Ready to give that 4K TV you bought at Christmas a workout? Today marks the proper launch of 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays in the UK, billed as the finest, most pixel-packed way to enjoy your favourite films and TV shows.
12 titles are lined up at launch, including the excellent Mad Max: Fury Road, The Lego Movie and Kingsman: The Secret Service, priced between £20 and £25. However, as 4K Blu-ray isn't region locked, you can nab a couple more titles beyond the UK's 12 on import, including Chappie.
While you've got a fair few options of what to watch in 4K then, you've far fewer choices when it comes to an actual 4K Blu-ray player, however. In fact, you've got just the one – Panasonic's £600 DMP-UB900 4K Blu-ray player. It beats Samsung's UBD-K8500 to the punch, but only by a matter of days, with Samsung's offering expected to follow at a lower price before the month is out.
Still, as ever with new physical formats, it's prohibitively priced, making this the reserve, initially, of early-adopter cinephiles. While 4K Blu-ray will benefit from less compression and no broadband connection limitations, you have to wonder if it'll truly compete against 4K digital downloads and (more pertinently) the existing 4K streaming services of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Mark this date in your diary folks – it may prove to be one of the final introductions of a new physical media format. Still, with the PS4.5 rumoured to have 4K capabilities, there may be life increasingly-advanced disc-based distribution yet.