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4K Blu-ray discs revealed by manufacturer before official announcement

Tom Morgan
12 Sep 2013
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Blu-ray disc creator Singulus has revealed that it has the technology to produce three-layer, 100GB Blu-ray discs, ready for 4K video

We're still waiting for an official announcement from the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) regarding support for 4K video, but that hasn't stopped disc manufacturer Singulus from reporting it has the machines to print 100GB discs.

The BLULINE III disc press can create 100GB, three-layer Blu-ray discs, which should be large enough to hold a 4K Ultra-High Definition film depending on bit-rate.

The current H.264/AVC codec used to encode 1080p Blu-ray films could technically work with discs of this size, but it's possible that capacity alone won't be the deciding factor for 4K in the home.

If the BDA decides to stick with H.264 video encoding, there's a good chance that a simple firmware update would enable existing Blu-ray players to play 100GB discs, meaning there would be no need to upgrade to a new Blu-ray player. However, this would only be at 30p, as you'd need HDMI 2.0 equipment to support 60 frames per second playback.

The newer H.264/HEVC codec is more efficient than H.264, compressing data even further without sacrificing video or audio quality. However, the initial set of 4K TVs to make it on sale don't include decoders for the technology. That means TVs like the LG 84LM960V wouldn't work with the new format.

Large capacity Blu-ray discs are nothing new. BDXL quad-layer discs have been on sale for around a year, but require a compatible optical drive in order to read them.

BDXL disc

It's this limitation that has prevented BDXL from becoming more popular outside of the far east, where most of the discs are sold.

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