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The Blu-ray disc association (BDA), the organization responsible for standardizing the BD technology, earlier this month confirmed that it is working on a new specification of Blu-ray technology that will support ultra-high-definition video. It is unknown when the new spec is to be finalized, but it will support multiple innovations in addition to 4K video.

Virtually all 4K/5K ultra-high-definition televisions today from various manufacturers come with special media players that store limited amount of movies in UHD resolution on integrated hard disk drives and can access the Internet for additional content which should be bought and downloaded, or rented and streamed. For a lot of customers, such way of building a collection of 4K UHD movies is inconvenient and they would prefer optical media. However, currently used Blu-ray discs (BDs) are not suitable for ultra-high-definition movies because of limited (50GB dual-layer) capacity.

In a bid to distribute UHD content, Samsung Electronics earlier this month proposed to use more advanced Blu-ray media that complies with the BDXL standard that supports triple-layer 100GB RE (rewritable) and R (write-once) discs as well as quad-layer 128GB R discs for commercial applications. However, it looks like the BDA is already working on a new Blu-ray standard for UHD/4K content.

“The BDA recently approved the addition of 4K/UHD to the Blu-ray disc specifications, and the effort to get this done is moving forward in earnest. It is 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,” said Andy Parsons, the president of the BDA, in an interview with Twice web-site.

As expected, the new Blu-ray 4K/UHD will support a lot of things in addition to 3840*2160 videos, such as high dynamic range, bit depth, color gamut, content protection and ability to watch BD movies on mobile devices using streaming.

“As with the original specs, we need to make sure that we will deliver 4K/UHD performance that’s second to none, as this is what everyone 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. We’re looking at the entire range and will be prepared to talk about those features as the specification approaches completion,” said Victor Matsuda, the BDA’s global promotions committee chairman.

One of the key things about Blu-ray 4K standard is that many consumer electronics need it now in order to sell more new TVs. Meanwhile, major Hollywood studios want to further advance standard in general in order to ensure its long lifespan.

Tags: Blu-ray, 4K, UHD, UHDTV, BDXL, Samsung

Discussion

Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 01/21/14 03:56:16 PM
Latest comment: 01/23/14 04:01:48 AM
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[1-5]

1. 
Technically 8K is feasible on 128GB discs and HEVC. H.264 is of course discarded.
0 0 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 01/21/14 03:56:46 PM]
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2. 
Yay a 6 layer disc that costs $50 a pop.....
1 0 [Posted by: AnonymousGuy  | Date: 01/21/14 08:06:33 PM]
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3. 
don't care about 4k I got a 32 inch 1080p lg smart, 3d tv that I bought last year and love it, the 1080p on that small of a screen size is even a stretch, So 4k won't do anything for me anyhow, my screen is too small to notice any diff and anything lower then 65 inches on a tv that supports 4k is a gimmick anyhow. So ultra blu ray won't do anything for me either.
2 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 01/22/14 12:04:33 AM]
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Precisely. And how the heck can you scale old 480i/576i TV/DVD on 4K? I sure hope they keep making and selling 1080p TV sets down the track.
1 0 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 01/22/14 01:19:16 AM]
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Easily. Prepare for some epic blurriness and legendary artifacts on the screen. Remember those old VHS tapes with 2 movies compressed on it? That is how they going to look.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 01/22/14 11:09:26 AM]
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4. 
Let's remember again, how stupidly pricey those BluRay disks really are...
And I'm not talking about sext, quad or even dual layer disks, just the crappy single layer one, compared to a DVD or a CD.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 01/22/14 11:12:26 AM]
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5. 
Over the past few years while adding to my BD collection, I've noticed that, compared to DVD's, there are far more dodgy, as in unplayable/broken BD's, so can we expect even more 'coasters' in the future ??
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 01/23/14 04:01:48 AM]
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