Originally Posted by Ron Jones
From the above referenced interview with a Samsung Exec. it seems the most significant remaining technical issue to be resolved for the Blu-ray 4K spec. is the 4K codec(s) to be supported. We have HEVC which has patent royalty fees and, I would assume, is being backed by all of the companies that own the various patents and they would like to collect royalties from both the sales of players and discs. Then we have the Google VP9 which is a royalty free codec that is being built-in to certains of Intel's new hardware and is going to be used for Youtube's 4K service. Of course Youtube is now owned by Google so no real surprise there. I wonder why the BDA doesn't just do what they did with the original Blu-ray standard, where they supported 3 different codecs (MPEG II, h.264 and VC-1), and require all Blu-ray 4K player to have both HEVC and VP9 decoders then anyone creating 4K video for distribution on Blu-ray could chose whichever of the two 4K codecs they desire.
I agree that it would be nice if a royalty free codec would be supported as an option.
But I don't think the codec is the most significant technical issue to be resolved. The Samsung Exec said "issues such as
the preferred codec" which means that it's just one of many things. He also said "the 4k format standard is still in a state of flux", which suggests that a lot of things are not decided yet. Things like bitdepth, chroma subsampling, gamut, support for high framerates and eventually high dynamic range (increased peak luminance) are much harder to agree on, IMHO. Especially because (according to my information) the movie studios want the spec to be broader than the CE companies would like.