At CES 2018, Nvidia announced a new line of gaming monitors designed to round up and deliver every single high-end feature you can buy in a monitor or television today. The company’s new BFGD monitors — the acronym stands for Big Format Game Display, obviously, and not the kind of profanity-fueled phrase that might lead one to label such a display a “BFGD Screen” — are serious business, as the saying goes.
All of the partner displays from Acer, Asus, and HP are 65-inch panels that support up to 120Hz refresh rates and HDR with up to 1,000 nits of brightness. The devices also integrate an Nvidia Shield, which Nvidia says will deliver Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube at 4K, plus Nvidia GameStream, and Android games and apps.
Supported resolution and aspect ratios are a bit fuzzy at the moment. Nvidia’s blog post repeatedly calls out its BFGD displays as being 4K panels @ 120Hz, but it also makes reference to 3440×1440 panels when it writes: “[W]e’ve been working for over two years with leading panel producer AU Optronics to create and perfect 4K and 3440×1440 G-SYNC HDR displays.” There’s no word on which models from which companies support Ultrawide and which are true 4K panels.
There are advantages to both formats, however. A standard 16:9 4K panel gives you native 4K content display and will show movies with no pillar or letter boxing. A 3440×1440 panel gives you a wide angle view of the action with better peripheral visibility for gaming while the lower resolution will help your GPU keep up with the on-screen action. Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference for higher resolution and 16:9 or lower resolutions and a wider screen.
It’s not clear if these new panels conform to the VESA DisplayHDR-1000 standard. DisplayHDR-1000 is the highest defined category of HDR displays VESA has released, and the reference Nvidia makes to the DCI-P3 color gamut further suggests we’ll see DisplayHDR-1000 compatibility as part of these panels (VESA mandates 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color space for all DisplayHDR-600 and DisplayHDR-1000 monitors).
Just a few weeks ago, we noted that we’re finally starting to see monitors that pack in support for all top-end features rather than picking and choosing which you get. That future is a bit closer than we thought, though between Nvidia’s fees for G-Sync hardware and the cost of a built-in Nvidia Shield (plus the inherent cost of a low-latency, high-end, 120Hz-capable, 4K panel), we wouldn’t count on picking these up at a discount sale. “BFGD” — the acronym that totally couldn’t be used in partnership with any kind of profanity to refer to the display — also couldn’t possibly be used to refer to the final price.
(Okay, seriously, we don’t know what they’re going to cost yet, and one can dream of $ 500 price points, but if they come in that cheap I’ll consider eating my hat).