VESA simplifies the Adaptive-Sync spec with a simple certification label

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VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) has announced two new certifications for displays: Adaptive-Sync and Media Sync. These certifications are intended to make buying a new display easier by providing a clearer outline of the display’s specifications. The certification takes into account things like refresh rates, flicker, response times, frame rate jitter, overshoot, undershoot, overdrive, and more. This should ultimately help standardize the feature set of high-end displays and make it much easier to pair a fancy new graphics card with the best display.

When it comes to gaming monitors, most high-end options come with either Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync. Simply put, both reduce the amount of screen tearing you would see while playing a game. Of course, these aren’t the only certification standards out there for high-end displays, and it can all get a bit confusing. VESA’s new certifications aim to unify many of these features under more general conditions.

Breakdown of VESA Adaptive-Sync and Media Sync

The new standard is said to be an “open source industry standard for display visual performance on variable refresh rate displays.” However, it’s also worth noting that this new standard doesn’t prohibit manufacturers from putting similar logos on displays. In addition to the new certification, a monitor can still display either Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync. Few monitors currently have Adaptive-Sync certification. However, this list will grow over time.

VESA Adaptive Sync and Freesync NVIDIA G-Sync V-Sync Gaming Monitors

VESA Adaptive-Sync targets the specs you would expect from high-end gaming displays. To meet this certification, monitors must have a minimum refresh rate of 60Hz, but the specification requires that the maximum refresh rate also be clearly listed. Of course, monitors with refresh rates higher than 144 Hz are also accepted and given a special label reflecting the maximum refresh rate.

VESA Adaptive Sync and Freesync NVIDIA G-Sync V-Sync Gaming Monitors

The separate Media Sync certification applies to monitors intended primarily for media playback. Therefore, the certification is quite different. The maximum refresh rate is 60 Hz while the minimum is 48 Hz. Media Sync displays also eliminate “video frame dropping and 3:2 pulldown jitter,” which should improve the video viewing experience. VESA also clarifies that while a display could technically receive both certifications, this would be unnecessary. After all, both certifications are aimed at very different use cases.

These new certifications will ultimately make display shopping easier. By clearly outlining a display’s specs and features under a more general term, it should be much easier for the general consumer to understand what they’re getting. This may also result in Nvidia and AMD dropping G-Sync and FreeSync branding. It’s a good move from VESA and one that should make things a lot smoother for everyone. For more information on the certification process, see the Frequently Asked Questions section on VESA’s Adaptive-Sync page.

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