What Is VESA ClearMR And What Does It Mean?

VESA's ClearMR certification aims to help categorize the pixel response time speed performance of displays - but how useful is it?

VESA created yet another certification with the intention of categorizing levels of motion clarity on displays (including LED and OLED monitors, TVs, laptop screens, all-in-ones, etc.).

Sadly, just like most of VESA’s recent standards (DisplayHDR, AdaptiveSync and MediaSync), they seem to add more confusion than helpful information.

Here’s how the ClearMR Compliance Test Specification (CTS) works.

What Is CMR?

VESA ClearMR Tier List

It uses a metric called Clear Motion Ratio (CMR) to indicate the ratio of clear pixels to blurry pixels. The higher the CMR value, the less there are blurry pixels and the motion is clearer. It ranges from ClearMR 3000 to ClearMR 9000.

ClearMR 5000, for instance, includes a range from ClearMR 4500 to 5500, and it means that there are 45 to 55 times more clear pixels than blurry ones. There should be a noticeable difference between each tier.

To calculate this ClearMR value, VESA uses a high-speed camera and a luminance measuring device to capture certain moving test patterns.

All displays are tested (after a proper warm-up time) at their native resolution and maximum refresh rate at ambient room temperature. Tests are done in SDR mode, but in the future, VESA will add HDR mode testing as well.

Motion Blur Reduction technologies (backlight strobing or BFI – Black Frame Insertion) are disabled for these tests.

As for the test details, all we know is that there are overshoot/undershoot limits at the maximum refresh rate. Lower than maximum refresh rate and variable refresh rate testing is not included.

VESA ClearMR Test Conditions

Conclusion

There are already a few ClearMR-certified displays, which raise more questions than answers.

LG’s 48GQ900 (48″ 4K 120Hz OLED), 32GQ850 (32″ 1440p 240Hz) and 27GP850 (27″ 1440p 165Hz) monitors all have the same rating of ClearMR 7000.

Certainly, there is a big difference in motion clarity between a 120Hz OLED display and 165Hz and 240Hz LED gaming displays yet they have the same certification!

In fact, we’d say that the HP Omen 25i (25″ 1080p 165Hz) monitor with ClearMR 5000 certification is much closer to the LG 27GP850 in motion clarity than the other two displays (48GQ900 and 32GQ850), which should be at least one tier above the 27GP850.

Similarly, their AdaptiveSync certification also has a big flaw as they only do pixel response time tests at the display’s maximum refresh rate, whereas good response time across the entire refresh rate range is key for a smooth variable refresh rate (i.e. adaptive-sync) performance.

VESA’s DisplayHDR certification is also odd as there are HDR-600 displays with full-array local dimming, such as the Sony Inzone M9, that offer a better HDR image quality than certain HDR-1000 displays with edge-lit local dimming.

In the end, whether you want a gaming monitor with impeccable VRR performance, great HDR image quality or buttery-smooth motion clarity, you cannot rely on VESA’s certifications alone; instead, you should check out detailed reviews for more information.

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.