The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group developing standards criteria for the Ultra HD ecosystem, said Wednesday that it has developed a new Ultra HD Premium certification and logo program for Ultra HD Blu-ray players.

The Ultra HD Premium logo was first unveiled by the group at CES 2016 in January as a means for consumers to quickly identify flat-panel TVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray media titles that conform to the highest standards of performance in the new 4K Ultra HD ecosystem.

The group said 30 4K Ultra HD televisions have been certified under the Ultra HD Premium logo program to date, with more to follow.

Certain companies, including Sony, claim to have 4K Ultra HDTVs that would comply with certification standards but have chosen not to use the logo, in part, because it doesn’t address the breadth of 4K Ultra HD products that Sony handles. So Sony has developed its own logos to communicate product capabilities. The Ultra HD Premium program for UHD Blu-ray players would be one step toward broadening that scope.

“The certification of Ultra HD Blu-ray players is a natural first expansion, because the Ultra HD Blu-ray format was built with premium performance in mind and a growing number of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles released by Hollywood also bear the Ultra HD Premium logo,” stated UHD Alliance President Hanno Basse (pictured at top).

Read more on the Ultra HD Premium logo for Ultra HD Blu-ray players after the jump:

The criteria for the certification program was developed through the collaborative efforts of leading film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers, content distributors and technology companies. The specifications outlined for each device category is said to “reflect collective expertise from across the Ultra HD ecosystem, as well as significant input gleaned from experiential consumer testing.”

The premium logo is reserved for products, content and services that comply with performance metrics for resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), peak luminance, black levels and wide color gamut among others. The specifications also make recommendations for immersive audio and other features. These advances in resolution, contrast, brightness, color and audio combine to deliver a premium Ultra HD experience in the home.

The Blu-ray Disc Association, another multi-industry promotion and specifications group, developed the original specifications for the Ultra HD Blu-ray format covering the range of criteria supported by the platform. The UHDA’s criteria further refines that criteria for so-called “premium” performance products. Many of the companies that participated in the process are also represented among the UHDA membership.

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The group said the addition of the certification for Ultra HD Blu-ray players allows “in-home viewers to more fully and accurately experience the content creator’s vision.”

Going forward, the UHDA said it is currently looking at developing an Ultra HD Premium program for “live broadcast of UHD content with an eye toward identifying key technical issues and developing a premium standard for live broadcast content.”

Samsung is currently the only manufacturer with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player — model UBD-K8500 — available in the market. As this was posted, Samsung was looking into whether or not it’s current player would meet all of the qualifications for Ultra HD Premium certification.

We have also requested the criteria for determining Ultra HD Premium compliance. Stay tuned for an update as these details arrive.

The UHDA verifies compliance with the Ultra HD Premium criteria at multiple, independent testing centers around the world. The UHDA said it will provide certified testing centers with a specific testing protocol for Ultra HD Blu-players. Companies throughout the ecosystem will work directly with these centers to have their products tested and certified, the group said.

Click the link to find the latest Ultra HD Premium products.

By Greg Tarr


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