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VESA Creates ClearMR Spec To Grade Motion Blur On Displays

Gaming monitor
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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 a display's image quality within motion - 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 displays, including computer monitors, TVs, notebooks, tablets embedded displays and more.

Motion blur on modern displays is described as the amount of time it takes for a pixel to change colors. The most popular benchmarks for this include the  Grey to Grey or Black to White response time metrics. As the names imply, these benchmarks judges how fast a pixel can change colors from different shades of grey, or from pure black to pure white. The faster the response time, the better the sharpness a moving object is, with less noticeable blur.

However, according to VESA, these time based metrics have now become outdated. Modern display technologies are becoming very advanced featuring a number of artificial pixel response time enhancements, which are particularly popular on gaming monitors. But, despite these enhancements, they are not the perfect solutions, and often times fix a monitors performance in one area, at the expense of another.

ClearMR plans to fix that, or more specifically, address these issues more prudently. VESA's new standard aims to limit the use of these artificial enhancements, so consumers can make a more fair comparison of motion blur quality at a display's natural limits.

ClearMR will have a new ranking system known as the CMR range. This range will have 7 categories including CMR 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000, with no numbers in-between.

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

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

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

To make display shopping even easier, VESA will be releasing a ClearMR badge for monitor manufactures to add onto their qualified displays. Only monitors which have hit the 9000 flagship rating will get this badge, so you'll know for sure that a monitor will have top rated visual sharpness if it features a ClearMR badge right on the display or box.

This new quality standard appears to be a good win for the display market overall. In the gaming monitor market specifically, almost every single display features some sort of pixel to pixel response time booster in the form of Overdrive - overvolting pixels to improve pixel response time, or ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) to strobe the backlight for faster pixel response times, or other similar techniques. Its great for games, but it can have a negative effect on overall image quality and color reproduction for other workloads.

ClearMR should be making 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. So we should see this display standard go mainstream within the next year or two.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • DougMcC
    Does the rating factor the display rate? Because a 1hz monitor with a 9k score doesn't do a gamer much good.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    DougMcC said:
    Does the rating factor the display rate? Because a 1hz monitor with a 9k score doesn't do a gamer much good.

    Clearly but hz isn't everything. A good old CRT will look better at 60 hz then modern LCD/LED and OLED at 120hz in regards to motion clarity (and of course input response). A lot of which has to do with the picture strobe in conjunction with pixel response time BUT you're not exactly wrong in at some point refresh rate becomes paramount. If I recall there is a is a minimum FPS of 48FPS as well in the rating (or their was talk of it)though I couldn't find anything when I gave it a search just now, so some clarity on the issue would be great from Tom's assuming they know any more then we do.
    Reply
  • Walken1
    This is a great article but one point that the writer makes needs to be corrected here. The statement that only monitors that have the ClearMR 9000 rating will get the ClearMR badge is incorrect. Any monitor that passes the test requirements outlined in the ClearMR specification will receive a ClearMR badge at the Clear Motion Ratio tier level that it passes at. For example, a monitor that achieves a CMR rating within the 7000 tier level will receive a VESA Certified ClearMR 7000 badge.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    So much better than having something like Bronze, Silver, and Gold...You know, easy to understand, means there are clear distinctions between levels...
    Reply
  • ThatMouse
    How does this relate to the little UFO guy?
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    The UFO blur test. Presumably to get the CMR9000 rating it must have to be zero blur using zero tricks like overdrive and antilag.

    UFO Test: Multiple Framerates (testufo.com)
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    nice but quite a bit late now that OLEDs are slow becoming more affordable, with true less than 1ms response times. it is the IPS/VA panels have issue with pixel clarity, reducing the clarity of high refresh rates.
    Reply