The Blu-ray Disc Association has rubber stamped specs for 4K Ultra HD discs – and released a new logo.
After months of consideration the BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association) has formally completed its specification for 4K Blu-rays. The new specification means that discs will be able to handle resolutions of up to 3840×2160, a significantly increased colour range, as well as support for HDR (High Dynamic Range) and high frame rate content to viewers with capable hardware.
The specification will also deliver higher capacity discs, with 66GB and 100GB capacity on dual and triple-layer discs respectively.
Visuals aren’t going to be the only thing covered by the new spec. Next-gen sound formats are also included in the new specification and audiophiles will be pleased to hear that DTS:X, Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D made the grade, though their inclusion is reportedly optional.
To distinguish the new format from crusty old non-4K Blu-rays, the BDA has unveiled a new logo.
The BDA have also stated that viewers should be able to watch their purchased content across all of their devices, both home-based and mobile, with the help of a new ‘digital bridge’ feature. Similar to how UltraViolet works, this means that buyers of 4K Blu-rays would have the option of watching their purchases on a range of other platforms. It’s currently unclear exactly how digital bridge would work for consumers.
Backwards compatibility must also be included in Ultra HD Blu-ray players, so if you’ve painstaking replaced all of your DVDs with Blu-rays, you won’t suddenly have to start all over again (although you probably will).
Compatible hardware for the newly confirmed format is expected to begin shipping by the end of 2015, although we have already been able to catch a glimpse of what Panasonic has in store with the DMP-BDT700. The Japanese manufacturer unveiled a prototype UHD Blu-ray player, which featured support for HDR, the increased colour gamut and HEVC earlier this year.