VESA introduces DisplayHDR certification to make HDR monitors more consistent
Most people will probably agree that High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology is one of the biggest leaps forward in terms of image quality and viewing experience. But what’s not clear is exactly what HDR means.
There are many HDR standards out there, and the problem is that they aren't all created equal. Simply saying that a display supports HDR isn’t very helpful, because it doesn’t say anything about how well it can do this.
This could lead to a sub-par experience with HDR, which doesn’t quite do justice to the technology.
Display standards organization VESA wants to change that with its own DisplayHDR certification, a tiered system that aims to set a baseline standard for HDR quality on PC screens.
There are just three tiers for now – DisplayHDR 400, DisplayHDR 600, and DisplayHDR 1000 – which will focus specifically on LCD displays.
However, VESA says we can expect additional tiers to be added later on as recording and panel technology continues to improve.
All three tiers will support the open HDR10 standard, and it’s their support for varying brightness levels and color depths that set them apart.
The lowest DisplayHDR 400 spec is targeted mainly at laptops, requiring a brightness of 400 nits, true 8-bit color (no dithering algorithms), and 95-percent coverage of the Rec. 709 color space. That may not sound too impressive, and it makes do with global dimming, but it’s actually 50-percent brighter than a typical laptop.
On the other hand, DisplayHDR 600 kicks things up to 600 nits, and pairs that with improved black levels and 99-percent coverage of the Rec. 709 gamut, and 90 percent of DCI-P3. A 10-bit color depth is also required, but this time, VESA will accept 8-bit drivers with 2-bit dithering at a minimum.
Finally, the highest DisplayHDR 1000 standard is reserved for top-tier monitors capable of at least 1,000 nits and even deeper black levels.
VESA hopes to eventually extend DisplayHDR to OLED panels and other displays, but the company says we’ll see DisplayHDR-certified monitors as soon as CES in January.