You may remember Sony’s Superbit DVD lineup: high-bitrate, no-frills DVDs aimed at the discerning collector who valued video quality over extra goodies. Epic titles like Lawrence of Arabia and Das Boot got a big boost from the extra room to breathe, while others like Men in Black didn’t fare nearly as well, but still looked their best. This summer, Sony returns to the concept with their “Mastered in 4K” line:
“Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray releases will feature titles-such as The Amazing Spider-Man™, Total Recall, The Karate Kid, Battle: Los Angeles and The Other Guys-sourced from pristine 4K masters and presented at high-bitrate 1080p resolution, with expanded color showcasing more of the wide range of rich color contained in the original source. When upscaled via the Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs, these discs serve as an ideal way for consumers to experience near-4K picture quality. SPHE also plans to utilize available high quality 4K masters for select upcoming new release Blu-ray titles. “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs can be played on all existing Blu-ray Disc players.
“The electronics industry’s groundbreaking launch of 4K Ultra HD TV has given us reason to even further elevate our Blu-ray offering,” said David Bishop, President, SPHE. “This spring, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is excited to deliver a complementing lineup of ‘Mastered in 4K’ Blu-ray titles, offering consumers the best possible picture and sound quality to be experienced on the latest HDTVs.”
Sony cranks out some excellent Blu-rays, so it remains to be seen how much of an improvement these Superbit versions are over their Blu-ray counterparts, and how much of a downgrade from the 4K digital versions.