The Blu-ray Disc Association has just completed the Ultra HD Blu-ray Specification, and in this article we’ll quickly go over the information we have so far. Here’s the official logo:
This specification is important because you’ll soon have movies available on it, and clients asking for it.
Here are some important specs available now:
- 3840×2160 resolution
- Support for High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Support for High Frame Rate (HFR) content.
- Next-generation immersive, object-based sound formats will also be delivered via the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification.
- Optional “digital bridge” feature, – “a content purchase can enable the consumer to view their content across the range of in-home and mobile devices”. This means you get a digital copy along with the physical disc, so you can watch your movie on computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
- All new Ultra HD Blu-ray players should be backward compatible to Blu-ray discs.
- Licensing starts in summer 2015
- New ULTRA HD Blu-ray discs will hold up to 66GB and 100GB of data on dual and triple layer discs respectively. Blu-ray could only hold up to 25GB of data (single-layer) and up to 50GB of data (dual-layer discs).
Who decides these things?
The specification is under the control of the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group of companies.
Clarity needed for the following specifications (My notes in brackets):
- Will there be region-coding similar to current discs? (Most likely yes, right now there are three regions)
- What is the target bit rate for Ultra HD (It might be around the 100-128 Mbps mark)?
- What is the maximum frame rate (most likely 60p)?
- What is the color space (Will it support Rec. 2020? It’s hard to say, because most Ultra HD TVs don’t, but this might change soon.)
- What is the bit depth (Will it be 10-bit? It should, but how many Ultra HD TVs are 10-bit?)
- Which audio formats are supported (Dolby Atmos almost a given, others we’ll need to wait and see).
- The disc format is most likely BDXL with UDF2.5 as the file system (unconfirmed)
- What is the codec? (Most likely it will be HEVC, H.265)
- What is the container format? (Currently it’s the BDAV MPEG Transport Stream)
- What aspect ratio sizes are supported? (Currently it’s 16:9)
- What is the chroma subsampling rate? (Currently it’s 4:2:0, but it might be 4:4:4)
- How many channels of audio are possible?
- Will it also incorporate Blu-ray 3D and have Ultra HD 3D?
I’ll update this article when more information is officially released. For those who feel discs are outdated, here’s a thought: How many 100 GB movies can you download a month?