The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group advancing and promoting Ultra HD home entertainment, announced at the IFA consumer technology show in Berlin this week that it has established new Ultra HD Premium specifications for Streaming Media Players, Set-top boxes and Desktop PCs and is currently reviewing interoperability issues raised by consumers.

The group said the new Ultra HD Premium categories would be added to previously established classifications for premium-level Ultra HD TVs, Computer Monitors, and Ultra HD Blu-ray players.

For each of the new content delivery device categories represented under the Ultra HD Premium logo program, qualifying products “must deliver the same performance requirements in 4K resolution, high dynamic range, color spectrum and color bit depth that were established for Ultra HD TV’s and Ultra HD Blu-ray players.”

That criteria includes: 3840×2160 pixel resolution, HDR with peak luminance threshold levels of 1000 nits (LED-LCD TVs) or 540 nits (OLED TVs), black levels of 0.05 nits (LED LCD-TVs) or 0.0005 nits (OLED TVs), 10-bit color bit depth, and 90 percent or better of the DCI-P3 color gamut recommendation.

The UHDA said specifications and testing requirements have been completed for the new categories and the Alliance anticipates product testing and licensing will begin in early Fall of this year.

The new Ultra HD Premium certified classifications “will offer consumers more ways to enjoy a premium UHD experience and open new pathways for the delivery of premium content to the rapidly growing global installed base of 4K Ultra HD displays,” the group announced.

Read more on the UHDA’s new initiatives after the jump:

“With 4K UHD TV shipments increasing by 42 percent to 81 million in 2017, the one constant in a continually and rapidly changing content delivery environment is the consumer demand for a premium content experience regardless of the delivery platform,” said Michael Zink, UHD Alliance chairman. “To that end, whether they are viewing content delivered by a disc player, cable or satellite box, or a streaming media player, they can look for the Ultra HD Premium logo to identify products that deliver a premium experience in 4K UHD with HDR.”

The UHDA cited IHS Markit sales forecasts showing global Ultra HD TV shipments rising from 12 million units in 2014 to more than 100 million units by 2018, with an anticipated spike in shipments of UHD source devices contributing to the growth in UHD TV volume.

Beyond the expanded Ultra HD Premium certification program, the Alliance also announced it is broadening its mission to include monitoring and maximizing interoperability between product categories.

Additionally, the organization said it has already “conducted an initial review of interoperability issues raised by consumers to identify common trends with an eye toward providing consumer, retail and manufacturer education to help ensure consumers get the best UHD experience possible.”

The UHDA said it is also augmenting its consumer education efforts to encompass the overall promotion of 4K UHD with HDR entertainment and the underlying technologies such as wide color spectrum and immersive audio.

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“Our primary focus has been establishing Ultra HD Premium as the benchmark for excellence, and not only does it remain a core part of our mission, but we’re pleased that many companies are building their products to meet or exceed our specifications.” said new UHDA President, Mike Fidler. “That said, a lot of technology is coming at consumers very quickly, and often disparately, making it hard for them decipher what each of these technologies mean. As such, we think it’s critical that the Alliance take a broader view of consumer education and to expand our efforts for the benefit of the entire category.”

The Alliance is also launching a new consumer website, producing a series of educational videos and a new retail/consumer brochure focusing on UHD technologies such as HDR, Wide Color Spectrum and other features.

On the production side, the Alliance is also meeting with individual manufacturers, leading industry organizations and retailers “to help craft and disseminate uniform information to help consumers understand and identify products that deliver the best in 4K UHD with HDR performance.”

 

By Greg Tarr

 

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