Originally Posted by Ron Jones
As for 4K video (not just games) support with the PS4. Sony has announced a 4K movie download network/player to go online mid-2013 and it's certainly possible the PS4, which may not ship until 4th quarter 2013, will support this service. The Blu-ray Disc Associate created a task force in Oct. 2012 to investigate the feasibility of several technical upgrades to Blu-ray, including support for 4K discs. Even if the task force recommendations, whenever they come out, say that 4K is technical feasible the BDA would need to agree to go ahead and develop the the standards for 4K discs. We are probably looking at 2014, at the very earliest to have such standards complete. There were BD related standards, completed in 2010, for BD-XL which defines the format for 3 and 4 layer BD-R and BD-RW. I suspect that if a BD-ROM drive is designed to play back BD-R discs that have been recorded with 4 layers as per the BD-XL spec. then they will probably also be able to play back future 4-layer commercial BD recordings. If Sony is able to get a BD-ROM drive into the PS4 that can handle future 4 layer discs then it is possible there will be an upgrade path (via firmware) to add support for Blu-ray 4K discs if and when they become available. Even if there is no support in the PS4 for 4 layer discs, it may be possible to get high quality 4K video on the current 50 MB dual layer discs. Redray is doing 4K video at a average data rate claimed to be 20 Mbps which is less than many 1080p Blu-ray titles today. Any discussion of getting 4K video support with the PS4 assumes it does already come with some basic 4K hardware support including the HDMI interface chipset and the graphics processor.
I don't feel comfortable with the claims of 4k, 10 bit video, blah blah blah at only 20 Mbps. It's just marketing techno babble. That's probably just "average" quality for smallish screens. Like a lot of people looking forward to UHD, I don't want "average." We all know (or should know) that Blu-ray currently can use all the video bits it can get to look its best (and this is only at 8 bit) and normally doesn't get it (for various reasons). You want less filtering of the master and DNR scrubbing, not more. Even Sony had to use 56 GB for the video, using H.265, on The Amazing Spider-Man at UHD rez., and that's before you add space for menus, lossless soundtracks, and other do-dads on the disc. I doubt if that was even 10 bit video. 8 bit is the past, not the future.
Netflix makes outrageous claims all the time about how great their HD streaming is at very low bitrates. House of Cards
, their in-house baby, is shot at 4k on the RED and mastered as if it was going on the big-screen, and the video quality is sh!t even with a high speed connection because their outbound server bitrates are capped so low. Watch it on a big enough screen and the compression artifacts such as banding, and mosquito noise are through the roof. And their audio is plain ol' Dolby Digital lossy.
They're going to have to better than a 50 GB disc, that's for damn sure.