In Review: Sony BVM-E171 Professional Video Monitor

Published on in Equipment / Tech Reviews

If you're like me, there's something to be said for using and trusting a great monitor. You know the kind of monitor what I am talking about. That one monitor you know is always right on the mark. That one monitor that reveals everything that you need to see in order to frame a great shot or to correct a not so great shot.

The monitor you choose has to provide clean, consistent images. It also has to provide reliable information that can be used to make good image choices. If I have to worry about the monitor being “true” that lack of confidence makes me nervous. But I had no worries here. The BVM-E171Professional Video Monitor from Sony rose to the occasion by providing outstanding results that left me wanting more.


The HDR Difference

Right away, I knew that this monitor was going to work out great. The model I had was HDR enabled licensed model and just that feature was fantastic. The ability when using the Sony BVM-E171 to compare and contrast a variety of shots with HDR enabled (with optional BVML-HE171 HDR) to non-HDR made the production decision much easier for me. Check out some of these great specifications.

  • Panel: OLED panel
  • Picture Size: 16.5" (419 mm)
  • Effective Picture Size (H x V): 1920 x 1080p (Full HD)
  •  Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Pixel Efficiency: 99.99%
  • Pane; Drive: RGB 10-bit
  • Panel Frame Rate: 48 Hz / 50 Hz / 60 Hz (48 Hz and 60 Hz are also compatible with 1/1.001 frame rates)
  • View Angle: 89°/89°/89°/89° (typical) (up/down/left/right contrast >10:1)
  • Luminance: 100 cd/m2 (preset1 to preset5 at EOTF 2.4) and 48 cd/m2 (preset (DCI)) (1.0 Vp-p reference signal, 100% white signal input)
  • Color Temperature: D55, D61, D65, D93, DCI, DCI XYZ and user 1-5 (5000K to 10,000K adjustable)
  • Color Space: ITU-R BT.2020*2, ITU-R BT.709, EBU, SMPTE-C, DCI-P3*2, BVM E171 Native, S-Gamut/S-Gamut3, S-Gamut3.cine
  • Transmission: Matrix — ITU-R BT.2020 (Non-constant luminance is supported), ITU-R BT.709
  • EOTF: - 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, CRT, S-Log3 (SDR), S-Log2 (SDR)
    - 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, CRT, S-Log3 (HDR), S-Log3 (Live HDR), S-Log2 (HDR), ITUR BT.2100 (HLG),
    - SMPTE  ST2084, 2.4 (HDR) when it activates the HDR monitoring features
  • Input: - SDI: 2 x BNC
    - HDMI: 1 x (HDCP correspondence, deep color correspondence)
    - Composite Video: 1 x BNC
    - Parallel Remote: 1 x RJ45 modular connector 8-pin (Pin-assignable)
    - Serial Remote (LAN): 1 x Ethernet (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX), RJ45
    - DC Input: 1 x XLR
  • Output: - SDI: 2 x BNC
    - Composite Video: 1 x BNC
    - 12 VDC Output: 1 x Circle 4-pin (female)
  • Power Requirement: 100 to 240 VAC, 0.9 to 0.5 A, 50/60 Hz, 24 to 28 VDC, 3.3 to 2.9 A 
  • Operating Temperature: Recommended: 68 to 86°F (20 to 30°C)
  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 11.3 x 6.3" (436 x 282.4 x 156.5 mm), Height without Legs: 10.5" (266.4 mm)
  • Weight: Approximately 14.3 lb (6.5 kg)

Putting the Sony BVM-E171 to Work

For a very sophisticated monitor, the Sony BVM-E171 was actually pretty easy to set up and operate. Several features stood out in particular. Due to my limited studio and review space, I did like the size. The BVM-E171fit nicely in the workflow I had set up. I did like the fact that I was using the monitor in this case for critical review work. The ability to enlarge images and get right down to the pixels was cool as well. Another nod to Sony is that I felt less eye strain than normal. A subjective observation for sure, but if you look at monitors all day like I do, you’ll know what I mean!

Other features include the ability to power the unit via DC and portability. Some of you might question why are those features so important? Here are my thoughts on that. If you are going to go all in and purchase the BVM-E171 why not use it on location? I would not drag the unit through the mud or let it get wet, but if you have the option to bring it why not?

Another thought is that I am all for the continuity of gear. So if you can be consistent by using the same monitor on location and then bring it back into post why not? Of course, another option that makes sense is if you can afford to have the editor on set, why not use it there?  

Lastly, as in with many other monitors in this category, there are user-friendly presets for color and white balance and the ability to save your settings to a thumb drive so that there is never a problem with multiple users.

The Sony BVM-E171 is a gem of a critical view monitor. Whether you are going to use it on a location for shooting or image review on in critical post, you cannot go wrong investing in good equipment. It is not a cheap monitoring solution. But then again, reshooting or having to redo anything is never cheap.

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About the Author

Mark Foley
Mark Foley
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest and most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at

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