Updated! Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that its Ultra HD Blu-ray player, model UBD-K8500, has officially earned the UHD Premium Certification from the UHD Alliance (UHDA).

The new certification, introduced in April 2016, is granted to Ultra HD Blu-ray players that comply with performance standards for resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), peak luminance, black levels and wide color gamut among other key metrics. The UHDA will not disclose exact criteria to anyone who is not a UHDA member, but it referred those interested to the minimum performance parameters the body established for Premium devices, distribution and content and announced at CES 2016 in January. That Premium criteria has been added below.

Read more on the Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Premium certification after the jump:

UHDALogoSamsung’s new HDR-compatible UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player offers four times the resolution and 64 times higher color expression than conventional Blu-ray players. When paired with Samsung SUHD TV’s Quantum Dot Display, the UBD-K8500 delivers a level of picture quality never before seen in the home, according to Samsung. HD Guru’s tests confirm this statement, although, presumably, similarly good results will be seen in other Ultra HD Premium displays, including LG’s 2016 4K OLED models.

The built-in upscaling technology in the UBD-K8500 enhances the picture quality from standard Blu-ray discs and DVDs, and consumers can also play CDs.

The Samsung UBD-K8500 is currently the only Ultra HD Blu-ray player available in the U.S. market. Panasonic is marketing a player in other regions of the world and is expected to bring one to the United States by the end of the year. Oppo has also said it plans to have an Ultra HD Blu-ray player before the year is over. Philips, under P&F USA showed a player at CES 2016, but exact introduction plans have not been announced.

Samsung said that through the remainder of 2016, the UBD-K8500 will bear a certification logo from the UHDA “to ensure consumers identify it as a leading product that replicates both the richness of life’s sights and sounds to deliver the best content consumption experience.”

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The UHDA is a multi-industry organization developed to foster and promote the UHD ecosystem. Its mission statement is to begin gathering consensus on specifications and performance criteria for new 4k Ultra HD technologies, and the equipment that uses it. It was instrumental in determining premium performance criteria for black level and peak brightness used in “premium 4K Ultra HDTVs.” It also established performance levels required in Premium Ultra HD Blu-ray disc titles.

In response to our questions about the criteria used in determining Ultra HD Blu-ray Premium status, a UHDA spokesperson issued the followed statement:

“As we mentioned at CES, the criteria for UHDA Premium Certification is exclusive and proprietary to UHDA members only and as such, the UHDA will not be sharing this information.”

At CES the UHD Alliance issued Technical Specifications for performance criteria in Ultra HD Premium devices, distribution and content.

Ultra HD Premium certified products must deliver combinations of parameters to ensure a premium experience across a wide range of devices. Products carrying the Premium logo must meet or exceed the following:


Image Resolution: 3840×2160

Color Bit Depth: 10-bit signal

Color Palette (Wide Color Gamut)

Signal Input: BT.2020 color representation

Display Reproduction: More than 90% of P3 colors

High Dynamic Range:


A combination of peak brightness and black level either:

More than 1000 nits peak brightness and less than 0.05 nits black level

Or, More than 540 nits peak brightness and less than 0.0005 nits black level


Any distribution channel delivering the UHD Alliance content must support

Image Resolution: 3840×2160

Color Bit Depth: Minimum 10-bit signal

Color: BT.2020 color representation

High Dynamic Range: SMPTE ST2084 EOTF

Content Master:

The UHD Alliance Content Master must meet the following requirements:

Image Resolution: 3840×2160

Color Bit Depth: Minimum 10-bit signal

Color: BT.2020 color representation

High Dynamic Range:


The UHD Alliance recommends the following mastering display specifications:

Display Reproduction: Minimum 100% of P3 colors

Peak Brightness: More than 1000 nits

Black Level: Less than 0.03 nits

The UHD Alliance said its technical specifications “prioritize image quality and recommend support for next-generation audio.”

The specifications were developed through the collaborative efforts of leading film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers, content distributors and technology companies, as well as with feedback from extensive consumer testing, Samsung said.

Samsung was one of the companies that spearheaded the establishment of the UHDA.

It said all of its 2016 SUHD Series 4K Ultra HD TV models conform to the Ultra HD Premium logo status.

Not all consumer electronics manufacturers have agreed to participate in the Ultra HD Premium logo program, for various reasons. Both Sony and Vizio have said they will not seek Ultra HD Premium logo certification this year. Sony referred to its breadth of 4K Ultra HD products and categories, many of which are premium products but for which no logo program exists. The company doesn’t want to confuse customers by using the logo on some of its Premium Ultra HD products and not others.

Vizio has disagreed with some of the measurement standards and processes the UHDA used for its certification programs. A number of other companies have said they are undecided about whether or not they would have their products participate.

By Greg Tarr


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