4K Blu-ray spec confirmed, get your shiny Ultra HD discs this year

Optical media ain't dead yet, there's a 4K Blu-ray renaissance on the way for the holidays

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has just announced the completed specification for Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Licensing of the 4K Blu-ray ecosystem is set to begin in the Summer which ought to mean the players and the media will be on the shelves in time for the holiday season.

Perfect timing for it to cosy up to your new 4K TV when the nights are drawing in.

The new Ultra HD Blu-ray standard will enable the high capacity discs to deliver content at the 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 and with a heftily upgraded colour range too. The new 4K Blu-ray discs will enable high-dynamic range (HDR) content as well as offering high-frame rate (HFR) playback too.

Top tech

In terms of physical media, the existing Blu-ray tech is ideally situated to cope with the demands of 4K content.

"The technical capabilities of Blu-ray Disc," explained Victor Matsuda, Chair of BDA Promotions Committee, "in particular its significant storage capacity and high data transfer rates, will enable the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable UHD experience."

Ultra HD Blu ray

Impressively Ultra HD Blu-ray isn't going to be restricted to physically connected devices either. The digital bridge feature will allow you to watch your content across a range of devices in the home.

The BDA is really trying to push the benefits of owning physical media, claiming 'the specification enhances the value of content ownership' by allowing you to spread it around.

The digital bridge though is an optional feature of the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec, which might not mean it's universally picked up.

Still, at least the BDA has mandated all the Ultra HD Blu-ray players will have to be backwards compatible with the current Blu-ray standard. So, don't worry, you're not going to have to replace your entire library to get access to 4K Blu-ray.

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Components Editor

Dave (Twitter) is the components editor for TechRadar and has been professionally testing, tweaking, overclocking and b0rking all kinds of computer-related gubbins since 2006. Dave is also an avid gamer, with a love of Football Manager that borders on the obsessive. Dave is also the deputy editor of TechRadar's older sibling, PC Format.