Originally Posted by bobby2478
BluRay has the ability to support 4k, the main limitation is file size (limited to 50GB dual layer discs). Today's disks are mostly 1/2 or more full with special features etc, so it wouldn't be hard for them to put the main feature on 1 disc and the special feature on another (like is done for DVD today). That said, there is still this notion that somehow all 4k content will be downloaded and/or streamed with little to no physical media.
The optical media and UDF file format does, but AIUI the Blu ray video spec doesn't include support for 2160p video using either H264/AVC or H265/HEVC encoding does it? So it's a bit like saying that Blu-ray supports Word or Excel isn't it?
You're right that HEVC at <40Mbs is still likely to be pretty good for HEVC 2160p content - though higher bitrates would always be nicer. There are 100GB Blu-ray discs now aren't there?
Think of the infrastructure and bandwidth required to have nothing but 4k content getting transmitted all over the place. The current infrastructure simply couldn't handle this level of traffic. Goes for both streaming over internet as well as OTA. Also, consider how more and more ISP's are moving towards capped or tiered data plans to help minimize stress on their networks. Those caps would be hit immediately with a bunch of 4k content.
Though ISPs will leverage this by creating agreements with content providers (unless Net Neutrality kicks in) which will circumvent this to a degree. See Netflix. OR ISPs will make it a selling point that they will exempt certain content from their caps.
Lastly, consider that HD has been out for over 10 years now and the dominant OTA resolution is still 720p (or at best 1080i). NO ONE transmits in 1080p, the only way you can get full 1080p content is via Blu-ray or download. So we aren't even using current HD 1080p sets to their maximum ability yet.
Though in reality most scripted drama and comedy is shot 1080/24p (or 25p in Europe) - and this can be carried pretty well in a 1080i stream and reconstructed to be 1080p at the receiver. It is only 1080/50p and 1080/60p which would suffer hugely from being carried 1080i.
And in the UK our OTA standard flips the H264 encoders dynamically between 1080/50i and 1080/25p based on content - so stuff shot 1080/25p is broadcast 1080/25p...
If the jump from 720p or 1080i to 1080p would be too vexing on infrastructure and bandwidth to allow, and it's been 10 years since HD started gaining popularity, that would indicate we are likely at least 10 years away if not longer from broadcasts of full 4k content.
OTA possibly. Pay TV is much closer than that I suspect. With 3D a failure, 4K is the 'next big thing' to drive up-selling subscribers...