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4K Ultra HD Coming to Blu-ray

By - Source: TWICE | B 40 comments

The BDA is currently working on a 4K/UHD format.

TWICE magazine recently spoke with Andy Parsons, Blue-ray Disc Association (BDA) spokesperson, and Victor Matsuda, the BDA's global promotions committee chairman, about where the format is now, and where it's headed in a digital world. They reveal that the BDA recently approved the addition of 4K/UHD to the Blu-ray Disc specification.

"The effort to get this done is moving forward in earnest," said Parsons. "It's too soon to know any of the details yet, as this all needs to be sorted out by the BDA technical groups. But we are excited to have a decision in hand, and are looking forward to sharing more news about it once the specification process has been completed."

When asked if this process will be fast, Matsuda said the group has CE manufacturers and studios working side by side to complete the spec. Similar to what the original Blu-ray spec went through, the BDA wants to make sure that it delivers 4K/UHD performance "that's second to none." That's what consumers will expect from Blu-ray.

"This means not just looking at delivering the requisite number of pixels, but at the range of features that contribute to the overall consumer experience – factors such as high dynamic range, bit depth, color gamut, content protection and mobility and digital bridge opportunities that encourage content ownership and collection and enable flexible enjoyment of that content in mobile environments," Matsuda added. "We're looking at the entire range and will be prepared to talk about those features as the specification approaches completion."

Will Blu-ray's 4K/UDH drive the adoption of the format just as it did with HD, 1080p, and 3D? Matsuda said absolutely.

"The very high data-storage and transfer-rate requirements of 4K/UHD – four times the spatial resolution of 1080p HDTV – means that optical discs will once again be the most practical way to move all that data around in a very convenient way," he said.

To read the full interview, head here.

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  • 1 Hide
    guvnaguy , January 18, 2014 3:39 AM
    Does this mean 4K Blu-rays will require multiple discs? Right now a feature-length 1080p movie takes up most of the available space.Otherwise, I assume a more lossy compression standard would have to be used which would diminish the improvement.
  • -9 Hide
    ShadyHamster , January 18, 2014 3:52 AM
    100+gig bluray discs have been talked about for quite some time now.
    When are they coming to market? who knows, who even uses discs these days?
  • Display all 40 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , January 18, 2014 4:04 AM
    Quote:
    Does this mean 4K Blu-rays will require multiple discs? Right now a feature-length 1080p movie takes up most of the available space.Otherwise, I assume a more lossy compression standard would have to be used which would diminish the improvement.


    4K has a lot of repeated pixels. When even under a lossless compression 4K is not typically going to be much larger than 1080p from a resolution standpoint. Adding HDR and the rest may add a bit of size to the content though.

    At any rate, BluRay discs are 25GB per disc, and in professional archival storage they have had 100GB 4 layer discs for several years now. I am guessing that they will just start making 3-4 layer movie discs for the masses to make up for the file size issues.
  • -2 Hide
    guvnaguy , January 18, 2014 4:08 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Does this mean 4K Blu-rays will require multiple discs? Right now a feature-length 1080p movie takes up most of the available space.Otherwise, I assume a more lossy compression standard would have to be used which would diminish the improvement.[/quotemsgI'm guessing that means they'll be super-expensive (despite having been out for awhile).Why would native 4K content have repeated pixels? If that's the case then what's the point in having the extra pixels? ]4K has a lot of repeated pixels. When even under a lossless compression 4K is not typically going to be much larger than 1080p from a resolution standpoint. Adding HDR and the rest may add a bit of size to the content though.At any rate, BluRay discs are 25GB per disc, and in professional archival storage they have had 100GB 4 layer discs for several years now. I am guessing that they will just start making 3-4 layer movie discs for the masses to make up for the file size issues.
  • 4 Hide
    ZolaIII , January 18, 2014 4:41 AM
    50 GB blue ray disc (vs 25GB traditional) +H265 10 bit dac & traditional add-on's, menus, multiple audios... should do the trick.The H265 is 2x H264 compression & 50 is 2x 25 & that's more than in of for UHD 4K that's 4x FullHD row pixels & data.
  • 0 Hide
    sirhawk , January 18, 2014 6:27 AM
    There was an article I read about 6 months to a year ago that mentioned 300GB+ discs coming soon. I would guess something in that sort of format would be a likely canidate. Not to mention, every time they have come up with a new disc for movies, it meant a new higher capacity disc for data archiving. 50GB is just not enough disc space for archiving anymore...
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , January 18, 2014 7:59 AM
    Quote:
    50GB is just not enough disc space for archiving anymore...
    Not to mention hard drive prices are making so that an external hard drive is cheaper
  • 0 Hide
    sirhawk , January 18, 2014 10:36 AM
    Yeah, but I just don't trust hard drives. You never know when one of those is gonna just die. If you have a disc and keep it clean, you are good to go.
  • 1 Hide
    vidfreek , January 18, 2014 10:57 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Does this mean 4K Blu-rays will require multiple discs? Right now a feature-length 1080p movie takes up most of the available space.Otherwise, I assume a more lossy compression standard would have to be used which would diminish the improvement.


    4K has a lot of repeated pixels. When even under a lossless compression 4K is not typically going to be much larger than 1080p from a resolution standpoint. Adding HDR and the rest may add a bit of size to the content though.

    At any rate, BluRay discs are 25GB per disc, and in professional archival storage they have had 100GB 4 layer discs for several years now. I am guessing that they will just start making 3-4 layer movie discs for the masses to make up for the file size issues.


    Umm, Bluray discs you can burn stuff to are usually 25GB per disc, but most retail Blurays you buy for movies are 50GB discs now and have been for some time. If 4K is 4 times the resolution of 1080p and it requires a 50GB disc for a 2 hour movie with high resolution sound and special features now a days, there is no way that this will work without making a disc with probably at least 100GB. But when they do make these discs, can your current Bluray player even read them? My guess is no and we will all have to buy new stuff again, when Bluray is actually still pretty new, people are still buying HDTVs and Bluray players for the first time. I still know people that dont have a Bluray player and dont care about getting one, so we are going to jump to 4K now this quickly?

    And @ShadyHamster, quite a few people still use discs, if you want the best quality you can get you use discs. I have over 500 Blurays easy and I buy most of the films I love to watch, I dont settle for crap Netflix streaming with low quality sound and no features what so ever. And you mean to tell me that with 4K being 4 times the resolution of 1080p, that quality wont matter to people who want it? You realize the bandwidth needed, even with a new good codec, to "stream" that over Netflix or something to people? Not to mention in the US, data caps keep getting worse on ISPs and with the courts pretty much shutting down net neutrality at the moment, who knows what they will do to you, I already pay $75 a month (up from $40) to get a 400 gig limit with decent speeds, before I payed less than that for my ISPs top consumer speed with unlimited data, now I pay more for less speed and less data allowance, and I come pretty close to filling that up each month with Xbox, Playstation, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Steam, plus apps on my phone, games on my tablet and everything my wife also does. So yes, Discs will still be the best way for people who actually care about their movies
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , January 18, 2014 12:32 PM
    Yep. Net streaming is not an option. The guality is so bad! The solution is H256 + bigger disks, and yeas you need a new player, but so you need allso a new TV. So no problem in here. And those new Blue ray players can play old normal blue ray, DVD, CD etc... disks, so you only need one player for all of it. Those who can afford will buy these as soon as possible, other will wait until their old player and/or TV will broke down, and they will replase them with these. As someone above allready said, many people are just happy with theid DVD players, so many will use their existing hardware until they really need a new one. This is just an option that is expensive in the beginning and will get cheaper in few years. The faster we get these, the sooner we can really afford to get em!
  • 1 Hide
    Jess Castro , January 18, 2014 1:09 PM
    "Umm, Bluray discs you can burn stuff to are usually 25GB per disc, but most retail Blurays you buy for movies are 50GB discs now and have been for some time. If 4K is 4 times the resolution of 1080p and it requires a 50GB disc for a 2 hour movie with high resolution sound and special features now a days, there is no way that this will work without making a disc with probably at least 100GB. But when they do make these discs, can your current Bluray player even read them? My guess is no and we will all have to buy new stuff again, when Bluray is actually still pretty new, people are still buying HDTVs and Bluray players for the first time. I still know people that dont have a Bluray player and dont care about getting one, so we are going to jump to 4K now this quickly?"

    Um you really don't know much about the topic do you? Bluray discs are not 25gb per disc, they are 25gb per layer....and they have been capable of 100gb(4 layer) disc's since market availability back in 2006...they simply haven't needed that much space since:
    A. Movies in general are only ~2hrs long
    B.1080p doesn't take up too much space in h.264 along with audio(that usually wasn't lossless)...most movies haven't even filled up 25gb let alone 50.
    C. The fabrication/defect rate was too high at the time to make them reliably/efficiently

    Tech. your current player could read a 100gb disc.....but.....It wouldn't be able to decode what I am only guessing will be the new HVEC(High Efficiency Video Coding) H. 265 codec(http://www.extremetech.com/computing/162027-h-265-benchmarked-does-the-next-generation-video-codec-live-up-to-expectations) which will use nearly half as much space, and less bandwidth needed, as the same file in h.264. Even with a firmware update the newer codec requires more compute muscle so its likely the old players wont be able to do it...oh no a new player is needed for 4k to go with a new 4k tv/projector. Also it is highly likely that displayport or the new hdmi standard may become a connection reality for 4k. I really wish they would start putting displayport on tvs/monitors as it can handle a much higher bandwidth in general(capable of 60hz 4k transfer right now) vs wait on hdmi to maybe be able to do it at some pt in the who knows when future.

    Replacing a player that has lasted 8yrs is not a "too soon" option when you consider that most tech doesn't last 5yrs let alone 10yrs anymore imo. The folks that don't have a hdtv now at this point in time are def not the target audience for this new tech, as they most likely drive nothing currently in any tech sector of the economy when it comes to home theater apparently. Now would be an even better time than ever for them to jump in if they were waiting for cost/performance to come down...4k players shouldn't cost much more than current ones(Im sure they will be higher but they don't have to be astronomically priced like adopting bluray when it first came out...same tech dif codec)

    As for streaming services....yuck....Netflix can barely deliver 1080(i?), with incredibly compressed audio/video..and most people don't even have the isp bandwidth to handle that well...let alone 4k which could be ~2-4x as much data. I like streaming movies for stuff I would never buy as much as the next guy, but go watch the same movie on bluray...on a decent-moderate home theater system and tell me streaming is just as good...you would be blind and deaf to be able to make that claim honestly. Some places simply don't have high speed internet options at all believe it or not. Updating a codec and player hardware will lead to faster adoption of 4k vs waiting on the world to update isp bandwidth to everyone. my 2 cents
  • 0 Hide
    Jess Castro , January 18, 2014 1:15 PM
    not sure why the comment didnt post as i formatted it ...sorry for the wall of text it sent it as.
  • 0 Hide
    chibiwings , January 18, 2014 2:06 PM
    Looks like companies who adopted Blue ray is preparing the 100GB or more storage disc for us consumers. I think i've read an article here at toms regarding a 400 GB Blue ray disc. Ü. it might be ready for consumer consumption in the next few years
  • 0 Hide
    sicofante , January 18, 2014 3:24 PM
    DVDs are still ousetlling BluRays by a long shot. I bet most people will pass on the 4K fad. 1080p streaming is fine and as good as 99% of the public is able to tell. 4K is nice for production, but it's plain stupid for consumers. UHD should have a spec for 2K content with Rec.2020 color (banding is probably the only issue with some current HD content). Compress that with H.265 and we'd be good to go with even as low as 5Mbps streaming. Discs are a thing of the past. A whole industry can't live off the dreams of a few rich owners of 100"+ screens and so called "high end" players.
  • -1 Hide
    FireRisinWithin , January 18, 2014 4:06 PM
    4k really isn't a noticeable improvement over 1080p when sitting in front of a tv. A monitor would be different because your sitting so close to it. The only reason i would buy 4k is if i get a projector in the future spitting out an image on a 120 inch screen or bigger (i am going to do that sometime in the future). I love blu rays but most of the market still buys dvds. Will 4k blu's really survive if only the niche home theatre enthusiasts buy them?
  • 0 Hide
    game junky , January 18, 2014 6:15 PM
    quad layer to get to 100+ GB per disc is intriguing but unless existing bluray players can play them, you are going to see a lot of pissed off customers. It's really a moot point until 4k displays become something for more than just rich early adopters. When you see $2000 displays from quality vendors, this might be interesting. Visio advertised that they were shooting for just such a price point.
  • -4 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , January 18, 2014 6:16 PM
    Yuck, optical media.

    4K is definitely not worth having to go back to that. Especially since you need an 80"+ screen to notice any difference at normal viewing distances from 1080p.

    Even if you are some jabroni that needs 4K just because, you could download 100 GB in the time it takes to go to the store. It is not like Blue Ray is secure anyway.
  • -1 Hide
    soldier44 , January 18, 2014 6:37 PM
    Meh I'll have a 4K computer display long before I have one of the tvs, with no content to watch on it anyway for at least a couple of years. I don't have a cable box now anyway I download all my shows via torrents in 1080. And no to optical media. Havent even bought a blu ray in over 2 years, when I get them online with the same quality in digital format.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , January 18, 2014 6:37 PM
    Quote:
    There was an article I read about 6 months to a year ago that mentioned 300GB+ discs coming soon. I would guess something in that sort of format would be a likely canidate. Not to mention, every time they have come up with a new disc for movies, it meant a new higher capacity disc for data archiving. 50GB is just not enough disc space for archiving anymore...


    BluRay capps out at a theoretical 8 layers and 200GB. 300-2TB discs should be coming with hologram DVD, but the tech is still quite a ways off from production, though there have been working models for over 10 years now.

    The coolest thing about hologram DVD? It is highly parallel information, which means that you can get rediculously fast transfer rates even at slow rotational speeds. Bad for random IO, but perfect for things like movies, music, running backups, and other highly sequential workloads.
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