Live From CES: UHD Alliance Defines the UHD Experience

New specs for displays and content will help consumers choose among UHD TV sets

As CES activities got under way, the UHD Alliance made public its recommendations for best practices related to UHD-display specifications and to the creation and distribution of UHD content.

“The reason the UHD Alliance was formed is, we felt that UHD had a future,” says Hanno Basse, president and chairman of the board, UHD Alliance. “But it was not well-defined as to what we mean when we say ‘UHD’ and ‘next-generation AV experience.’”

Since being formed last year, the UHD has been hammering out the specifications that would not only define a premium UHD experience but also give consumers an easier means of figuring out which UHD sets truly have the best specifications. These specs were announced at the CES press event:

  • Resolution: 3820×2160
  • Color-Depth Bitrate: 10
  • Color Palette: BT2020 (with displays required to display more than 90% of P3 colors)
  • Brightness: SMPTE ST2084 EOTF (either 1000 nits peak brightness with less than .05 nits black level or more than 540 nits peak brightness and less than .0005 nits black level)
UHD Alliance President Hanno Basse announces the new Ultra HD Premium seal of approval.

UHD Alliance President Hanno Basse announces the new Ultra HD Premium seal of approval.

Current member companies of the UHD Alliance board are Disney, DirecTV, Dolby, LG, Netflix, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Technicolor, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.

From a practical standpoint, the UHD Alliance will give UHD-set manufacturers, Hollywood studios, distribution-service providers, and production companies a seal of approval. Once approved, the sets and content can make use of the “Ultra HD Premium” logo.

“The certification process allows the logo to be licensed and put on content or devices,” Basse explains. “Then the consumer can put the two things together to ensure a guaranteed quality experience.”

There are currently 35 UHD Alliance members. Non-members will be able to take advantage of a licensing program to apply for a logo. Multiple test centers around the globe will take in the product and certify that they meet the specification.

“More than 12 displays are already certified with the logo,” Basse points out, “and a number of displays on the show floor and in private suites will be exhibited.”

“Ever-rising consumer adoption of Ultra HD TV sets will fuel strong growth for the entire Ultra HD ecosystem over the next few years,” notes Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Technology. “Annual worldwide shipments of Ultra HD TVs are expected to grow nearly 719% over the next several years, according to IHS forecasts, from nearly 12 million in 2014 to nearly 96 million in 2019, with over 300 million in use by the end of 2019. For the many mainstream consumers looking to make sense of the various terminologies, acronyms, and feature descriptions at retail, standardization efforts such as the UHDA’s “Ultra HD Premium” can reduce consumer confusion and help ensure consistency of both buyer expectations and the delivery of the end experience, benefiting not only consumers but also the industry as a whole.”