HP has released an LED-based 24-inch monitor aimed at designers, illustrators, animators, game developers and other creative professionals who want to know that the colours they see on a screen will be the exact same colours that appear on a printer or movie screen.

HP says it DreamColor LP2480zx will deliver true colours because of its ability to display 30-bit colour, which can provide up to one billion colours. The standard monitor uses 24-bit color, making 16.7 million colours available per pixel. The 24-in. HP monitor includes a new LED backlight technology developed for it and has a list price of £1,760 plus VAT/US$3,499.

HP first unveiled the monitor in April at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) conference in Las Vegas, and said it was produced in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation SKG.

Much interest will arise, said Insight Media analyst Matthew Brennesholtz, is from professionals working in cinema post production, where monitors that displaying 30-bit can cost as much as £12,000. HP's price "is a major savings and Hollywood and the cinema and video industry would like to have thousands of these," he said, referring to monitors' 30-bit capability.

The display technology requires a graphics card that can support 30-bit colour; HP has been using one from ATI Technologies, which was acquired last year by AMD.

The strength of a 30-bit display is its ability to deliver true colours. That means a printer displaying a brochure or photographs on a monitor with this capability can be reasonably certain that the exact same colours will appear on the printed product.