Ultra HD Blu-ray discs on sale early

It seems Best Buy is jumping the gun slightly in releasing 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray discs to the market.  Titles such as Chappie, Fantastic Four and The Martian have shown up at a Best Buy in Manhattan.  Amazon.com still lists their copies as being available March 1, 2016, so this is a bit unexpected.

 

UltraHD-Bluray

 

The 4K movies are selling for a marked price of $28, which is slightly lower than the 1080p Blu-ray copies which sell for $30.  The Ultra HD copies include a 1080p disc as well as the 4K version disc, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160.

Samsung has also released their first Ultra HD Blu-ray player slightly early, so it is possible to enjoy the new format movies immediately.  The Samsung player is the UBD-K8500, and sells for $399.  You will need a television screen with 4k resolution to take full advantage of the new format, and though I expect 4K sets to become quite common in the coming years, they are still a small portion of the market at the moment.

I’m interested to see if Blu-ray computer drives already in existence that work with XL discs will also play the new movies.  If there is confirmation of this, I haven’t seen it.  There may be many hurdles for this, including HDCP 2.2 and finding authorized software.  PowerDVD may be the best bet.

You can read more on the early release of 4K movies at Cnet.