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4K UHD Resources and Glossary

While 4K UHD TVs are so amazing they should be able to sell themselves, we know they don’t


4K “4K” refers to video devices, services or programs with 3840×2160 resolution, or over 8 million individual pixels. That is more than four times the resolution of Full HD sets. 4K UHD includes a wide range of benefits other than increased resolution.

UHD Ultra High Definition is the formal, industry recognized, name of the standard that includes better and more accurate color (HDR) and better motion rendering with 4K resolution.

HDTV High Definition Television is the video display standard with 1920×1080 resolution in “Full HD,” with slightly more than 2 million pixels. “720p” HDTV has almost a million pixels.

Bit Rate Bit rate is measured as “bits per second” (bps) and refers to the rate at which the data is transmitted. For Digital TV, the maximum possible bit rate within the bandwidth is 19.4 Mbps, while SDTV has a lower bit rate. The higher the bit rate, the more data is processed which usually results to higher picture resolution or better sound quality.

LCD Liquid Crystal Display, or LCD TVs, use a flat panel that contains millions of individual pixels that are individually opened and shut like a gate so that light from an LED may pass through to light a part of a picture, or close when it is supposed to be dark.

LED Light Emitting Diodes, similar to those widely used for room lighting, are used to provide the light that shines through an LCD panel to collectively deliver a picture. LCD TVs that use LED backlighting are often referred to as “LED TVs.”

HDCP High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection is the system used to protect copyrighted programs such as movies and concerts from piracy. Most 4K UHD content, regardless of how it is delivered, uses the HDCP 2.2 version. You should make certain that all new 4K UHD products have that capability.

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) HDMI is a single cable that connects the audio/video products in your entertainment system. The current HDMI 2.0a version is the minimum needed for HDR-10 content.

HDR High Dynamic Range is a video display technology that greatly increases the range between light and dark, so that more of what the eye sees in real life is visible. Different HDR systems include Advanced HDR by Technicolor, Dolby Vision, HDR+, HDR-10+, and HLG. An HDR TV set and HDR-encoded content is required. More become available every day.

OLED Organic Light Emitting Diode displays use organic compounds that light up when electrical current is applied. Millions of individual pixels in an OLED can be turned completely on or off to deliver pure black.

Pixel Pixels are the individual picture segment on a screen that compose a video image. The more pixels, the better the resolution. 4K UHD sets have more than 8 million pixels.

Quantum Dots Also known as “QD” “or “Nano Crystals,” Quantum Dots are specialized materials that are applied to or over an LED to precisely fine-tune the color output for a wider range of more accurate color. Some brands use “QLED” to describe a system with LCD, LED, and Quantum Dot technology.


Industry trade associations not only provide the definitions for UHD products mentioned in the introduction, but their web sites and industry events such as CES provide invaluable assistance.

The Consumer Technology Association:

The UHD Alliance:

The Blu-ray Disc Association:

Digital Entertainment Group:



Additional background and updates on the latest UHD technology and products are essential for keeping up with consumer questions. As a start, make certain that everyone subscribes to the CTA Smart Brief. Then, keep abreast of news from leading publications and web sites.

  • Trade Publications: TWICE, Residential Systems, Sound & Video Contractor, TV Technology 
  • Consumer Publications: Sound & Vision, EH Home, Consumer Reports
  • Video-centric consumer sites: AVS Forum, Secrets of Home Theater, HD Guru,
  • Online Tech Sites: CNET, Engadget, Gizmodo, Tech Radar, The Verge, Digital Trends,