THE DUST MAY be settling in Berlin now IFA is winding up for the year, but one of the lesser known announcements to come out of Europe’s biggest show was the fact that 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray discs are not far away.
This is huge news for UHD-starved gadget fetishists who’ve plunked down an unholy amount of cash for TVs capable of displaying 4x1080p only to discover that there’s practically nothing available in 4k. At the moment there’s a real shortage of good 4K content aside from some YouTube clips or video shot using UHD capable smartphones such as LG’s G3.
According to Victor Matsuda, Chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee, this is about to change for the better. The specs for 4K Blu-ray are to be finalised in the first half of next year, which in theory should see 4K Blu-ray movies commercially availability by the end 2015.
This means we can expect to see actual 4K Blu-ray movies and in stores by Christmas next year and will be able to watch movies in a resolution that’s comparable to what is screened at the cinema.
Aside from supporting 3840 × 2160p resolutions, 4K Blu-ray will also support up to 60fps, an expanded color gamut and high dynamic range (HDR). Video will be encoded using HEVC/H.265 to compress 4K movies more efficiently. The group is currently exploring the possibility of increasing the Blu-ray disc capacities to 66GB or 100GB. PAT PILCHER