Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 09-12-13, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

In 2002 the DVD world was set on fire by the announcement of a new technology specification dubbed Blu-ray. Offering nearly 5 times the storage capacity of a traditional DVD (25 GB single layer, 50 GB dual layer), the format opened the gateway to the distribution of high definition material. Nearly four years later Blu-ray disc players emerged on an international scale and the rest is history. Along the way we’ve witnessed the defeat of a rival format called HD-DVD and the arrival of streaming video (which has given surviving physical media formats their own challenges), but until now Blu-ray has remained the best way to deliver true 1080p content.


The electronics industry and consumers are now staring a new beast in the face: 4K Ultra High Definition. As we all know, you must feed the beast to keep him happy, and this beast needs food that is hard to find. After all, what good is a 4K display without a true 4K source? Currently, there are only two viable options to deliver 4K content in-home: Redray and Sony’s Ultra High Definition Media Player. Both units are hard-drive based technologies and from the looks of things these and any other forthcoming 4K drive based units will have to hold down the proverbial fort for the foreseeable future. Blu-ray discs, in their current state, aren’t able to hold enough information to store 4K material and the Blu-ray Disc Association (a standards based organization made-up of over 150 players in the electronics industry) has yet to officially unveil a 4K Blu-ray standard.

This all could be changing, though, and quickly. Several days ago the German company Singulus Technologies (developer of production processes for optical disc, solar technologies, and semiconductors) made a bombshell announcement concerning a new production/replication line they have developed dubbed BLULINE III, meant for the manufacturing of triple-layer Blu-ray discs able to store 100GB of data. This means mass production of discs capable of holding 4K material is on the horizon.

"Just in time for the market introduction of the new ultra-high definition television technology (4K or Ultra-HD), we completed the development of the production technology for the new triple-layer Blu-ray Discs with 100 GB storage capacity,” said Dr. Stefan Rinck, CEO of Singulus Technologies.

Pair this announcement with the recent news that HDMI 2.0 technology (which allows for high frame rate delivery of 4K material through one cord) is officially a reality, and we can most certainly expect the Blu-Ray Disc Association to announce 4K Blu-ray disc standards soon.

Ultra High Definition and its associated products are hot items for manufacturers, and could be a huge cash-cow if the technology becomes popular. The reasons are only obvious. True 4K sourced material will require players capable of HDMI 2.0 output, receivers capable of HDMI 2.0 pass-through, and displays that can handle the signal as well. Don’t forget the source material. We’ve seen hints of release refreshes through Sony’s “Mastered in 4K” series on Blu-ray. Just imagine the windfall movie houses will realize once they are able to re-release past Blu-ray titles on a true 4K medium.

Tighten your seat belts, the ride is only beginning.

Image Credit: Kris Jone, Hdwallpapersx.com
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-12-13, 12:50 PM
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

Looks like everything is moving forward toward the Ultra HD or 4K arena. I just hope prices start to come down so that the average Joe on the street can get these new gadgets!
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-12-13, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

There's no doubt about it... I'm sure Blu-rays will begin to seem very DVD-like in a few years.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-12-13, 01:04 PM
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

Can existing blu ray players play this new triple layer 100gb blu ray discs or will a firm ware or new player be needed to read them?

Of course the price for said 100gb blu ray triple layer disc is most likely going to be expensive!
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-12-13, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

Theoretically, yes... assuming a firmware update was executed. The primary problem, tho, is outputting the information to a display. You either need multiple HDMI cables OR HDMI 2.0. No one has HDMI 2.0 on their machines... and that's not something you add with a firmware update.

My guess is that all of the BD players we currently have won't have 4K display compatibility when it comes to outputting 4K material.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-12-13, 01:46 PM
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

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Theoretically, yes... assuming a firmware update was executed. The primary problem, tho, is outputting the information to a display. You either need multiple HDMI cables OR HDMI 2.0. No one has HDMI 2.0 on their machines... and that's not something you add with a firmware update.

My guess is that all of the BD players we currently have won't have 4K display compatibility when it comes to outputting 4K material.
This is what I was afraid of. With new technological breaks, it means new players..

With 3d, you needed 3d tv, 3d receiver, 3d player
With 4K or Ultra HD, you need 4K Ultra HD TV with hdmi 2.0, blu ray player with 2.0, and 4K native/pass through receiver.

Nice to see advances but it hurts the pocket book.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-13-13, 09:07 AM
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

Isn't the current HDMI spec capable of transmitting 4K content? I thought HDMI 2.0 was for higher video frame rates and up to 32 channels of audio.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-13-13, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

HDMI 1.4 is capable of 24-30fps, 4K resolution, 8 bit color. In order to achieve frame rates greater than 30 with HDMI 1.4 you'd need to use multiple cables.

HDMI 2.0 is capable of frame rates up to 60 with 12 bit color and 32 channels of sound.

My understanding is that most HDMI 1.4 gear isn't upgradeable to HDMI 2.0... have you heard differently?
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-13-13, 10:04 AM
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

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My understanding is that most HDMI 1.4 gear isn't upgradeable to HDMI 2.0... have you heard differently?
I would imagine it's not.

My point is that there are currently players, receivers, and displays compatible with 4K and HDMI 1.4. So the only way one would be required to upgrade to HDMI 2.0 hardware would be if they wanted to view 4K content at the higher frame rates, etc. Is the assumption that these triple layer Blu-rays will only deliver content beyond the limitations of HDMI 1.4? If that is the case, it would seem pointless to buy a receiver, for example, with 4K video pass through but HDMI 1.4 connections, no?
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-13-13, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Singulus Technologies Announcement Puts the Industry on the Cusp of 4K Blu-ray Production

No, I don't think that's the assumption. And you make a good point. Will everyone have to rush out and buy all new equipment? Technically, no. But if you're looking to take advantage of 12 bit color, say... or movies released in higher frame rates, then yes, you're looking at new equipment. These issues do have a lot of grey areas... such as, will current HDMI 1.4 capable receivers be able to pass through a signal from a BD player with HDMI 2.0 capability? The HDMI cords will be the same... but will the information be transferable?

For me, the notion that the new equipment hitting the streets is 4K compatible is a half-truth, because there's a good chance the industry will tap into the abilities of HDMI 2.0. The same thing happened with 3D... right?
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