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Vesa wants to make HDR screens more consistent with its new DisplayHDR specifications

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Not all HDR screens are created equal

Photo by James Bareham / The Ver

There are lots of HDR standards out there. Some might even say there are too many. But those standards largely are for brightness and color levels of different types of content. So long as the hardware supports the requirements of, say, HDR10 or Dolby Vision, you’ve been good to go.

Vesa is a standards organization for displays — which you may recognize for its most well-known standard, the Flat Display Mounting Interface (aka the Vesa mount) — and it’s trying to make HDR hardware more consistent with its new certified DisplayHDR standards, according to AnandTech. These are less about making sure content is up to spec, and more focused on making screens more consistent. This way, if you see a display marketed as being a certified DisplayHDR panel, you know what you’re getting.

The company is releasing three tiers of DisplayHDR certification, focused specifically on LCDs for now: DisplayHDR 400, DisplayHDR 600, and DisplayHDR 1000. The company also says to expect to see additional tiers to be added later on as technology continues to improve. All three levels are required to support the open HDR10 standard to receive certification, but there’s still a wide range of functionality between the base DisplayHDR 400 and the high-end DisplayHDR 1000.

To hit the DisplayHDR 400 standard, a display only needs to offer global dimming, and reach a peak luminance of 400 cd/m2 (candela per meter squared, a standard unit of luminance), which is pretty much the bare minimum you can get away with and still have a benefit from HDR at all. DisplayHDR 600 increases the required specs to a peak luminance of 600 cd/m2, 10-bit image processing, and specifies a lower minimum black level and higher color gamuts. DisplayHDR 1000 takes that even higher with a peak luminance of 1000 cd/m2 and local dimming.

With CES right around the corner, it’s likely that we’ll start seeing DisplayHDR-branded screens as early as the show, if not later in Q1 2018.