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UHD Alliance unveils official 4K TV spec

Katharine Byrne
5 Jan 2016
UHD Alliance UHD Premium logo
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Look out for the UHD Alliance's Ultra HD Premium logo for the very best 4K content and devices

If you haven't already bought an Ultra HD TV, finding one that offers the very best 4K experience is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to the UHD Alliance. The inter-industry group comprised of the likes of Samsung, LG, Netflix and Twentieth Century Fox revealed its official Ultra HD Premium logo at CES this year to help consumers identify which products and devices will deliver top quality UHD content.

According to the UHD Alliance, the logo will be reserved for products and services which meet its performance metrics for resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), brightness, black levels and wide colour gamut. The specification also makes recommendations for immersive audio, and covers multiple display technologies, so you should see the logo appear on both LED and OLED-based TVs.

"These advances in resolution, contrast, brightness, colour 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 UHD Alliance said in a statement.

There are three specifications in total, with one covering devices such as TVs, one for distribution channels and another for content. At the moment, the UHD Alliance says that all three prioritise image quality, but that each one also recommends support for next-generation audio. To qualify for the logo, all three specs demand an image resolution of 3,840x2,160 and support for a minimum of 10-bit colour signal (existing Blu-ray discs only support 8-bit colour), a wide colour gamut and HDR.

However, devices must go one step further to satisfy the UHD Alliance's HDR requirements. They must either have a combination of more than 1,000 nits peak brightness and less than 0.05 nits black level, or more than 540 nits peak brightness and less than 0.0005 nits black level. This would suggest that LED TVs must meet the former specification, while dimmer OLED TVs must meet the latter.

"The diverse group of UHDA companies agreed that to realize the full potential of Ultra HD the specs need to go beyond resolution and address enhancements like HDR, expanded colour and ultimately even immersive audio. Consumer testing confirmed this," said UHD Alliance President Hanno Basse.

"The criteria established by this broad cross section of the Ultra HD ecosystem enables the delivery of a revolutionary in-home experience, and the Ultra HD Premium logo gives consumers a single, identifying mark to seek out so they can purchase with confidence."

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