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What Is DCR On A Monitor? (Settings For Gaming & More)

Thanks to advanced technologies, we can now further customize our computer experience and make adjustments to fit our needs.

One of the computer components you can now tailor-fit to your experience is the monitor. But there are so many settings you can change in this device, one of which is DCR.

But what exactly is DCR (dynamic contrast ratio) on a monitor and what does it do?

In this article, we will discuss what DCR means, whether you should turn this setting on or off, and the benefits of DCR in specific monitors.

DCR Monitor Meaning

DCR, also called dynamic contrast ratio, refers to the technology that optimizes the contrast of the monitor's display.

This innovation automatically detects the brightness that comes from the content projected on the screen and adjusts the backlight settings to provide the best quality of the picture.

DCR not only works on the contrast of a colored display, but it can also work in enhancing greyscale content.

Basically, it does not rely on colors to improve picture quality, so even if you have a grey-colored display, you can still have a better visual experience.

Instead, it works with the brightness of the screen, resulting in better, delicate picture quality.

To further understand the term, let’s also discuss display contrast value. Also called a static contrast ratio [1] is a property of a display screen system.

This refers to the ratio of the maximum brightness (white) to the minimum brightness (black) that the system is capable of projecting.

Usually, a high contrast ratio is recommended for any display.

Suppose the static contrast ratio is to the luminosity ratio of the still picture.

In that case, the dynamic contrast ratio refers to the same luminosity ratio a display is capable of producing while the picture is moving.

Instead of just comparing the maximum brightness value to the darkest shade of the capability of the system, it compares the brightest whites and darkest blacks of several scenes and automatically adjusts the backlight module improving the performance of a picture. 

This means that any display equipped with DCR technology can make dark scenes even darker by customizing the intensity of the backlight.

DCR display monitors are recommended for gaming as they can give players a more immersive gaming experience while providing high-quality image quality.


Should DCR Be Turned On Or Off?

When it comes to dynamic contrast optimization technology in your monitor, you have the option to turn it on or off. But how would you know when to use this setting?

The short answer: it depends on your picture display preferences and the software you’re running or the content you’re playing.

For Gaming

When gaming, turning on the DCR can make a huge impact on the brightness contrast.

If the setting is enabled, you can notice that the highlights of your computer monitor are lowered or darker, making the video quality more acceptable compared to when the setting is turned off, and the graphics quality can seem overexposed.

However, one problem with turning DCR contrast enhancement can make your game screen flicker, especially if scenes of the game constantly change.

This is because the intelligent display feature needs to change the contrast all the time.

This can be annoying to the eye. But if the game doesn't have many environment changes, contrast enhancement can be turned on, and your screen brightness will provide you with the best image quality your monitor can provide.

Another thing you need to consider is if you're looking to optimize your gaming performance.

For example, if you want faster gaming and you're playing with hyper-realistic visuals, it's best to turn off this setting.

But for simple and stylized animation, enabling it can better your experience.

Dynamic Contrast Ratio for Gaming Monitor

For Everyday Use

The DCR display technology also works well with everyday use. This can make it easier for you to set up the contrast settings of your computer.

But if you have your own picture preferences, it’s probably not ideal to turn on this setting as this does not focus on what the user wants.

Instead, it automatically detects the continuous exposure on the monitor and provides the best setting possible according to that.

For some, the DCR technology is exactly what they need for their graphics preferences.

However, to others, it's not a great viewing experience as there are continuous noticeable changes on the display, causing eye stress.

This is especially true if you're watching movies with various light and visual effects. The DCR will continue adjusting the images. 

At the end of the day, it depends on what detail you want to see and what resolution the display you want to be in.


Benefits Of DCR Specific Monitors

When your DCR monitor setting is enabled, low contrast displays won't be a problem anymore.

There are many other reasons why enabling this setting can result in a more comfortable visual experience, and here are some of them:

Benefits Of DCR Specific Monitors

Decent Contrast Ratio

When it comes to contrast value, DCR (dynamic contrast ratio) helps you get real contrast on your games or content.

For example, if you're playing a horror game and there are a lot of dark areas, the gaming environment automatically judges the scene.

It adjusts the different color levels of the content. Dark areas will become inkier darks, and the light areas will have brighter displays.

This provides a better balance on the images projected on the screen.

At the same time, adjusting the contrast resolution of a screen can be difficult for the human eye. This means we can’t really know the difference between bright and dark.

The displayed content won’t have rich levels of contrast and brightness if we only use our bare eyes to adjust the settings.

So turning on the setting can make it easier to have a better gaming experience and correctly adjust your computer’s display.

It’s Easy On Your Eyes

Do you often find your eyes tired from long exposure to computer screens? If so, it means that your display is in a higher contrast ratio.

Unfortunately, our eyes are not capable of measuring this. But don’t worry. DCR technology can help make your display easy on your eyes.

With the DCR setting enabled, it automatically checks the brightness of the display and changes the setting to provide the best quality.

This is why DCR monitors have become popular over the past few years.

Cost Effective

Compared to the latest HDR technology monitors, DCR monitors are cheaper. So if you’re on a budget and can’t invest in an expensive monitor, this is perfect for you.

The screen can produce high-quality displays that make it value for your money.

Fantastic For Gaming

Gaming requires good graphics to ensure that you’re having the best experience possible.

Most gamers are particular with graphics technology, and if you’re one of them, you’ll never go wrong with DCR monitors.

In addition to better graphics, the dynamic contrast ratio allows you to have a comfortable gaming experience, relieving any stress your screen can give to your eyes. [2]

Ordinary computer screens can put too much strain on your eyes and provide you with subpar display quality and lower resolution, which can hamper you from enjoying your favorite games.

But those won't be a problem if you have a monitor that has DCR settings.


How To Correctly Use DCR Monitors (Important Tips)

DCR monitors are no different from regular monitors. How to use them is exactly how you would use other computer screens, so don’t confuse yourself.

The brightness of the screen also varies depending on the brand and manufacturer and is measured in nits. The measurement gives you an idea of the quality of the image you’ll get.

One common problem with monitors with high brightness levels is that it results in digital eye strain. [3]

While true, it doesn't mean you have to live with it. DCR monitors can help lessen eye fatigue, allowing you to have a better gaming experience.


Frequently Asked DCR Monitor Questions

What is display polarity?

There are two types of display polarity: positive and negative. Positive polarity refers to a screen that displays dark characters on a lighter background.

On the other hand, negative polarity means that light characters are displayed on a dark background.

How do you calculate dynamic contrast ratio?

Contrast ratios can range from 1 to 21, usually written as 1:1 to 21:1.

The formula for this measurement is (L1 + 0.05) / (L2 + 0.05), where L1 refers to the luminance of lighter colors and L2 is the luminance of the darker colors.

Is a higher contrast ratio always better?

Generally, a higher contrast ratio can be beneficial, but they're not always the best display.

It still depends on the video or image you want to project on the screen and how your eye reacts to a specific display.

What is the best brightness and contrast setting for a monitor?

It varies on your location and how bright your room is. But generally, most people are comfortable with 60-80% brightness and 60-70% contrast.


Conclusion

Now that you know the DCR meaning, why not try it out for yourself and see if it suits your needs?

While it can significantly make your viewing experience better, many people aren’t comfortable with their screens if this setting is turned on.

Remember, you should take care of your eyes, and if you find yourself getting more eye fatigue when you enable DCR, turn it off immediately.

Eye comfort should be your priority over display quality.

References:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrast_ratio
2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/computer-eye-strain
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/