“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

CEA Says "Ultra HD" Name to Replace 4K

by October 21, 2012
CEA Says "Ultra HD" Name to Replace 4K

CEA Says "Ultra HD" Name to Replace 4K

You may remember the confusing terms used to refer to HDTVs when 480i/p, 720p, and 1080i/p sets were starting to hit the market. 480p was considered EDTV, or enhanced definition television. 720p (or 768p) and 1080i/p sets were considered HD, but some manufacturers only called 1080i/p “Full HD”, even though both are considered HD. There was also confusion about 1080p sets that could only accept a 1080i signal. To further complicate things there were more competing TV technologies than we have today: DLP, DILA/SXRD, LCD, LCD Projection, Plasma, CRT…

Come up to present day and things are easier, but the CEA thinks that the advent of 4K displays might make things confusing again. In an effort to best define and educate consumers about these new higher resolution displays the CEA has establish the names “Ultra High-Definition” or “Ultra HD” to refer to 4K displays. They put a lot of effort into choosing these names. The CEA Ultra HD Working Group was formed earlier this year to investigate how to go about labeling 4K displays. They brought in key stakeholders from across the AV industry, including the CEO of SVS, to partake in the discussion. The group met most of the summer and utilized extensive research about what name was most helpful to consumers.

In order to be labeled as Ultra High-Definition or Ultra HD TVs, the display needs to have at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3,840 horizontally and 2,160 vertically. The display must also have the standard HD aspect ratio of 16:9. Finally, at least one input on the display needs to support native 4K without relying on upconversion.

We think that it is a great idea to establish a standard name before many Ultra HD products hit the market. We also like that displays will need to actually support a 4K signal. Many of the current "4K" displays can’t actually accept a true 4K input signal. Furthermore, some of them don’t have eight million pixels active at once, they merely simulate or interpolate 4K. A great example of this are JVC's projectors with E-shift technology.

We don’t think that this move will avoid all of the confusion, but we applaud the CEA for establishing a standard before Ultra HD displays hit the shelves of local stores. Hopefully manufacturers will follow along quickly. We also hope that manufacturers will not attempt to skirt around the specification for Ultra HD and develop new names for displays that only simulate 4K or cannot accept native 4K content. Our only real question is: Why not just tackle a new name for 8K while you are at it?

About the author:
author portrait

Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

View full profile