Is UHD Blu-ray Poised To Reenvigorate Home Media?
The next step in physical media for home entertainment is coming to a store near you. In fact, it may already be there. 4K UHD TVs are already available, and UHD Blu-ray-capable media players will soon be debuting. Growing consumer interest will inevitably drive desire, initially by first adopters and ultimately by ordinary consumers, to seek out the best picture and sound to make the most of their components. And that’s where UHD Blu-ray comes in…
These new next generation discs are expected to emerge at the end of 2015 or into early 2016 and media players capable of handling them are already going on sale soon. 4K TVs themselves are also widespread enough on the consumer market for a substantial market need to develop for 4K Blu-ray discs.
If you’re unfamiliar with this latest-and-greatest standard, Ultra-High-Definition television or UHDTV is twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of the 1080p HDTVformat, with four times as many pixels overall. With a resolution of 3840 x 2160, a UDH picture is delivered at a ratio of 16:9 or approximately 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This resolution allows a much sharper picture, but also presents a challenge for encoders and authors, who must still work within the Blu-ray specification. This has initiated the development of a whole new class of authoring software. Both Scenarist and Jargon Technologies, market leaders in authoring technology, have been working on advancements in this area. (More on that in future blog posts.) UHD Blu-ray is forecast to drive a new segment of the home video marketplace. The DEG has reported that 4K Ultra HD TV sales exploded by 494% in just the third quarter of 2015. This year, nearly 2M 4K TVs were sold in the US market, creating a 3M household user base ready to enjoy the highest quality in home entertainment. This number is only expected to grow as more and more households opt with the higher resolution TV when they upgrade. All those TVs will require content. While Netflix and Amazon are offering 4K streaming content, viewers choosing this option need to have consistently high-speed brandwidth to take advantage, and coverage of 20-25mbps broadband isn’t common. If you don’t live in an area where that’s possible, this option isn’t really an option. Thus, UHD Blu-ray remains the best option for a consistent high-quality experience, and an opportunity for content owners. The potential opportunity for content owners to benefit with premium-priced product is significant and while the major gains may not be felt for another year, this forcast gives content owners time to beef up their UHD offerings. We’re already fielding interest from clients about Giant’s UHD capability, and we’re scheduling our production calendar now. Take a Giant step with us…into UHD!