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Old 02-02-2013, 02:20 AM   #1
ronjones ronjones is offline
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Default Blu-ray 4K Under Consideration by BDA

After nearly a year and a half of spectulation about the potential for a future version of blu-ray that could support native 4K Ultra High Definition recordings, there is now word of activity within the BDA. As background, I'm not talking about 1080p blu-ray discs sourced from 4K movies nor players that simply upscale 1080p discs to a 4K 24Hz output. Rather I talking about discs recorded at the full native 4K resolution and players that can play these discs and output the 4K video to displays with native 4K Ultra High Definition resolution (approx. 8 Mpixels).

Andy Parsons, the president of the BDA, is quoted as saying at CES 2013 (Jan. 2013):

“We created a task force three months ago to study the prospects of adding new technologies to the format,”……“We will evaluate three criteria, starting with the technical feasibility of doing 4K, which is four times the picture quality of 1080p.”

The standards for two of the enabling technologies should be in place in time to support any decision on the part of the BDA to proceed with the development of a next generation Blu-ray standard that includes support for a full resolution 4K Ultra High Definition format.

h.265 HEVC Codec - The first edition of the h.265 standard was recently approved and this defines the basic High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) codec for 2D video including support for 4K. However, a lot are desired features are still missing in the h.265 standard such as the extensions for 3D 4K video, higher frame rates, increased bit depth and higher fidelity chroma formats (e.g., 4:2:2 and 4:4:4). This recently released standard includes the "hooks" to add these extensions later and it is my guess that it will probably take least until late this year before these extensions are added to the h.265 standard. HEVC is claimed to offer approx. twice the compression efficiency of the AVC codec that is defined by h.264 and the HD version of which as used with the current Blu-ray standard.

HDMI - The next generation HDMI standard (prehaps called ver. 2.0) has been under development for just over a year by the HDMI Forum's technical working group. The lastest schedule is for it to be completed and approved by mid-2013. While the specific features to be included in the new HDMI standard have not been make publicly available, statements make by officials with the HDMI organization last year indicate that the tasking to the working group has included adding support for 4K video with higher frames rates, such as 60 Hz, and support for deep color (e.g., 12-bit color depth). There will probably be support for additional audio formats and other technical improvements.

I suspect that if the BDA decides to move ahead with the development of a next generation Blu-ray standard that includes support for 4K Ultra HD video, we are probably looking at sometime in 2014 for that standard to be finalized. Hopefully we will hear something out of the BDA within a few months as to a decision to move forward. Of course such a major update to the Blu-ray standand might also address technology improvements in support of 1080p, such as the use of the HEVC codec, higher frame rates, increased bit depth and improved chroma coding.

Last edited by ronjones; 02-02-2013 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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PS4 is going to kick things off this year.

I feel sorry for Red Ray.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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PS4 is going to kick things off this year.

I feel sorry for Red Ray.
Red Ray is digital, not disc based. It is also aimed at being used for theatrical presentations, not just consumer use. It will do just fine for what it is.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Default Blu-ray 4K vs. internet based 4K media players

I believe that 4K media players, such as the Redray and the upcoming Sony 4K player (standalone and perhaps also PS4 based), have a valid place in the equipment rack of home theater owners that have a 4K display. However, I do believe there will continue to be a market physical media and that's where a 4K version of Blu-ray comes in. There are still many in the USA that do not have access to the internet at more than 1 to 2 Mbps and downloading or streaming 4K is not really very practical at such low data rates. Also even with higher speed internet services, there may be monthly data limits and 4K video could eat that up very quickly. Finally many of us like to have their own library of their favorite movies and a 4K version of Blu-ray could satisfy that need moving forward.

Of course the need for 4K sources is really looking into the future for all except the few hundred that already own the Sony VPL-VW1000es projector or owners of one of the very few 4K flat panel LCD/LED displays that have already made its way into the hands of a consumer. All of these 4K displays can only be afforded by those with a lot of $$$ to spend (all of these 4K display options currently cost $20K+). The economic aspects of 4K displays/projectors will be changing over time and perhaps in a couple of years they will become more affordable, maybe costing not much more than today's top-of-the-line 1080p displays.

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keb33509 View Post
Red Ray is digital, not disc based. It is also aimed at being used for theatrical presentations, not just consumer use. It will do just fine for what it is.
Yes i know. But Red is always taking shots at sony and their idea of 4K. Once sony gets the ball rolling on 4K the market will only know their version, not Red's. As you said, it will do fine for what it is. In their tiny market. Sony has both downloads and, eventually, 4KBD.

So like i said, PS4 should start this fire nicely. If it's not disc based then i'm sure sony will have a 4K media section on the Playstion store. And just like that, millions have access to 4K content. Red Ray players will still be struggling to break 500K.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:51 AM   #6
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I hear that 720p plasmas will still look better than 4k lcds. Is this true?
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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I hear that 720p plasmas will still look better than 4k lcds. Is this true?
Uh? Nope, a 4K plasma on the other hand. Deep inky blacks where plasma's advantage over LCD's. LCD's blacks have very much improved to Plasma, I'm not sure if there will be 4K plasmas in production, it will be interesting to see
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
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I hear that 720p plasmas will still look better than 4k lcds. Is this true?
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Uh? Nope, a 4K plasma on the other hand. Deep inky blacks where plasma's advantage over LCD's. LCD's blacks have very much improved to Plasma, I'm not sure if there will be 4K plasmas in production, it will be interesting to see
However 4K OLED will look better than either LCD or plasma. 1080p OLED going on sale next month (LG 55 inch for $12K) and Sony and Panasonic have been working together on a 4K OLED (56" engineering unit shown at CES 2013). However, it still remains to be seen if the OLED reliability (life) and price will ever get to the point of being competitive with plasma or LCD.

In any case I don't feel that 4K resolution (but itself) really makes a difference for normal TV or home cinema viewing, from a typical viewing distance, unless you are talking about a large display size (e.g, 80 inch display when viewed from 6 ft. is probably near the threshold of seeing the full benefit of 4K resolution). If you want to see the full benefits of 4K resolution in a dedicated home theater context (using a front projector + screen) and you have 20/20 vision, with a typical viewing distance of perhaps 12 ft. you would need at least 10 ft. wide in order to get the full resolution benefits 4K has to offer. However, if we end up with a 4K Ultra HD standard that includes increased bit depth, increased color space and improved chroma coding then those benefits (as compared to the current blu-ray 1080p standard) would be gained even without a very large screen size.

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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And what is OLED going to do about handling motion? Plasmas are just so smooth.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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However 4K OLED will look better than either LCD or plasma. 1080p OLED going on sale next month (LG 55 inch for $12K) and Sony and Panasonic have been working together on a 4K OLED (56" engineering unit shown at CES 2013). However, it still remains to be seen if the OLED reliability (life) and price will ever get to the point of being competitive with plasma or LCD.

In any case I don't feel that 4K resolution (but itself) really makes a difference for normal TV or home cinema viewing, from a typical viewing distance, unless you are talking about a large display size (e.g, 80 inch display when viewed from 6 ft. is probably near the threshold of seeing the full benefit of 4K resolution). If you want to see the full benefits of 4K resolution in a dedicated home theater context (using a front projector + screen) and your have 20/20 vision, with a typical viewing distance of perhaps 12 ft. you would need at least 10 ft. wide in order to get the full resolution benefits 4K has to offer. However, if we end up with a 4K Ultra HD standard that includes increased bit depth, increased color space and improved chroma coding then those benefits (as compared to the current blu-ray 1080p standard) would be gained even without a very large screen size.
Thank you much for that. I know people here that don't have a sub woofer let alone enough $$ to appreciate 4K. I'll never own one.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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However 4K OLED will look better than either LCD or plasma. 1080p OLED going on sale next month (LG 55 inch for $12K) and Sony and Panasonic have been working together on a 4K OLED (56" engineering unit shown at CES 2013). However, it still remains to be seen if the OLED reliability (life) and price will ever get to the point of being competitive with plasma or LCD.

In any case I don't feel that 4K resolution (but itself) really makes a difference for normal TV or home cinema viewing, from a typical viewing distance, unless you are talking about a large display size (e.g, 80 inch display when viewed from 6 ft. is probably near the threshold of seeing the full benefit of 4K resolution). If you want to see the full benefits of 4K resolution in a dedicated home theater context (using a front projector + screen) and your have 20/20 vision, with a typical viewing distance of perhaps 12 ft. you would need at least 10 ft. wide in order to get the full resolution benefits 4K has to offer. However, if we end up with a 4K Ultra HD standard that includes increased bit depth, increased color space and improved chroma coding then those benefits (as compared to the current blu-ray 1080p standard) would be gained even without a very large screen size.
Very much true, along with potentially support for higher framerates, and the advantages that come with a more efficient video codec. It will probably be worth it to get a 4k blu ray player even if you don't have a 4k monitor if you want to take advantage of higher image fidelity; the downsizing of the image won't change the gains from color space, chroma, frame rate etc. The 4k player will certainly be cheaper than a 4k monitor will be, and I expect the price will fall faster (look at how cheap 3D blu ray players have become).
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:17 PM   #12
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And what is OLED going to do about handling motion? Plasmas are just so smooth.
OLEDs have a faster response time than plasma and a much faster response time as compared to LCD. Beyond the display technology itself, the TVs associated electronics can also impact motion handling. Therefore OLED as a class should have less motion artifacts than plasma and much less than LCDs. Also because of OLED's fast response time it's certainly possible to have fast refresh rates that are exact multiples of the source video's rate. For blu-ray movies recorded at 24Hz this would mean 72 Hz, 96 Hz or 120 Hz for 2D video (with 72 Hz the minimum multiple of 24 Hz high enough to eliminate flicker for most viewers). For an active 3D system that means the minimum refresh rate would be 144 Hz with 72 Hz per eye. For displaying 2D video from a 24 Hz source most plasmas today end up using 2:3 pulldown which introduces motion judder when displaying at 60 Hz. Some offer the alternatve of using 2:2 pulldown for 24 Hz material which results in a 48 Hz display refresh rate, but this introduces flicker. A few few high end plasmas have the ability to display 2D 24 Hz material at higher refresh rates such as 72 Hz using 3:3 pull down, which generally avoids introducing motion judder and flicker.

Last edited by ronjones; 02-05-2013 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:54 AM   #13
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So when is the next time all the BDA members meet?
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #14
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So when is the next time all the BDA members meet?
The BDA meeting schedules and draft reports/standards/etc. are normally only made available to the BDA member companies. There are currently 18 companies on the BDA board of directors and several dozen other companies that are "contributors". The BDA's inter-workings (e.g., board of director meetings) are not made public and it's only occassionally that public statements are made by BDA officials about work that is underway. The expected schedule for the new task force looking at technology enhancements for Blu-ray has not been made public.

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Old 02-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #15
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What good is Redray or any other future 4K content is going benefit, without owning a native 4K UHDTV? Any 4K content being shown on a 1080p HDTV, will still be down converted to 1080p resolution anyway, so therefore, the viewer still won't be getting a true 4K image from a 1080p monitor. An HDTV cannot process any higher resolution, than what's been already incorporated into the unit. Everybody is discussing the future 4K content, but the question is, can anybody afford to invest into 4K technology, unless you're wealthy. For some people, $25,000.00 is almost their life savings! The lowest 4K UHDTV are currently priced at: $25,000.00. Ask yourself, will 4K really be a significant difference in picture quality in comparison to 1080p, and worth the $25,000.00 investment before taking the plunge.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:11 PM   #16
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So when is the next time all the BDA members meet?
Doesn’t matter. Don’t get your hopes up as to expecting a meaningful announcement in any near-term meeting.

What I mean is that, if, and when, the consortium actually agrees to adopt a 4K spec, there will be no…or very little heads-up given to the public because of the feeling that such an announcement could jeopardize the sales of 1080p BD movies.

You see, there are competing revenue-producing influences involved here, essentially unlike there was for the adoption of 3DBD…which b.t.w. , from the time of the formation of the 3D task force, took 8 months to finalize its BD3D spec. With BD3D, there was great incentive to move forward as expeditiously as possible. In regards to some membership, with 4K, the consumer electronics companies are the primary drivers as some studios have little 4K catalog. Plus, it’s not like 1080p BD has been *milked* for as long as DVD was before a higher rez format was offered to the public.

Practically speaking, I would say that the most you could hope for in a…clear, definitive….non-corporate speak answer, other than statements like “under consideration”, “making progress”, etc.,…..is at CES 2014 for when to expect the spec.

For some additional perspective, regarding HDMI, for instance, real world practical fact – the forum expected to release HDMI 2.0 either before the end of 2012, or at CES 2013, at the latest….and we all know how that went.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:16 PM   #17
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...but the question is, can anybody afford to invest into 4K technology, unless you're wealthy. For some people, $25,000.00 is almost their life savings! The lowest 4K UHDTV alone is currently priced at: $25,000.00. When 4K TVs becomes affordable, (if at all) then we'll talk.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:45 PM   #18
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What good is Redray or any other future 4K content is going benefit, without owning a native 4K UHDTV? Any 4K content being shown on a 1080p HDTV, will still be down converted to 1080p resolution anyway, so therefore, the viewer still won't be getting a true 4K image from a 1080p monitor. An HDTV cannot process any higher resolution, than what's been incorporated already into the unit. Everybody is discussing the future 4K content, but the question is, can anybody afford to invest into 4K technology, unless you're wealthy. For some people, $25,000.00 is almost their life savings! The lowest 4K UHDTV are currently priced at: $25,000.00. Ask yourself, will 4K really be a significant difference in picture quality in comparison to 1080p, and worth the $25,000.00 investment before taking the plunge.
Do like me. Don't buy anything 4K for another 3 years at least. TV's are too expensive, no content at all, everything is upscaled with very little benefit. Native 1080p will look better than upscaled 4K. And more importantly, 1080p still looks damn gorgeous. Check out the Skyfall BD. Amazing PQ. Don't expect a jaw dropping difference with 4K. It's better, but only by a little and if you know what to look for. I saw the Skyfall trailer on the Sony 4K TV and while I noticed the increased resolution in the picture, the 1080p BD is still stunning. The only thing the 4K version has over it is that it's a little sharper and you can see the little details better.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #19
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Do like me. Don't buy anything 4K for another 3 years at least. TV's are too expensive, no content at all, everything is upscaled with very little benefit. Native 1080p will look better than upscaled 4K. And more importantly, 1080p still looks damn gorgeous. Check out the Skyfall BD. Amazing PQ. Don't expect a jaw dropping difference with 4K. It's better, but only by a little and if you know what to look for. I saw the Skyfall trailer on the Sony 4K TV and while I noticed the increased resolution in the picture, the 1080p BD is still stunning. The only thing the 4K version has over it is that it's a little sharper and you can see the little details better.
It sure does, and I agree 100% with the rest of your statement.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:02 AM   #20
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Do like me. Don't buy anything 4K for another 3 years at least. TV's are too expensive, no content at all, everything is upscaled with very little benefit. Native 1080p will look better than upscaled 4K. And more importantly, 1080p still looks damn gorgeous. Check out the Skyfall BD. Amazing PQ. Don't expect a jaw dropping difference with 4K. It's better, but only by a little and if you know what to look for. I saw the Skyfall trailer on the Sony 4K TV and while I noticed the increased resolution in the picture, the 1080p BD is still stunning. The only thing the 4K version has over it is that it's a little sharper and you can see the little details better.
1080p blu ray's do look great on 4K TV's but not for $25,000. The least expensive option right now for 4K are refurbished Sony VW1000es projectors for around $15,000 & you will need a projector screen of course.

* Also found LG model 84LM9600 can be found for around $15,000 as well, prices are very slowly going down. Still 15 Grand for a TV set!!!
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