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Ultra HD Blu-ray spec looks to boost physical media, will allow multiscreen viewing

ultra hd blu-rayThe Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has completed the specification for its new Ultra HD Blu-ray format and released the new logo that will delineate Ultra HD Blu-ray products. The move is seen a key step in the fight-back by the physical media industry against what is expected to be a sharp decline in physical media consumption as 4K/UHD gains adoption. 

In addition to delivering content in up-to 3840×2160 resolution, the Ultra HD Blu-ray format enables delivery of a significantly expanded colour range and allows for the delivery of high dynamic range (HDR) and high frame rate content. Next-generation immersive, object-based sound formats will also be delivered via the specification according to the BDA.

An optional digital bridge feature is designed to enable the consumer to view their content across multiple in-home and mobile devices.

The specification also mandates all new Ultra HD Blu-ray players be capable of playing back current Blu-ray Discs, ensuring that equipment can be used to view an extensive existing catalogue of content.

Licensing of Ultra HD Blu-ray is scheduled to begin this summer. The BDA said it was working closely with industry leaders in the authoring, testing, certification and replication industries to develop the tools and process needed to ensure interoperability between players and software.

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will use the H.265 video format and will come as double- and triple-layer discs with 66GB and 100GB capacity respectively.

“For 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,” said Victor Matsuda, chair, BDA Promotions Committee. “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.”