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All future Fox films to support 4K and HDR for home viewing

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20th Century Fox will master all future films in UHD with High Dynamic Range support in accordance with the UHD Alliance's HDR specification

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is one of the next big advances in home entertainment. With a wider brightness range and colour palette At the moment, though, there are precious few TVs and pieces of content that actually support it, such as Samsung’s UE65JS9000 TV. However, this could soon be about to change, as 20th Century Fox has pledged to make every future film available with HDR support when it finally arrives in your home. Fox also intends to make UHD HDR versions of more recent releases as well, including X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Maze Runner.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the story earlier today, it’s the first movie studio to make this kind of commitment to HDR, and it’s been working with the recently formed UHD Alliance to create a HDR specification for home entertainment. The UHD Alliance was first formed at CES 2015 in January, and comprises of Hollywood studios, TV manufacturers and content distributors such as Samsung, Disney, Technicolor and Netflix. Its aim is to set the bar for the next generation of home entertainment, and it’s currently working on how to get 4K content, HDR and 3D audio standards into your home. 

The main problem is deciding on a universal, agreed-upon standard in order to avoid potential format wars. However, UHD Alliance President Hanno Basse (who’s also Fox’s chief technology officer) said last month that, “We want to have a first version [of a quality spec] later this year to coincide with the Blu-Ray Disc Association (which is introducing Ultra HD Blu-Ray with HDR support).”

It’s this specification that Fox intends to follow once it’s been finalised, says The Hollywood Reporter, but in the interim the studio will be creating masters in UHD with HDR support using a non-proprietary HDR spec that’s based on the Alliance’s current direction. The Blu-ray Disc Association has only just finalised its UHD Blu-ray specification with HDR support, but the first discs to support this format are expected to arrive by the end of this year.

However, other companies are working on their own HDR formats as well, including Dolby who’s developing Dolby Vision. How this format will work with the UHD Alliance’s intended specification is yet unclear, but one thing we can definitely count on is that HDR is coming and it hopefully won’t be long before we’re all benefitting from its brighter, more vivid images. The only remaining hurdle will be buying a TV that actually supports it. 


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