from the hyper-mega-super-ultra-turbo-black dept.
This morning [January 3] the VESA is rolling out an update to the standard body's DisplayHDR monitor performance standard that's focused on expanding the specification to cover OLED displays. Dubbed DisplayHDR True Black, the new performance tiers to the DisplayHDR standard are intended for OLED and other emissive displays, laying out the levels of display performance that the association believes are appropriate for consumer HDR displays.
This update comes just over a year after the original DisplayHDR standard was launched. Intended to simplify the market for HDR displays, DisplayHDR sets a number of tiers of increasing performance, with each higher tier requiring better monitor technology and delivering a better HDR experience as a result. At the time of DisplayHDR's launch, the VESA opted to focus on LCDs, as these displays were already in the PC market and were what the association had the most experience with. The end result was the DisplayHDR 400, 600, and 1000 standards, which covered a range of monitor designs that essentially stretched from not-very-HDR to cutting-edge full array local dimming displays.
The DisplayHDR True Black update in turn adds two more tiers to the DisplayHDR standard: DisplayHDR 400 True Black, and DisplayHDR 500 True Black. Like the tiers for LCDs, the True Black tiers are divided up based on performance; though the gap isn't quite as big as with the LCD tiers. The end result is that displays reaching these standards, besides meeting the DisplayHDR specification's baseline requirements, can also hit a peak brightness of 400 nits and 500 nits respectively.
The need for separate tiers for OLEDs – and other future emissive technologies like microLEDs – is rooted in the fact that HDR itself is as much (or more) about dynamic range as it is absolute maximum and minimum brightness. While LCDs can offer the necessary contrast ratios with the right backlighting technology, they are still backlit displays, meaning that they can't quite hit black since they're always illuminated to a degree. OLEDs, on the other hands, can hit almost perfect black levels since the pixels can simply be turned off entirely – hence the True Black moniker – which means these displays need to be measured on a different scale. Conversely, while LCDs can sustain incredible 600+ nit brightness levels over the whole screen, OLED technology can only burst to these levels for short periods of time, so the maximum brightness offered by OLED displays isn't quite in sync either with HDR LCDs.
Extremely low minimum brightness seems more useful than blinding maximum brightness. Ergo, any display without "True Black" is junk.
Previously: VESA Announces DisplayHDR Specification
VESA has announced the first version of its DisplayHDR specification, which defines standards that displays must meet to be certified by VESA as enabling the use of high dynamic range (HDR). Three tiers are defined: DisplayHDR-400 (low-end), DisplayHDR-600 (mid-range), and DisplayHDR-1000 (high-end). The number is the minimum peak luminance (in nits) that the display must be able to output:
The core of the DisplayHDR standard is a performance test suite specification and associated performance tiers. The three tiers have performance criteria related to HDR attributes such as luminance, color gamut, bit depth, and rise time, corresponding to new trademarked DisplayHDR logos. Initially aiming at LCD laptop displays and PC desktop monitors, DisplayHDR permits self-certification by VESA members, as well as end-user testing, for which VESA is also developing a publicly available automated test tool.
[...] In terms of the first two luminance tests, the minimum 400, 600, and 1000 nit (cd/m2) requirements give the respective DisplayHDR tiers their namesake. At the base level is DisplayHDR-400, which for AnandTech-level enthusiasts is likely to come off as a bit disappointing/unaggressive. To the credit of the VESA, the standard tightens things up over budget LCD monitors and laptops; in particular it requires much higher luminance levels and true 8bpc color support (6+2 is explicitly disallowed). This is coupled with the previously mandatory support for HDR10, and black-to-white response time requirements. However it does not require any "advanced" features,such as the DCI-P3 color space – instead allowing 95% of sRGB – and both the max and min brightness requirements are still quite tame for HDR. Based on the VESA's guidance, it sounds like this is primarily aimed at laptops, where displays are historically power-limited and anything better than global dimming is unlikely to be used.
Moving things up a notch are DisplayHDR-600 and 1000. These two standards are quite similar outside of their maximum luminance, and both are much closer to the requirements many would expect for an HDR specification. In particular, these two tiers require 10-bit color (8-bit native + 2-bit dithering permitted), much lower minimum black levels, as well as having color gamut coverage a minimum of 99% Rec. 709 and 90% DCI-P3. Gamut-wise, VESA mentioned that minimum coverage was essentially tolerance metrics by another name. Of particular note here, while the VESA does not require local dimming for any of the DisplayHDR standards, they note that they don't believe these tiers to be achievable without local dimming, at least not with current LCD technology.
Also at Tom's Hardware.
Larger OLED laptop screens are coming sooner than we anticipated. Samsung Displays announced that it has made a 15.6-inch 4K laptop display and will begin producing the panels next month. The company plans on providing them to other manufacturers to put into their premium notebooks.
[...] Samsung's 15.6-inch display has a brightness range of 0.0005 to 600 nits, and its spectrum of 34 million colors is double that of similar, 15-inch LCD panels. Samsung claims that its panel can produce blacks that are 200 times darker than those of LCD panels, and whites will be more than twice as bright. These attributes contribute to the HDR capabilities of the panel, and the company claims that the panel passes VESA's new DisplayHDR TrueBlack standard.
The cost? Don't ask.
Also at Engadget.
Samsung is investing an additional ₩13.1 trillion ($11 billion) in the R&D and production of quantum dot-enhanced organic light-emitting diode (QD-OLED) panels:
The QD-OLED technology promises to simplify (i.e. lower the cost of) production of OLED-based televisions and monitors, as well as enabling wider color gamuts, which is something expected from next-generation content. Contemporary WOLED panels from LG Display use a blue or white (yellow + blue) OLED emitter stack, and a WRGB color filter system on top with a variety of additional layers behind, between, and ahead of them. By contrast, a QD-OLED panel uses an OLED emitter stack (some believe, with two emitting stacks) with a quantum dot RGB color filter (also called quantum dot color converter, or QDCC) system on top.
Today's OLED panels feature 22 layers, whereas a QD-OLED panel may cut the number to 13, which means fewer deposition stages, lower material and production costs, and, perhaps, better yield. The QD-OLED technology is still considered to be rather challenging as Samsung has to solve light management issues. Meanwhile, according to Display Supply Chain, one square meter of an QD-OLED panel will cost around $26, whereas one square meter of a contemporary OLED panel costs approximately $95.
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