International Committee for Display Metrology

ICDM - International Committee for Display Metrology

a committee of the [ SID] (Society for Information Display)

The ICDM (International Committee for Display Metrology) has been and still is producing a comprehensive Display Measurement Standard (DMS).


The currently most comprehensive reference on the art of measuring electronic displays is the FPDM2 issued by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) in 2001.

The FPDM 2 continues to be the most popular and well-received standard for measuring product performance in the electronic displays related industry. It paved the way for defining the correct way to measure electronic displays, and continually gained more acceptance by display professionals. Work was going well toward an FPDM 3, to update the standard in such a rapidly evolving technical field and to comply with the improved performance features and new requirements of the ever-improving display technologies and growing popularity of a variety of new displays. In spring 2007 the FPDM working group migrated to become the International Committee Display Metrology, or ICDM, under the custody of the SID.

Characteristics of the upcoming ICDM Standard:
* Measurement methods only, no performance rating (what is expected or was is good, bad, etc.),
* Reporting templates
* Target of one page per measurement
* Simple language to avoid confusion
* Icons and graphics to simplify understanding
* Display technology independence
* The same measurements are applicable to all display technologies (wherever possible).

Importance, Relevance, and Target

The importance and relevance of this standards effort and document are that it provides a common way for developers or users of displays to measure and characterize them using standardized language and measurement methods.

This serves a great need, to evaluate display performance so that all can understand it in the same manner and assess it correctly. Display characteristics and the related numbers which represent their quality can be assessed and stated the same by all, and properly understood without confusion of what various terms actually mean. →There are indeed many cases where display performance parameters are stated "creatively" (Specsmanship) to try to give a better impression of a display's quality than it really has.

Furthermore, this standard relates to many of the display-related topics and associated sciences and arts found on the internet and on the wikipedia pages.

You can find many instances of definitions of display characteristics or related topic matters on wikipedia. This standard is the document to tie much of that scattered information together to form a cohesive environment for assessing them with relation to each other as found in performance of displays.

The cost target goal is to make the ICDM Display Metrology Standard available for free to all. We are hopeful we can indeed make it free.

Measurement procedures in the ICDM

The ICDM DMS (Display Measurement Standard) is focusing first on common measurements. These include items like luminance, contrast, chromaticity, response times, uniformities, EOTF (electro-optical transfer function), motion blur characteristics and many others.

A second part will describe measurements that are more difficult, not well understood, diverging, conflicting or not yet having feasible solutions to date.

Answers to be provided

* Did you ever wonder how the color gamut of a display is determined?
* How about response times, what do they actually mean?
* Did you know that there are at least 5 meanings for "response time" of displays?
* Did you know that sometimes displays are specified for customers for the version that gives the best number for the maker (an abuse of numbers called specsmanship), even though it might not be representative of the actual performance of the display or the best number for the intended task?
* How about luminance uniformity? How much luminance uniformity is really required?

Do you want to know the secrets of "contrast"? Did you know that "brightness" cannot be measured? Controlled setup of the controls of a display device (computer monitor or TV-set) is very critical to any display's measured characteristics, otherwise the results can vary immensely.

* What does the "viewing direction" mean for displays, especially when they are given simply in one, two, or four numbers?

If you are technical or love math, did you ever wonder how many of the parameters you hear about for displays (and the ones you don't often hear about) are actually evaluated?

The ICDM Display Measurement Standard provides the answers needed by the display industry to provide a common language to assure that all display measurements are done in the same manner. It also provides answers for any customer and user electronic of displays as to how measurements need to be done to be correct. Not only is it used by display manufacturers, display measurement equipment makers, those who productize displays, etc., but it is written by them and a host of scientists of many related skill sets (display metrology, vision science, color science, ergonomics, various engineering types, etc.).


* Minutes of the constitutional meeting of the ICDM on May 23, 2007 in Long Beach (Ca.)

* Communication among the members of the ICDM working group on display metrology.

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