The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) will begin licensing the Ultra HD Blu-ray format starting Aug. 24. The new optical disc format will enable delivery of Ultra HD content to the market of Ultra HD households, which expected to grow to 95.6 million in 2019.
Ultra HD Blu-ray advances beyond 1080p in resolution, contrast, color and audio. Ultra HD Blu-ray aids consumer adoption of the format by providing a means of watching Ultra HD content that bypasses ISP providers and bandwidth-based considerations. "Ultra HD Blu-ray enables the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable experience that will set the standard for Ultra HD entertainment, the same way Blu-ray Disc did for high definition viewing," Victor Matsuda, chair of the BDA promotions committee, said in a statement. "With the commencement of licensing we would anticipate product announcements from various companies as we approach the 2015 holiday season."
"Ultra HD is expected to ramp up quickly over the next few years as it grows in popularity, availability and affordability within the market for TV sets," Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Technology, said in a statement. "The ability to consume Ultra HD content during this time, however, is a question mark due to variables such as Ultra HD broadcast offerings and household bandwidth for Ultra HD streaming."
The Ultra HD Blu-ray format will deliver high dynamic range content that expands the range between the brightest and darkest elements. Tthe format provides expanded color range, high frame rate (up to 60fps) and up-to 3840x2160 resolution. The Ultra HD Blu-ray format will also deliver next-generation object-based sound formats. And, with the optional "digital bridge" feature, the specification enhances the value of content ownership by embracing the notion that a content purchase can enable the consumer to view their content across a wide range of in-home and mobile devices.
Ultra HD Blu-ray players will also be required to play back current Blu-ray Discs. This requirement, coupled with the upscaling capabilities of players and TVs alike, will give consumers access to the vast library of more than 10,000 titles currently available on Blu-ray Disc.