HDR Tests & Hands-on
To measure the PE320QK’s HDR performance, we added our HD Fury Integral to the test rig to create an HDR10 signal. This allows us to use the same patterns and evaluate the results with CalMAN 5.7’s HDR10 workflow. We test the grayscale errors from 0-100% in 5% increments, the Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF), which is the new way of expressing gamma, and the monitor’s ability to render correct Rec.709 and DCI-P3 gamuts within a Rec.2020 container.
The PE320QK has no available adjustments in its HDR picture mode, so a calibration is not possible. But as you can see, none is needed. Grayscale tracks almost perfectly with minimal errors across the luminance range. We can see a slight blue tint in the lower steps, but this does not adversely affect real-world content. The EOTF curve goes a bit bright past the knee point, but not so much that highlight detail is affected. It’s easy to see the extra brightness when watching movies while black levels remain reasonably deep. Acer’s dynamic contrast algorithm works very well at expanding dynamic range without any clipping.
How HDR displays handle color is something that is hotly debated within the industry. Ultra HD calls for a massive gamut, which is reflected in our charts above. Rec.2020 covers most of the visible spectrum, but no consumer displays can currently render it. DCI-P3 is the largest gamut currently available. Most content will be mastered on monitors like the PE320QK, so its native DCI spec is appropriate. But to display color accurately, it must track Rec.2020 until it runs out of juice.
Our charts show that Acer has implemented its color tracking correctly. Regardless of the standard in use, it will display the proper color in its HDR mode. If a disc is mastered in Rec.709, it will look right even though the display isn’t using all its available gamut volume. If it’s mastered to Rec.2020, the PE320QK tracks saturation until it runs out of color. This is excellent performance.
Hooking up our Philips BDP-7501 player proved to be a simple matter. HDR content was instantly recognized by the PE320QK though we had to switch picture modes manually. Watching Kingsman: The Golden Circle gave us an opportunity to compare Ultra HD and standard Blu-ray back to back. The HDR version is a definite improvement, with deeper blacks, brighter highlights, and greater depth than the standard version. The added color is especially welcome in the scenes that take place in Poppy’s Colombian hideaway. The reds there are stunningly rich and saturated. The standard Blu-ray seems to have a slight haze over it by comparison.
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