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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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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?
That's what I'm thinking. The idea that getting a 4K capable receiver or TV right now will prevent it from going obsolete until the next (8K... who knows?) format is available is not entirely true. But a lot of consumers may be lead to believe that. I guess it will depend on what standards are set for 4K physical media. Either way, I'm not planning to jump on any kind of UHD/4K/HDMI 2.0 bandwagon until the dust settles and the prices come down. Until then I'll tolerate my measly 60" 1080p plasma display and just keep beefing up my audio system :)
 

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Until then I'll tolerate my measly 60" 1080p plasma display and just keep beefing up my audio system :)
I agree 100%. Best to wait it out. Who knows what will happen. Even with no 4K or Ultra HD content, prices are crazy high for the 4K equipment. Maybe in 5 to 10 years, when 4K is available and prices are reasonable, sure.. :)
 

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I see no point in 4K. Currently there is little to no content, people will most likely have to replace most of there stuff and for what? A res that you may not be able to see a difference in unless your running a really huge screen

Most people I know are running 55 to 60 inch systems what need do they have for this type of rez when I can set there current setup to 720 and back to 1080 and half can't see the difference.

Now if I was running a 200 inch screen sure I can see this being a really nice thing but with my current 55 inch and no room for larger what is it they have to offer the average person who does not have a endless pocket book for upgrades every other year.

Also until it is a industry wide product I see no reason to spend a cent because for all I know it is a money grab kink of like how we had HD DVD and BluRay at the same time. It is a neat idea but until they have a 55" set down to $800 or so and everything set in stone I cant see it going far.

I look at it this way in the last year I just redid my setup why spend all that money again to buy something that the movies and industry have not said they even plan to make content for.

A lot of the content they list for 4K I am guessing is going to be up-converted sense a lot of the list I have seen was a mix of older and newer so how is this going to look? They had a hard time taking stuff on DVD and up-converting it and making it look good what is something with 4 times the res going to look like when DVD was really a small jump when compared to this.

When they answer all of this maybe I will look into it. Am I being too picky with this or does anything I have said make a bit of sense.
 

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I am definitely waiting and will not jump in to the 4k market until prices are affordable. I have a 120 inch screen. The upgrade would be expensive ie new screen/projector/bluray player. I will stick with 1080p and continue to improve audio system/room response.
 

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I'm only willing to upgrade every 10-15 years more often then that and I will bankrupt my self , tech changes to often for anyone person to keep up just a few years ago I upgraded my system and I'm keeping it . lets see what 10 years brings before I lay-down 3-5 k again
 
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