Standards are a big thing in the consumer electronics industry. When something new comes to market, manufacturers are quick to create whatever they can get out of the door, so associations recommending a set list of protocols to follow only help the consumer. And last year, when Ultra HDTV really hit the industry, companies followed a standard set by the Consumer Electronics Association in October 2012. This week, the CEA has announced an updated list of characteristics that are built upon the ones from two years ago.
The CEA's Ultra High-Definition Display Characteristics V2 are voluntary guidelines that will go into place in September of this year. The idea was to continue addressing the various aspects of the quality of the screen, compatibility with formats and making it easier for consumers to understand what UHD really is.
The CEA has said for a projector, monitor or TV to be considered Ultra High-definition, it must meet the following standards:
Display Resolution - Has at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3840 horizontally and at least 2160 vertically.
Aspect Ratio - Has a width to height ratio of the display's native resolution of 16:9 or wider.
Upconversion - Is capable of upscaling HD video and displaying it at Ultra High-Definition resolution.
Digital Input - Has one or more HDMI inputs supporting at least 3840x2160 native content resolution at 24p, 30p and 60p frames per second. At least one of the 3840x2160 HDMI inputs shall support HDCP revision 2.2 or equivalent content protection.
Colorimetry - Processes 2160p video inputs encoded according to ITU-R BT.709 color space and may support wider colorimetry standards.
Bit Depth - Has a minimum color bit depth of eight bits.
The CEA also recommended a set of attributes to follow for those who wish to call themselves a Connected Ultra HD Device.
Ultra High-Definition Capability - Meets all of the requirements of the CEA Ultra High-Definition Display Characteristics V2 (listed above).
Video Codec - Decodes IP-delivered video of 3840x2160 resolution that has been compressed using HEVC* and may decode video from other standard encoders.
Audio Codec - Receives and reproduces, and/or outputs multichannel audio.
IP and Networking - Receives IP-delivered Ultra HD video through a Wi-Fi, Ethernet or other appropriate connection.
Application Services - Supports IP-delivered Ultra HD video through services or applications on the platform of the manufacturer's choosing.
Speaking on these lists of attributes, CEO of the CEA Gary Shaprio said,
Ultra High-Definition TV is the next revolution in home display technology, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality. These updated attributes will help ensure consumers get the most out of this exciting new technology and will provide additional certainty in the marketplace.
The CEA is also working on creating a logo for UHD that will help consumers identify when a TV set they wish to buy is actually Ultra HD. Launching later this year, the logo would be voluntary for manufacturers to implement on packaging and marketing, but is said to be widely adopted. With all of the changes coming to televisions in the next year, it makes sense for the effort to educate the consumer to be one of the fore-fronts in the UHD movement. And hopefully manufacturers will follow the recommended attributes so that the customer experience doesn't suffer in the end.