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Mobile devices get a new spec to ensure quality 4K HDR video

The group that sets standards for 4K on high-definition TVs has established specifications for 4K and HDR (high-dynamic range) video on devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The devices will be eligible for a “ HDR Premium” certification if they meet minimum specifications tied to screen resolution, bit depth and a handful of other elements that define picture quality.

The specification was announced on Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

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For users, this certification will ensure that 4K and HDR hardware meet certain minimum requirements. The UHD Alliance members include Samsung, LG, Intel, Dell, Microsoft and others.

The certification will also be applied to content. For example, Netflix and Amazon, which are members of UHD Alliance, could produce content that is certified “Mobile HDR Premium,” so you’ll know that the image quality meets a certain specification.

There are not many smartphones and tablets with 4K screens, but cameras are capable of capturing video at that resolution that can then be played back on high-definition TVs. An increasing number of laptops with powerful graphics processors are also getting 4K screens.

HDR up to now hasn’t had a fixed standard. Companies have used the term for marketing reasons, and quality has varied.

The UHD Alliance is assuming that the market for 4K video on mobile devices will grow over the years. The alliance has already set similar certifications for Blu-ray players.

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