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VESA updates its DisplayHDR spec to include laptop and OLED displays

By Ng Chong Seng - on 4 Jan 2019, 10:50am

VESA updates its DisplayHDR spec to include laptop and OLED displays

ASUS' ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of three LCD monitors to be certified for DisplayHDR 1000.

Ahead of CES 2019, VESA has just announced new tiers for its DisplayHDR logo certification program. The new additions are: DisplayHDR True Black 400, DisplayHDR True Black 500, and DisplayHDR 500.

In a nutshell, the two DisplayHDR True Black specs cater to OLED screens that don’t go as bright as LCDs but do have much lower black levels. For example, the minimum luminosity requirement for the 10% center patch is only 400 or 500 nits for OLED, compared to 1,000 nits for high-end LCD monitors that want to get the DisplayHDR 1000 stamp. Even for full-screen, long-duration brightness, an OLED display just needs to achieve a minimum of 250 or 300 nits.

Of course, because of OLED’s self-lit pixels, to ensure high contrast ratios, the new True Black specs have a much stringent criteria for black level performance. For OLED, this is down to 0.0005 nits.

Beyond the aforementioned, the DisplayHDR True Black specs are largely similar to those listed for the DisplayHDR 500 and above tiers, such as a must for 10-bit per color processing (but it’s okay to use an 8-bit pixel driver), and at least 99% Rec.709 and 90% DCI-P3 65 color gamut coverage. Because OLED has near-instantaneous response time, this requirement is also reduced to 2 frames, vs. 8 frames for LCD.

VESA has also added a DisplayHDR 500 tier for laptop screens. Brightness requirement aside, for the most part, this is closer to the existing DisplayHDR 600 tier than to DisplayHDR 400. For example, like DisplayHDR 600, a screen needs to have a black level of 0.1 nits and 99% Rec.709 and 90% DCI-P3 65 color gamut to qualify for DisplayHDR 500. Comparatively, DisplayHDR 400 only mandates 0.4 nits and 95% Rec.709. The main takeaway here is that if you see two displays, one with DisplayHDR 400 logo and one with DisplayHDR 500 logo, know that the latter is not just brighter but also supports HDR better and wide color gamut.

Here's a summary of the different DisplayHDR specs from VESA:

(Click for larger image.)

Source: VESA.