CES 2017: UHD Groups Offer Updates

Las Vegas—Two industry consortiums in the Ultra High-Def (UHD) 4K space offered industry updates for CES, with the 50-plus member UHD Alliance making the most noise, completing specifications for the use of 4K content on mobile devices.

The specs lay out what’s required of consumer electronics companies and content creators for the delivery of 4K content on laptops, smartphones and tablets, covering high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut and resolution expectations.

The alliance is aiming to make 4K content more accessible to consumers, considering the growth of mobile device spending and usage, Dan Schinasi, director of product planning for Samsung Electronics America, told B&C.

“We’re all about the ecosystem, and mobile has to include laptops and tablets, along with smartphones,” he said.

UHDA president Hanno Basse, CTO for 20th Century Fox, added: “There are so many viewing options available to consumers today and we continue to see growth in portable viewing, whether on laptops, notebooks, tablets or smartphones.

“As a growing association committed to defining and helping consumers identify those products and content that deliver a premium next generation entertainment experience, expanding our certification and logo program to include all viewing devices was a logical step for the UHDA.”

The UHD Alliance expects to announce its overall licensing commencement and logo introduction this quarter.

Meanwhile, also at CES, the Ultra HD Forum which aims to set industry best practices for new 4K tech, released a new version of its Ultra HD Phase A industry guidelines, which covers the standards expected of new “commercially feasible” UHD tech.

Version 1.2 of the Forum’s guidelines include the implementation of object-based audio codecs, including Dolby Atmos, down-conversion of 4K content to HD and SD, carriage signals for file-based video formats, and high dynamic range.

“It’s exciting to work with such a wide variety of experts from across the ecosystem and incorporate lessons from early adopters to bring these Guidelines to the industry,” said LG Electronics’ Madeleine Noland, who chairs the Forum’s Guidelines Working Group. “This new version will pave the way for the Forum’s ‘Phase B’ guidelines that we’ll start working on in January 2017. We are also very excited about the new members coming on board and look forward to incorporating their important perspective into the work.”