The sensor sizes and resolution for digital video and film increase, but what displays for editing can be used when exceeding the full HD (1920×1080) resolution? Here are some opinions and examples.
1920×1080 Full HD (comparable to 2K)
For the penny saver: you could use a Full-HD LCD Television (LED) with HDMI to monitor your edits. You can get them starting at $600 via Amazon US (starting at around 500€ in Europe). Since you might produce for TV or youtube anyway, this might be the best way to go, since it is also a cheap solution.
If you need to have a higher resolution (~2.5K 2560 x 1440) the Dell UltraSharp U2711 27-inch might be the Monitor you are searching for.
3K Footage (e.g. from the RED Scarlet-X)
There is a 22.2″ LCD Monitor with the resolution of 3480 x 2400 pixels – the Viewsonic VP2290B-2 22.2″ and it’s twin: the IBM T221. That’s 9.2 Megapixels (!). The Viewsonic VP2290B-2 is available as Refurbished for $3.500 on Amazon, the IBM T221 is available used for $1.675.
You might still be lucky and get a bargain via eBay, though:
4K Footage (e.g. from RED Scarlet, RED Epic, Arri Alexa, etc.)
The EIZO DuraVision FDH3601 with a 4096 x 2160 resolution (2160p) sells for around 36.000$. You might be cheaper off with a 4K Beamer (Projector).
While the Sony VW1000ES 4K Beamer sells for around 28.000USD, the Christie Mirage S+4K 3D DLP Projector with 5000 Lumen sells used for $5,980.00 on Amazon. Still, the question is if you care about a second hand beamer: if you own 4K production equipment, you most likely have the moolah to get yourself a brand spanking new 4K projector as well.
5K Footage and above, up to 8K (e.g. from 5K RED Epic or 2x RED Epic)
If you want to go all way up to next-level 8K, you can get the recently announced 85 inch 8K Monitor. Make sure to already start saving some bucks, though.
Strangely, the trend of the past years seems to be in decreasing the pixel resolution on the displays (since there are mostly mobile screens deployed). We can expect a pixel bump in 2012 though, since the upcoming iPad 3 (and it is said also MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) will most possibly have Retina Screens with 2880×1800 pixel resolution (source: ArsTechnica).
Recommended Reading: make sure to read “The Truth About 2K, 4K and The Future of Pixels” for some background information on pixels and sensors.