The 8K Association (8KA), the cross-industry group dedicated to promoting the growth of the 8K ecosystem, has published an updated certified 8K TV performance specification for the 8K Association Certified mark program. The updated specification adds new decoding requirements, image quality metrics and a game mode.
The 8KA also announced new member growth in the second half of 2021. New members include Prime Video, content creation company 4by4, testing service provider UL, with TV maker Changhong rejoining the organization.
“Prime Video was the first subscription service to launch HDR back in 2015, and we are obsessed with providing our customers high audiovisual quality, noted Ben Waggoner, principal video specialist at Amazon. “We want to team up with the 8KA in identifying if and what content benefits from delivery at native 8K and 4Kp120, and the technical requirements to deliver those benefits to customers.”
The 8K Association is also pioneering the use of Ambient Contrast Ratio (ACR) as a new way to help ensure good picture quality performance in different ambient lighting conditions. For example, the TV will deliver the brightest colors and widest contrast when the room is dark. But as the ambient illumination increases, both of these picture quality elements diminish. Brighter TVs and TV screen technology with lower reflectance overcome this. The 8KA ACR test measures the reflectivity of the TV with a test pattern in both bright and dim illumination conditions and sets levels for performance in each case that the TV must pass.
Also included in the revised specification are new Gaming mode requirements that include support for Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) via the HDMI 2.1 interface. Gaming on 8K TVs is expected to be an important use case, so the 8K Association wants to help ensure the best performance.
In terms of new members, joining the organization is Korea-based 4by4 Inc. This visual technology company has produced 8K demo and promotional videos and manages the KEYCUTstock platform to license video clips up to 8K in resolution. 4by4 also has an AI-based deep learning solution named PIXELL, enhancing video quality from HD up to 8K. KEYCUTstock platform uses the PIXELL solution to produce 8K video content from the raw video data for advertising, broadcasting, and others.
“We have worked with some content creators to produce 8K video contents from the raw video data and have verified the quality of 8K video content on 8K TVs,” said Junho Yoon, CEO. “4by4 would like to share the experience with other 8KA member companies and help educate other content creators on the benefits of 8K. We are even looking at creating 8K versions of older classic Korean dramas for OTT distribution.”
UL (underwriter Laboratory) offers a wide range of testing services and is now in the process of being audited to become an 8KA certified test lab able to measure 8K TVs for the Association’s logo program. UL will join two other labs already certified for the 8KA testing: Allion Labs and Telecommunications Technology Associates (TTA). Together, these three labs over testing services in many regions around the globe, giving TV makers more options in having their TVs certified.