Hitting digital download distribution channels prior to launching on physical UHD discs, Fox will soon release four titles in Ultra HD resolution along with high dynamic range (HDR) mastering. The first four titles to receive this treatment include Kingsman: The Secret Service, Life of Pi, Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Maze Runner.
High dynamic range has been a popular feature utilized in digital photography for years, but video mastering with HDR is still relatively new. Consumers should expect to see more vibrant images as well as a wider range of colors displayed on an Ultra HDTV. Movie theaters are also starting to experiment with HDR, specifically Dolby Vision. IMAX has also started upgrading to support HDR with a new laser projection system in theaters.
Detailed by the Hollywood Reporter, Fox is planning to release additional UHD titles such as X-Men: Days of Future Past, but these four films will be available first on streaming service M-GO. Utilizing a Samsung SUHD television, consumers will be able to download the films to their Samsung Video Pack and take advantage of Ultra HD resolution. Prior to the launch of the full version of the four films in UHD, clips from Life of Pi and Exodus: Gods and Kings were supplied to Samsung for demonstration displays.
Fox hasn’t specified how large a UHD movie file will be or the average length of time it will take to download a film in UHD. That could potentially be an issue for anyone with monthly data caps on downloads. However, it’s likely that these four films will be released in physical format when Ultra HD Blu-ray players hit the market toward the end of 2015. It’s also likely that Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and other consumer electronics manufacturers will announce players within the next few months.