2015 is here and we have a bunch of new films to enjoy! It’s going to be incredible! But much like the new and exciting films due out this year, the technology will also advance to give us a better movie experience. In 2014 we were slightly introduced to the 4K-theatre experience, as well as the release of the 4K televisions. When the 4K-entertainment system was announced, the home media companies and even the Internet started to rapidly produce 4K content for their audience. After the average consumers realization that up scaling standard 1080p Blu-ray to 4K resolution was just a gimmick and that the up scaling of 1080p picture made the 4K conversion look very pixilated, home media providers such as Sony, Panasonic, LG, etc. have officially announced that a 4K Blu-ray player is on the horizon. The consumer will experience the fullest 4K-movie experience possible. Sony Blu-ray releases such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, were released with a “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray, showcasing the first true 4K experience.
Here are the specs for Ultra HD Blu-ray [via The Digital Bits]:
- Will employ High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC – also known as H.265), which is the successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and is considered the most efficient video compression standard available.
- Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs will be produced in two configurations: 66GB dual-layer and 100GB triple-layer.
- Higher video frame rates (up to 60p), 10-bit color, a wider color gamut (up to Rec.2020 or BT.2020), and High Dynamic Range (HDR).
And to go back to my point about all of the fantastic films being released this year, there is no doubt if the “Ultra HD Blu-ray” system is sold in stores this year that films such as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be released on the new coming format. BDA member studios such as Sony, Disney, Fox, and others are excited about the new format. They are excited about showcasing new content such as new ways to access Special Features on the Blu-ray Disc. This all sounds incredible for the studios, but they have to struggle with the main problem which is how are they going to convince the public that a rapid new change in home media is necessary at the moment. This will also be a start for the home media companies to start pushing physical disc purchasing on the consumer, rather than streaming in 4K, which is not the true resolution. The Internet based 4K streaming has a long way to go until it reaches physical 4K Blu-ray experience. For me as filmmaker and film fan, I am always looking forward to experiencing and purchasing the new toys in home media. But caution readers, the first release of a product are not always the best. Even when such a player is released, it will take the company a few months to see what the consumer likes and dislikes about it. Then, a more suitable updated version of the entertainment system will suffice.
This all sounds great for the home experience, but this rapid change in entertainment will have filmmakers having to learn new techniques with new cameras. The Red Epic camera used by Peter Jackson on The Hobbit Trilogy was the first major step in 4K-filmmaking. With products such as “Ultra HD Blu-ray” and the 4K televisions already in the market, complaints about fake 4K films will start to dissipate as the new and true format will give us a taste about how filmmakers truly intended us to experience their films. Very few cinemas have true 4K projectors. IMAX is still above 4K and will continue to be the best theatre experience for a long time. But the Blu-ray’s with IMAX shot footage, such as The Dark Knight Trilogy, will be another step closer to experiencing IMAX at home just as the incredible theatre experience. Not only will this be a great new experience for movie lovers, gamers will love it too! Sony’s Playstation 4 has a Blu-ray laser for Blu-ray movies and most importantly their games! Playstation 4 has a 4K compatibly but it won’t be surprising if the Playstation 4 or even a Playstation 5 will have the “Ultra HD Blu-ray” feature! Even the future of 4K computers with a Blu-ray drive will be improved on with this new feature! Prices and the release date are yet to be announced for the “Ultra HD Blu-ray”, but keep a close eye out as more information is released.
What do you think about the new “Ultra HD Blu-ray” format? Are you ready to purchase such incredible home theatre advancement? Or are you the type that will go with the flow on home theatre technology? What do you think about the 4K bringing us more of the IMAX experience at home? Or do you think that IMAX being higher than 4K, makes going to the theatre a better experience? Whatever you think, comment below; let me know!