27" 4K 3840x2160 panel is lower or at least equal to that of a 27" 2560x1440 QHD panel "

In other words we could/should have 27" 4K pannels for much cheaper !
Posted on Reply
#12
jabbadap
W1zzard, post: 3859462, member: 1"
The claim by panel makers is that they can't be flashed for unlock. Not sure how many times I've heard that :)
Hmh, maybe it's TCON on panel which mandates resolution to be 1440p.
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#13
ubercake
I think I may have one of these. The reason I suspect it is the 4K monitors when released were said to display the full screen image as 2 images divided vertically down the center of the screen (i.e. two halfs simultaneously drawn). Rather than one full image drawn. Can anyone confirm this?

The reason I suspect my monitor is one of the 4Ks in a 1440p package is both based on the information in the first paragraph and based on the fact that on occasion, my image is missing a single strip of pixels in the left center of the screen; a strip of pixels from top to bottom. Though they aren't really missing. Upon investigation (moving the mouse or a window makes this more obvious), I can see the single line of pixels that should be in the very left center of the screen all the way on the left edge of the screen while the right half of the screen is untouched and rendered perfectly! To remedy the situation, I go into control panel, change the resolution to 1080p and then back to 1440p. On occasion, I even have to reboot.

Occassionally, this same thing will happen with the center right line of pixels which then end up at the right edge of the screen. It's one or the other; not both.

Also, I do not notice a blurry image.

It's crazy when it happens because when I move my mouse across the center of the screen I can see a flicker of motion all the way at the left or right-hand edge of the screen.

I found the pixel pitch listed at .233 so it must be something else... It's worked this way through a couple of gens of video cards (980s and 1080s) and the frequency is around every two weeks. Again, I can remedy the situation through a res change or reboot.
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#15
jabbadap
TheOne, post: 3859496, member: 83206"
DSR.
The opposite, rendered 1440p scaled up to 2160p.
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#16
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
ATSC/PAL ruining PC monitors...again. So disgusted am I.
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#17
GreiverBlade
"Obviously you're not gonna get 4K resolution when paying for a QHD monitor. Rather the panel firmware is configured to report its maximum capability as 1440p "
well .... not all are limited to their max advertised resolution :D

mine is a 1440p60 advertised but does 1620p75 at max, not totally a 4k (rather a 3k) but well ... :laugh: that's awesome for a "budget" QHD screen.
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#18
Totally
[Rant]Reading between the lines they're gouging the shit out of people who buy into 4k. Can't help but feel vindicated now for thinking everytime I read "4k, blah, refresh rate, blah, adaptive sync, blah, panel, more blah you should pay a premium" that person is an idiot. I can understand paying bleeding edge prices new tech but paying bleeding edge prices for stuff that 2-3years old doesn't make or shouldn't make sense but there is always some sap who pops out of nowhere crying but "but R&D."
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#19
bug
When you need the press to tell you these things, you suddenly realize how much sense 4k does at 27" when people can't tell their QHD monitors aren't exactly sharp. But everyone's eagle-eyed on the internet.
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#20
GreiverBlade
Totally, post: 3859587, member: 90126"
[Rant]Reading between the lines they're gouging the shit out of people who buy into 4k. Can't help but feel vindicated now for thinking everytime I read "4k, blah, refresh rate, blah, adaptive sync, blah, panel, more blah you should pay a premium" that person is an idiot. I can understand paying bleeding edge prices new tech but paying bleeding edge prices for stuff that 2-3years old doesn't make or shouldn't make sense but there is always some sap who pops out of nowhere crying but "but R&D."
well i will never say/write it enough... my actual screen hits all marks

-no gimmicks? check! (it's rather ... nice surprise when you notice the monitor is capable to do more than what specified for )
-good panel (IPS, resolutions, OC, okay reaction time)? check!
-build quality (more metal than plastic)? check! (outside the non vertically adjustable feet, although not an issue for me )
-excellent price without any premium? check! (well for a QHD IPS 32" that did just cost me 99$ more than a 27" FHD TN... hardly can do better)

-worldwide Disponible? *BEEEEP* .... actually that's the only issue there ...


tho i wonder if another brand has the same screen because i saw the exact same keyboard as i have from Medion but under Rosewill brand ... (only difference, need an extra software for macro and RGB parameter ... and foldable wristrest instead of magnetic, but mine has the hole for the same wristrest ) and at a similar pricing.
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#21
TheGuruStud
Basard, post: 3859379, member: 33749"
Damn, I'd be pissed if I had to deal with scaling like that. Must only be on the cheapest monitors or people would bitch loud about that.
Yeah, it would be apparent to any enthusiast.
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#22
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This is low. If I had such a monitor, I'd return it for a refund. They never stop trying, do they?

Now, if a 1080p display came with a 4K panel, that would be interesting, since the picture would remain perfectly sharp and it would reduce the screendoor effect. I'd keep such a monitor for the shear novelty.

This won't affect me, because I'm gonna jump straight to 4K when I'm ready to replace my main monitor. Now, if it uses an 8K panel...
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#23
TheOne
jabbadap, post: 3859523, member: 148195"
The opposite, rendered 1440p scaled up to 2160p.
I meant the downscaling of DSR may help with the distortions.
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#24
Vayra86
TheOne, post: 3859654, member: 83206"
I meant the downscaling of DSR may help with the distortions.
This is a very interesting thought to be honest.
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#25
Eric3988
What I don't get about monitors; you can buy a 4K big screen TV 50" and up for less than for a 4K 30" PC monitor
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