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Tech firms team up with Hollywood for Ultra HD content

TV makers Samsung, LG, Panasonic are among those partnering with video heavyweights like Netflix, Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox to set standards for high-quality Ultra HD content.

Samsung showed off 4K Ultra High Definition TVs during 2014 CES and will talk up more technology during its press conference this year. Sarah Tew/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- Tech and Hollywood have teamed up to bring you Ultra High Definition video.

TV heavyweights such as Samsung, LG and Panasonic said Monday at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that they've partnered with video providers such as Netflix, Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox to set standards for high-quality UHD content.

Together, the companies have formed the UHD Alliance, which will be tasked with setting "the bar for next-generation video entertainment by establishing new standards to support innovation in video technologies including 4K and higher resolutions, high dynamic range, wider color gamut and immersive 3D audio."

"As the UHD ecosystem continues to evolve, we are strengthening our commitment to high-quality UHD content and devices," Hyunsuk Kim, president of Samsung's visual display business, said in a press release. "The Alliance will encourage the development of high-quality UHD content while distinguishing TVs that provide the most premium UHD viewing experience."

All of the big TV makers have been looking to UHD, also known as 4K, to get consumers buying TVs again. The market has stagnated for the past few years, and consumers have tended to hold on to their TVs much longer than their mobile devices and even PCs. The biggest drawback for UHD so far -- aside from high prices -- has been the lack of content available for the higher-resolution displays. Forming an alliance to set standards and push UHD video will help the technology become more mainstream and attractive to consumers.

The news comes after press conferences by LG, Sharp and Panasonic and several hours before Samsung kicks off its presentations at CES. The company will talk up its newest TVs, home appliances and other electronics at 2 p.m. PT, as well as give a keynote address at 6:30 p.m. PT. You can follow the press conference here or the keynote speech here.

The UHD Alliance includes DirecTV, Dolby Laboratories, LG Electronics, Netflix, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Sony Visual Products, Technicolor, Walt Disney Studios, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The group said it will ensure "that all of the links in the chain -- from the production, distribution and consumption of content to the playback capability of devices -- meet the identified premium quality standards, whilst embracing standards that are open and allow flexibility in the market yet give consumers confidence that they can watch the content they want on their devices."

It plans to outline a technology road map for UHD in the coming months.