The 8K Association updates its specs and Amazon joins the party

Mike Wheatley

The 8K Association says it has revised its specifications to include advanced gaming features such as variable refresh rate and additional video codecs. In addition, Amazon Prime Video has signed on as its latest member.


Backed by TV manufacturers including Samsung Electronics and Panasonic, the 8K Association is a group that aims to promote the 8K TV ecosystem. As part of that effort, it has created various performance specifications that TVs must adhere to in order to carry its logo. At the last count, the association had certified more than 70 TVs that meet its standards.

Existing requirements around resolution, luminance, colour and connectivity have been added to, with the association now requiring support for a “broader set of video decoding standards” in order to promote wider availability of 8K streaming content.

The 8K Association didn’t specify which codecs are now on its list of specs, but the AV1, VVC and other standards that support 8K resolution streaming are likely to be on it.

In addition, there are new gaming requirements – support for VRR and auto low-latency mode via HDMI 2.1. That’s because gaming on 8K TVs is “expected to be an important use case” in the coming years.

The association also revealed it’s considering whether to use Ambient Contrast Ratio as a way to “help ensure good picture quality performance in different ambient lighting conditions”.

The 8K Association already has an ACR test that measures the reflectivity of TV displays with a test pattern for both bright and dim conditions, which sets a level of performance each TV must pass.

"While passing the ACR spec is optional now for certification, members are required to provide the data so we can optimize the pass/fail criteria for a future mandatory requirement,” said KG Lee, chair of the Technology Work Group.

The 8K Association has always been notable for the absence of two of the world’s leading TV manufacturers, LG Electronics and Sony. While those two companies seem to be no closer to joining the group, the association has anyway secured a high profile new member in the shape of Amazon Prime Video. It has also been joined by the content creation firm 4by4, the testing service provider Underwriter Laboratory, and the Chinese TV manufacturer Changhong.

The addition of Amazon Prime Video is certainly noteworthy, indicating that it is most definitely interested in 8K content even if it doesn’t currently offer any. Could that be about to change?