In-field evaluation of the modulation transfer function and the signal-to-noise ratio of electronic-display devices

Hans Roehrig, Jerry Gaskill, Jiahua Fan, Chadwick Martin, John Greivenkamp, Ehsan Samei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes a charged-coupled device (CCD) camera, which was developed for in-field evaluation of the image quality of electronic-display devices [such as cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) and liquid-crystal displays (LCDs)] used for medical applications. Contrary to traditional cameras for display-image-quality evaluation, this CCD camera does not require a sophisticated x-y-z translation stage for mounting and adjustment. Instead, it is handheld and pressed by gentle pressure against the display screen. It is controlled by a software package which was originally developed for display calibration according to the DICOM 14 gray-scale standard display function (CSDF).1 This software package controls the camera gain when measurements are made at different display luminance, display test patterns, performs image analysis and displays the results of the measurements and calculations. The work concentrated on the measurement of modulation transfer function (MTF) and of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) per display pixel. The MTF is derived from the Fourier transform of the line spread function (LSF). The single-display-pixel SNR is derived from the integration of the noise power spectrum (NPS) of a camera image taken of a display with a uniform luminance. It is demonstrated that the device can produce repeatable results in terms of MTF and SNR. MTFs were measured on three monochrome CRTs and five monochrome LCDs in order to study repeatability and similar quantities. The MTF was measured on a 5-Mpixel LCD yielding values that lie within 3.5% of the average MTF at the Nyquist frequency and 4.0% of the maximum total sharpness (∫ MTF2 df). The MTF was also measured on a 9-Mpixel LCD, yielding values that lie within 9.0% of the average MTF at the Nyquist frequency and 8.0% of the maximum total sharpness. The SNR was measured eight times on a 3-Mpixel monochrome LCD at nine digital driving levels (DDLs). At a DDL of 185, the mean SNR was 15.694 and the standard deviation (Stdv) was 0.587. At a DDL of 65, the mean SNR was 5.675 and Stdv was 0.120.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-860
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Society for Information Display
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • CCD camera lens
  • CRT
  • In-field image-quality evaluation
  • LCD
  • MTF
  • SNR
  • Software camera control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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