Sony Unveils First 4K Ultra HD Discs

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has announced the first six movies it plans to release on Blu-ray in the 4K Ultra HD format early next year.

The initial slate will include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, Pineapple Express, and The Smurfs 2, followed by a “growing roster of titles including new release film and television content.”

In addition to 4K resolution, which is four times that of standard high-definition, Sony’s UHD discs will support high dynamic range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, more vibrant colors and greater contrast on HDR-compatible TVs. The studio said many of the titles will also support next-generation immersive audio formats but did not mention Dolby Atmos or DTS:X by name, leaving us to wonder whether the new discs will support one over the other or both.

Sony Pictures has an extensive library of 4K content, including newer films and television shows, as well as classic catalog films restored from original film elements, including Fury, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Men In Black, Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element, Bad Boys, The Da Vinci Code, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Leon: The Professional, Lawrence Of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, Taxi Driver, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and many others.

"By some estimates, consumers will own over 100 million Ultra HD television sets by 2019," said SPHE president, Man Jit Singh. "Ten years ago this month, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment authored the world's first feature film on Blu-ray Disc, and we continue to bring consumers the most innovative, immersive home entertainment experiences available."

jaredjcrandall's picture

Almost to 4k! The 1st movie available is the LAST movie I'd want to see, ha!

Traveler's picture

4K needs something big, say Star Wars or Star Trek complete sets, to get peoples attention; not some throwaway titles.

jnemesh's picture

Looks to me like Sony is taking their "bottom of the barrel" movies and offering them up in 4k because they know that customers are so starved for 4k content, they won't be too picky about the titles! This is crap...100% crap. I sincerely hope no one buys any of them and instead wait for the better movies that they announced will come later!

dommyluc's picture

What the hell? This is the best Sony can put out? You figure the first releases would be "Taxi Driver", "Lawrence of Arabia", and other Columbia/Sony classics, but this sludge? I could barely watch "Hancock" on DVD, so I don't think having ultra-high resolution is going to improve that turkey, even for Thanksgiving.
But you'd have to expect this from a company that finally quit making Beta cassettes after losing the format war 25 years ago, and who still think Mini-Disc is going to defeat the compact disc. Well, at least they were smart enough to pay off the movie studios and the electronics manufacturers to make sure Blu-ray defeated HD-DVD.

pvehling's picture

It's very easy (and totally understandable) to be upset by the initial lineups for new formats, but if you look at history, it ALWAYS takes many years for solid titles to start coming out, so it's best to have patience.

Besides, those first few years or more of a format usually involve working out kinks such as poor video or audio quality! Just look at some of the amazing titles that have come out in the past 5 years and that are coming out in the next year...

Also, I still find it hilarious that people defend HD-DVD (not meant at anyone in this thread). I owned three players and over 75 titles - all three players were loud and slow, many HD-DVD titles were lacking lossless audio and used VC-1 codec. What's funny is that well over 30 of those titles I own don't even work due to rot (confirmed by many other people all over the internet), and they were all sealed since 2006-7! Sure, if it was around another few years, I'm sure it would have gotten more mature, but I still don't see why people defend it so much.

I'm more excited that we still have a disc-based format available to get the best picture and sound quality and not hyper-compressed like streaming.

mikem's picture

I agree with Jnemesh. Of all the great titles that Sony owns they could have done a helluva' lot better. For Sony to roll out 4K bluray highlighting "Hancock" I'd like to know who was drinking the Kool-Aid at the water cooler.