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4K Blu-ray standard confirmed

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A standard for 4K Blu-ray players has finally been agreed upon.

The Blu-Ray Disc Association has revealed that it has reached an agreement on a batch of standards of Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K Blu-ray discs, reports 4K.com.

These new 4K discs will start being released towards the end of 2015.

4K Blu-ray will be about more than just a higher resolution, however, which perhaps explains why it's taken so long to agree on a standard. It will also feature improved colour reproduction, with a new 4:4:4 standard. Current Blu-rays employ the inferior 4:2:0 colour standard.

Of course, most older TV sets and AV receivers don't support 4:4:4, but then most people will be needing to purchase a new TV to make the most of this 4K content anyway.

The new Blu-ray standard will also feature High Dynamic Range (HDR) for greater detail in very dark and very light areas of the picture.

10-bit sampling is also supported, though TechRadar points out that you're unlikely to notice the difference from the current 8-bit Blu-ray standard.

Read More: Best 4K TVs

Of course, these hew UHD discs will be packing significantly more data, which will be supplied in two forms - a 66GB dual-layer disc and a 100GB triple-layer disc. These will be encoded with h.265, also known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec).

There won't be any change in the audio set-up, as Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA are already pretty high-end.

Interestingly, one standard that isn't supported in 4K Blu-ray is 3D, suggesting that the era of 3D home cinema is over - if it ever truly began. We'll always have 1080p 3D, of course.

MattMe

February 18, 2015, 3:31 pm

It seems a little odd to drop the 3d support, doesn't it? I thought 3D in 4K would overcome a lot of the drawbacks preventing wider take-up of the tech.

laughterjones

February 18, 2015, 6:21 pm

Everything I read on the internets supported that 4k would help with 3d issues. Took them long enough to deliberate, so guess they didn't think it was worth it.

Prem Desai

February 18, 2015, 8:04 pm

I bet they'll wait until everyone has invested in these players and movies. Then, a year later, release the 3d standard. This make sure people buy new players, cables and buy the movies again. Everyone's a winner - except the consumer.

Cynical? Me? Never!! 😄

Sara Joshion

March 17, 2015, 4:04 am

Good news that 4K is arriving. There are also some player software that can support 4K playback, such as Macgo blu-ray player software and Aurora media player.

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