UHD Alliance Focusing on Mobile HDR

The UHD Alliance canceled a planned press conference at CES 2017, so we met with them in a suite at the Westgate Hotel. Apparently they wanted to make an announcement about the extension of an Alliance formulated HDR mobile program, but they could not get all the needed sign offs in time. “That’s OK,” explained spokesperson Dan Schinasi, “as it should get done for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which is a better launch event anyway.”

Through its current Ultra HD Premium certification program, the alliance certifies UltraHD TVs, UHD Blu-ray players, and content masters as delivering a premium experience. For consumer TVs, the criteria include minimum UltraHD resolution along with minimum requirements for bit depth, dynamic range, and color gamut.

Schinasi said that the Alliance has now reached 50 members, a nice milestone, and they are seeing new members join with a focus on mobile products. The new specification will focus on battery powered devices like phones, tablets and laptops. This part is now complete, but they still have to work on how the licensing, certification will be done and the logo.

For the new specification, they started with the existing TV specs but then considered the needs for resolution, viewing distance, ambient illumination and more. They want to set a high bar for HDR on these mobile platforms – “and no current device meets these specs,” commented Schinasi. This will mean different dynamic ranges for OLED and LCD displays, but he declined to give specifics or if an UltraHD resolution display would be required.

At MWC they also expect a content providers’ announcement on delivery and content titles – and maybe some product announcements. Schinasi said that the HDR10 master can be used for mobile platforms, but it is unclear if a trim pass will be needed to create the mobile master.

The UHD Alliance is also developing a new micro web site with a focus on consumer and retailer education. To facilitate this, they are working with the UHD Forum, DTG, CTA, BDA and other groups. Look for more news at MWC, which runs from Feb. 27 through March 2. – CC