The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group charged with fostering an ecosystem that fully realizes and promotes the consumer benefits of Ultra HD with HDR entertainment technology, announced today the appointment of a new Board Chairman, a new Board Member company and its first dedicated, full-time executive as President.
Michael Zink, Warner Bros. Vice President of Technology, will assume the post of UHD Alliance Chairman and respected industry executive Mike Fidler will take on the newly created full-time position of Alliance President. Additionally, and in recognition of the importance of next-generation audio to the overall home entertainment experience, long-time Member-level UHDA company and leading audio technology innovator Xperi Corporation (DTS parent company) has joined the board of the UHD Alliance.
Zink will succeed 20th Century Fox Film Corp. CTO Hanno Basse as Chairman of the Board of the UHD Alliance. At Warner Bros., Zink is responsible for emerging technologies for the studio’s production, post-production and distribution capabilities and serves as WB’s liaison to a range of standards bodies focused on enhancing and expanding the home entertainment experience for consumers. As the UHDA’s incoming Chairman, Zink will be responsible for driving the organizational mission and vision of the global coalition as it looks to further expand certification and logo programs to help consumers identify premium Ultra HD products and content across a range of categories.
“From a content provider perspective, there are so many exciting things we can do with UHD, and in particular with HDR,” noted Zink. “Consumers are starting to see the benefits of the technology and are just beginning to understand how HDR adds to the experience but still require great deal more education. To that end, I expect our organizational vision will expand to include broader consumer promotion and information efforts for UHD in total as well as for our ULTRA HD PREMIUM and MOBILE HDR PREMIUM logo programs.”
As the Alliance expands its vision, Fidler will be instrumental in enhancing the membership roles, increasing Ultra HD brand awareness, driving new consumer education initiatives and facilitating the expansion of Alliance certification and logo programs into other categories of hardware and content. Prior to joining the UHDA, Fidler served in numerous senior positions throughout the industry and has played a pivotal role in launching industry organizations such as the DVD Entertainment Group, now known at the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), as well as key optical formats such as DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Over the course of a career that has touched virtually the entire entertainment ecosystem -- hardware, content, service providers, retailers, studios, streaming services -- Fidler also helped drive the conversion of the theatrical exhibition industry from film to digital and advanced the development and marketing of optical laser technologies. He has served as a senior executive at leading consumer electronics manufacturers, Sony and Pioneer and most recently, served as the Entrepreneur in Residence at CONNECT, advising start-up companies in Southern California.
“It is a pivotal year for UHD and HDR, from both the hardware and content standpoint, with sales expected to explode in 2017 en route to continued growth for the foreseeable future,” observed Fidler. “Consistency of experience along with broader consumer awareness and deeper understanding, will be critical to sustaining growth and I look forward to working with all of our members to firmly establish the Alliance as a leading voice and resource for all things Ultra HD.”
The Alliance most recently launched its Mobile HDR Premium™ specification and logo licensing for battery-operated devices as an addition to its certification and logo program for televisions, pre-recorded content and Ultra HD Blu-ray players. Both Zink and Fidler will be at this year’s IFA show to outline the organization’s broadening mission and to discuss connected steps for help grow the 4K UHD with HDR ecosystem.