Blu-ray is one of the few reasons why discs are still a thing in today’s digital world, and it’s about to get a major upgrade. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has announced that next-generation Ultra HD (4K) Blu-ray discs should be ready to hit the market in time for the holidays, which means you could be watching some eye-searing 3840×2160 movies come Christmas time.
Grab the popcorn, the first Ultra HD (4K) Blu-ray discs are expected to hit shelves in time for the holiday season. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) will begin licensing the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format starting Aug. 24, so DVD players that support it should be ready by year’s end. “Ultra HD is expected to ramp up quickly over the next few years as it grows in popularity, availability, and affordability within the market for TV sets,” Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Technology, said in a statement. This move comes less than three months after the BDA revealed the new UHD Blu-ray specification, which delivers super high-definition content via super high-definition discs—up to 3,840-by-2,160 resolution. Add to that more storage capacity and higher data transfer rates, and you’ve got a very sophisticated movie night. For comparison, a single-layer Blu-ray disc can hold up to 25GB of data, while a dual-layer disc carries up to 50GB. New Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, meanwhile, manage up to 66GB and 100GB on dual- and triple-layer discs, respectively.