Ultra HD Blu-ray
Media typeHigh-density optical disc
EncodingH.265/MPEG-H Part 2 (HEVC)
Capacity50 GB (dual-layer,[1] 92 Mb/s)
66 GB (dual-layer,[1] 123, 144 Mb/s)
100 GB (triple-layer,[1] 123, 144 Mb/s)
Block size2 KB sector, 64 KB block size[1]
Read mechanism405 nm laser
Developed byBlu-ray Disc Association
Dimensions120 mm (4.7 in) diameter
UsageUltra-high-definition video
Extended fromStandard Blu-ray
ReleasedFebruary 14, 2016; 5 years ago (2016-02-14)

Ultra HD Blu-ray (marketed as 4K Ultra HD) (UHD-BD), also referred as 4K Blu-ray,[2][3] is a digital optical disc data storage format that is an enhanced variant of Blu-ray.[4] Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are incompatible with existing standard Blu-ray players (though in most cases, a traditional Blu-ray and digital copy have been packaged with the Ultra HD Blu-ray discs).[1] Ultra HD Blu-ray supports 4K UHD (3840 × 2160 pixel resolution) video at frame rates up to 60 progressive frames per second,[4] encoded using High-Efficiency Video Coding.[4] The discs support both high dynamic range by increasing the color depth to 10-bit per color and a greater color gamut than supported by conventional Blu-ray video by using the Rec. 2020 color space. 4K Blu-rays are supported on Microsoft's Xbox One X,[5] One S,[6] and PlayStation 5,[7] while retail game releases on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5[8][9] video game consoles may be natively printed onto 100 GB UHD Blu-ray discs.[10]

To differentiate Ultra HD Blu-ray titles on store shelves, the format usually uses a black opaque or slightly transparent keep case packaging format (as opposed to blue).


The specification allows for three disc capacities, each with its own data rate: 50 GB at 72 or 92 Mbit/s, and 66 GB and 100 GB at 92 Mbit/s, 123 or 144 Mbit/s. On 66 GB and 100 GB discs, the pits and lands are not narrower than those of a standard Blu-ray Disc, but shorter, which increases the capacity of each layer from 25 GB to 33 1/3 GB. This also means that each revolution of such a disc transfers more data than a revolution of a standard Blu-ray Disc, which means the transfer rate is higher despite the same linear velocity. In addition, the disc can be encoded to have the drive spin back up to the full 5,000 rpm starting from a point slightly away from the innermost part of the disc if an even higher transfer rate is needed. 50 and 66 GB use two layers, and 100 GB uses three layers.[11][4] Ultra HD Blu-ray technology was licensed in mid-2015, and players had an expected release date of Christmas 2015.[4] Ultra HD Blu-ray uses a new revision of AACS DRM: AACS 2. In addition, AACS 2.1 is used on certain titles (Stand by Me, Fury, The Patriot, Zombieland).

On May 12, 2015, the Blu-ray Disc Association revealed completed specifications and the official Ultra HD Blu-ray logo.[12] Unlike conventional DVDs and Blu-rays, the new 4K format does not have region coding.[13]

On February 14, 2016, the BDA released Ultra HD Blu-ray with mandatory support for HDR10 Media Profile video and optional support for Dolby Vision.[14][15]

As of January 23, 2018, the BDA spec v3.2 also includes optional support for HDR10+ and Philips/Technicolor's SL-HDR2, also known as Advanced HDR by Technicolor.[16] However, no Ultra HD Blu-ray player has ever supported SL-HDR2, and no discs encoded in SL-HDR2 were ever released.

Initial titles

The first Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs were officially released in the United States on February 14, 2016:[17]

Other non-American companies

Sales and reception

Sales of UHD Blu-ray players have been modest compared to older-generation video disc players, based on official US sales data from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).[29] Peak sales occurred in 2017 with 884,000 units sold, and sales have declined in the years since, as have all disc player sales.[citation needed] Meanwhile, previous generations of disc players sold in excess of four times as many units per year as did UHD Blu-ray.[29]



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  2. ^ Morrison, Geoffrey. "What is 4K Blu-ray?". CNET. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  3. ^ "4K Movies, 4K Blu-ray Movies, 4K Blu-ray Players". www.blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
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  5. ^ Warren, Tom (June 11, 2017). "Xbox One X is Microsoft's next game console, arriving on November 7th for $499". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  6. ^ Webster, Andrew (June 13, 2016). "Microsoft announces the Xbox One S, its smallest Xbox yet". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Lyons Jr, Ron (January 28, 2021). "Yes, the PS5 has 4k — here's what you'll need to play games and stream movies in the highest resolution possible". Business Insider. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  8. ^ Rubin, Peter (October 8, 2019). "Exclusive: A Deeper Look at the PlayStation 5". Wired. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Hood, Vic (January 9, 2020). "PS5 release date, specs, news and rumors for Sony's PlayStation 5". TechRadar. Future Publishing. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  10. ^ "PlayStation 5 v Xbox Series X: how will the rival consoles compare?". the Guardian. 2020-06-19. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  11. ^ http://www.blu-raydisc.com/Assets/Downloadablefile/White_Paper_General_5th_20180216.pdf
  12. ^ "Blu-ray Disc Association Completes Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Specification and Releases New Logo - Business Wire". BusinessWire.com. May 12, 2015. Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  13. ^ Palmer, Michael S. (2015-10-07). "Everything We Know About Ultra HD Blu-ray". High-Def Digest. Archived from the original on 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  14. ^ Denison, Caleb (2016-01-28). "Ultra HD Blu-ray arrives February 2016; here's everything we know". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  15. ^ Palmer, Michael S. (2016-02-10). "Hands On First Look: Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player". High-Def Digest. Archived from the original on 2016-07-24. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  16. ^ "Blu-ray Disc Association – Update – 1/12/2018". From Vinyl to Plastic. 2018-01-12. Archived from the original on 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
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  18. ^ Arnold, Thomas K. (2016-01-06). "Dolby Collaborates on 4K Ultra HD Movies from Sony, MGM, Uni". Variety. Archived from the original on 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  19. ^ Cohen, Steven (2016-01-13). "Lionsgate Reveals Ultra HD Blu-ray Launch Titles, Release Date Set for March 1". High-Def Digest. Archived from the original on 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  20. ^ "WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT'S FIRST ULTRA HD BLU-RAY™ TITLES TO BE RELEASED MARCH 1". Prnewswire.com. Archived from the original on 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  21. ^ "4k Ultra HD Blu-ray Titles from Fox Show Up on Amazon". Hd-report.com. Archived from the original on 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  22. ^ "Paramount Announces First 4K Blu-ray Titles". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  23. ^ "Universal Releases 3 Feature Films To 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray". Archived from the original on 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  24. ^ Landy, Tom (July 4, 2017). "James Gunn's 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Coming in August". High-Def Digest. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  25. ^ Katzmeier, David (June 9, 2017). "'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' could be Disney's first 4K Blu-ray". CNET. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  26. ^ "Citizen Kane to Lead Criterion's First 4K Slate". Retrieved 2021-08-11.
  27. ^ "Sammi Cheng Touch Mi 2 world tour 4K Blu-ray". bluray.com. Archived from the original on 2017-06-18. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  28. ^ "The Seventh Seal announced as our first UHD Blu-ray release". Retrieved 2021-08-06.
  29. ^ a b "Sales of UHD Blu-ray players in decline". FlatpanelsHD. 20 Feb 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-01.