The Video Electronics Criteria Association (VESA), the principal consortium for the PC display industry, has released a new set of performance standards for variable refresh rate displays. The two new standards, AdaptiveSync and MediaSync, are being developed in order to achieve uniformity in the specification and performance of DisplayPort monitors. While AdaptiveSync is a high-end gaming display standard, MediaSync is targeted towards removing video jitter on a far broader range of devices.
AdaptiveSync is a high-end display standard developed for gaming screens. To be AdaptiveSync-approved, a device must have a variable refresh rate with no flicker, dropped frames, jitter, pixel response times (G2G), or ghosting. A compliant display must have a variable refresh rate range of at least 60Hz to 144Hz. It may go as low as 48Hz and as high as 360Hz, but it must support 60Hz to 144Hz out of the box.
To certify displays under this standard, VESA will look for missing frames, backlight anomalies, and flickering, which should be less than -50 dB regardless of refresh rate. VESA is relying on the Japan Electronic Information Technology Association’s (JEITA) current perception-based technique for estimating flicker rate, which is weighted to look at the frequencies human eyes are most sensitive to.
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The AdaptiveSync display standard is only concerned with establishing performance measures for a variable refresh. It excludes colour gamuts, maximum brightness, viewing angles, and other picture quality variables that are not related to variable refresh operation. VESA will also be developing a standard system that will function in tandem with AMD‘s Freesync and Nvidia‘s G-Sync.
MediaSync is a low-level standard which focuses on assuring proper variable refresh rate functionality exclusively for media playback. There are no gaming-specific tests in this standard, and the testing methods are shared with AdaptiveSync. The MediaSync display standard is centered on a specific refresh rate range of 48 to 60Hz. Because the standard focuses on this small spectrum, it covers nearly all of the important aspects such as movies (23.976fps), television (25/50fps), and full-scale 60fps media.
Displays with jitter limits of 1ms are included in this specification. In comparison to AdaptiveSync, MediaSync allows you to leave a margin and is not detail-driven. The testing here is straightforward, which may imply that the standard may soon be visible on monitors and other screens of various price points.