Cubase and 4K monitors?

I have been drooling at the prospect of getting a 4K monitor mainly for the huge bump in usability I would get in Cubase 7. I have two 23" HD monitors but it’s still pretty awkward. With 4K you’d get the equivalent of four of these things in a matrix without bezels. The prices of the 4K’s have come down, from $15k to $8K and now Sharp is offering one for $3.5K.

Then out of nowhere a Chinese manufacturer, Seiki, has a 39" 4K monitor on Amazon for $700(!!!)

The reviews look good, the price is right.

But has anyone tried it with Cubase yet? I see no reason it wouldn’t work, but has anyone actually checked it out?

•3840 x 2160 :stuck_out_tongue:

The question is what port type they are using for the 3840x2160 support.

well that didn’t take long to google… the biggest issue for PCs is that currently the HDMI 1.4 specs for the vast majority of video cards for PCs are stuck at 30hz.

That should work okish for Cubase, unless you are doing video. Scrolling playback or even rapid scrubbing may be problematic.

Also, font scaling and bitmap scaling could be an issue (of course Mac dudes are already dealing with this with “retina” displays)

I’ve heard 30 HZ is a problem for gamers but for Cubase? Has anyone any experience with this being an issue?

The monitor in question Uses HDMI.

HDMI will not be 2k or 4k unless the video card supports it, which most won’t.

30hz will work for many parts of Cubase. It will suck if you are scoring video, and scrubbing and/or high speed scrolling could be an issue.

Then again, you have the generic font and bitmap scaling issues.

I understand that NVIDIA 6X cards are capable of supporting that resolution. The speed issues are not much of a concern as I don’t do video editing, scrubbing, etc. Nor am I a gamer. I want real estate, not speed.

What is the nature of potential issues with fonts?

it’s just typical stuff where not all fonts will scale to a readable format at those resolutions.

Can you explain font scalability as a problem? I thought that a 4K monitor would have the same pixel density (ppi) as my HD monitors but 4X the screen real estate.

think about what you just wrote

It seems to me that the fonts which are made up of pixels occupy the same screen real estate (physical size)on a 4K as on an HD monitor.

If this wrong could you please explain?

it depends on the type of font … just ask all the retina display people how a lot of apps are rendering for them.

so fonts that fully scale such as truetype … have a min max ratio … they will fill the same number of pixels but as a ratio. The denser the pixel space, the more warped the perspective gets, the blockier the font looks.

Non-scaling fonts that are prerendered at various points sizes have a different version of that problem. They only get so small or so big. And as the applications scale the dynamic background, the fonts start bleeding all over everything.

EDIT: It really has to do with how the font gets rendered before display and if that will translate to the pixel density that the video card and OS rendering system support.


Interesting topic. Now I’m using Dell 2560x1440 pixels. Its good to see more (real estate). But not everything is perfect. Look at screens. Mix console stretched to full scale and sized to smaller. I decide to make it smaller because when every modules are on the screen is a mess to my eyes…

Full screen:


What are you favorite ?

Yeah, I see it now. Don’t think It’ll bother me though as I don’t wan’t the Console (for example) to be bigger. I just want more space for all the other windows, VST instruments especially.

Dislayport supports 3840 × 2160 × 30 bpp @ 60 Hz, HDMI does support 4096×2160 24bpp @ 60 but only if you have HDMI 2, none of the budget 4k TV’s support either of these standards, so far.

It doesn’t matter, if the software doesn’t handle font scaling for that resolution it will look anywhere from weird to unreadable, even if you have it taking up the same screen area as before. It’s the pixel density that is the problem. Again, it’s only some applications … and a major pain for web stuff.

Just as an example of the problem… let’s take our beloved new Mixer;

It is clearly designed to be scale-able. Good for the Borgz right? errr… that depends. If the designer are all scaling for pixel density on a 15" laptop screen at say 1400x900, that does not account for 3840x2160 at all. It might look fabulous on the laptop and be absolutely unreadable squiggles with the squiglled words all over the bounderies of the boxes they are supposed to be in at 3840x2160.

This is enlightening. I doubt that 30 vs 60 hz makes a diff to me, but if there is a scaling problem…

Or is there? Is C7 scaled for a small laptop display? If so the Console looks great at 1920X1080, a resolution which is so widespread I’m questioning the idea that Steinberg didn’t test it .

What I am looking for is someone who has actually USED C7 on a 4K monitor, not just opinions. Anyone? So far no takers.

I’d love to have a 3840X2160 monitor, but I don’t want to be the first one in the pool when nobody has checked for sharks yet.

It makes a huge difference, using 30Hz for any lenght of time is tiring

What I am looking for is someone who has actually USED C7 on a 4K monitor, not just opinions. Anyone? So far no takers.

Given that the cheapest 4k monitors are around 4000 euros I doubt many, or any, are using it as cubase monitors (the budget TV’s will not really make it as monitors due to lack of suitable interfaces, which will also limit their effectiveness as 4kTV’s or with UHD discs in the future, only the Sony TV’s are suitable as monitors and they are expensive)

I have used Cubase 6x with an IBM T221 at 3840x2400 (WQUXGA), actually a slightly higher resolution than 4k, a few items became too small for comfort but that monitor is fairly small, I imagine that with a monitor that is a whopping 80cm from corner to corner (ca 31") like those cheap 4k monitors this will not be an issue, and with Steinberg slowly but surely making the program scalable this will not be an issue in the future, regardless of resolution.

The Sony 4Ks are only 30Hz at 3840x2160 as well, because they only have HDMI 1.4 inputs. HDMI 2.0 is not likely to be out until later this year or into next. Then you have to wait until there are TVs that will handle it. LG has promised that their 4K TVs will be hardware upgradable to HDMI 2.0, but they are even more expensive than the Sony’s.

(Unfortunately, the Sonys have their fancy speakers at the sides, extending the width considerably. They might sound great, but they might not be comparable – in performance or familiarity – to the nearfield monitors you have now.)

We watch BluRays on our TVs at 24Hz, so Cubase’s fairly static display should not be a problem. If you do video, I suggest putting its window on its own display. No point in paying to make your video handle your whole 4K display when only a small part of it requires the performance - subcontract out your video to a cheap small TV, or if the 4K you get can handle picture-in-picture (Seikis can’t, and on some TVs, the antenna has to be one of the sources), feed one of the video card’s outputs with the video window into it as a ‘separate’ monitor.

As for font scaling and comparisons to ‘retina’ displays, if the pixels on the 4K monitor are roughly the same size as on the current monitors, there is NO ISSUE with scaling, because there is no need to scale. A 40" 4K TV is like 4 x 20" 1920x1080 monitors, and a 50" is like 4 x 25". The pixels sizes would only be a few % different in size to most monitors, and hence neither of these would require scaling for use with computers.

The issue with retina displays is that the pixels are much smaller than on normal monitors, because they are meant to be too small to be seen individually, but this conflicts with OSs like Windows and OSX, that have relied upon the pixels being sharply seen so that text can be readable. Instead, all dialogs and icons end up being tiny, and hence the requirement for everything to be scaled up so that they look like the size we are used to.

We are keenly interested in going 4K, but ideally we would want to be able to use them as TVs as well, reducing monitors and a TV to one. While the Seikis have been praised for the look of their 4K screens, they are not so keenly received as to their standard Full HD performance. However, their price is low enough (especially compared to my Dell 30"s) that they could be used as monitors for a year while the market sorts itself out. 4K is twice the pixels that each Dell 30" (2560x1600) has, but one large monitor is way more flexible.

Now we just have to wait until they (or reasonable ones from another Chinese OEM) are available in Australia.