VESA creates ClearMR specification to assess motion blur on displays

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has created a brand new motion blur specification known as ClearMR. This new standard aims to provide customers with a clear picture of the image quality of a moving screen – including the best gaming monitors, to judge whether or not the display is too blurry for their use case. The standard will apply to all types of screens, including computer screens, televisions, laptops, screens integrated into tablets, etc.

Motion blur on modern screens is described as the time it takes for a pixel to change color. The most popular benchmarks for this include gray-to-gray or black-to-white response time metrics. As the name suggests, these benchmarks rate how quickly a pixel can change color from different shades of gray or pure black to pure white. The faster the response time, the better the sharpness of a moving object, with less noticeable blurring.

However, according to VESA, these time-based measurements are now obsolete. Modern display technologies are getting very advanced with a number of artificial pixel response time improvements, which are especially popular on gaming monitors. But, despite these improvements, they are not the perfect solutions and, often , they correct the performance of a monitor in one area, to the detriment of another.

ClearMR plans to fix this issue, or more accurately, fix these issues with more caution. The new VESA standard aims to limit the use of these artificial enhancements, so consumers can make a fairer comparison of motion blur quality to the natural boundaries of a display.

ClearMR will have a new filing system known as the CMR range. This range will have 7 categories including CMR 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000, with no intermediate figures.

Each category represents a level of performance, based on a ratio of bright pixels to blurry pixels as a percentage. For example, VESA notes that ClearMR 7000 is defined as a CMR range of 65 to 75 times more clear pixels than blurry pixels.

The test is performed with a high-speed camera that takes pictures of a test pattern moving across the screen, as the pattern changes from frame to frame. Then a luminance device tests the overall luminance of the screen to check the color reproduction and brightness quality of the screen with the same pattern. All data is then compiled into a profile and converted into a CMR value.

The higher the value of the ClearMR number, the sharper a moving scene or object will appear at a noticeable rate. VESA has made it clear that each ClearMR category shows a real-world visible upgrade in visual fidelity.

To make display purchases even easier, VESA will release a ClearMR badge for monitor manufacturers to add to their qualifying displays. Only monitors that have achieved the flagship rating of 9000 will earn this badge, so you’ll know for sure that a monitor will have the best visual sharpness if it features a ClearMR badge directly on the screen or box.

This new quality standard seems like a good win for the whole display market. In the gaming monitor market in particular, almost every display has some kind of pixel-to-pixel response time booster in the form of Overdrive – supercharged pixels to improve pixel response time, or ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) to strobe the backlight for faster pixel response time, or other similar techniques. This is great for gaming, but it can have a negative effect on overall image quality and color reproduction for other workloads.

ClearMR should make its way to the public very soon. Display manufacturers such as Samsung and LG have already certified several displays, including a Samsung OLED display and three LG UltraGear gaming monitors, with the ClearMR logo. We should therefore see this display standard becoming widespread within the next year or two.