What is Ultra HD?

Ultra HD is often referred to as Ultra HDTV televisionUHDTV or UHD, yet the correct label is Ultra HD. It is a digital video format, which includes the standards 4K UHDTV (2160p) and 8K UHDTV (4320p). Ultra HD may be seen as the successor of Full HD (1080p).

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has approved two new standards:

  • 4K UHDTV: 3.840 x 2.160 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio with about 8 megapixels
  • 8K UHDTV: 7.680 x 4.320 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio with about 32 megapixels

Compared to the former standard HDTV, which had a resolution between 1 and 2 megapixels, the new 4K UHDTV offers about 4 times the resolution.

UHD Resolution Comparison

Size comparison of common TV standards

UHDTV does not only provide a significantly higher image sharpness – the standard also covers a frame rate of 120 frames per seconds, or 120Hz. That is twice as much as average HD streams offer. Furthermore UHDTV covers a much bigger color space, showing up to 75.8%, while HDTV is capable of 35.9%.

As one can easily see, with at least four times the resolution, higher frame rates and more colors, a video in UHDTV will be a huge amount of data. To get to know more about 4K, please read our main article on that topic.

In order for manufacturers to use the Ultra HD label on their devices, it has to meet the following requirements:

  • a display resolution of at least 3,840×2,160, which is 2160p
  • an aspect ratio of at least 16:9
  • a digital video input that is capable of receiving native 4K resolution source material