Joining Sony Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Home Video has announced the first four titles it will release on the new Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format: Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, The Lego Movie, and Pan. The news comes in the anticipation of the release of what is expected to be the first available Ultra HD Blu-ray player coming stateside from Samsung, likely to be shown at CES next week.
Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, expected to deliver the best picture quality available to consumers yet, will support a wider color gamut, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and higher bitrates than current 4K Ultra HD streaming services, designed to work with the latest enhancements for 2016 4K Ultra HD TVs. In addition, the content will be less compressed than today’s 4K streams, which should assure less compression noise and fewer gradients in darker scenes.
“With the anticipated proliferation of Ultra HD televisions in the coming years, our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray product offerings will truly complement the stunning capabilities of this new generation of home entertainment hardware,” said Warner Bros. exec Ron Sanders in a statement (via Variety).
While a release date has yet to be set, Warner told Variety that, soon after the release of these first four titles on Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, the studio will issue new releases for the format alongside regular Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases. Warner also plans on releasing catalog titles on the format throughout 2016, including Man of Steel and Pacific Rim, and expects to have over 35 titles available on the format by the end of 2016. Dolby Atmos surround and, presumably, DTS:X will also be included on select titles.
Twentieth Century Fox, the first studio to announce Ultra HD Blu-ray disc releases, will also release new films on the format the same day as standard Blu-ray and Digital HD. In addition, the studio plans to reissue recent hit films including Kingsman: The Secret Service and X-Men: Days of Future Past on the format.
Sony Pictures’ initial slate will include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Smurfs 2, and Pineapple Express; Lionsgate plans to remaster “its top 100 movies” in the format, according to Variety. That said, the proliferation of Ultra HD Blu-rays will likely be a slow and steady one, so those raring to go on a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player for 2016 may want to give the content some time to catch up.