As the industry starts to set quality standards, camera manufacturers may be pushed towards offering higher-quality 10-bit 4K recording. The UHD Alliance, a group made up from leading producers, distributors and device makers has defined the Ultra HD Premium brand that requires certain minimum specifications to be met for content production, streaming and replay.

The most interesting detail is the requirement for 10-bit capture, distribution and playback, meaning cameras must be able to record 10-bit footage to meet the standard. We're hoping this will mean higher bit-depth recording from 4K-capable cameras to allow their use in productions hoping to carry the Ultra HD Premium branding.

At present, most cameras we encounter can only capture 8-bit files, limiting dynamic range and flexibility at the color grading stage.


Press Release:

UHD Alliance Defines Premium Home Entertainment Experience

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enjoying a premium, full-featured Ultra High Definition in-home experience has been simplified for consumers as the UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group charged with fostering the Ultra HD ecosystem and promoting the benefits of Ultra HD entertainment technology, today unveiled a consumer-facing logo to identify devices, content and services capable of delivering a premium experience to an exploding Ultra HD market that is expected to grow eightfold by 2019. The UHDA also announced the start of licensing of its ULTRA HD PREMIUM logo.

Developed through the collaborative efforts of leading film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers, content distributors and technology companies, the Ultra HD Premium specifications reflect collective expertise from across the Ultra HD ecosystem, as well as significant input gleaned from experiential consumer testing.

The UHDA’s ULTRA HD PREMIUM logo is reserved for products and services that comply with performance metrics for resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), peak luminance, black levels and wide color gamut among others. The specifications also make recommendations for immersive audio and other features. These advances in resolution, contrast, brightness, color 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 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 color 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.”

To ensure products bearing the ULTRA HD PREMIUM logo are certified and conform to the organization’s specifications, the UHDA has designated multiple, independent centers around the globe to handle testing. Companies throughout the ecosystem will work directly with these centers to have their products tested and certified.

The UHDA’s new ULTRA HD PREMIUM specifications cover multiple display technologies and reference established industry standards and recommended practices from the Consumer Technology Association, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the International Telecommunications Union and others.

“Ever-rising consumer adoption of Ultra HD TV sets will fuel strong growth for the entire Ultra HD ecosystem over the next few years,” noted Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Technology. “Annual worldwide shipments of Ultra HD TVs are expected to grow nearly 719% over the next several years according to IHS’ forecasts, from nearly 12 million in 2014 to nearly 96 million in 2019, with over 300 million in use by the end of 2019. For the many mainstream consumers looking to make sense of the various terminologies, acronyms and feature descriptions at retail, standardization efforts such as the UHDA’s “ULTRA HD PREMIUM” can reduce consumer confusion and help ensure consistency of both buyer expectations and the delivery of the end experience - benefiting not only consumers, but also the industry as a whole.”

Founded in January, 2015, the UHDA, has grown to more than 35 companies in two membership categories - Board and Contributor. In 2016, the UHDA will add a third member category, Adopter, for those who wish to license the Ultra HD Premium specifications. Collectively, the UHDA member companies will continue to lead the charge into this new era of home entertainment through advances in resolution, brightness, contrast, dynamic range, color and audio.

Companies interested in the UHDA specification and the associated licensing terms can obtain the UHDA Information Agreement and/or licensing terms by going through: http://www.uhdalliance.org/contact-us/.

ABOUT THE UHD ALLIANCE:

The UHD Alliance (UHDA), comprising more than 35 member companies, is a global coalition of leading film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers, content distributors and technology companies aligned to foster the creation of an ecosystem that fully realizes and promotes the next generation premium in-home entertainment platform. Key characteristics of a robust next generation experience should offer 4K resolution as well as a mix of other features that include high dynamic range, wide color gamut, high frame rate and immersive audio, among other features. UHDA Board members are executives from: The DIRECTV Group Inc, Dolby Laboratories, LG Electronics, Netflix, Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corporation, Technicolor, The Walt Disney Studios, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment. To learn more about the UHD Alliance, please visit: www.uhdalliance.org

“ULTRA HD PREMIUM” Logo
“ULTRA HD PREMIUM” logo is trademark of the UHD Alliance, Inc.

UHD Alliance Technical Specifications Overview

The UHD Alliance has developed three specifications to support the next-generation premium home entertainment experience. The three specifications cover the entertainment ecosystem in the following categories:

  • Devices (currently, television displays, with other devices under consideration)
  • Distribution
  • Content

A high level overview of each technical specification can be found below. Please join the UHD Alliance for full access to all technical and test specifications.

Devices

The UHD Alliance supports various display technologies and consequently, have defined combinations of parameters to ensure a premium experience across a wide range of devices. In order to receive the UHD Alliance Premium Logo, the device must meet or exceed the following specifications:

  • Image Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Color Bit Depth: 10-bit signal
  • Color Palette (Wide Color Gamut)
    • Signal Input: BT.2020 color representation
    • Display Reproduction: More than 90% of P3 colors
  • High Dynamic Range
    • SMPTE ST2084 EOTF
    • A combination of peak brightness and black level either:
      • More than 1000 nits peak brightness and less than 0.05 nits black levelOR
      • More than 540 nits peak brightness and less than 0.0005 nits black level

Distribution

Any distribution channel delivering the UHD Alliance content must support

  • Image Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Color Bit Depth: Minimum 10-bit signal
  • Color: BT.2020 color representation
  • High Dynamic Range: SMPTE ST2084 EOTF

Content Master

  • The UHD Alliance Content Master must meet the following requirements:
  • Image Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Color Bit Depth: Minimum 10-bit signal
  • Color: BT.2020 color representation
  • High Dynamic Range: SMPTE ST2084 EOTF

The UHD Alliance recommends the following mastering display specifications:

  • Display Reproduction: Minimum 100% of P3 colors
  • Peak Brightness: More than 1000 nits
  • Black Level: Less than 0.03 nits

The UHD Alliance technical specifications prioritize image quality and recommend support for next-generation audio.

UHDA Member Companies

Company

Membership Level

The DIRECTV Group, Inc. Board Member Company
Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Board Member Company
LG Electronics Board Member Company
Netflix, Inc. Board Member Company
Panasonic Corporation Board Member Company
Samsung Electronics Corporation Board Member Company
Sony Corporation Board Member Company
Technicolor Board Member Company
The Walt Disney Studios Board Member Company
Twentieth Century Fox Board Member Company
Universal Pictures Board Member Company
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Board Member Company
 
Amazon.com Contributor
ARRI, Inc. Contributor
Dreamworks Contributor
DTS Contributor
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Contributor
Hisense Contributor
HiSilicon Technologies Contributor
Intel Corporation Contributor
Koninklijke Philips N.V. Contributor
MStar Semiconductor, Inc. Contributor
Nanosys Inc. Contributor
Novatek Contributor
NVIDIA Contributor
Orange Contributor
Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Contributor
Rogers Communications Contributor
Sharp Corporation Contributor
Shenzhen TCL New Technology Co., Ltd. Contributor
Sky UK Ltd Contributor
THX Ltd Contributor
Toshiba Lifestyle Products & Services Corporation Contributor
TP Vision Europe B.V. Contributor