What Is Motion Blur Reduction? (ULMB, LightBoost, BenQ Blur Reduction, Ultra Low Motion Blur)....what not!
Are you setting up your gaming PC and wondering why you are experiencing ghosting and fast-moving objects trailing on the screen? This is because to complete your setup, you need more than a quick CPU, a powerful GPU, and a gaming monitor with a high refresh rate. Unfortunately, without top motion clarity on your monitor, your gaming experience will be affected.
Not only will your performance improve when the motion clarity on your monitor is superb; you are less likely to experience headaches or eyestrain after longer gaming sessions. This is where Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) comes into play.
This technology is now quite common, found on most modern gaming displays. The simple purpose of MBR is related to something called a “sample-and-hold“. This displays the same frames until the image refreshes. Unfortunately, when the images are moving faster, the images appear blurred.
Why Does This Happen?
Your display projects pictures formed from the individual pixels on the screen. The rate the images get displayed is based on the monitor’s refresh rate, but it is also dependent on whether your computer can handle executing the game at the same rate.
Specifically, a 60Hz monitor is capable of displaying 60 frames (or pictures) for every second and a 120Hz monitor can display 120 frames per second. The monitor displays the images so quickly that your brain sees it as a movement. But modern displays do not work the same way. The individual pixels are not capable of shifting colour and brightness, and most monitors only have a response time of a couple of milliseconds.
When you are watching a movie or simply browsing, it will not affect you at all, but it is not the same when you are playing something fast-paced on your computer. Thus, you will notice a blurring that can make viewing worse and affect performance.
There are two ways to solve this. First is to upgrade to a monitor with a higher refresh rate, and the second is to invest in modern gaming displays with the technology to reduce motion blur.
How Does Motion Blur Reduction Work?
Beyond being an eyesore, you can experience eyestrain if you do not have MBR features on your monitor. Basically, they work by reducing the amount of time a frame is being displayed or increasing the refresh rate of the monitor. Another way is to introduce a strobing effect by turning the backlight off in between refreshes, instead of leaving the light on the whole time.
Although your eyes will not notice these effects, they will end up looking at each pixel for a shorter period of time because it is no longer displayed as long. You will start to feel like you are using an old CRT monitor, as the technology and the built-in strobing effect has similar effects. The result is the image looking and feeling smoother to the human eyes.
Motion Blur Reduction features are optional and can be switched on and off, and in order to have the strobing effect, your GPU must be powerful enough to maintain the high number of frames per second.
Different Names For Blur Reduction
If you want to know what products out there have Motion Blur Reduction, you need to look out for a special mode in a gaming display. Different brands have their own names for it, including the following:
- LightBoost (by NVIDIA)
- ULMB or Ultra Low Motion Blur (by NVIDIA)
- PureXP or Pure Experience (by ViewSonic)
- DyAc or Dynamic Accuracy (by BenQ ZOWIE)
- ELMB or Extreme Low Motion Blur (by ASUS)
- VRB or Visual Response Boost (by Acer)
- Aim Stabilizer (by AORUS / Gigabyte Technology)
- MotionFlow Impulse (by Sony)
- 1ms MPRT (by LG)
These features can usually be switched on or off via the monitor’s menu or via a software utility.
Downsides of Motion Blur Reduction
Not every monitor display can end up with clear images like a CRT monitor, and at times you will notice the double images (or strobe crosstalk) and micro stutters. You might also notice the colours are not as striking and the display itself being dimmer than usual. This is because some monitors have better quality Motion Blur Reduction and others do not. In most cases, the strobing effect is better on monitors that have additional settings like “Strobe Phase”, “Pulse Width”, or “Duty Cycle”.
With these settings, you can tackle the issue of reduced picture brightness by manually adjusting the frequency of backlight strobing. You can find that sweet balance where the motion clarity is improved without compromising on picture brightness. Some monitors might not have this issue, with the images remaining very bright even with MBR features switched on, so make sure you read the reviews on the product before purchasing.
Screen flickering can also be experienced when backlight strobing is activated. The human eye might not notice it all the time, but if you are sensitive to it, you might end up having headaches after a long time playing or using the computer.
Other Factors That Affect Motion Blur
While motion blur can be a normal occurrence, you can tailor your monitor purchase to a product that has a fast grey to grey (GtG) response time speed wherein motion blur is not as bad.
VA panels might have a high refresh rate and MBR features, they have, however, the slowest pixel transition speed from dark to bright pixels. Thus, you will experience a noticeable motion blur in darker scenes.
On the other hand, TN panels have the best response time speed (normally 1ms GtG), which is why they remain the best and most popular with competitive gamers. IPS panels perform in the middle with its improved pixel transition time, although newer models might have the same response time as a TN panel.
The best are OLED panels, simply because they do not use a backlight in producing a picture and the individual pixels change in an instant, so the motion appears very smooth. However, OLED gaming monitors are not as common and are much pricier than others.
Do you spend a lot of time playing fast-paced games on your computer? If yes, you would definitely need to understand motion blur and how it can affect your gaming experience and your eyesight. Make sure you find these Motion Blur Reduction features and how to use them to make the images move more smoothly on your screen.