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First 4K Blu-ray players will be on sale by end of 2015

While the likes of Netflix and Amazon press on with bringing 4K content to the overwhelming minority of Ultra HD TV owners, there are at least a couple of major issues related to the next-gen being a streaming-first platform.

Firstly, users will need a hyper-fast broadband connection to view those UHD movies buffer-free, while the amount of extra bandwidth content owners will require will be totally off the charts.

So what’s the solution? How about good old-fashioned physical media?

At the IFA tech show in Germany, the Blu-ray Disc Association has announced it’ll begin licensing the 4K Blu-ray standard by next summer with a view to the first players going on sale before next-year’s holiday season.

According to the group, it’ll be more than just a stable, internet-free viewing experience and all of those extra pixels.

The 4K Blu-ray specification will boast much improved colour gamut, a higher dynamic range and video at 60 frames per second.

With challenges to be met by the streaming giant, the group will hope the lure of a better viewing experience can tempt users back to optical media in order to enjoy those Ultra High Definition to the fullest.

“The packaged media and that enclosed, stable environment — that’s part of being the best of the best,” chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association Victor Matsuda said.

The new discs will have 50GB capacity, just like the current generation, but data will be compressed more efficiently via the H.265/HEVC codec and players will be able to read data from the discs at 60 megabits per second.

There is expected to be adoption of the technology from all of the major studios too, according to the chairman.

“At one level or another all Hollywood is on board,” Matsuda said.

Read more: What is 4K and Ultra HD?


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