uhd alliance 580The UHD Alliance (UHDA), an inter-industry group working on achieving consensus on standards involved in the display of 4K Ultra HD video in the home, said Tuesday that it has completed specifications for 4K Ultra HD displays, content and distribution and will formally announce them at CES 2016.

The UHDA, which is represented by key members of the consumer electronics, content production and content distribution industries, said it will also be unveiling a new consumer-facing certification logo to help shoppers quickly identify 4K UHD products that adhere to the specifications “and can deliver the ultimate UHD experience.”

Although many of the 4K Ultra HD specifications have already been published in the Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications announced last summer, a few major points have remained unanswered, including minimum and maximum brightness levels needed to help display makers define sets supporting high dynamic range (HDR).

More on the UHDA specification announcement after the jump:

Industry insiders have told HD Guru that the specification-setting process has dragged on through much of the year, in part, because of disagreements over HDR brightness ranges between LED LCD TV manufacturers and LG and OLED component suppliers, which are championing the needs of OLED TV technology.

Due to inherent technology differences – OLED panels are emissive and generate their own light while LCD TVs are transmissive and require LED back or edge lighting to create a picture — 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs and OLED TVs display HDR using different degrees of brightness and darkness.

LCD TVs are capable of higher brightness levels (more than 1,000 nits in some cases) than most OLED display devices, while OLED TVs are capable of achieving “absolute black levels,” because they can completely shut off light at the pixel level. The best LED TVs can do is locally dim zones of LED backlights to near black but not the absolute blackness generated in OLED displays.

Therefore, the two technologies come at HDR from different directions. OLED starts at black and works up 14 to 15 camera f-stops of light (steps of increasing brightness) in the HDR spectrum. LED TVs start at maximum brightness they can generate and work down the 15 stops to the lowest level of black they can achieve.

One of the issues UHDA members have faced is how to arrive at a standard that will satisfy both approaches. Stay tuned for the solution.

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According to a statement issued by the group Tuesday: “The UHDA’s specifications cover a combination of key features and consumer-tested benchmarks that will usher in a new era of in-home entertainment.

The specification outlines performance metrics related to resolution, high dynamic range, and wide color gamut, as well as recommendations for immersive audio, among others.

Advances in resolution, brightness, contrast, color and audio will enable certified displays and content to replicate the richness of life’s sights and sounds and allow in-home viewers to more fully and accurately experience the content creator’s vision.”

The UHDA said companies interested in the UHDA specification and the associated licensing terms can obtain a copy of the UHDA Information Agreement here.


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By Greg Tarr


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