Having determined a range of performance specifications for 8K TVs earlier in the year, the 8K Association has now backed this up with a certification programme.The 8K Association, the industry body that was created just over a year ago to oversee, guide and harmonise the introduction and adoption of the 8K ecosystem, has now officially announced the launch of its own certification programme, just in time for CES 2020.
The press release accompanying the 8K Association’s announcement states that once a member’s TV model has been assessed and validated by an independent Certification Program Manager, the company can display the 8K Association Certified logo to consumers to demonstrate the verified high-performance characteristics of the TV. The 8K Association expects that many leading TV manufacturers will launch 8KA-Certified TVs in 2020 and will use the 8KA Certified logo in the marketing of those TVs.
However, the launch now means that there are now two certification blueprints available for 8K TVs since the industry body behind the CES tech exhibitions, the CTA (Consumer Technology Association) recently launched its own compliance and certification schedule and it plans to have TVs sporting its own logo at CES 2020. Indeed, LG 8K TVs were the first to attain the badge and will be on display in Las Vegas in January 2020.
With almost all of the major TV manufacturers now having released or planning to release 8K TVs, there’s likely to be a surge in the number on show at high profile events such as CES and IFA and also making their way to consumer’s homes. The availability of information to help retailers and consumers alike about the benefits of 8K is therefore important. To aid this the 8K Association is planning a number of initiatives going forward in 2020, of which their certification programme is the first but which also includes expanded promotional activities for the 8K industry, new initiatives to promote the 8K ecosystem to consumers and the adoption of higher efficiency 8K streaming technologies.
The 8K Association includes industry members from the broadcast, content and technical service provision spectrum including the likes of Samsung, Hisense, TCL and Panasonic, which represent over 70% of the global TV panel manufacturing capacity during 2019 according to the Association’s estimates. Notable exceptions include LG and Sony.
The performance specifications laid out by the 8K Association back in September 2019 is a set of technical requirements based around parameters such as bit depth, frame rate, chroma sub-sampling, display performance plus interface and media formats which is designed to give consumers confidence that the TV they are purchasing hits all the required markers for an 8K TV. The CTA’s own 8K compliance scheme aims to do something very similar.
The two programmes do have areas of overlap and consistency but a main difference lies in the CTA’s 8K compliance requiring a minimum reading of 50 percent in a measurement test called Contrast Modulation, which is not required in the 8K Association’s 8K parameters.
And it is these differences in the two certification programmes that are likely to be exploited in the marketing used by TV companies who will no doubt bandy around terms such as ‘Real 8K’ or ‘True 8K’ in an effort to persuade consumers that only one 8K badge has any merit.
So, next week at CES 2020, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see a CTA ‘8KUltraHD’ badged LG TV and an ‘8KA-Certified’ TV from Samsung.
What do AVForums members and readers think of this situation? Do two certification programmes muddy the 8K waters or provide extra information for consumers to make up their minds? Or does it all sound just a bit too familiar with tech companies slugging it out to the detriment of consumers? Let others know what you think in the discussion thread.
Image Source: 8K Association
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