With a new certificationprogram, VESA is looking to standardize VRR displays

With a new certificationprogram, VESA is looking to standardize VRR displays ...

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has just announced a new certification program to allow consumers to select a suitable variable refresh rate (VRR) display. Other organizations include Displayport, display mount, and DisplayHDR certifications.

Variable refresh rate is a technology that allows displays to change refresh rates on the fly between a specific range, eliminating stutter and tearing. Nvidia''s G-Sync and AMD''s FreeSync are manufacturer-specific VRR solutions, but VESA added native VRR support with the Displayport 1.2a revision back in 2014. Graphics processors from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia now support this standard.

Nvidia and AMD already have proprietary VRR display certification programs, but they don''t specify which tests and display settings are required. Hopefully, VESA''s program will improve its testing methods, and enforce stricter controls.

VESA is now rolling out two tiers with two different logos that are allowed to be used if their device passes. The association will not test any "overclocked" refresh rates offered by manufacturers in the OSD. All certification is done on factory default settings, meaning that the out-of-box mode must have reasonable pixel response times without either being overshoote.

AdaptiveSync is the first feature of the company, which is primarily designed for gaming monitors. It requires displays to have a minimum refresh rate of up to 60Hz and a maximum of 144Hz. Low framerate Compensation is also required, allowing units to stay within the VRR range even if the frame rate falls below the minimum refresh rate.

The standard also tests displays for flicker, dropped frames, and gray-to-gray (G2G) response times, which must be below 5ms. It doesn''t sound too impressive, given that many monitors nowadays offer response times under 1ms. However, the testing of VESA will be a lot easier.

First, VESA will perform testing at a tightly-controlled ambient temperature of 22.5C-24.5C. It''s crucial that response times significantly increase the hotter a display is. Secondly, VESA will only consider the average response time of 20 different G2G transitions rather than cherry-picking the best one. Finally, overshoot and undershoot must be below certain thresholds during all tests.

MediaSync''s second feature is lower-end and focuses on the proper VRR operation for media playback and content creation. However, VESA still tests for flicker, overshoot, undershoot, and, most importantly, jitter.

Watching a 24 fps movie on a non-VRR 60 Hz display will result in even frames being displayed for three refresh intervals, while odd ones are shown for two. This is called 3:2 pulldown, and it results in jitter. MediaSync-certified displays will fix this, relying on frame doubles as necessary to increase the lowest framerates to the refresh rate range of the monitor, with jitter limited to 1 million.

VESA only tests and certifies Displayport-capable displays, like monitors and laptops. Here, you may take a closer look at the testing methods and certifications.

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