One of the main stories to emerge from IFA 2014 is that the final specs of the Blu-ray 4K format will be completed by Q3 2015, with the first titles and players hitting the market in the run up to Christmas 2015 soon afterwards.
Beyond that information, details are sketchy, but at least the source is reliable, being no lesser person than Victor Matsuda, Chairman of the Blu-ray Disk Association Global Promotions Committee.
Whether the format will succeed or not is the big question, however, as it is widely considered that the move onwards from DVD has been somewhat mishandled: the Blu-ray vs HD DVD format battle initially muddied the waters for the consumer, the price hike over DVD remains, and the up-res algorithms built into the latest generation of players often provide convincingly good enough HD quality from DVD sources for many viewers.
Surprisingly, Blu Ray sales rise 12%
In fact, this announcement rather flies in the face of increasingly received wisdom that physical media as a concept is dead and buried. But while Sony has been making noises about “demand for physical media contracting faster than anticipated” and performing all sorts of accounting write downs as a result, by way of example Blu-ray sales still managed to rise 12% in the UK alone last year, so obviously there is still a market to play for.
Pricing, you feel, will be the key issue here, but on that front Matsuda and the rest of the BDA are so far remaining resolutely tight-lipped.