The early-stage format offering resolution four times greater than HD will carry an industry-wide moniker of Ultra High-Definition or Ultra HD. The less
flashy 4K will be shunted aside as a consumer term, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
CEA sought a unified label to level the playing field, so a consumer shopping at Best Buy or Walmart.com could search for one term -- whether the manufacturer of the sets is Sony or LG.
A CEA board voted to adopt the common term this week upon recommendation from a 4K working group. Its membership included Mitsubishi executive Frank DeMartin, ESPN’s Bryan Burns and LG’s John Taylor. Gary Yacoubian, CEO of Specialty Technologies/SVSound, served as the chair.
In addition to the moniker, the CEA board endorsed the working group’s recommendations on “minimum performance characteristics,” for example, display resolution of 8 million active pixels or more -- for an Ultra HD. CEA said Ultra HD tested well in market research as a way to help “consumers understand the technology and in communicating the technology’s superior viewing experience.”
Ultra HD sets are retailing at more than $20,000 and a critical mass of content in 4K is a ways off, although Discovery said its new studio for 3net, its 3D network, will delve into 4K production. There are opportunities for up-converting programming in other formats too.
Ultra HD will be displayed with a high-profile at the January CES show, which could have an impact on its consumer adoption speed.
Yacoubian, the working committee head, stated debate and exploration employed a “forum that allowed a variety of key stakeholders, manufacturers, retailers, broadcasters and Hollywood professionals to lend their voices.”