According to an article from Cnet, the Blu-Ray Disc Association is in the final stages of defining a new Blu-Ray format that will support 4K video. It’s expected that the Blu-Ray Disc Association will begin licensing the new format the middle of 2015. 4K blu-ray video players should hit store shelves by the end of 2015.


4K (or Ultra HD) video is roughly 4x the resolution of 1080p. It’s believed that the new format will provide a cleaner sharper image than 4K streaming services. Besides increased resolution, the new format promises to deliver a wider color gamut, an information transfer rate of 50, 60 or 100 megabits per second (which is roughly twice the transfer rate of current blu-rays), and an improved digital rights management protection system. You can also expect the capacity of blu-ray discs to increase up to as much as 100 GB.


The real question with the new 4K format, is whether or not the public will embrace it. Current 4K TV models are a little too expensive to attract the average Joe. Also, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are already testing 4K delivery systems. While 4K video from blu-ray discs are sure to look better, the convenience of ordering on-demand 4K video from your service provider may prove tough to beat.


Although 4K video is 4x the resolution of 1080p many doubt (including me) that the average person will be able to tell the difference between 1080p and 4K video at normal viewing distances. Victor Matsuda, who is chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association global promotions committee, is convinced consumers will be able to tell the difference when they see 4K video in person. He also believes there’s still a market for physical media despite the growing popularity of streaming services. With most of the major Hollywood studios are on board the marketing machine will be at full throttle when the new format hits store shelves next year. The only questions is, will consumers embrace it or spurn it in favor of streaming services.

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