Roland Wooster, Chairman, Display Performance Metrics Task Group, VESA
Have you shopped for a new PC display and been confused by all the brands and labels available? The PC display market has evolved rapidly in recent years, with new technologies and capabilities like HDR, motion blur reduction and ultra-high variable refresh rates being introduced at a rapid rate. However, when it comes to choosing a display, consumers are often at a disadvantage. Several monitors may claim the same or similar sounding specs and benefits, but use different metrics or measurement methods. As a consumer, how can you better understand the capabilities of each display, and trust the specs provided by the manufacturer? How can you be confident in the choice you make?
For the past six years, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has released multiple standards through our Display Performance Metrics (DPM) Task Group to tackle this challenge. Our task group’s entire focus is on front-of-screen display performance evaluation and characterization. Our end customer is the end-user buying display products who needs an honest, unbiased, open and public, brand-agnostic performance evaluation with a simple-to-understand logo program.
When we first formed the DPM Task Group, we looked at what had happened to HDR in the television industry. Every TV brand had their own logo program, and consumers couldn’t compare them with confidence. There was no consistent metric that was being applied to the TV products. The UHD Alliance came along and built an HDR standard for moving pictures on televisions. VESA then built an HDR standard for PCs, called DisplayHDR, that was much more focused on content for PC. While HDR for televisions was only being optimized for movie playback, PCs have different requirements such as editing and creating content, office applications, and playing games.
Over time, VESA expanded the DisplayHDR standard to include higher performance tiers, and added a modified standard for OLED and microLED displays, called DisplayHDR True Black. More recently, we established the Adaptive-Sync Display standard and logo program focused on flicker and jitter reduction for improved gaming and media playback performance. To address motion blur performance, we also established the ClearMR standard and logo program, which replaces Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT) and other methods of blur characterization that do not accurately reflect the true nature of blur.
All VESA front-of-screen standards are designed to be a higher class of standards representing the best of display technology. Not all displays will qualify. Products need to meet the certification requirements to display our logos. Since each logo represents a premium performance level for different aspects of display performance (HDR, refresh rate, motion blur), display manufacturers and consumers alike benefit when displays qualify for multiple VESA front-of-screen display performance logo programs.
For the more complicated programs, we only use third-party authorized test centers (ATCs) that have demonstrated an ability to meet VESA’s strict testing criteria and are authorized to test products on VESA’s behalf. To ensure there is no bias, VESA receives no payment for tests at the test houses. We also have audit procedures to test products from in-market samples, and we have policies to withdraw certifications should problems occur. Additionally, we employ a robust method to detect illegal logo utilization and issue legal take-down orders to retailers to quickly prevent inappropriate logo utilization.
Within the DPM Task Group, representatives from more than 30 companies spanning the display industry meet to make progress in developing new standards for front-of-screen evaluation or updating our existing specs to align with new display technology. We have several exciting developments in process, and we continue to work with our company members to introduce amazing new display products to consumers.
If you’re a consumer, be sure to look for the DisplayHDR, Adaptive-Sync Display and ClearMR logos the next time you shop for assurance that you’re getting premium display performance. If you’re a hardware vendor, we invite you to join VESA (or the DPM Task Group if already a VESA member) to participate in these standards and help shape the future of display performance for consumers.