There is UHD, then Super UHD, now there is UHD Premium.  What is it?

Ultra HD Premium Is Revealed as the Full-Featured UHD Standard, Which Includes the UHD Blu-rays That Will Launch This Spring (March 1st 2016, actually)

On the Monday evening of CES 2016, the UHD Alliance gathered together to publically reveal the logo and specs for a new standard, Ultra HD Premium. This new standard and branding includes more than just the 4K/3840×2160 spec, and via licensing and certification, the Ultra HD Premium standard will enable end users to match “full-featured” displays with “full-featured” content.

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.
UHDA Ultra HD Premium Announcement
The UHD Alliance is made-up of 35 member companies including studios, manufacturers, distributors and related technology companies. The UHDA board members alone represent a who’s who in the sector. The Ultra HD Premium standard will be crucial for both digital and physical 4K content going forward. Indeed, studio representatives from Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. confirmed that their all of their planned new 4K discs and digital offerings will meet the Ultra HD Premium standard, and that the logo would figure prominently.
The certification will be very important for new displays; however, these new discs will still be playable in 4K on many existing 4K TVs, albeit without features like HDR.
While the standard is quite detailed in terms of visual specifications, the standard handles peak brightness and black level by way of range yielded through combination.
Here is the full rundown on the new standard:
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: 3840×2160

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 level

OR 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: 3840×2160

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: 3840×2160

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
With the Ultra HD Premium standard now public, LG has announced that their key 2016 4K OLED TVs have already passed the certification testing phase and will not only be certified as Ultra HD Premium, but have even been designed to exceed technical specifications set forth by the UHDA.

As for the Ultra HD Premium Blu-rays, Samsung will announce a specific launch date for the UBD-K8500 during their CES press conference. That date will also see the launch of the Ultra HD Premium Blu-rays. At the UHDA Announcement, the timeframe was given as Spring/Summer, with a rough number of the combined studios promising between 100-400 titles by the end of the year.
With March being so close, it’s no wonder that the UHDA has touted its inter-industry efforts to pull together and get these specs hammered out. The aim in part is to avoid not only the format war that plagued the launch of Blu-ray but also the confusion as well.
These Ultra HD Premium Blu-rays will come bundled with a conventional Blu-ray (for both Twentieth Century Fox & Warner Bros.), which should incentivize both early adopters and those who are expecting to eventually take the plunge. Digital copy bundling is also expected, and it’s expected to follow the same sporadic support that frequents current Blu-ray and Digital copy bundles.
The studios will still offer a conventional Blu-ray sku alongside the Ultra HD Premium Blu-ray and Blu-ray pairings, which suggests a higher echelon in terms of pricing.
Twentieth Century Fox will debut its support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X with their Ultra HD Premium Blu-rays. There are no current plans to offer those sound formats on any conventional Blu-rays, and that includes the normal Blu-rays that will come bundled with the new format.
Given the company’s history, Warner Bros. is actively considering a new trade-in program; however, the logistics of disc exchange remain a large obstacle. Another option under consideration is a purchase discount tied with a user’s Amazon account history. (And that may extend to past digital purchases as well.) Nothing firm along these lines is expected this year.
At the onset, certified displays and Ultra HD Premium Blu-rays will bear the Ultra HD Premium logo, but not the disc players. (Expect that to change for 2017.) Specific digital content that passes the standard will bear the logo, but whether users can expect to see the logo in a video on-demand service like Netlfix remains a question. For example, something like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road.’ Of course, even in that case, Netflix can pursue certification for its own content.
Expect further information on Ultra HD Premium content and devices as CES unfolds.

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Source: UHDA

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One response to “There is UHD, then Super UHD, now there is UHD Premium.  What is it?

  1. Unbelievable! It’s almost like they WANT these new technologies to fail. First they concoct obscure names for the standards: NTSC, SD, HD, UHD. (What the heck is a ‘UHD’??) Then they fracture those standards by adding qualifiers: will that be Regular, Premium or Ultra UHD?

    Give me a break. 3D was killed as much as anything by multiple incompatible offerings, incompatible glasses, incompatible transmission standards… Blu-ray remains crippled to this day, as a result of vacillation over standards. Now it’s going to be UHD Blu-ray, Ultra Premium Super-Duper UHD Blu-ray, Crappy Inferior UHD Blu-ray, Left-handed UHD Blu-ray… And don’t forget the HDMI 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 3.14159…. (With HDCP on top of that.) Get it wrong, and oops – you just wasted $3,000. Sorry, no refunds.

    Get it together, folks! Come up with a clear and simple story… BEFORE taking it to the consumer.

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