The Blu-ray Disc Association has agreed on the new specification for 4K Blu-rays, which will see the format finally handle resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160.
While 4K TV sales have been on the up, the BDA has spent months debating on what the new specification will be, but it’s now announced that there will be an increase in colour range, as well as support for HDR (High Dynamic Range).
Current Blu-ray discs can store quite a bit of information on them, but with the bump in resolution, the BDA has upped the storage capacity with 66GB and 100GB versions now available on dual and triple-layer discs.
While the upgraded spec sheet is focusing on visuals, with high frame rate content now also available for viewers with compatible hardware, audio will also take centre stage in this upgrade.
DTS:X and Dolby Atmos will both be supported by the new Blu-ray format although movie studios won’t be forced to include them, with both audio formats being completely optional, according to the latest rumours.
With the release of the new specifications, the BDA is embracing the digital era by enabling buyers of 4K Blu-rays to access their purchases on a range of other platforms including mobile devices using a new ‘digital bridge’ feature.
This will be similar to the UltraViolet feature that is already available in the US and UK which allows users buying DVDs and Blu-rays to also get a free online copy for viewing on TVs, PCs and mobile devices.
While users will require new hardware to play 4K Blu-rays, there is no need for them to completely replace their Blu-ray collection, with the BDA requiring all hardware makers to make new players backwards compatible.
Compatible players aren’t expected until the end of 2015, although when they do finally arrive, the BDA is making it easy for customers to know what Blu-rays support 4K, with the association unveiling a new logo specifically for UltraHD content.