MMD has announced the 43-inch Philips Momentum, which is the first PC monitor to obtain VESA’s ‘DisplayHDR 1000’ certification. However, there is reason to be cautious about claims of HDR.
Is DisplayHDR certification enough?
On paper, the new Philips Momentum (model name 436M6) boasts impressive specifications. It is equipped with a 43-inch VA LCD panel with 4K resolution, peak brightness of 1000 nits, and 97.6% DCI-P3 coverage. The panel uses a quantum dot film to achieve wide color gamut.
MMD, the company who sells monitors under the Philips brand, says that this is the first monitor to achieve VESA’s ‘DisplayHDR 1000’ certification. Standards defining organization VESA has defined three levels of DisplayHDR (400, 600 and 1000) but as we outlined last year, none of the three levels actually define proper HDR. Even the top-tier requires just 955:1 contrast ratio and a black level of 0.10 nits, which is visibly greyish. The top-tier also requires just 90% DCI-P3 coverage and 8-bit + FRC (frame rate control), which is a method of simulating 10-bit colors.
A monitor manufacturer would have to go above and beyond the requirements set for DisplayHDR 1000 to produce a great HDR monitor. The Philips monitor goes beyond the certification requirements in some areas but unfortunately it uses edge LED backlighting (with 32 dimming zones). We should be clear that we have yet to examine the monitor but our testing over the last couple of years show that edge LED based LCD panels cannot reproduce proper HDR.
Momentum is probably a very good monitor
Of course, this is not to say that the new Philips monitor is bad in any way. In fact, it could turn out to be a very, very good monitor for a variety of uses. It is also larger than most monitors out there.
Our point is simply that as a buyer you should be very skeptical of the industry’s so-called HDR certifications, simply because the requirements are set too low for proper HDR. The new Philips monitor is also ‘UHD Premium’ certified – also a fairly meaningless certification at this point.
As for the Philips Momentum, it comes with HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C, built-in 2x7W speakers, a bundled remote control, a flicker-free backlight, adaptive sync technology, and “Ambiglow” light in the stand.
The Philips 436M6 will be available this summer for $1000 or 800 Euro.
Philips Momentum - specifications
LCD panel type: MVA Backlight type: W-LED system Panel Size: 42.51 inch / 108 cm Display Screen Coating: Anti-Glare, 3H, Haze 2% Color gamut (min.): BT. 709 Coverage: 100%*; DCI-P3 Coverage: 97.6%* HDR: DisplayHDR1000 and UHDA certified Effective viewing area: 941.18 (H) x 529.42 (V) Aspect ratio: 16:9 Optimum resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz Pixel Density: 103.64 PPI Response time (typical): 4 ms (Gray to Gray) Brightness: 720 cd/m² (typical), 1,000 cd/m² (peak) Contrast ratio (typical): 4000:1 SmartContrast: 50,000,000:1 Pixel pitch: 0.245 x 0.245 mm Viewing angle: 178º (H) / 178º (V) - C/R > 10 Flicker-free: Yes Picture enhancement: SmartImage Display colors: 1.07G (8bits + FRC)