Practically all the major Hollywood movie studios are launching into the next phase of home media with ultra high-definition Blu-ray discs, a format that provides superior picture quality and other enhancements over standard Blu-rays.
And Paramount Pictures is jumping into the format with its upcoming UHD releases of 2009’s “Star Trek” and 2013’s “Star Trek: into Darkness.”
There’s been a lot of work invested into the new Blu-rays — work that literally started years ago, said Ed Hoxsie, senior vice president of worldwide product production and fulfillment at Paramount. The studio worked with outside vendors to develop what he says is the best viewing experience, which can be challenging in of itself thanks to the wide range of hardware currently available.
“All monitors are not the same, and not all players are the same,” Hoxsie told Broadcasting & Cable. “They all respond differently. So what we do is look at the best-case scenario, be sure we catch everything we can catch, then put them on other types of systems, blow up brightness, gamut, whatever, and try to look at it like a consumer who just takes something out of the box and puts it in their living room.”
UHD Blu-ray discs have a much greater storage capacity, permitting them to support 4k resolution, four times the resolution potential of standard Blu-rays. UHD Blu-ray discs also support high dynamic range content, and a wider color gamut. These factors can significantly improve image contrast and color, resulting in a more detailed and realistic picture.
Hoxsie believes the new UHD discs look great, especially if the new Trek movies are put on screens larger than 65 inches.
The UHD Blu-ray discs of the two Trek films contain the movie and commentaries only, and nothing else on the 66-gigabyte discs. Those will have to wait for the future when 100-gigabyte discs become more common.
“Or, if one day, we do a movie that’s three hours long, the 100 will do that,” Hoxsie added.
Each film will be released by Paramount Home Media Distribution on June 14 in a three-disc UHD/Blu-ray/digital HD combo pack, which includes bonus material presented on a separate, standard Blu-ray disc.