The big companies behind 4K are teaming up with Hollywood to form the UHD Alliance

by on January 9, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 9, 2015

A wide coalition of companies, including TV makers like LG, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic along with a number of media giants like Netflix, Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox are now working together to set the standards that will make ultra HD content better and much more popular globally.

The grouping is called the UHD Alliance and its formation was recently unveiled at the CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada. During a press conference held on Monday, Samsung, LG and Panasonic said that they would be partnering with Netflix, Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox to set standards for wider acceptance of Ultra HD in the U.S and internationally.

The UHD Alliance will be tasked with the job of setting “the bar for next-generation video entertainment by establishing new standards to support innovation in video technologies including 4K and higher resolutions, high dynamic range, wider color gamut and 3D audio technology.”  These are words straight from a press statement issued by the Alliance.

Furthermore, according to Hyunsuk Kim, president of Samsung’s visual technology division, the Alliance is working to “encourage” the creation and development of high quality ultra HD content and at the same time give attention to TVs that provide the best levels of quality in the UHD viewing experience.

One of the key reasons behind the massive promotion of ultra HD TVs by the major electronics makers lies in the fact that conventional TV sales and profit margins have been quite stagnant for several years already. The arrival of ultra HD 4K TVs with all sorts of powerful new features gives not only an added profit margin per unit sold to TV makers, it also has the potential to revitalize the TV industry as a whole.

One of the problems that TV sales faces is the prolonged amount of time during which consumers keep old TVs before buying newer models. This is not in direct contrast to mobile phones and PCs, which often get replaced each year. However, given the current prices of UHD TVs, the major manufacturers in the UHD Alliance understand that they will have to reduce these retail price tags if they really want the format to increase their overall sales and add new life to their TV manufacturing departments.

Finally, there is the matter of UHD content, which is still somewhat scarce despite constant additions of movies and shows from several major broadcasters. The UHD Alliance wants to use its weight to set standards and push forward technology that will both make content easier to create and more common.


The formation of the UHD Alliance was announced on Monday at CES 2015

The formation of the UHD Alliance was announced on Monday at CES 2015

Other members of the UHD Alliance include DirecTV, Dolby Laboratories, Sharp Electronics, Sony Visual Products, Technicolor and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The Alliance also stated that it will make sure that all of the “links in the chain” of producing, distributing and consuming 4K content to the 4K playback capability of devices fully meet identified premium quality levels while at the same time being flexible and open to new innovation and new content on the market.

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