This is what the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format will look like

4K Blu-ray discs on track for Christmas 2015

The Blu-Ray Disc Association (BDA) used CES as its opportunity to expand on its previous announcement that 4K Blu-ray discs will be on shelves by Christmas 2015.

The organization has revealed the format's official name will be Ultra HD Blu-ray, says The Hollywood Reporter, while tech site Hexus has the specifics.

The BDA's board has defined Ultra HD Blu-ray as discs that can handle resolution up to 3849 x 2169 and frame rates up to 60fps.

The new format will also feature a wider color range (to up REC 2020 or BT2020) and 10-bit color depth, Hexus says, and a mandatory, open HDR specification will be crucial to the format overall. Though not all 4K movies have HDR at this time, that may be a future-proofing measure.

The new Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will range from 66GB in dual-layer to 100GB in triple-layer, while Ultra HD Blu-ray players will include the HEVC (H.265) codec, support HDMI 1.2 and 2.0 and be backward-compatible with existing Blu-rays, DVDs and VCDs.

Rising from the dead

Panasonic already announced a 4K Blu-ray player at CES, and it seems it may have been the first, though it won't be the last.

Early in 2014 Sony's own reports suggested 4K Blu-ray discs were dead before they even arrived, and now here we are, less than a year later, reading announcements about the format's specs. It just goes to show that things are sometimes not as dire as they seem.