Blu-rays, for a while now, have been the standard when it comes to physical media. While most films still release DVD versions (or include one in the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack), there is no question that Blu-ray is here to stay.
Or maybe not.
In recent years, another type of Blu-ray has appeared on the scene. Called 4K Blu-rays and designed to support expensive new 4K televisions, these fancier new discs look to be the next step when it comes to home media.
Of course, most people have no idea what a 4K television is or why anybody would want 4,000 Blu-rays. It seems for that reason the Blu-ray Disc Association has elected a new name for the discs: Ultra HD Blu-rays.
Ultra! HD! People know what that means! It's the perfect gimmicky marketing name that in actuality means almost nothing. We also have a look at the official specs for the discs, courtesy of The Digital Bits. Ultra HD Blu-rays will employ High Efficiency Video Coding, which is considered the most efficient video compression standard, will be produced in two different formats (66GB dual-layer and 100GB triple-layer) and will allow for higher video frame rates.
To the average person (like me) none of that means anything. All we want to know is if we are going to have to buy a new Blu-ray player and replace our massive movie collection, which we only just finished converting to Blu-ray a few months ago. So this is where the bad news comes in. Yes, you have to buy a new Blu-ray player if you want to watch Ultra HD Blu-rays. The movie and television studios are of course excited about the idea, as they attempt to future-proof Blu-rays and get people excited for physical media again in an age where Netflix reigns supreme.
No word on exactly how much the player or the Ultra HD Blu-rays themselves might cost, but most consumers probably aren't going to be lining up to re-buy their entire movie collection, much to the chagrin of Hollywood.