Ultra HD Blu-ray finalized, 4K discs headed to the home theater

blu-ray discs
Announced by the Blu-ray Disc Association earlier this morning, the specifications on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs have been completed. This means Blu-ray software and compatible Ultra HD hardware may start hitting store shelves as early at the holiday shopping season at the end of the year. Anyone that has already upgraded to an Ultra HD 4K television set will be able to use the new format to take advantage of native 3840 x 2160 resolution, frame rates potentially up to 60 frames per second, high dynamic range color as well as support for advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Speaking about the upgraded format, BDA promotions committee chair and Sony Blu-ray group vice president Victor Matsuda saidFor years, Blu-ray Disc has set the standard for high definition picture and audio quality in the home. Ultra HD Blu-ray will do the same for UHD home entertainment. The technical capabilities of Blu-ray Disc, in particular its significant storage capacity and high data transfer rates, will enable the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable UHD experience.”

UHD-BD-LogoAvailability of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will likely be advantageous to early adopters of the new technology, specifically due to the limited availability of streaming 4K content on services like Netflix and YouTube as well as the bandwidth requirements needed to streaming in Ultra HD resolution.

Monthly bandwidth caps on volume of data streamed is also a glaring issue, mostly because file size of a typical 4K movie is roughly three to four times the 1080p version. Binge watching the an entire season of House of Cards, for instance, eats up at least 75GB of data, assuming Netflix is using the latest h.265 codec.

The announcement also mentioned a “digital bridge” feature on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs that will provide a method of movie ownership on mobile devices, much like Ultraviolet works on Blu-ray discs today. Regarding data capacity on the new Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, studios will be able to fill up 66GB of data on dual-layer discs and 100GB on triple-layer discs. Comparatively, the current Blu-ray discs offer 25GB of data on single layer discs and 50GB of data storage on dual-layer discs.

Consumers will have to upgrade to new hardware to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. However, those players will be backwards compatible and play older movie formats such as Blu-ray and DVD. Hypothetically, it’s possible that both Sony and Microsoft will release upgraded gaming console hardware to support the new format. The additional storage space on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs could be beneficial to gaming developers. When the Blu-ray format originally came out in 2006, adoption of the high resolution discs was impacted significantly by the adoption of the PlayStation 3.

It’s likely that announcements related to the first films released on Ultra HD Blu-ray will occur later in the year. Of course, the current gamut of summer blockbusters could be ideal content to showcase the new physical disc format. However, it’s up to each individual studio to release films on the new format.

Home Theater

Plex ends support for home theater PCs with new desktop app

Plex users who have traditionally relied on their PCs as an all-in-one solution may be forced to switch to Kodi. Plex has announced it's replacing its Plex Media Player app with a version that no longer supports TV Mode.
Deals

Walmart drops the 65-inch Vizio V-Series 4K Ultra HD HDR smart TV to only $548

You can now own the 65-inch Vizio V-Series 4K Ultra HD HDR smart TV for only $548 when you order from Walmart. Check this deal out if you are looking to upgrade to a bigger screen without breaking the bank.
Home Theater

These TVs might cost less than $1,000, but they certainly don’t perform like it

Check out our picks for the best TVs under $1,000 to enjoy top-shelf features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, and gorgeous image processing. Park yourself here to find the absolute best values in TV land.
Mobile

Motorola One Action says goodbye to annoying vertical videos

The new midrange Motorola One Action features an ultra-wide-angle lens that means you can take horizontal video while filming vertically. Here's everything you need to know about the Motorola One Action.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Deals

This 65-inch LG 4K ultra HD smart TV is down to only $580 on Walmart today

LG is the maker of our pick for the best TV in 2019. If you want the same picture performance at an affordable price, check out the 65-inch LG UM6900 4K UHD smart TV. You can get it from Walmart at only $580 today.
Product Review

Think soundbars look boring? The Klipsch Bar 40 offers affordable style

Klipsch’s Bar 40 does its namesake proud when it comes to both style and sound, with a great look and impressively clear performance. However, those seeking loads of features may want to look elsewhere.
Home Theater

Is bigger really better? How to figure out what size TV you need

What size TV do you need? Here are a few tips for picking the right size, including where to find a TV’s measurements, ideal viewing distance, and picture quality versus size. Not sure what to look for? This guide is for you.
Home Theater

HDMI ARC and eARC: What they are, and how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next-generation technology, eARC.
Deals

Treat your ears to Sennheiser’s Momentum 2.0 with Amazon’s 49% discount

Amazon gives your ears a treat as it brings down the hefty $500 price tag of the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 with a 49% discount. It may be considered a luxury but a pair can be within reach for $254.
Deals

Pick up Bose’s QuietComfort 25 headphones at their lowest price ever on Amazon

Bose is a name synonymous with quality, and its headphones are no exception -- especially its noise-canceling models. But that functionality doesn't come cheap (Bose's QuietComfort 35 II's for example), so when we see a pair of great…
Movies & TV

The future of Star Wars: All the known movies and TV series coming your way

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Deals

Grab the Sennheiser PXC 550 and get $105 in savings on Amazon

Now is as good a time as ever to get the Sennheiser PXC 550 along with $105 in savings. Usually listing for $350, Amazon lets you off at $246 with the chance to knock off another $50 with your Amazon Rewards Visa card.
Movies & TV

Five awesome storylines the new Obi-Wan Disney+ series needs

Disney is reportedly planning to bring Star Wars prequel star Ewan McGregor back as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a solo series on Disney+. Here are five storylines we want to see in a show that puts "Old Ben" front and center.