UHD, or Ultra High Definition, Ultra HD or UHDTV is a way of describing the resolution of a consumer display and the standard for broadcasting video.
Often confused with...
A very confusing situation for the consumer, but strictly 4K is a professional standard that was originally designed by the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) for the production and digital projection of cinema content. This standard described 4K as being 4096 x 2160 pixels of resolution, as well as a strict standard for how content is encoded. UHD, however, is described only as a display resolution of a minimum of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Because this is described as a minimum, the UHD moniker also covers 4K resolution and even 8K resolution for next-generation.
It is not the same as the 4K standard, yet almost all displays listed as 4K are in fact UHD. There are some displays with the full 4K resolution, and the tell tale sign is the resolution and subsequent different in aspect ratio (how wide the display looks) - with 4K being 1.9:1 and UHD being a 1.78:1 ratio.
How it's done
UHD is a big step up from the older High Definition (Full HD) standard which hit TVs, phones and computer monitors a few years back. HD offered a big step up from Standard Definition and supported the leap from video & DVD to Blu-Ray.
The move from Full HD to UHD has quadrupled the amount of pixels available, and therefore the fidelity of video & pictures displayed is significantly improved.
Right now content is playing catchup with Full HD. Streaming services such as Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime are now broadcasting UHD content. There are a number of UHD Blu Ray players and discs hitting the market. Sony released the Playstation 4 Pro which offers 4K gaming (Microsoft are following with the Xbox One X). There are a number of phones with a camera that can capture UHD resolution video, but only a handful that have a screen resolution capable of playing it back. Arguably there is very little point (other than bragging rights) of having a UHD display on a 5-6" screen phone.
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