Will 2016 Be The Year of UHD Blu-ray?
It sure seems like it.
2015 ended with some serious momentum building behind this upgraded format. The latest home entertainment trend really began to pick up speed in Q4 2015 when Fox, Sony and Warner Brothers announced titles which would be available on UHD Blu-ray throughout 2016.
While Fox is credited with being the first studio to publish a UHD title and, according to Home Media Magazine, has 30 “published and ready to go”, Sony and Warner Bros. aren’t going to be left behind, and have announced their own plans for the coming year.
[Warner] said all 2016 theatrical releases available day and date with their home entertainment release, as well as a selection of catalog titles, including Man of Steel and Pacific Rim, will be available in Ultra HD Blu-ray.
In all, over 50 titles will be released by the end of 2016 from these three studios alone, with more coming, undoubtedly, from the other majors and mini-majors.
Even as these announcements were made, the industry capacity and tools required to master UHD Blu-ray Discs were also making their debut. These announcements also snuck in during the closing months of 2015, including technology developed by Sony DADC, Jargon Technologies, and Scenarist, all market leaders in authoring toolkits.
While UHD Blu-ray may not lead to a flood of new activity in the home entertainment segment, fragmented now between disc, digital and OTT options, the new features and quality of UHD Blu-ray will make a very good impression on cinephiles and movie lovers, with subsequent impact on their disc-cretionary budget and, surely, studio and distributor’s revenues. As others have noted, UHD Blu-ray is expected to ‘reenvigorate’ the Blu-ray segment, which is good news for us all, consumer and producer alike. After all, a vibrant UDH Blu-ray market segment will encourage more studios to release in the format, encouraging even more happy consumers.
From the list of titles which the studios have announced, which includes recent hits such as Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Life of Pi, Fantastic Four, Mad Max: Fury Road, American Sniper, and The Lego Movie, there’s sure to be lots to see.
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