With the release of the first 4k Blu-ray players, scheduled for around the first quarter of 2016, I suspect that a number of Home Theater enthusiasts who buy into 4k are going to be facing a dilemma of sorts. Those are consumers who enjoy 3D films, and there may still be a fairly large number of them.
I believe that the new players will pass through a Blu-ray 3D signal, allowing it to show 3D on a 4k set in upscaled 1080p, but at present there are no plans for producing 3D 4k discs. If I'm right, this is going to force 3D advocates to make a difficult purchase choice for a movie that is released in both 3D Blu-ray and 4k Blu-ray.
Which to buy? 3D can be an enjoyable viewing experience, but the quality of a pristine 4k release can hardly be ignored, especially by people in this forum who bought the 850c for the exclusive purpose of seeing 4k. Double-dipping could be an option, but hardly a reasonable one. Do we opt for 4k, leaving our 3D collection to whither on the vine? Or do we continue to buy only the 3D versions, missing out on great 4k quality?
At first thought it might almost seem sensible for studios to release 3D and 4k versions in a bonus pack, but I don't see that happening at all. For one thing, as soon as consumers see the 3D logo on the package, they may have a tendency to bypass it. Secondly, the cost of the package would probably be too high to be an attractive sell. A bundled offering of 4k Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, digital HD and supplements would likely be too expensive for most people's tastes.
Of course, there's another option altogether...
I'm not sure how popular 3D still is in regions outside of the United States, but I know that at one point it had quite an international following. If this is still true, it wouldn't surprise me if at some point companies begin releasing 3D 4k Blu-ray players and discs as a profitable option for these regions, with Region 1 as a future possibility. The beauty of this move is all that double-dipping!
In the meantime people like me are kind of stuck. I've got the 3D versions of Life of Pi and X-Men, and I like them, but if they're released in stellar 4k quality I'm not so sure what I'll do. At least it will be heartening to know I'm in good company.