“Ultra HD” is the commonly-used term for “ultra high definition”, a kind of digital video format. It is sometimes called “ultra high definition video” (or “UHDV” for short).
Today’s television standard is called HDTV or high definition television. That already delivers exceptional performance with an amazing 1,080 lines of resolution and 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. Some of the advertisements already claim that this is Ultra HD, but even the latest models sold in the stores today still belong to the HDTV standard.
True Ultra HD promises over 16 times more that resolution, or about 4,320 lines and 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. On a widescreen aspect ratio of 16 by9 this is a stunning, mind blowing level of 33 megapixels. Even sound will improve remarkably. According to the developers of Ultra HD, the new technology will have over 4 times better quality. Today’s televisions use sound systems that have from 5 to 6 channels. Ultra HD will have a 22.2 channel sound systems with 24 audio channels. This will be delivered through 3 vertical layers of speakers.
But what do all these numbers mean to the ordinary viewer? Basically, Ultra HD will help you feel like you’re actually in the scene. The sound quality is so rich and multi-layered, and the images so remarkably realistic, that you almost feel like you’re there. This is made especially possible through a special screen that measures 400 inches, creating a perspective that reaches 100 degrees—three times more than what’s given by televisions now in the market.
Could Ultra HD really be possible? Yes, according to the Japanese company that’s currently working on it, NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories. The biggest hurdle, though is how to make this logistically possible. The electricity consumption is too unrealistic at this point for anyone to actually own and operate one at home. That is why when Ultra HD rolls out (probably in 2025) it might be first available at commercial places like museums and movie theaters.