The first Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) movies on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will arrive in early 2016, and they’ll feature High Dynamic Range (HDR), the company announced.
Many of the 4K discs will also include object-based surround sound, SPHE added.
The company’s first 4K Ultra HD releases will include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, Pineapple Express, and The Smurfs 2. They will be followed by “a growing roster of titles, including new release film and television content,” the company said.
Their appearance will coincide with the expected early-2016 launch of Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the company added.
SPHE said HDR delivers “brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays.”
Sony’s library of 4K content includes newer films and television shows as well as catalog films restored from original film elements, the company said. The titles include 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 any others.
SPHE becomes the second studio to announce plans for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment announced plans at Berlin’s IFA 2015 show to release Ultra HD Blu-ray discs on the same day as Blu-ray discs and Digital HD. The studio also said it would reissue recent hit films in Ultra HD.
Packaging: Separately, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group developed new artwork and other design elements for the packaging of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.
The design will “drive more rapid adoption of the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format as well as create greater overall consistency in merchandising and messaging,” the group said.
The packaging was developed with Anchor Bay Entertainment, HBO Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The new Blu-ray “Elite” package features a carbonized black color with metallic silver text and logo. The 4K Ultra HD logo will appear on the package header, and the Ultra HD Blu-ray logo will appear on the spine, back cover and disc. The new header will help to differentiate 4K Ultra HD movies from current Blu-ray titles, DEG said.
The package’s “future-proof” design is flexible enough to display such features as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and object-based surround, and it’s flexible enough to house single disc or combo pack options, DEG said. The latter provide both 4K UHD and Blu-ray HD versions of the movie or TV program.
To help support this initiative, the DEG is teaming up with the Consumer Technology Association, formerly CEA, to promote 4K Ultra HD video and 4K TVs via satellite media tours.