My Two Cents
Thursday, 09 January 2014 15:01

BDA confirms 4K Blu-ray extension approved, work on ‘technical blueprint’ underway

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We have a little more for you today on the revelation yesterday that 4K may be coming to Blu-ray in the year ahead.  Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Blu-Ray Disc Association’s global promotions committee chair, Victor Matsuda, revealed that ‘the BDA board recently approved work to extend Blu-Ray to include 4K and will be exploring the best possible technical blueprint.’  The work is being done by a task force of representatives from 17 companies including Sony, Technicolor, Dolby, Fox and Disney.  And based on last night’s story, Samsung as well.  [Read on here…]

Meanwhile, the (DECE) Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (the group behind UltraViolet) is planning to add 4K support and also higher dynamic range, color space, frame rate and related features.

It remains to be seen if the Hollywood studios will aggressively support consumer delivery of 4K content on Blu-ray.  My own suspicion – based on interactions with the studios and their evolving pattern of BD releases – is that the studio thinking has shifted significantly away from discs.  That could mean  4K Blu-ray may face a difficult road in terms of Hollywood support.  On the other hand, it’s also possible that brick and mortar retailers like Target, Best Buy and Walmart may have a strong preference for physical product… and these days what retailers want seems to carry a lot more weight with the studios than what actual consumers want.

In any case, I still believe 4K – whether delivered on Blu-ray or not – is likely to remain a slow-developing, incremental niche market for some time to come.  The key question is: Do most consumers really want 4K (or 8K, or 3D) and feel much of a need to upgrade to it?  That’s not what I’m sensing.

But we’ll see.

Meanwhile, here at The Bits today our own Tim Salmons has turned in a review of Fox’s The Wolverine on Blu-ray – the regular edition, not the extended (we’ll try to post a review of that soon).

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt


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