The manufacturers that support the UHD Alliance with the Ultra HD Premium specification, those products manufactured thus labeled are going with a "Me too" sort of stance. While all well and good, the loopholes in the certification Visio is explaining that do exist can give pause to them aligning their products with such a certification. However, if Visio had worked with the Alliance, instead of what appears to be against the UHD Alliance, so as to address those issues it feels were necessary, Visio, too, would have products so certified. Visio is trying to stand out from the other manufacturers, not playing "Me too" for advertising their products, but in the end, the consumer is once again confused, if they even understand (or care) what the "Ultra HD Premium" label on the UHD TV set means and Visio, for example, not having any. Honestly, some of these specially-designated sets are sure to vary in their abilities within the specs for such a designation and a consumer might like an LG over a Samsung or Sony, but it will depend more on the pricing, appearance and design of the UHD TV set has and what that consumer uses the set for over its labeled attributes. At very least, the "Ultra HD Premium" label is place to start regardless of the issues Vision has with its designation.
This post serves as a place to read the bulk of the statement Vizio gave CNET, which is referred to in this article:
It is followed by Vizio's answers to a few specific questions we asked, and afterward the reply by the UHDA.
"VIZIO sees value in the industry specifying a premium experience for consumers but the "Premium 4K" certification program proposed by the UHDA falls short and has serious problems. The UHDA program does not sufficiently detail how to measure for or specify items like peak brightness or black level and as a result, certifies some products that we don't believe should qualify for a UHD Premium certification and would ignore other products that should be certified.
Specifically, the certification's 1000 Nit peak brightness spec does not address any limitations of blooming of haloing artifacts, which can dramatically affect dynamic range (contrast) and overall picture quality. The testing requirement only measures the center brightness point of a test pattern and does not measure how the surrounding black level is affected. To maximize contrast, the peak brightness should be measured at the same time, with the same pattern as black level, as is done with ANSI contrast measurements.
Similarly, the certification only states two specifications for Dynamic Range, or peak brightness vs black level with the LCD version specified at 1000 nit brightness with 0.05 nits black level. When looking at dynamic range of the specification, 1000 nits-to-0.05 gives you 20,000:1 contrast ratio. VIZIO's Reference Series gives you 800,000:1 contrast ratio, but in theory does not meet the UHDA "Premium 4K' spec. VIZIO's focus is performance and true dynamic range, which is a balance between brightness and black level.
As a result, VIZIO remains focused on the Dolby Vision format at this time, as we feel it is technologically superior and has substantially better picture quality resulting from a proper implementation of high dynamic range and extended color gamut. The combination of VIZIO's Full-Array LED backlight with 384 Active LED Zones®, custom quantum dot backlight system, and re-mastered feature film content from Warner Bros available on VUDU creates an entirely new level of picture quality for consumers that already surpasses what is possible with HDR10."
Question from CNET: Why isn't Vizio a member of the UHD Alliance?
Answer from Vizio: VIZIO felt the UHD Alliance was created by certain manufacturers with an agenda to promote specific hardware technologies at the expense of others, and to prevent other manufacturers' products from being certified, regardless of their picture quality merits. As a result, VIZIO has a number of concerns with the authenticity of the agenda of the organization and whether its certification program will realize the promise of HDR performance and benefit consumers. These concerns are evidenced by certification specifications that are lower quality than what VIZIO believes should be set for a true premium consumer experience.
Q: Will Vizio eventually join?
A: VIZIO is following the UHD Alliance closely and agrees with the idea of an HDR performance certification. We have some concerns that the group's specifications are too open-ended, as a result of individual manufacturer requirements, and can allow members to receive certification for products that do not truly realize the benefits of HDR.
Q: Does the Reference Series meet the specifications for UHD Alliance certification? If not, where does it fall short?
A: VIZIO has a number of concerns with how the UHDA specifications are achieved and how that could be misleading to consumers. Unlike, say, ANSI test patterns that measure both black and peak white levels with the same pattern, UHDA specifications allow for separate patterns for black and peak white measurements that do not exemplify real world results. We feel that the VIZIO Reference Series exceeds the real world performance characteristics of its competitors that may be certified as "UHD Alliance Premium" in areas that matter to HDR, such as black level, contrast, peak brightness and extended color gamut, and thanks to a combination of VIZIO's full-array LED backlight, 384 Active LED Zones and quantum dot Extended Color Spectrum, has one of the best performance capabilities in the market.
The UHD Alliance's reply
Here's the bulk of the reply given to CNET by the UHD Alliance:
"While the UHD Alliance respectfully rejects the premise of its Vizio colleagues, it is important to note that the Ultra HD Premium specification is format agnostic making a television's support of HDR10 or DolbyVision irrelevant to Ultra HD Premium certification, a premium experience that can be delivered using either technology. The UHD Alliance certification was developed collaboratively by the world's leading television manufacturers, technology companies and content creators, as well as with input and feedback from consumers. Had Vizio participated in the Alliance's efforts, their contributions would have been welcome."