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Seiki Pro SM40UNP 40-inch 4K Desktop Display - Seiki Goes Pro

Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Seiki

Introduction and Specifications

Seiki has spent the past few years making quite the entrance into the display market. Starting with LCD TVs, they seemingly came out of nowhere back in April of 2013 with a 50” 4K display that was available at a very competitive price at that time. Since then, we’ve seen a few more display releases out of Seiki, and they were becoming popular among home theater enthusiasts on a budget and for gamers who wanted a bigger panel in front of them. Last June, Seiki announced a desktop line of 4K monitors. These would not just be repurposed televisions, but ground-up designs intended for desktop professionals and gamers alike. The most eagerly awaited part of this announcement was promised 60 Hz support at 4K resolutions.

Just under a year later, we are happy to bring you a review of the first iteration on this new Seiki Pro lineup:

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Behold, 40 inches of 4K professional desktop display goodness!

Those with a good memory will recall that Seiki’s original announcement included HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.3 support. These features did not make it into the display we are reviewing today as the necessary scaler technology has not yet caught up to the demands of the feature set included with this panel. Seiki has promised a future revision of this product line is in the works and will include HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.3. 4K60 *is* possible, but with this model that feature is restricted to the pair of DP 1.2 capable ports.

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Specification highlights:

  • 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz (DP1.2 ports only)
  • 350 nits Brightness / 5000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Inputs: DP 1.2 (x2) / HDMI 1.4 (x2) (one MHL) / DVI-D (x1) / VGA (x1)
  • VESA 100 mm x 100 mm

Here is the full spec sheet from Seiki. More details are available at their associated product page:

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June 5, 2015 | 10:45 AM - Posted by jtiger102

Nice review!

Out of curiosity, could you game on this by sending it a signal lower than 4K? 2560x1440 for example. Would the scaler handle that input and would it look really fuzzy?

The productivity aspect looks really appealing, but understandably, the graphics horsepower needed to game at 4K is beyond me right now.

June 5, 2015 | 11:40 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yeah, you can game at 1080p or 2560x1440 and both of those scale really well; they don't look fuzzy, etc. We were really impressed by the scalar in this display.

June 6, 2015 | 11:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

was it capable of doing over 60hz at 1080p

June 9, 2015 | 02:21 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

With custom resolutions, yes. 

June 6, 2015 | 03:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You are forgetting its main competition!

Philips BDM4065UC 40" Class 4K Monitor UHD 3840 x2160 Resolution, Speakers, USB Hub, VGA, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, MHL-HDMI
http://www.amazon.com/Philips-BDM4065UC-Resolution-Speakers-DisplayPort/...

June 5, 2015 | 10:46 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

Wow- that is a big "almost" for me. I've been thinking more around 35" to 36" and HDMI 2.0. I'm with Allyn- the stand is also non-starter- but I assume it has a standard mount?

Regardless, thanks for the look.

June 5, 2015 | 01:17 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

VESA 100 from the looks of it.

June 5, 2015 | 10:48 AM - Posted by DieHard (not verified)

Why did you not mention awesome Philips BDM4065UC in the competition breakdown? That one is even sub-$1000.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/philips_bdm4065uc.htm

June 5, 2015 | 11:40 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Just no hands on with this one, honestly.

June 5, 2015 | 12:24 PM - Posted by boothman

Great review! I'm excited about 4K at this size. If possible, you should check out this one as well. Its the Korean version, priced at only $600!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMH-A399U-UHD-39-5-3840X2160-16-9-4K-LED-Monitor...

June 5, 2015 | 01:59 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

That looks like a pretty good panel for the money actually.

June 5, 2015 | 02:35 PM - Posted by boothman

Right! Highly considering taking the leap for that one. I've enjoyed the 1440p korean montior I have, but this was given such high praise by Wendell from Tek Syndicate and for the price, its on my list!

Unless of course I can win the ones in the giveaway ;)

June 5, 2015 | 04:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Teksyndicate makes Pcper look objective and unbiased. At least with Pcper, you know where everyone's loyalies lie (Josh-ATI, Ryan and Allyn-Nvidia, etc.) and you can keep that in mind when listening, but Teksyndicate will just shill anything they've been given, so their opinions are completely worthless.

That said, these monitors do look pretty good. Maybe they will kill those ridiculous ultrawide monitors since they are just as wide but at a more usable aspect ratio.

June 6, 2015 | 12:30 AM - Posted by Mark_GB

You will have to pry my 21:9 monitor from cold, dead hands!!

June 8, 2015 | 12:27 PM - Posted by sheady (not verified)

Yeah I plan to get a 4K monitor and run games at 21:9 letterboxed. Slightly higher resolution than 3440x1440 and a usable aspect ratio for productivity and video.

June 25, 2015 | 08:09 PM - Posted by Badharrow (not verified)

Have you been able to find anything on this monitor?

June 5, 2015 | 12:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does this monitor do 4:4:4 chroma @ 10 bit?

June 5, 2015 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It is straight RGB 10-bit, which is generally superior. You can choose 10 bit YCbCr 444.

June 5, 2015 | 07:54 PM - Posted by Basil (not verified)

Is this monitor flicker free, Allyn?

June 9, 2015 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The backlight is PWM, so technically yes, but it is fast enough that I did not notice it until I was measuring it.

June 6, 2015 | 08:12 AM - Posted by Desensitized Lemons

I would love to view a webpage in portrait mode with this monitor :)

June 5, 2015 | 05:10 PM - Posted by Poreman (not verified)

Allyn - Thanks for that great review!

Typically, how far away were you sitting while using this display?

June 9, 2015 | 02:25 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The typical distance - I did not put it any closer on the desk than the last display that was there. My eyes to the panel range 24-32".

June 5, 2015 | 05:44 PM - Posted by owcraftsman3610

Okay funkydoodle here. Can you split the screen with say 3840x1080 to game with and 2x 1920x1080 above or below that to monitor desktop or is it just a 4 way split?

June 5, 2015 | 08:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The monitor was nice but it was WAY too reflective for my taste. A monitor should have an appreciable amount of anti-glare coating.

June 6, 2015 | 03:23 AM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

Allyn, please measure contrast ratio and reevaluate where the monitor stands against IPS one more time.Nothing beats VA panel.

June 9, 2015 | 02:26 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

We did not do precise measurements but the blacks were noticably deeper than a typical IPS panel.

June 6, 2015 | 03:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is there an option to just run this at 1080p until I get a computer that can do 4K

June 6, 2015 | 02:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sure, and because the monitor's resolution is exactly 2x 1080p in each dimension, you won't get any scaling artifacts: each pixel of 1080p can be displayed as a 2x2 box of 4k pixels.

June 7, 2015 | 04:20 PM - Posted by Gunbuster

That's the theory, but often the on-board scaler doesn't actually do what you describe...

June 8, 2015 | 10:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I haven't had to much trouble using all digital connections. I have seen some of older and cheaper displays that had absolute terrible scaling with VGA inputs. I had one that didn't even seem to be able to handle the native resolution properly via VGA, but that was a while ago.

June 6, 2015 | 08:13 AM - Posted by BG (not verified)

You guys have any experience with the new Samsung JU6500 or JU6700 4k tv's on the market? I thought I heard Allyn allude to Ryan maybe having one at home in a podcast. Wonder how this compares?

June 7, 2015 | 12:12 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Somebody, please send reviewing request for this baby to TFT Central, ASAP!

June 7, 2015 | 04:19 PM - Posted by Psychor

In the past year or so I've blown through displays: HP ZR30W -> Dell UP3214Q -> ASUS ROG Swift PG278 -> Dell U3415W -> LG 34UC97. Now've you got me adding this one to my Amazon cart. Haha.

June 11, 2015 | 01:03 AM - Posted by Psychor

Well I ended up picking one up. Arrived today and wouldn't even power on. No lights or anything. Amazon is shipping another to me via 1 day air but I'm not holding my breath. I tried calling their "support" line... yea... don't even bother. I didn't expect much but they still managed to under perform.

July 2, 2015 | 03:31 AM - Posted by ryunohadouken (not verified)

There's an "on" switch on the power brick. It's set to off by default. There was nothing wrong with the one you had.

June 8, 2015 | 12:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i wot win the TV

June 8, 2015 | 10:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know if I would like this. I have a 30 inch display at 2560x1600, and this is almost too big for how close I like to sit. I think I would rather have a smaller size at a much higher pixel density. This display sounds like they just used the same mother panels as 20 inch 1920x1080 displays, but they just cut it 4x larger. This doesn't get you any higher pixel density. I guess I will have to wait for IGZO displays or something. I actually would like at least a 4k display when I upgrade. A 5k display would be nice.

June 11, 2015 | 07:55 PM - Posted by Glenwing

Thanks for the review. Do you know if the monitor uses PWM or DC for backlight control?

June 12, 2015 | 05:13 PM - Posted by tweek

What equipment hardware do you use for calibrating the monitor?

Thanks for your time and all the reviews

July 12, 2015 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Eric (not verified)

Does the panel use Single Stream Transport or Multi Stream Transport scalers ?

July 13, 2015 | 06:30 PM - Posted by josh dickens (not verified)

I just returned the Phillips 4k monitor, it was nice but when in windows on a solid color background when you selected a window and drag it around it always had these vertical lines above and below the windows that moved with the window. Even in Photoshop they were there.

Does this 40" 4k have this same issue?

August 24, 2015 | 11:04 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I only notice this effect when I am intentionally trying to cause it, and it only is visible *while* the window is being moved.

August 6, 2015 | 07:44 AM - Posted by Motagaly (not verified)

HI, did anyone tried this monitor in portrait mode (90 degree rotation) Don't ask me why I need it configured this way :)

My question is, did it stay the same 4k 60hz over display port on a mac, I have a macbook pro 15" mid 2014 and wanted to know an answer for this before purchase.

Thanks in advance,

August 17, 2015 | 09:44 AM - Posted by Armando (not verified)

Hello, how does "text" look on this display when doing 4K @ 60Hz?

I'd like to use this as a display for audio production work(Pro Tools HD 10).

Thanks!!

August 24, 2015 | 11:02 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Text is just as sharp as it would be on any other LCD, just a tad smaller as this panel ends up with a slightly smaller pixel pitch than most panels. In native 4k mode, there is no aliasing / resizing / blurring of the image at all, so cleartype works properly, etc.

September 17, 2015 | 09:10 PM - Posted by Geo (not verified)

I am on Mac Pro running the latest OS. I am a film editor and need true 10 bit 422 color. Specs seem to suggest it is a max of 1.07 billion 10 bit. I have seen reviews saying it is less. What is it actually for me? I am not grading but do color correct and need very good color. I like the contrast this seems to offer for blacks.

Also, I write a lot and you say scaling it not as necessary with 40 inches in 4k (really ultra HD) with little of no scaling. That's cool.
If I need to be able to scale my text is this also possible. Your thoughts for some one who also does a lot writing too?

January 10, 2016 | 05:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I DON'T PLAY ANY KIND OF GAMES. SO I AM WONDERING IT THIS WOULD BE GOOD TO BE USED FOR PHOTO EDITING WITH ADOBE LIGHTROOM AND PHOTOSHOP.

May 24, 2016 | 11:56 AM - Posted by ARMANDO DIAZ (not verified)

Another year has passed and I haven't heard anything about this display being upgraded(HDMI 2.0 & DP 1.3)

Anyone hear any news?

June 29, 2016 | 07:42 PM - Posted by jasaero (not verified)

Nope....but you can get a sister brand Westinghouse version of the same monitor for $600 now that has one HDMI 2.0 port and one DP 1.2. Rather than only DP 1.2 for 4k 60hz. Main downgrade for better price seems to be deletion of the PiP and PbP picture in/by picture modes...can only view one input at a time full screen. Seems to be a fair compromise for the price diff.

https://www.amazon.com/Westinghouse-40-4k-UHD-Monitor/dp/B015P70TZ8/ref=...

August 14, 2016 | 12:29 AM - Posted by Leeon (not verified)

Did this monitor achieve 100% sRGB Gamut

October 15, 2016 | 08:51 PM - Posted by Jim Liang (not verified)

Thank you for this thorough review. I just purchased the SM32UNP 32" version of this monitor, as it was $200 cheaper and my desk simply can't handle a 40".

I just wanted to say that the OSD color settings and ICC profile look great for the 32" panel as well- for anyone that's wondering. It now looks much nicer than my 29" ultrawide IPS that it replaced.

October 15, 2016 | 09:01 PM - Posted by Jim Liang (not verified)

Also wanted to add that my 32" can be overclocked to 1920x1080@75Hz, for those wondering. There's really not much information out there for the 32" model.

December 21, 2016 | 08:38 AM - Posted by J Jardin (not verified)

It would be amazing if you could spend 10 minutes and overclock the panels. This data is very valuable. For example the Seiki pro 4k can be overclocked to a whooping 78hz @4k over display port. It can also survive cinematic resolution at a much higher value than any existing panel (another test I wish you did). If you could pretty please give it a minute or two and get this information it would provide a lot of value. If you need help figuring out how to do any of this just send me an email and with a phone call we can get it done (nvidia video card). Thanks a billion for trying non popular brands, they are the only ones pushing the envelope.

January 2, 2017 | 03:22 AM - Posted by kangking (not verified)

just got this monitor used. used your color profile and settings. The only changes I made was left it on 9300k as 6500k made the greys look pink on my monitor.

I have a datacolor Spyder 5 pro that ran calibration from about 10 times on this monitor. All with different settings (could not get it to look quite right). First thing I did was try your settings at 6500k but since the greys looked pink i never came back to it. Last night i randomly loaded up your color profile with the monitor on 9300k. BAM. Looks perfect now! After me trying to calibrate it time after time and unsatisfied, I loaded yours and its perfect! Not sure how accurate the color is as the white balance is different, but from my perspective its as good as I can get it! I have an LG 4k monitor and with these settings I have to recalibrate that now! Wow!

January 2, 2017 | 03:24 AM - Posted by kangking (not verified)

by the way i achieved 100% srgb in Datacolor Spyder 5's calibration (but not using theirs using yours), Also tried to calibrate using DisplayCAL which did not work at all over here due to the white balance looking funny. Ran it 2-3 times it takes over an hour so I gave up trying to do that. Too much work. Your calibration is perfect!