Many monitors come with the HDR400 standard , which reveals a number of characteristics related to brightness, color gamut, and image quality. Therefore, we are going to explain what it is about and compare it with other similar standards.
Image quality is very important for certain users, so the standards that VESA proposes in relation to HDR are useful to know how to differentiate the characteristics of a panel. There are many Display HDR 400 standards, which we will put in contrast to this certification to see if it is worth opting for a more expensive monitor or if we have enough HDR400.
What is DisplayHDR
It is a certification offered by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association), which is an international non-profit association represented by more than 300 companies, whose mission is to develop, promote and support an ecosystem through certifications.
In this case, the leading certification is DisplayHDR , which is a high-performance monitor and display compliance test specification. It is an open standard that specifies HDR quality based on 4 main sections:
- Luminance . The luminance signal provides all the brightness information in a scene.
- Color gamut or color space , the number of colors that the panel can display.
- Color depth . Refers to the number of bits required to represent color in a pixel.
- Output time, the time it takes for a signal to change from a low value to a high value.
VESA offers 7 DisplayHDR standards , including:
- HDR400 True Black
- HDR500 True Black
Highlight the DisplayHDR True Black standards , which are only found in OLED panels . In theory, more standards of this type will be added later, but for now they are these. On the other hand, ALL levels must be compatible with the HDR10 standard, which is an HDR format that offers compatibility with certain content.
When we talk about DisplayHDR, we mean meeting certain minimum panel specifications; on the contrary, Dolby Vision , HLG , HDR10 , etc., are HDR formats that offer different compatibilities related to content: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Blu-Ray movies, etc.
Are the standards simply certified to the panel specifications? Yes and no. Manufacturers often use the DisplayHDR CTS 1.1 or 1.0 tool to see that the panel passes the “cotton test”, both of which are free and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store or GitHub.
Similarly, users can use these tools to verify that the panel is ready and complies with the DisplayHDR standard announced by the manufacturer. As a curiosity, this tool also evaluates the DisplayPort certification of the monitor.
What is HDR400
The star standard is HDR400 and offers a quantum leap compared to an SDR panel in the following:
- Certifies a color depth of 8 bits .
- Improves the dynamic contrast ratio .
- It offers a brightness of 400 cd / m² (peak maximum), which is 50% more than an SDR panel.
- Maximum backlight adjustment latency of 8 video frames .
- SRGB color gamut .
- Maximum black luminance of 0.4 cd / m² .
Are they good or bad specs? In principle, they are quite good for the average user , but they may be insufficient for a graphic designer, for example. Note that HDR400 is the HDR input certification , so the goal is to improve the image quality of SDR monitors.
Why is it insufficient for imaging professionals ? The reason lies in the panel’s color depth , which, in this case, is 8-bit. This feature is insufficient for those who work with the image, since they usually require panels of real 10 bits or more.
On the other hand, it must be emphasized that the color space used in HDR400 is sRGB , while in professional monitors we see less unusual color ranges, such as Adobe RGB, REC.2020, DCI-P3, NTSC, EBU, etc.
HDR400 vs HDR500 vs HDR600
The next two standards are HDR500 and HDR600 , so we wanted to contrast them with HDR400 to see the differences there are, and if it deserves to go beyond the DisplayHDR input standard.
Is it worth upgrading to HDR600 or HDR500? It depends on what you are looking for in a monitor or its image quality. For example, a user looking for a versatile monitor (multimedia and gaming), will not appreciate the virtues of DisplayHDR 500 or 600, with an HDR400 panel being more than useful.
In contrast, an imaging professional will have to start from DisplayHDR 600 for these reasons :
- More interesting color gamuts than sRGB, allowing you to display more colors.
- 10-bit color depth. It is true that they are not entirely real, but it is a much more recommended specification than 8-bit.
- More shine. I have to say that with a brightness of 400 cd / m² you are very well served, although it may be insufficient in certain situations.
- Zone-level attenuation is better and more accurate.
In conclusion, we should not be skeptical with the panels with the HDR400 standard because they already improve the SDR, which there are not few. Simply, by having HDR, the panel wins integers in movies and series compared to an SDR. However, it is an entry certification and will not be sufficient for professional purposes.