VESA has announced a ’DisplayHDR True Black’ specification as part of its initiative to certify PC monitors for HDR. The new tier has been designed with emissive display technologies such as OLED and microLED in mind.
DisplayHDR True Black specification
In late 2017, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) introduced its DisplayHDR specification and certification program for PC monitors and laptops. It included three tiers (DisplayHDR 400, 600 & 1000) but none of the three specified actual HDR.
VESA has now announced a new top tier called ’DisplayHDR True Black’, which is designed for ”emissive display technologies, including organic light emitting diode (OLED) and future microLED displays,” the organization said.
- "When VESA unveiled the original DisplayHDR standard, we recognized that display technologies were quickly evolving, and we immediately set to work on developing a new open HDR standard for OLED and other emissive display technologies," said Roland Wooster, chairman, VESA DisplayHDR, and representative from Intel Corp. "On behalf of all of the VESA member companies that contributed to the DisplayHDR True Black specification, I'm pleased to say that we are fulfilling our promise with today's announcement. We're extremely proud of this incredible, high contrast and high dynamic range standard. Consumers benefit from the transparency of the DisplayHDR True Black specification and logo, which makes it clear that they're getting a display that yields huge performance improvements in subdued lighting environments."
A spokesperson from Samsung said that OLED is the ”ideal display technology mixing bright highlights with deep, true blacks”.
- "Embracing the new DisplayHDR True Black standard, OLED is the ideal display technology for mixing bright highlights with deep, true blacks, so consumers can create extraordinary content or simply appreciate incredibly breathtaking imagery on their PCs," said Jeremy Yun, vice president, OLED Marketing, Samsung Display. "The new standard, when coupled with VESA's DisplayHDR logo program, will show consumers that True Black represents a highly important step in enhancing gaming, TV or movie watching, as well as viewing and editing of photos and videos. Users can see and feel a dynamic range that yields a superior high-end HDR experience."
More ambitious but...
HDR is still largely a fata morgana in the PC ecosystem and even though the new top tier is more ambitious than previous tiers - and is actually approaching HDR - it still leaves room for improvement. It specifies two tiers (DisplayHDR True Black 400 and 500, respectively), with the highest tier requiring 500 nits peak brightness and 90% DCI-P3 coverage. Full requirements are included at the bottom.
In addition, VESA has added a new 500 tier to the standard DisplayHDR specification for LCD monitors. Like the previous tiers, this one should be ignored if you are seeking actual HDR picture quality on a PC monitor.
The new ’DisplayHDR True Black’ specification has been created in anticipation of self-emissive PC monitors. A few OLED PC monitors have been announced but the PC monitor market is still dominated by LCD panels with very poor contrast and limited color performance, predominantly IPS LCD panels.
We hope to see more self-emissive PC monitors announced at CES 2019 next week, and hopefully some HDR-capable PC monitors. For what is is worth, VESA said that ”nearly three dozen displays across nine display OEMs have been released to market with DisplayHDR certification", and that "many more are expected to be introduced in the coming months”.