Skip to main content

4K Ultra HD Coming to Blu-ray

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.

  • ShadyHamster
    "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.

    Lol what?
    Reply
  • guvnaguy
    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.
    Reply
  • ShadyHamster
    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?
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    12470185 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • guvnaguy
    12470185 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • ZolaIII
    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.
    Reply
  • sirhawk
    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...
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    12470829 said:
    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
    Reply
  • sirhawk
    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.
    Reply
  • vidfreek
    12470265 said:
    12470185 said:
    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
    Reply