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What Extron’s True4K Spec Is, What It Is Not

Extron’s new 4K specification is about transparency on products’ resolution, frame rate, color sampling and color bit depth. It is not a certification program.

Extron recently announced its True4K specification, which it says defines an industry standard and details specs for 4K products.

What it does not do, according to VP of sales and marketing Casey Hall, is determine whether or not a product—Extron or otherwise—is actually 4K. It’s not a certification program.

“We wanted to be transparent. We are seeing announcements being made [by other manufacturers] and they’re not being transparent,” he says.

Transparent about what?

Extron’s True4K specification, which appears with product specs on Extron’s website and wherever Extron will list 4K products, rates products in four areas:

  • Resolution—4K (4096×2190) or UHD (3840×2160) with max 60 fps at 4:4:4 color sampling with 16 bits per color
  • Frame Rate—30 fps or 60 fps
  • Color Sampling—4:4:4, 4:2:2 or 4:2:0
  • Color Bit Depth—8, 10 or 12 bits per color

“Those four things are important,” Hall says.

Related: Extron Presents Next Generation AV and Control Products at NAB

“It’s more than just resolution. It’s at least [those] four factors. Those four factors define what the signal is. Very few people are really thinking about color sampling or color bit depth. Very few [of those writing specifications] are making it clear.”

Watch Casey Hall discuss Extron’s True4K specification goals:

All 4K is not created equally and manufacturers ought to be specific when it comes to color sampling, adds Joe Da Silva, director of product marketing. When considering “4:2:2 or 4:2:0” color sampling, he says, “it’s OK in the video world. In computer graphics isn’t not acceptable. You need 4:4:4.”

It’s noteworthy that in launching its True4K specification Extron isn’t making specific claims about its products, for instance, meeting that 4:4:4 color sampling criteria. “We’re not saying what is or isn’t 4K,” Hall says. “We’re saying, as a manufacturer, if you’re going to put [claim] 4K capability on your product, you need to specify each of those four factors.”

Related: Why Crestron Takes 4K Certification Upon Itself

The “True” in True4K is meant as a synonym for “transparent,” he adds.

Extron isn’t touting True4K as a certification program, but asked if it encouraged other manufacturers to mimic that resolution-frame rate-color sampling-color bit depth transparency, Hall pauses and thinks.

“I don’t know. I think they should. I think it would be great for the industry to get behind a standard spec.”

With the announcement of its True4K specification Extron released a whitepaper, “Hitting the Moving Target of 4K,” to help integrators and consultants navigate the 4K landscape. Training facilities Extron Institutes have added training aimed at providing “vital information that AV system designers need to know in order to successfully design 4K video systems that perform reliably and meet customer expectations, according to a press release.

More from Extron’s True4K press release:

“At Extron, marketing has always meant providing truthful and accurate information rather than making over-the-top, inflated claims about product performance. OurTrue4K specification gives customers the complete information they need to make an informed product decision,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron. “Extron is an engineering-driven company, and with over 150 solutions for 4K we are leading the industry with products that are continually recognized for their reliability, high performance, and integration friendly features. The combination of the most complete product offering backed up by detailed and accurate specifications, along with award-winning technology training makes Extrona one-stop shop for everything 4K.”

Extron is leading the way by defining the complete and detailed product specifications that every manufacturer should provide for 4K. Extron challenges other industry manufacturers to adopt this standard and add these specifications to their 4K products. It’s time to be truthful and help the industry be successful with 4K.

Extron specs

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