Consumer Electronics Association Gives 4K a Name18 Oct, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey
4K has a name: Ultra High-Definition.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Oct. 18 put a name to the next generation of home displays, putting the Ultra HD tag on giant screens with more than eight million pixels of resolution, four times the resolution of today’s widely available HDTVs.
“Ultra HD is the next natural step forward in display technologies, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. “This new terminology and the recommended attributes will help consumers navigate the marketplace to find the TV that best meets their needs.”
CEA’s Board of Industry Leaders unanimously approved the term and minimum requirements for a set or projector to earn the Ultra HD designation, which requires resolution of at least eight million active pixels (minimum 3,840x2,160). Displays must have an aspect ratio of at least 16x9 and must have a digital input capable of carrying native 4K video, instead of relying solely on up-converting.
“Under CEA’s leadership, the Ultra HD Working Group spent the majority of the summer meeting and discussing how to bring this technology to market,” said Gary Yacoubian, chair of the CEA Ultra HD Working Group Chairman, and president and CEO of Specialty Technology/SVS. “We discussed and debated two important steps, the name and recommended attributes, in a forum that allowed a variety of key stakeholders, manufacturers, retailers, broadcasters and Hollywood professionals to lend their voices.”
LG Electronics and Sony Electronics are both debuting 84-inch Ultra HD sets this fall. LG’s UD 84LM9600 has a list price of $20,000. Sony’s XBR-84X900 is listed at $25,000.
Current Blu-ray Disc players do not support Ultra HD video, and there are questions regarding whether broadcast Ultra HD content would require too much video compression. However, content issues are already being addressed: According to Sony Pictures, nearly 60 films have been mastered in Ultra HD since 2004, and Sony and Luxembourg-based satellite company SAS Astra said they successfully broadcast an Ultra HD transmission in September.
“TVs remain highly sought after and were the second most frequently mentioned device on consumer wish lists this holiday season, behind only tablets,” Shapiro said. “There has never been a greater time to be a consumer of televisions and displays. You can select from a wide array of choices offering outstanding high-definition picture quality, an amazing 3D experience, and interconnectivity within and outside of the home. And now we are proud to present Ultra HD for those consumers who want tomorrow’s next-generation of displays and televisions, today.”
The CEA promises Ultra HD will be a standout at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 8 to 11 in Las Vegas.