Choosing a Broadcast Monitor

Posted By Tom Cropper on 06 May 2014

Posted in Used Equipment Buyers Guides

There are many things to consider when choosing a broadcast monitor. Ultimately, the decision will come down to both what the buyer’s specific needs are as well as their budget.

One important factor is obsolescence, which refers to the longevity of the broadcast monitor. Monitors that have already become obsolete will not be useful in the industry. Complete obsolescence will be preceded by a gradual decline in popularity as new technologies such as LCD and HD change the industry rapidly.  


While it is tempting to jump on board with new technology right away, some caution should be taken. After all, LCD is not right for every business, and the format has experienced its own problems and setbacks with aspects such as black lack, view angle and colorimetry. Newer LCDs may no longer have these problems.


High definition, or HD, is another hot new technology of the moment, providing a far higher resolution than SD, standard definition. HD has a big advantage over digital television, because it has a resolution of 1,080 or 720 lines, whereas digital only has a resolution of 480 or 576 lines.

1080 Resolution

At 1080 resolution, HD can have either a progressive or interlaced scanning type. Progressive scanning is used in most HD monitors, while SD monitors can only display interlaced scanning. Progressive scanning requires higher bandwidth than interlaced video, though progressive does have the advantage of producing clearer and faster results when scaling to a higher resolution.

People who choose to stick to an SD broadcast monitor will probably want to get a CRT. CRTs provide excellent color and a low black level, and the color range is still exceptional on these monitors. In addition, there is no input lag and very little distortion of elements such as color, saturation, contrast or brightness. However, they can suffer some screen burn and may be larger than newer technology.