w_qsh_oysThe fall we expect to see the first crop of new 4K UHD Blu-ray movies to become available. We have long used the gaming box with a Blu-Ray drive to watch DVD and BD moves. The drive we use now is BDXL which is capable of 128GB disks maximum.

The real change is with the use of H2.65 which is a more demanding compression algorithm. Most likely we will need a new version of Cyberlink Powerdvd to play the new format. It’s possible a new drive is needed as well depending on the DRM requirements.

The 1920×180 BD format tops out at 54 megabits. The new 3820×2160 format increases the bandwidth to 82 megabits for dual layer 50GB disks and 66GB disks will reach 108 megabits. The 100GB disks will top out at 128 megabits.

The standard still supports MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1 so legacy encoded video can be played. The new HEVC (H.265) will be seen with the most recent movies.

The color gamut of H.265 increases to 10-bit per color. The will require a deep color IPS panel to be able to appreciate the improved color fidelity. 10-bit equates to 1.07 billion colors. Look for HDR and BT.2020 for televisions and monitors.

Recent movies shot with the Red digital cameras are 4K or 5K resolution natively so they will look best in the new 3820×2160 panels.

The 4K UHD BD will also now offer a full 60 frame per second video stream. BD is limited to 24 fps at 1920×1080. HDMI has been revised a few times.

35mm film maxes out at roughly 1920×1080. Watch out for up-scaled 4K UHD 35mm movies.  We expect to see a lot of this. Existing DVD and BD disks will work fine with the new UHD BD players. Movies shot with Red digital cameras do have native UHD capability.

The move to 7640×4320 8K UHD will require new digital cameras in addition to higher capacity optical disks. Moving to UV lasers may bring enough capacity to allow H.265 to be used. Otherwise a new CODEC will be needed. Expect to see 8K to pressure the industry over the next couple of years.

HDCP 2.2 is the new DRM which now completely kills instead of degrading the video stream. This will be a nuisance for those who bought early 4K televisions that may not have support for HDMI 2.0a in addition to HDCP 2.2.


Cyberlink has been marketing their latest version of PowerDVD as 4K compatible. BDXL drives should be able to handle the higher capacity multilayer disks fine. It’s still early in the curve.


Everything from the video card to the optical disk to the software may need to be retrofitted. HDMI 2.1 is also being developed and has no effect on the required HDCP 2.2. High Dynamic Range is still being standardized.

Television will benefit from H.265 but cable TV standards tend to lag the sector by several years,.

Recently the HEVC Advance has broken ranks with the MPEG LA and are seeking royalties that may have an adverse effect on H.265 if there is no settlement. Ambush patents are a problem that standards groups cannot easily control.

3820×2160 PANELS