CES 2015: TV Makers And Hollywood Studios Join Forces To Standardize 4K Technology

The UHD Alliance will set standards for ultra-high definition and 4K content

ultra-high definition, 4K display
Creating New Standards in 4K Television
Major TV companies and Hollywood studios are teaming up to standardize 4K and ultra-high definition (UHD) technology.Popular Science

The promise of 4K televisions has been trumpeted by the biggest names in technology for the last three years at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and yet, most people still don’t own a 4K television. Part of the reason for the slow adoption rates is that the 4K TV industry is fragmented: Content providers and hardware manufacturers have different ideas about where 4K video is heading and how it will be viewed—but a new coalition of TV makers and Hollywood studios thinks it can jumpstart the industry by working together.

TV juggernauts Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp are partnering with major content providers like Netflix, Disney, DirectTV, Dolby, Warner Bros., and Twentieth Century Fox to standardize and advance the 4K technology. The partnership—called the UHD Alliance—will focus on normalizing terminology, delivery systems, and other elements of 4K video consumption.

Although the UHD Alliance hasn’t specified any immediate actions, it's likely that it will try to clear up common misconceptions about 4K video. Until now, most technologists have used the terms ultra-high definition (UHD) and 4K interchangeably. The reality, though, is that 4K and UHD displays have different resolutions. New standards for the burgeoning technologies will make it easier for consumers to make decisions about high-end TVs.

As for 4K content, new standards will likely pave the way for more movies and TV shows in the high-resolution format. Though it's far too early to determine the impact of the announcement, from our view on the 2015 CES showroom floor, the future is looking a lot brighter. And sharper.

Popular Science is covering the coolest, most futuristic, and strangest gadgets and technologies at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Catch our complete CES 2015 coverage all week long.