VESA comes up with ClearMR metric to replace display response time specs

Mike Wheatley

The Video Electronics Standards Association has come out with another new certification logo. It’s called ClearMR and it’s said to be a new metric that grades motion blur in LCD and OLED displays.


VESA argues that ClearMR is needed because the traditional response time specification is broken. It says ClearMR should replace the Motion Picture Response Time standard, and other methods of “blur characterisation”, such as G2G.

It’s hard not to see the logic in VESA’s argument. As the organization explains, if we look at the specifications of almost any LCD gaming monitor today, they’ll typically state a response time of just 1 ms, defined as “G2G” or grey-to-grey. It’s a largely meaningless specification because other colour transitions can take much longer than the one that’s quoted, perhaps up to 20 milliseconds or even longer in some cases. Added to that, you can also add overdrive trailing, which refers to a halo around moving objects, which is the result of overshoot and undershoot in LCD displays. It’s for this reason that OLED displays generally feel much more fluid and faster.

So rather than use these old metrics, VESA says displays should be certified according to its ClearMR metric, which ranges from 3000 to 9000.

It explains that ClearMR features multiple performance tiers that represent a range of blur performance based on the ratio of clear pixels, versus blurry pixels, as a percentage. For instance, ClearMR 7000 represents a CMR range of 65-75 times more clear pixels than blurry pixels.

VESA says each tier represents a “visually distinguishable” change in clarity, with higher numbers indicating better quality with less blur. “Only displays that pass all ClearMR compliance tests can qualify for the VESA Certified ClearMR logo,” VESA stated.

It all sounds very well thought out, but FlatPanels HD has expressed reservations over the new metric. It noted that the first displays to have been certified for ClearMR are LG Electronics’ gaming monitors, and that several of its IPS LCD displays have attained the same ClearMR 7000 rating as its LG 48GQ900 OLED gaming monitor. Apparently, that does not “reflect reality”, as Flatpanels HD claims the OLED display appears to be far smoother and less blurry in its own tests.

We should note that VESA is the organization responsible for the DisplayHDR logo, which many reviewers have dismissed as being pretty meaningless, suggesting that some IPS LCD monitors are capable of producing HDR image quality, when the reality suggests otherwise.

For now, VESA is only certifying displays for ClearMR in SDR mode, though it plans to add HDR testing in future.