Mastered in 4K Blu-ray Movies Explained

Sony have been a major driving force for 4K / Ultra HD over the past year or so, and one of the ways they’re drawing attention to 4K is with their latest Mastered in 4K blu-ray titles.

So just what is a “Mastered in 4K” blu-ray movie? Well, first off and importantly, it’s no a 4K movie, it doesn’t have the 4K / Ultra HD resolution, it still has the standard 1080p Full HD resolution that you will and have found on standard blu-ray discs for years.

So if it’s not 4K resolution, what is it? Well from Sony directly, they are “Created from the highest quality 4K source materials with new expanded color”.

The extended color gamut provides more vivid colors. Current blu-ray discs use a narrower color gamut (range) than the human eye can see, but with the new 4K TVs, and some of Sony’s higherend TVs supporting Triluminos a higher more vivid gamut can be used for more vibrant colors. The new Mastered in 4K titles make use of x.v.Color, rather than Rec.709. Benefits are more intense reds and green, with a more natural tones.

Some older TVs do support x.v.Color, also known as xvYCC. In fact my very old Sony Bravia W3000 supports this. But to take advantage of the expanded colors, every link in the chain has to support x.v.Color, form the source, to the player, to the TV. Even the connection has to support it. It is supported in HDMI 1.3 and newer.

A number of blu-ray players support x.v.Color, along with the PlayStation 3.

Mastered in 4K Blu-ray

Mastered in 4K Blu-ray

Along with improved colors, Sony also say that Mastered in 4K blu-ray movies will also use a higher bitrate than typical blu-ray movies, with a bit rate of between 35 mb/s and 38 mb/s. This means that there is less compression, which leads to a higher quality, especially when there is a lot of action in the scene.

The way we see it. Sony has done all they can do to get the very best out of the blu-ray format, while still keeping it compatible with all currently blu-ray players and HDTVs. But if you have the right equipment, you can get better image quality and colors.

With Sony giving a big push into 4K, and with limited raw 4K content available right now. We’re sure these Mastered in 4K discs have been created to provide the very best results when upscaled on to a 4K Ultra HDTV.

There are a number of Mastered in 4K blu-ray titles available, most of which will be released on May 14th 2013. The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall (2012), Ghost Busters, Battle: Los Angeles, The Karate Kid (2010), Taxi Driver, Angels & Demons, Glory, The Other Guys and Spider-Man (2002). These can all be found on Amazon.

Sony spoke to use about their Triluminos color technology in our Sony 2013 TV tour video, where they explain and demonstrate the differences. Skip to 6 Mins 40secons.

Posted under: Sony

2 Responses to “Mastered in 4K Blu-ray Movies Explained”

  1. People need to stop drinking the 4K cool aid! These are still 1080p Blu’s and not true 4K……just re-mastered.