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Consumers will soon encounter a higher-definition technology option for their TV set, one that the Consumer Electronics Association today announced will be called “Ultra High-Definition” or “Ultra HD.”

Getting the entire industry to agree on the name is intended to avoid confusion and to emphasize that these televisions are an improvement over the already commonplace HDTV televisions. Other considered names included “4K TV,” “UDTV,” “Super Hi-Vision” and “UHDTV.”

The labeling decision was timely, since these sets will be prominently featured at International CES 2013 in January and several networks used the Olympics as an opportunity to make programming at that resolution. LG already began U.S. sales of a $20,000 84-inch Ultra HD TV (pictured) in September, and Sony soon after released its competing 84-inch Ultra HD TV for about $5,000 more.

Here’s the geeky stuff. Before a television, monitor or projector can label itself Ultra HD, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Display resolution of at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3,840 horizontally and at least 2,160 vertically
  • Display aspect ratio with width to height of at least 16 X 9.
  • At least one digital input capable of carrying and presenting native 4K format video from this input at full 3,840 X 2,160 resolution without relying solely on up-converting.

The Ultra HD name was endorsed unanimously by CEA’s Board of Industry Leaders in their Thursday meeting, at which the organization also codified the attributes a television must have before it can be called Ultra HD. These measures were recommended by the 4K Working Group – which has now changed its name to the CEA Ultra HD Working Group – and incorporates research from both technological and marketing studies.

Related links:

Consumer Electronics Association – press release

CNet Asia – Sony Bravia KDL-84X9000

CNet Asia – LG 84LM9600

Photo courtesy of LG

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