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CEA Updates Characteristics for Ultra High-Definition Displays

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced updated core characteristics for Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TVs, monitors and projectors for the home. As devised and approved by CEA’s Video Division Board, these characteristics build on the first-generation UHD characteristics released by CEA in October 2012.

These expanded display characteristics (CEA’s Ultra High-Definition Display Characteristics V2) – voluntary guidelines that take effect in September 2014 – are designed to address various attributes of picture quality and help move toward interoperability, while providing clarity for consumers and retailers alike.

“Ultra High-Definition TV is the next revolution in home display technology, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “These updated attributes will help ensure consumers get the most out of this exciting new technology and will provide additional certainty in the marketplace.”

Under CEA’s expanded characteristics, a TV, monitor or projector may be referred to as Ultra High-Definition if it meets the following minimum performance attributes:

  • Display Resolution – Has at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3840 horizontally and at least 2160 vertically.
  • Aspect Ratio – Has a width to height ratio of the display’s native resolution of 16:9 or wider.
  • Upconversion – Is capable of upscaling HD video and displaying it at Ultra High-Definition resolution.
  • Digital Input – Has one or more HDMI inputs supporting at least 3840x2160 native content resolution at 24p, 30p and 60p frames per second. At least one of the 3840x2160 HDMI inputs shall support HDCP revision 2.2 or equivalent content protection.
  • Colorimetry – Processes 2160p video inputs encoded according to ITU-R BT.709 color space and may support wider colorimetry standards.
  • Bit Depth – Has a minimum color bit depth of eight bits.

Because one of the first ways consumers will have access to native 4K content is via Internet streaming on “connected” Ultra HDTVs, CEA has defined new characteristics for Connected Ultra High-Definition displays. Under these new characteristics, which complement the updated core UHD attributes, a display system may be referred to as a Connected Ultra HD device if it meets the following minimum performance attributes:

  • Ultra High-Definition Capability – Meets all of the requirements of the CEA Ultra High-Definition Display Characteristics V2 (listed above).
  • Video Codec – Decodes IP-delivered video of 3840x2160 resolution that has been compressed using HEVC* and may decode video from other standard encoders.
  • Audio Codec – Receives and reproduces, and/or outputs multichannel audio.
  • IP and Networking – Receives IP-delivered Ultra HD video through a Wi-Fi, Ethernet or other appropriate connection.
  • Application Services – Supports IP-delivered Ultra HD video through services or applications on the platform of the manufacturer’s choosing.

Ultra High-Definition TV is the closest thing to bringing the 4K Digital Cinema experience from movie theaters to the home, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with superior picture quality compared to current HD displays. UHD TVs, projectors and monitors provide the ultimate viewing experience with more than eight million pixels of resolution, four times the resolution of today’s high-definition televisions, as well as other technical improvements designed to result in an unparalleled home entertainment experience for consumers.

CEA’s expanded display characteristics also include guidance on nomenclature designed to help provide manufacturers with marketing flexibility while still providing clarity for consumers. Specifically, the guidance states, “The terms Ultra High-Definition, Ultra HD or UHD may be used in conjunction with other modifiers,” for example ‘Ultra High-Definition TV 4K’.

In addition, CEA is working with its member companies to develop a UHD logo to assist consumers in identifying UHD products in the marketplace that meet CEA’s guidelines. The logo will be made available for voluntary use by manufacturers for product packaging, marketing materials and promotional activities. The companion voluntary logo program is expected to be launched later this year.

*High Efficiency Video Compression Main Profile, Level 5, Main tier, as defined in ISO/IEC 23008-2 MPEG-H Part 2 or ITU-T H.265, and may support higher profiles, levels or tiers.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media.


  • CE Week
    June 23-27, 2014, New York, NY
    • CE Week Exhibits
      June 25-26, 2014, New York, NY
  • CEA Innovate!
    Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2014, Phoenix, AZ
  • CES Unveiled Paris
    October 22, 2014, Paris, France
  • CE Hall of Fame Dinner
    November 10, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled New York
    November 11, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled Las Vegas
    January 4, 2015, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2015 International CES
    January 6-9, 2015, Las Vegas, NV

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