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BDA Updates Blu-ray 4K Timeline

5 Sep, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) will have an updated Blu-ray Disc standard that will include 4K Ultra-HD (UHD) content as early as next spring, with retail 4K Blu-ray Discs available as quickly as next Christmas.

That’s according to Victor Matsuda, global promotions chair for the BDA and VP of Sony Corp.’s Blu-ray group.

With 4K streaming services beginning to make waves, Matsuda said the BDA is working hard to remind consumers that physical disc is still the best way to consume quality media.

“I think it’s very much in line with what we’ve experienced in the past: Packaged media offers a very controlled, stable, known environment, that’s fundamentally an advantage, compared to streaming services,” he said. “The more information you’re trying to stream, it becomes more of a challenge for Internet-based services.

“One of the advantages Blu-ray and packaged-media formats have is having its own, enclosed, stable environment. We don’t have to worry about … how big the pipeline is from the service provider, whether your monthly data plan is going to affected by the 4K products rolling out.”

The updated standard will allow for 4K content to be used on 50GB, 66GB and 100GB discs. The content will support higher frame rates (up to 60 frames per second), will feature advanced compression technology, and both high-dynamic range and a wider color gamut will be utilized.

Replicators will have to make some investments to their production lines to support the updated discs. Both Sony DADC and Technicolor are part of the BDA group working on the updated standard, as are several major studios.

“We’ve always tried to promote Blu-ray as the best of the best, and that’s not only talking about resolution,” Matsuda said. “There are a lot of things that will continue to separate Blu-ray from other products and services that continue to talk about 4K.

“The work by the BDA is ... going to provide the hardware and software companies the business opportunity.”

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