The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has officially renamed 4K TVs Ultra-High Definition TV to help consumers better understand the difference between the new technology and existing high-definition televisions on the market.
The 4K refers to the fact that the TV screen has a resolution of up to 4096x2160 pixels. This works out to 8 mega pixels, four times greater than current TV display capabilities and resulting in the sharpest, clearest images yet seen in the average living room.
The technology was first demonstrated by Toshiba and Sharp at Japan's Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (more commonly referred to as CEATEC) electronics trade show in October 2011. LG was the first to market with an 84-inch 4K TV, which it launched in South Korea in August and which has recently been followed by Sony with its Bravia 4K LCD TV, which it hopes will be stores in time for Christmas.
"Ultra HD is the next natural step forward in display technologies, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. "This new terminology and the recommended attributes will help consumers navigate the marketplace to find the TV that best meets their needs."
The group also defined the core characteristics of ultra high-definition TVs, monitors and projectors for the home. Minimum performance attributes include display resolution of at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3,840 horizontally and at least 2,160 vertically. Displays will have an aspect ratio with width to height of at least 16 X 9.
To use the Ultra HD label, display products will require at least one digital input capable of carrying and presenting native 4K format video from this input at full 3,840 X 2,160 resolution without relying solely on up-converting.