May 11, 2018 // 10:24 a.m.
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has released its promised DisplayHDR test utility, announced back in December last year, to allow users to verify the performance of their DisplayHDR-certified monitors and TVs using an off-the-shelf colorimiter.
Launched late last year, the DisplayHDR specification is VESA's attempt at standardising performance in the high dynamic range (HDR) display market, focusing primarily - though not exclusively - on laptop and desktop computer monitors. More properly known as the VESA High-Performance Monitor and Display Compliance Test Specification (DisplayHDR), the standard splits displays into three tiers: DisplayHDR 400, DisplayHDR 600, and DisplayHDR 1000, each requiring a minimum of 400, 600, or 1,000 nits of brightness respectively plus scoring on eight other parameter requirements and associated tests including peak luminance in varying scenarios, contrast measurement tests, colour gamut testing, and minimum bit-depth requirements.
While manufacturers have begun launching DisplayHDR-certified panels, though, there has been no way to verify claims - nor to see how displays which have HDR compatibility but have not applied for certification stack up against the specification. In December last year VESA announced it would be launching a testing package, suitable for end users, for verification against the standard - and this week it has done exactly that.
While available for anyone to download, VESA's primary market is the more technically-minded: The test tool uses a command-line interface and requires the use of an external colorimeter to actually confirm the display's adherence to the specification. It's also available exclusively for the Windows operating system, being distributed via the Microsoft Store.
The tool's release has been praised by VESA's industry partners, including Microsoft: '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,' claims Microsoft principal programme manager Chas 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.'
THe test tool is available to download for free now on the Microsoft Store.