By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 22, 2012 12:17 PM EDT
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced on Thursday, Oct. 18, that the next-generation of TV technology now bears the consumer-friendly name of "Ultra HD."
The CEA announced the new name on Thursday after its board unanimously approved the terminology. Until now, the industry had been using the "4K" terminology for TVs delivering four times the resolution of current HD sets.
Current HDTVs display content at 1080p, i.e. 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, or 1080i or 720p resolution. Ultra HD video quadruples or sextuples the number of pixels.
"Ultra HD is the next natural step forward in display technologies, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality," said CEA chief executive Gary Shapiro in a statement.
The CEA agreed on the new terminology after extensive consumer research indicated that Ultra HD was the best way to communicate the superior viewing experience offered by the technology.
"This new terminology and the recommended attributes will help consumers navigate the marketplace to find the TV that best meets their needs," noted Shapiro.
According to the association, TVs must display at least eight million pixels, or a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 to qualify as Ultra HD. The minimum aspect ratio must be 16:9, and Ultra HD TVs must also have digital inputs capable of carrying Ultra HD video content.
"TVs remain highly sought after and were the second most frequently mentioned device on consumer wish lists this holiday season, behind only tablets. There has never been a great time to be a consumer of televisions and displays," added Shapiro.
The industry is already starting to push the next-generation technology, particularly for large TV sets which tend to lose HD clarity the larger the screen gets. Currently, only a few products that are denoted as 4K in the market, including the Sony VPL-VW1000ES, are available. The only 4K consumer sources, however, are a PC output and one 4K feature film.
The first set of Ultra HD sets are expected to hit retail stores by year end. Ultra HD technology will also take a prominent place at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade show, scheduled from Jan. 8 to Jan. 11 in Las Vegas.
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