Apple's Pro XDR Display is a Good Deal

The new 2019 Mac Pro and Pro XDR Display
Ryan Pratzel

At this week’s WWDC, Apple announced some exciting new products, specifically some long awaited hardware, the new MacPro. However, Apple also unveiled the Apple Pro XDR display. At $5,000 it’s not cheap, but this price is actually a good deal. Let me explain why it’s a good deal and why this monitor will help our team continue to create impactful videos for our clients.

As video professionals image is important. In the field we utilize high quality monitors and measurement tools to ensure we capture the best possible video. When you start with a quality product, you can edit a beautiful video. This is where the edit suite come in.

Many new projects we produce are being recorded and edited in 4K or UltraHD resolution. This means all of the video and motion graphics meet this resolution. We primarily edit in Final Cut Pro X because it’s fast, stable and it works incredibly well with various video codecs, resolutions, and frame rates.

Our facility has a variety of Apple computers, including the iMac Pro. In addition to the computers, several of our edit suites also feature 10-Bit, broadcast calibrated confidence monitors. We have monitors from both JVC and Flanders Scientific. These monitors help us ensure the video we’re editing looks great. All of the broadcast monitors in our facility are high definition. They don’t support 4K. (Well they do, but the video is down-converted to HD) There are 4K confidence monitors on the market, but they are extremely expensive. I did a quick check at B&H’s website, as of today, a Panasonic 31” 10-Bit 4K monitor is $10,000. A similar monitor from JVC that supports HDR is $8,500.

Now we can look at the Apple Pro XDR Display. Here are some basic specs that stand out:

  • 32” Monitor
  • 6K Resolution (6016x3384)
  • 1000 Nits of Brightness
  • 10-Bit color depth
  • Professional reference modes for HDR, NTSC, PAL, BT.709, Digital Cinema

As a computer monitor, the new Apple Pro XDR is essentially letting you edit on your broadcast reference monitor. If you’re a pro video editor just think about that for a second. A confidence monitor is a monitor the editor relies on to confidently edit an image. Quality is paramount when we’re delivering a cut to a client. While I’ve yet to see this new monitor in person, it sounds like it could be a game changer.

Yes the Apple Pro XDR is expensive, but when you compare it to other products on the market that do something similar, it’s actually well priced. (No comment on the stand.) Creative Liquid will likely invest in these monitors and the new Mac Pro and I guarantee many post-production professionals can’t wait to buy them.

One final note, you can still edit great videos with just a laptop. You don’t need to buy this fancy monitor. With that said, for facilities and editors who produce work for demanding clients this monitor should deliver. It’s an investment in the quality of our product and our commitment to our clients.