A few years ago, video streaming services and TV broadcasters upgraded to High Definition (HD). The HD broadcast was an incredible improvement to standard definition (SD), and it changed the way we watch and film media. Entertainment and electronic manufacturers saw the impact of the improvement, and want to go beyond HD by adopting 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) as the new standard.
Now, over 40 of the biggest entertainment companies have come together to form a new coalition that would promote broad industry adoption of audio/video entertainment to UHD standards. This is great news for consumers who are in the market for a 4K TV, because it guarantees improvements in picture quality and future-proofs for product compatibility when the change occurs.
4K or UHD?
UHD, Ultra HD, and 4K all mean the same thing; different manufacturers simply call this technology by different names.
4K is what the professional cinema industry uses to describe screen resolution by height and width. These measurements are 4,096 x 2,160. By rounding 4,096 down you get 4,000 (or simply 4K).
Consumer electronics manufacturers adopted the 4K terminology, but their standards are slightly different. Your home 4K TV screen measures 3,840 x 2,160. Even though quality and picture sharpness isn’t lost, some TV manufacturers were concerned about calling them 4K because they did not meet the height and width criteria. So they began using UHD or Ultra HD to describe the screens.
The Coalition – UHD Alliance
The UHD Alliance is the name of the new coalition promoting UHD adoption and consists of film studios, tech companies, and electronic manufacturers. Some notable members include Disney, Netflix, Sony, LG, Samsung, Universal, Dolby, Amazon, and more.
With TV broadcast standards changing to 4K, and film makers and sports cameramen using better cameras, the Alliance determined UHD is the best viewing experience for consumers. For the first time, specific standards have been set to ensure UHD consistency, regardless of the brand of equipment being used. No matter the manufacturer or broadcaster used, you’ll receive the same high quality standards that are associated with Ultra High Definition when you see the Alliance’s UHD Premium badge.
The New Standards
The UHD Alliance created a UHD Premium badge that appears on the packaging to reward companies for meeting these standards. This symbolizes the equipment meets UHD/4K quality and is compatible with other brands meeting the requirements.
These are the requirements necessary for UHD Premium Certification:
- An image resolution of at least 3,840 x 2,160 (4K)
- Must produce a Wide Color Gamut (WCG), which leads to broader color representation.
- A 10-bit color depth screen that allows for 1,024 shades of the three primary colors (red, green, and blue). This is a big jump from 256 shades 8-bit HD standards and offers colors that have never been seen on a TV screen before. The difference is a UHD screen that can create a billion colors opposed to only 16 million of HD. If you’re watching sports, movies, or playing a video game, you’ll notice the difference!
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) measures the contrast of potential darkness and brightness of each pixel, measured in Nits. Contrast is the hallmark of picture detail and realism. The range must be 0.05 – 1,000 Nits for LED TV screens and 0.0005 – 540 Nits for OLED monitors.
These requirements may not mean too much to you at the moment, but 4K is here to stay! The majority of the entertainment industry is pushing this to be the norm. Much of broadcast TV, sporting events, streaming services, and Blu-Rays will switch to UHD 4K definition in a very short time if it has not done so already.
The UHD Premium badge ensures your TV is on the forefront of the sharpest, most realistic image technology, so you’ll be ready when the change occurs. The badge will also make it easier to sort out all of the different manufacturers’ terminology and specifics. When you see the UHD Premium badge, you’ll know that your TV has reached the highest benchmark in image quality standards!
Visit your local P.C. Richard & Son Superstore and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales associates to find the perfect UHD television for you.
Stay informed on the latest P.C. Richard & Son sales product news, tips and tricks, contests, P.C. Richard & Son Theater shows and more! Subscribe today.