More than a year ago we reported that the BDA was working on ways to adapt the Blu-ray format to accommodate 4K-resolution content. It looks like that process is within months of being finalized. If so, that is certainly good news, in that it provides a physical media choice for those who are interested in purchasing and viewing 4K content in the home. That’s admittedly likely to be a niche market of a niche market for the foreseeable future, but still… since there really is no “next big thing” on the home video horizon at the moment, other than ever higher resolutions and (eventually) autostereoscopic 3D, it will certainly make things more interesting.
We should note that at the moment, while the terms are frequently used interchangeably, 4K and UHD are not the same thing. Technically, 4K refers to a pro cinema production standard, while UHD is a consumer broadcast/display standard. There’s a great primer on this over at ExtremeTech for those who may be interested.
Obviously there are many questions about this news and few answers at the moment. An obvious question is: Will this be a widely supported movie release format for consumers, marketed by the studios, or will these discs simply be used by display manufacturers to support content delivery to their UHD line-ups? We’ll have to dig into it and post more as it comes in. Stay tuned…
- Bill Hunt