Ultra HD Blu-Ray Discs
These days, more and more people are doing their movie watching by way of streaming services like Amazon Instant, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and iTunes. It is just so convenient! Sales and rentals of physical media (DVD and Blu-ray discs) have dropped precipitously over the last few years and some analysts predict their imminent demise. So why would anyone be interested in yet another disc format?
The reason is 4K. If you own an Ultra-HD (4K) TV or looking to in the future, quality picture and sound are most likely important to you. So how are you going to get Ultra-HD content to take advantage of the incredible picture quality of your TV? Streaming and downloading services already offer Ultra-HD programming and there are very cool Ultra-HD media servers such as Sony’s FMP-X10 that can download and store, or stream, Ultra-HD content.
For sheer convenience and ready access to wonderful looking Ultra-HD content these Internet-based delivery methods are fantastic. But there are downsides, first among them being the enormous amount of data in a Ultra-HD program. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, the quality of your Wi-Fi network and the other data demands in your household, downloading a Ultra-HD movie for storage on a Ultra-HD media server could take anywhere from two to ten hours.
Streaming may be a problem too. At minimum you’ll need a real (not just claimed by the cable company) 25Mbps Internet connection speed and a really good router in your home to avoid visual glitches and streaming pauses. If you are experiencing problems streaming standard HD video now, you can bet that streaming Ultra-HD will be a headache. The huge data of Ultra-HD video means that streaming providers have to compress the digital signal, leading inevitably to some compromises in video quality.
Ultra-HD optical discs will have several technical advantages that should be readily obvious to anyone with a very good TV and an appreciation for quality. First, you don’t have to bog down your Wi-Fi network, suffer video glitches and buffering interruptions. Second Ultra-HD discs will have a higher frame rate that will allow 3D Ultra-HD. Next Ultra-HD discs will support a wider color gamut that will ultimately result in much more realistic rendering of colors.
Last and possibly the most immediately valuable advantage to Ultra-HD optical discs is high dynamic range (HDR), which expands the spread between the darkest and brightest areas of a picture. Real life (and the human eyes that perceive it) has a far wider rage of brightness than standard video systems can reproduce. Low dynamic range video hides an enormous amount of picture detail, while HDR promises to bring much more detailed lifelike images into your home.
Is Ultra-HD on disc right for you? Contact Spire Integration Systems for more details.