The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has taken the opportunity at the IFA 2014 trade show that’s taking place in Berlin this week to confirm the launch of its long-awaited 4K Blu-ray discs. Videophiles who value picture quality have been clamouring for this next-generation format to go with the many 4K UHD (ultra high-definition) TVs available to buy on the market.
A BDA spokesperson said on the IFA showfloor that the organisation aims to finalise the specifications for 4K Blu-ray disc by the summer of next year, with physical discs and hardware devices capable of playing this new format potentially arriving by Christmas 2015.
The 4K Blu-ray format has been repeatedly delayed, even though many video enthusiasts feel that a physical medium that delivers superior picture and sound quality to downloaded/ streamed Ultra HD content such as Netflix 4K is necessary for the widespread adoption of 4K televisions. At around this time last year, an equipment for producing 100Gb disc for next-generation ultra-high-def content was accidentally leaked, but there was no official announcement from the BDA. Then at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, the BDA revealed that it has approved the extension of Blu-ray specifications to 4K, with the aim of finalising the standard by the end of this year.
It appears that the release timeline for 4K BD has been pushed back by at least 6 months, but at least they are not giving up on it in the face of the growing choices of downloadable and streamable 4K media which will shortly include Amazon Instant Video. It’ll probably be at CES 2015 before we hear anything definite again, so watch this space.