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What is UHD?

Jun 29, 2018

TV screens have come a long way since the days of black and white, static and rabbit ear antennas and the entire family crowded around a single screen. In fact, our modern love of all things digital has ramped up screen and display innovation to the point that screens are virtually everywhere: phones, tablets, watches, sporting events, airplanes, cars and the list goes on… 

It’s time to shake up how we think about screens, and UHD – Ultra High Definition – technology is leading the way. 

Ever hear of 4K Resolution? Probably. Well it’s only one of the technologies that go into making UHD an amazing advancement in digital display technology and one of the many exciting technologies that allow your favorite devices to fully replicate the richness of life’s sights and sounds. Learn how UHD gives you an even more immersive, realistic experience, whether you’re kicking it with Deadpool, bashing Bowser with Mario or just texting your mom. 

Quality First

4K Resolution, High Dynamic Range, Wide Color Gamut and Immersive Audio (we’ll dive deeper into each of these a little later) combine to create a true UHD experience.  And, to ensure consumers can easily identify products that maximize the benefits of each of these technologies the UHD Alliance has developed two logos for consumers to seek out: Ultra HD Premium and Mobile HDR Premium. Put simply, the Ultra HD Premium and Mobile HDR Premium logos mean that the product meets performance requirements designed to maximize the UHD experience. You can find UHD Alliance certified products by looking for the special logo on TVs, phones, and tablets. 

When you see this logo it means the product has very high standards for resolution, and performance. The Ultra HD Premium or Mobile HDR Premium logo tells you, “Buckle up for an immersive experience.”

The UHD Alliance certifies premium in-home and portable entertainment devices, as well as movie content. We’re a governing body that evaluates digital displays, measuring performance and ensuring customers get only the highest quality. Our goal is to give you the most realistic entertainment experience possible; we want you to see and hear digital media as the creator intended. 

What does this mean for you? The Wild West days of varying screen quality are long gone. Media giants like content creators and distributors, streaming services and electronic device manufacturers care about the quality of your experience. Thanks to the UHD certification you know that you’re buying primo products that will give you a thrilling experience. 

You’ll see the scales on Jurassic Park’s terrifying T-Rex and feel the slicing bite of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber with Ultra HD Premium certified screens.

Ultra High Definition Beyond 4K

4K TV started making waves in 2014, giving entertainment lovers resolution that was a marked improvement on high-definition (HD) TV. 4K resolution has four times as many pixels as HD, which means clearer, more nuanced images without pixilation. This increase in pixel density adds sharpness, striking detail, smoother curves and more fluidity and realism to an image and allows larger screens to be viewed from any distance

A few ways UHD gives you an immersive experience:

1. Stunning, crisp visuals

UHD is all about high quality visuals. But what does that mean, exactly?

Without getting too technical, UHD products have a feature called ‘High Dynamic Range,’ or HDR. This high-grade feature lets you see high contrast in images much more easily. See the richest, darkest shadows and shining, bright whites together with no problem. 

Let’s say you’re watching The Dark Knight. This Batman flick is known for its use of low light and darkness. Yet, many HD screens aren’t able to crisply display these darker scenes and you may have to squint to see what’s going on. With UHD, you can see shows and movies like you’ve never seen them before: see into the darkness and the light with high contrast screens. 

UHD also has an expansive color range to the tune of one billion (yes, billion) colors. This gives you a wider range of vibrant, more natural-looking colors on screen referred to in the biz as Wide Color Gamut. Don’t settle for ‘purple’ when a film’s director intended for you to see ‘mauve.’ Wide Color Gamut gives more depth and shade to each color, which means sharper, more realistic hues.

2. Stunning sound quality

A great picture is only a half-step forward if it’s accompanied by shoddy sound. Fortunately, UHD has high standards for audio too. It means you get the best of both worlds with industry-leading digital display and amazing, realistic sound. 

UHD includes a feature called Immersive Audio that makes you feel like you’re in on the action. Ultra HD Premium products that choose to integrate Immersive Audio deliver sound from non-traditional points for a truly complete surround-sound effect, giving whatever you’re watching even more dimension.

3. Amazing mobile experiences

Over 60 percent of all video is viewed on mobile devices. With Mobile HDR Premium smartphones and tablets, mobile doesn’t have to mean lower quality. You deserve to have a great experience, whether you’re streaming Stranger Things on Netflix on your tablet or binge-watching movies on Amazon Prime Video on your phone.  

Long gone are the days of grainy video. Ultra HD is a terrific experience even if you don’t have a TV or desktop. Whether you’re a college student or an on-the-go parent, a UHDA certified Mobile HDR Premium phone gives you full-size device quality on a compact piece of real estate. Now being mobile doesn’t mean compromised quality when accessing your favorite streaming content and games. Mobile HDR Premium lets you stream content in an elevated visual environment that is simply unparalleled. 

The Bottom Line

UHD is the future of audiovisual entertainment, whether you enjoy it from the comfort of your couch or the seat of an airplane. If you want the highest possible quality experience available, make sure you look for the Ultra HD Premium or Mobile HDR Premium logo and you’re assured of getting the best on the market.