CE Week 2014 has officially begun here in downtown New York City, where we’ll report the latest Ultra HD happenings to our beloved readers. For those of you who don’t know, CE Week is put on by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the same organization who brings you the annual International CES in Las Vegas (broadly known as the “Consumer Electronics Show”). CE Week 2014 launched this morning with the “Your Next TV Conference” — which covered various production forecasts, current obstacles, and overall excitement for the future of Ultra High Definition.
Quotes like “Ultra HD is here to stay” and “Ultra HD is the next big thing” were mentioned throughout the morning. During one of the panels, representatives from the various top-tier manufacturers were invited to a questions-and-answer style panel on stage. Among several topics discussed, the most notable included: improving built-in audio, focusing on the content frame-rate, attaining 8- and 10-bit color reproduction, dropping prices, OLED obstacles, and content distribution.
Key takeaways from the conference were:
- “Ultra HD is the next big thing” — a quarter of the U.S. is expected to have an Ultra HDTV by 2018.
- “Ultra HD is here to stay” — the industry has invested heavily in UHD, and is significantly less focused on 3D TV requiring glasses.
- Bandwidth speeds remain an obstacle, but not for long. HEVC and VP9 are coming to fruition.
- “Seeing is believing” — consumers need to see Ultra HDTV’s in person to be convinced.
- The lack of Ultra HD Content remains a paramount issue, and content creators are urged to work in Ultra HD.
- Upscaling is generally a stopgap until more Ultra HD Content becomes available.
- OLED is “always just around the corner” — all the manufacturers agreed that OLED needs more time, with the notable exception of LG, who made very clear that they will be releasing a number of OLED products this year.
- Smart TVs are getting smarter, but users continue to use other devices for e-commerce transactions while watching TV.
- Should Smart TV apps be linked to a universal standard? Or should each manufacturer use proprietary systems? HTML5 was generally encouraged as an open standard.
- Expanded color gamut, high dynamic range, and higher frame rates are just as significant as the number of pixels in Ultra HDTVs.
- Choosing an Ultra HDTV should come from respected providers of both editors and user ratings and reviews.
The CEA also took the opportunity to release an updated set of definitions for “Ultra High Definition Display Characteristics” to further improve consumer awareness.
“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.”
- 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 3840×2160 native content resolution at 24p, 30p and 60p frames per second. At least one of the 3840×2160 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.
Furthermore, the CEA elaborated on the terminology of a “Connected Ultra HD Device” — which is defined as:
- 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 3840×2160 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 HDTV Magazine will continue to bring you updates from CE Week. Also, we have something very exciting to announce in the coming months! We know you’ll love it…