Sony wants to keep cumbersome '4K Ultra High Definition' name

Sony 4K UHD
'We have to be different'

Sony is continuing its long-held trend of picking different names for industry-wide products by sticking with the 4K Ultra High Definition name as the successor to High Definition.

This company's announcement came one day after the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) chose to rename 4K screens "Ultra High Definition.

The CEA, in addition to picking the simpler marketing moniker, made it a rule for UHD to have a 3840 x 2160 pixels minimum resolution, and at least one digital input cable that can deliver a 4K signal and display 4K natively.

Sony isn't sounding off on these minimum specs, just the limiting nature of the new name.

Sony's many reasons

"As a leader at the forefront of new display technology such as HD, 3D and beyond," Sony began in a statement to The Verge, not sounding smug at all, "Sony lauds the CEA's efforts to come up with a common language to describe the next generation high-definition technology."

After the compliment, the company explained why it has disjoined the naming consensus.

"However, to ensure clarity for consumers and delineate between today's and tomorrow's technology, Sony will continue to use the 4K moniker for its products and will market its future products as 4K ultra high-definition (4K UHD)."

There's another reason Sony could be arguing to keep 4K in the name: the company is expected to announce PS3's successor next year, the PlayStation 4.

The name PS4K would be catchy, and Sony has used its PlayStation brand to push its home theater products before.

From Blu-ray to Betamax

Sony has a history of offering the same or very similar products with its own brand of names.

Blu-ray is the most recent example, which rivaled Toshiba's HD-DVD. Sony eventually triumphed with its version of the high-definition successor to the DVD format thanks to PS3.

Not as popular was i.LINK, Sony's take on the IEEE 1394 interface, better known as FireWire, to Apple owners. Interestingly, Apple would dominate the iDevice name years later.

The company also saw limited success with its never-universally-compatible Memory Stick format, as SD memory cards dominated the camera scene.

As of 2010, new Sony cameras have started accepting SD cards.

Sony's determination to be different dates back to Betamax, the 1970s rival to VHS, another fight that saw the company on the losing end of a format war.

Via CNET, The Verge

Matt Swider