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4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and players to hit shelves later this year

4K Blu-ray players will hit store shelves in 2015, following an agreement on standards by the Blu-ray Disc Association.

So why has this talen so long when there are many 4K Ultra HD TVs on the shelves now? You might as well ask why aren’t there any 4K TV channels at the same time. The BDA has had to work on defining more than just what the right resolution is. 

The new standard and accompanying hardware and media, will offer users higher frame-rates, wider colour gamuts and a higher dynamic range (HDR). 

Dynamic range refers to the range of contrasts possible – the darkest and the lightest parts and everything in between. Ultra HD Blu-rays, as they’re called will support three different types of HDR video, from Dolby, Philips and Technicolor. 

What is 4K and 8K Ultra HD?Storage-wise Ultra HD Bluy-rays will be bigger than the current Full HD counterparts. There will be a dual-layer UHD disc that can carry 66GB of data and a bigger triple-layer 100GB disc. Typically, feature-length Full HD Blu-rays are 50GB in size. 

Audio quality will be better too, though whether the BDA’s new standards will include Dolby Atmos is still unknown – but it would be unusual for it to not be included.

The new players, which should begin shipping this year, will be backwards compatible, playing existing DVD’s and Blu-ray discs, though even that, when coupled with the new, incredible high visual acuity, may not be enough to coax people into physically upgrading their entire movie collection once again. 

With Netflix and Amazon already offering 4K streaming surely it makes more sense for users to simply change their subscription options, rather than going out and buying a whole bunch of new media?

And, yes, UHD Blu-ray will likely look a lot better, is it really worth the effort for the average movie-viewer? If you ask us, Titanic will always be boring, whether we’re watching it in Full HD, 4K or 8K. 

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