TV Answer Man
Will the New 4K Blu-rays Offer a Better Picture?
By Swanni Follow @SwanniOnTV
Washington, D.C. (May 2, 2013)
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Q. I was reading
about these new Blu-ray movies that were supposedly mastered in
4K. What does that mean and will they produce a better picture
on my regular HDTV? --- Tommy, Joplin, Missouri.
On May 14, Sony will release
10 Blu-ray movies that it says
has been "mastered in 4K," the new format that purports to offer
a resolution four times greater than today's 1080p sets. When
Sony says the discs have been mastered in 4K, that means it took
the original video source for the movies and then enhanced and
modified them so they will more closely fit the specifications
of a 4K video.
That movies, which include classics like Taxi Driver and
Ghostbusters as well as modern day films such as The Amazing
Spider-Man and Total Recall, range in price from $14.99 to
$36.89 and can be played on any existing Blu-ray player. (See
for more information on how to order them.)
When Sony introduced the 4K
discs last January at the Consumer Electronics Show, it said
they would provide a "near 4K picture quality" when upscaled on
a Sony 4K Ultra HDTV, or presumably, any 4K TV.
But what about your question? Will they look better than a
normal Blu-ray disc on your 1080p HDTV?
I am going to defer to CNET who recently had an opportunity to
discuss the discs with the technical staff at Sony Pictures.
According to CNET, the mastered in 4K disc will be regarded as
offering the best picture quality of any Blu-ray disc yet.
CNET writes that the discs will have an enhanced bitrate because
they will not include the usual extras like director
commentaries. Most Blu-ray titles normally have a bitrate of
somewhere between 24Mbps to 30Mbps, but the mastered in 4K disc
will reach 35 to 38. CNET notes that should produce a clearer
picture and one with less blurring in scenes that depict fast
Blu-ray, of course, already delivers the best picture on the
market, but the prospect of getting an even better picture is
intriguing. I look forward to getting a first-hand look later
this month when the discs are released.
for more information on how to order the 'mastered in 4K' discs.