The first two IMAX Enhanced Ultra HD Blu-ray titles have been announced, with the release date of December 11. They are: A Beautiful Planet and Journey to the South Pacific, both of which are nature documentaries and original IMAX films.
Notably, not only are these discs the first IMAX Enhanced titles, they also appear to be the first to include HDR10+ mastering. The IMAX enhanced aspect of the presentation includes video and audio elements. Visually, you’ll enjoy the detail and grandeur of what IMAX cameras on a 4K TV, there’s no explicit need for compatible equipment.
If you have an IMAX-enhanced display, you can use the dedicated IMAX Enhanced mode that’s tuned to present the content at its best. The idea behind IMAX Enhanced is that you can start buying the content now and then upgrade to gear that makes the most of it, including on the audio side of things where the IMAX, in coordination with DTS, differentiates itself from competing 3D immersive audio formats.
The other very interesting thing about these 4K UHD Blu-ray releases is the support for HDR10+, which is a HDR format that uses dynamic metadata to help TVs show the best picture possible. HDR10+ is similar in concept to Dolby Vision but is considered an “open” standard because you don’t have to pay Dolby licensing fees to use it. Its inclusion on a disc that eschews Dolby Atmos for the DTS:X-based IMAX Enhanced sound is not a shocking surprise!
So far, HDR10+ has been restricted to streaming content, mainly from Amazon. But now, it’s appearing on disc. The question is, what’s needed to play HDR10+ back properly? After all, a lot of recent Samsung TVs support the format, despite IMAX Enhanced currently only having Sony on board as far as display makers go.
I’m in touch with IMAX and will be covering IMAX Enhanced content and gear closely now that content is on its way. From what I’ve seen and heard already, this is about more than just “a logo” so stay tuned for more…
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