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Blu-ray wants to take on 4K streaming with UHD discs

Back in 2008, a Blu-ray disc was the height of media consumption technology, but it’s soon to be replaced.

That’s because the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has announced a new, improved spin-off standard called Ultra HD Blu-ray.

While standard Blu-ray shows off content in 1080p, the new UHD Blu-ray is good for 4K-resolution playback.

According to the BDA, not only will customers get 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution content, they’ll also be on the receiving end of improved colour range and HDR footage.

The new format will also be able to cope with high frame-rate content, purportedly up to a maximum of 60fps.

Each UHD Blu-ray disc will hold up to 66GB of content on dual-layer discs, or 100GB of content on triple-layer discs.

Currently, Blu-Ray discs take up to 25GB of single layer, and 50GB of dual-layer, so this is a pretty huge increase.

“For years, Blu-ray Disc has set the standard for high definition picture and audio quality in the home,” said Victor Matsuda, BDA’s chair.

He continued: “Ultra HD Blu-ray will do the same for UHD home entertainment.”

The new technology will soon begin licensing out to third-parties this summer, so we can expect UHD Blu-ray to land on store shelves towards the end of the year.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

Of course the real question is whether or not we actually need physical disc media anymore.

Netflix, for instance, is already streaming 4K content digitally, a feat made possible by ever-increasing home broadband speeds.

The advantage of physical media, of course, is that you don’t need an internet connection to view the content.

You will, however, need somewhere to store all those physical discs; that’s a problem not encountered by those who store content on their hard-drives, or stream it from a company’s servers.

Can physical media still compete with digital downloads? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.