VESA Rolls Out DisplayHDR Test Tool for HDR Display Performance Verification Aimed at Professional Users

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today released a new DisplayHDR test tool that allows users to confirm the display parameters set forth in VESA’s High-Performance Monitor and Display Compliance Test Specification (DisplayHDR), including brightness, color and contrast performance of high dynamic range (HDR) laptop and desktop monitors. The new DisplayHDR Test tool has a command line interface that enables professional and lab-level users to test and evaluate HDR displays at the three performance levels outlined in the DisplayHDR spec using an off-the-shelf calibration colorimeter. VESA also announced today that it has seen strong momentum in the adoption of its DisplayHDR standard, with several new certified displays being introduced this calendar quarter.

Announced in December 2017, DisplayHDR is the display industry’s first fully open standard specifying HDR quality. To date, nearly a dozen displays have been certified under the new spec across the three performance tiers (DisplayHDR 400, 600 and 1000) and released to the market. Among these is the first display to be officially certified for the DisplayHDR 1000 specification — the recently announcedPhilips Momentum 43-inch 4K display (436M6VBPAB). VESA anticipates many more display products to complete certification this year. Future releases of the spec are expected to reach beyond LCD to address other display technologies, including organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), as well as higher HDR performance levels. All tiers require support of the industry standard HDR-10 format.

To verify HDR display performance, the DisplayHDR Test tool projects the display patterns defined in the published VESA DisplayHDR certification tests onto the screen. The user then points a self-provided colorimeter at the test patterns and uses the colorimeter’s software to measure and record the display’s capabilities. These results can be entered into a separate program to compute the final score and make an accurate assessment. Future versions of the test application may drive the sensor in the test tool and compute the score directly.

Chas Boyd, principal program manager with Microsoft Corp., noted that the DisplayHDR Test tool app has an important role to play, in concert with the specification, to help drive adoption of HDR technology. “HDR is still not well understood by consumers, and there exists a unique opportunity to educate and drive awareness in the market regarding the entry point for HDR,” said Boyd. “Using this tool will allow those considering moving to HDR monitors to assess the quality for themselves and encourage them to make the leap.”

“As a leading monitor controller manufacturer, MStar provides a broad range of chip sets that enable consumers to experience the latest immersive display technologies, such as HDR, in their end products. Working within the VESA organization, we have teamed up with key players across the display ecosystem to establish a shared, open HDR standard for the PC industry that ensures all of the key display components involved in enabling HDR work together, including the panel, GPU, backlighting and other display electronics. We are proud to be a part of this important industry-wide endeavor,” stated Kevin Tseng, general manager of Monitor BU, MStar Semiconductor.

According to Vincent Chiou, associate vice president of the Display Business Unit of ASUS, “HDR promises to deliver an entirely new level of visual experience for consumers. Having co-worked closely with a clearly defined grading system like VESA’s DisplayHDR standard, ASUS assures users that they are getting the display quality that they are asking for. This applies both to gamers and movie watchers who want more realism, and professional content developers who need more accuracy. Even the entry DisplayHDR performance level provides a very noticeable step-up in HDR quality for mainstream consumers, while the mid-range and high-range levels provide the serious photographer or professional artist the assurance they need when making a high-end product purchase. ASUS is leading the charge in this effort, with plans to introduce multiple products across all three performance tiers this year.”

The DisplayHDR specification establishes three HDR performance levels for PC displays — DisplayHDR 400 (baseline), DisplayHDR 600 (mid-range) and DisplayHDR 1000 (high-end) — using eight specific parameter requirements and associated tests. They comprise:

  • Three peak luminance tests (small spot/high luminance, brief period full-screen flash luminance, and optimized use in bright environments);
  • Two contrast measurement tests (native panel contrast and local dimming);
  • Color testing of the BT.709 and DCI-P3 color gamuts;
  • Bit-depth requirement test (stipulates minimum bit depth, confirmed via a simple visual test);
  • HDR response performance test (analyzes the speed at which the backlight can respond to changes in luminance levels, a key parameter for gaming and rapid action in movies).

A consumer-level version of the DisplayHDR Test tool will be available later this year, featuring a more consumer-accessible graphical user interface. The next release will also include a list of available colorimeters that meet the spec’s requirements for accuracy and tolerance.

More information on the DisplayHDR specification and DisplayHDR Test tool is here.

Jacob Blount

About Jacob Blount

Jacob is the Special Projects Manager at rAVe [Publications] overseeing rAVe [NOW] (rAVe's trade show operations); leading projects ranging from web design, mobile application build-to-launch, information-technology implementations and digital design and development; and creating on-time, opinionated editorial content for our readers.