The official nomenclature for the next generation of televisions has been confirmed — Full HD is gone from the top of the pecking order, and Ultra HD has taken its place.
A Consumer Electronics Association think-tank ratified the term ‘Ultra High-Definition’ on October 18, after a working group spent several months discussing possible terms for education and marketing the new technology.
According to the CEA, Ultra HD resonated best with consumers during market research as the best term to describe “this next generation of superior television and display technology”.
The Ultra HD standard is relatively simple. To qualify, a screen must have a resolution of at least 3840 horizontal and 2160 vertical pixels (about eight million pixels all up), in an aspect ratio of at least 16:9, with at least one digital video input capable of carrying a 3840x2160pixel signal. As of the HDMI 1.4 standard released in October 2011, HDMI is capable of carrying Ultra HD-resolution video. No minimum frame rate for transmission or playback is included in the Ultra HD standard.
Two next-generation TVs were announced in Australia before the official naming decision: Sony’s BRAVIA XBR900, and LG’s 84LM9600. Sony initially pushed its television as ‘4K’, while LG adopted ‘Ultra Definition’ as its go-to moniker.
LG has jumped on board the Ultra High-Definition bandwagon, though, re-jigging its marketing to refer to the 84LM9600 as "the 84” Ultra High Definition TV, or 84” Ultra HD TV". A statement from LG reads: “LG believes it is important to help consumers navigate this new marketplace, and accordingly embraces this new terminology to better inform Australians who are already familiar with High Definition.”
According to The Verge, Sony USA is bucking the trend and continuing to use 4K in front of Ultra HD in its marketing — it thinks that 4K is different enough from HD and Full HD that it will “ensure clarity for consumers and delineate between today’s and tomorrow’s technology”. If Sony pushes ‘4K Ultra HD’ versus LG and others’ Ultra HD, the same confusion that the CEA was trying to avoid may be inevitable.
We’ve got in touch with Sony Australia to ask for their position on the Ultra HD name.
Update: A representative of Sony Australia has told PC World that "Sony Australia has not announced any specific details about the CEA’s announcement."
While we knew that already, it looks like Sony Australia is unlikely to change its marketing to accommodate the Ultra High-Definition name. A press release we just received from Sony makes several references to 4K, saying that "Only Sony truly understands the complete 4K experience".