Ultra HD Blu-ray spec finalized, brings 4K video to discs

By Scorpus ยท 25 replies
May 13, 2015
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  1. While 4K Ultra HD televisions are becoming more widespread, more popular, and cheaper across the board, 4K content can still be hard to come by. Streaming services like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon are currently the best sources of 4K videos, but often the bandwidth requirements can be too steep for a user's limited internet connection.

    That's why, for many people, discs are still the best way to access high-resolution content. Unfortunately the current Blu-ray standard can't cope with the high requirements of 4K video, which is why a new standard has been finalized: Ultra HD Blu-ray.

    Ultra HD Blu-ray, as the name might suggest, is a new specification for discs and disc players that supports 4K video (3840 x 2160), as well as object-based sound formats like Dolby Atmos, an expanded color range, HDR video, and high frame rate content. By supporting such a wide range of features, Ultra HD Blu-ray should be reasonably future proof.

    One new feature that's particularly interesting is the "digital bridge", which is an optional addition that allows a consumer to view their content on phones and other devices. It's not completely clear how this will work, but it sounds quite similar to Ultraviolet.

    As is usually the case for new disc formats, Ultra HD Blu-rays won't be compatible with existing Blu-ray players, due to the use of new 66 and 100 GB discs. However, all new Ultra HD Blu-ray players will support the playback of existing Blu-ray discs.

    The Blu-ray Disc Association will begin licensing for Ultra HD Blu-ray products this summer, so we can expect discs and players to hit the market towards the end of this year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Never even owned a single bluray movie or player remind me how long has bluray technology been out ?
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,671   +1,961

    It is strange for such articles not to even mention anywhere about the codecs to be used for the new standard. Is it finally set to be x265 by default or are we back to the old x264 crap again?
  4. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I'll wait to buy a U-Blu Ray player until the end of next year.
  5. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    I have a massive blu-ray collection and while most of them are glorified up-scaled cannonballs the sound quality with blu-ray discs and a digital receiver is superior to the movies we stream online from Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. I've compared them and its quite noticeable, although I am an audiophile.
    Overall watching blu-rays provides a better theater like experience so I will definitely be getting a 4K HDTV and Ultra BRD player my next go round.

    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  6. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 684   +254

    I was expecting at least 3 trolls to have already posted saying, "too little, too late". Even with high-speed internet and streaming services I never think it's a bad thing to have alternative methods to get things done. Power to the People. Having a 4k blu-ray in the palm of your hand is what I define as a "movie-on-demand". So, I welcome 4k movies to the world for choice and because they will happen to be using BDXL media for distribution.

    This should drive the price of BDXL media down at the same time. I'm sure hoping for that. I haven't been able to justify the purchase of one BDXL discs yet. Get them down to $5 or less and I'll start buying.
  7. Badvok

    Badvok TS Addict Posts: 177   +67

    I have bought blu-ray discs but only because I had a blu-ray player as a side effect of having a games console, I.e. a PS3. Since the latest generation of consoles, to which I have already moved, is still fairly new I probably will not be getting a Ultra HD Blu-ray player for quite some time, perhaps another 5 years or so.
  8. 4k is so yesterday. Bring on 16k!
  9. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    I'm with amstech, streaming services are OK; but in some movies penalized by video compression, BDs are quite clearly superior in both video and audio quality. I guess HD streaming is more comparable to upscaled DVD, but nowhere near what we see with BD. The system in our family is: movies you'll watch again and again -buy them-; one-time movies, stream.

    Internet bandwidths aren't in the right spot yet for the average Joe to achieve a decent 4K streaming.
  10. What about 8k? Extra Super Ultra Very-Very HD Blu-Ray?
    agb81 likes this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,946   +765

    My guess is that BDXL drives will read the new UHD Blu-ray disks since the spec is calling for 66MB and 100MB disks that BDXL drives should accommodate. So, anyone using a HTPC with a BDXL drive should be able to play these new disks (I hope since that includes me) with only a software upgrade. I've got SlySoft's AnyDVD HD. Hopefully SlySoft will update it to handle 4K Blu-ray disks.
  12. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 78   +38

    Ludicrous UHD
  13. Jgates603

    Jgates603 TS Rookie

    Pretty sure I read on HD Guru that it's going to use HEVC.
    VitalyT likes this.
  14. Will this bring back the video rental store?
  15. war59312

    war59312 TS Booster Posts: 131   +11

    Yea, sure.
  16. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 719   +236

    Stop making optical media its stupid!!!! It's slow and very easy to damage.

    Why cant they just put movies on memory sticks/cards instead?
  17. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 304   +97

    Because discs are cheaper, faster and can have slightly better copy protection.
    cmbjive likes this.
  18. Stalepie

    Stalepie TS Rookie

  19. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    I'm getting sick of all these new formats coming at me all the time. I kept my DVD-Roms for a long time waiting to see which of the new contenders (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) won the war. When it finally became clear that Blu-Ray was taking over, I bought myself a BRD-Rom for one PC and a BRD-Writer for another. Within the year, there was suddenly a new format called BDXL, which neither one of my players supported.

    On the software side, I've been using the antiquated versions of PowerDVD that came bundled with the hardware. There were always new versions of the software, new copyright protection and then suddenly I couldn't play new Blu-Ray discs anymore. I just got a black screen and a pop-up asking me to upgrade to a newer version of PowerDVD, conveniently ON SALE RIGHT NOW... and it only cost an arm and a leg!

    I'm not going through this Sony circus ever again. The players are expensive, the (re)writable discs are expensive and the player software is ridiculously expensive. I'm just gonna stick with Netflix.
  20. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,106

    what are you talking about? we haven't had new a consumer disc format that also needs new hardware in about a decade with the exception of BDXL which almost nobody uses because of it's really high price (BDXL should not even matter for a normal guy). even a few months is a long time in IT. and why are you even using PowerDVD (not to mention a very old version)?

    if you don't like progress then it's time to retire and go live at the countryside or something ^_^
    infiltrator likes this.
  21. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    I'm saying there's probably gonna be another Blu-Ray format coming within the first couple years following the first one, just like BDXL, just to milk a little more money. I'm saying Sony takes full advantage of the fact that they pretty much have a monopoly on their hands, and that everything Blu-Ray is slow and overpriced.

    Now, I have already retired, and I'm living happily "at the countryside" with my fiber connection. Progress? Are you kidding me. This is 2015 and we're still futzing around with discs! My NZXT S340's don't even have 5.25" drive bays. It's time you moved out of your mom's house and bought yourself a smartwatch, buddy. The 90's are over! Hail to the king, baby. :cool:
  22. Bannhammer

    Bannhammer TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Yet they still can't seem to make money :laugh:
    WangDangDoodle likes this.
  23. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    Yeah... funny that. I don't know what they're doing, but they just can't get anything right. Perhaps with the exception of the PS4. Only reason they're still afloat. :D
  24. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,106

    then why do you even care, discs are pretty much dead anyway.
    and yes I did move out of my mom's place. but it's not relevant to this post

    PS: I consider smartwatches to be things that people who have no idea what they are doing throwing money out the window. both ugly and useless pieces of tech. buying a good smartphone (like a xiaomi note or something similar) is much better.
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  25. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    Just expressing my general dissatisfaction with modern day consumerism, is all.

    PS: I couldn't agree more about smartwatches. That was just a clever part of my joke, see? ;)

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