Poor Sony keeps suffering leaks: Wikileaks shows documents revealing a new 4K HDR Blu-ray player in the works

by on June 19, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 19, 2015

In the wake of other revelations about an agreement between Sony and Apple for licensing of 4K ultra HD content to the latter company for the sake of testing potential 4K entertainment media distribution, Sony has also suffered another reveal of its inner plans.

In this case, one of the quarter million documents leaked from the recent Sony Pictures hack shows what is definitely good news for home entertainment fans. The company was, or still is, apparently working on a new next generation 4K Blu-ray player with HDR capability, as you can see here in the original Sony document on the Wikileaks website.

This new product would definitely go well with some of Sony’s latest 4K TVs, of which at least one model is going to be built with full HDR compatibility, with other models coming down the road later in 2015.

At the moment, ultra HD content and much less ultra HD 4K content with high dynamic range (HDR) don’t exist in any solid state media format. The Blu-ray disc association will be releasing 4K Blu-ray discs later in 2015 and these will come with HDR capability integrated into their content. The new Blu-ray discs will also come in two different formats: as 66GB dual-layer discs and as 100GB triple layer versions.

HDR content is still being standardized by the UHD Alliance, of which Sony is a member

HDR 4K content is still being standardized by the UHD Alliance, of which Sony is a member

Either way though, these 4K discs are still over the horizon with no solid release date aside from some time in this year.

According to Sony’s leaked document, the company is planning to create a Blu-ray player that offers both 4K content capability and HDR playback for viewers. What this indicates is that Sony has been planning and developing HDR Blu-ray disc technology and storage for some time now, possibly as early as mid-2014.

Since the Blu-ray disc association’s new Blu-rays are definitely slated for delivery to stores before the end of 2015, the Sony media player whose plans have been leaked should also emerge around the same time.

While details about Sony’s Blu-ray player are obviously sketchy, a number of interesting details are revealed in the documentation itself. For one thing, the media player will come with the obviously necessary HDCP 2.2 content copy protection and with HDMI 2.0 connectivity or possibly an even more modern form of HDMI. Furthermore, it will likely offer support for HD TV users by being able to down-convert UHD HDR and UHD SDR signals to HD formats that work on ordinary HD TVs.

We can also assume that Sony will probably make their player backward compatible with older discs, the leaked documents clearly indicate this.

How much value Sony’s player will deliver both to consumers or the company itself remains to be seen. For one thing, Netflix and other streaming 4K content providers are already working on the release of HDR streams, negating the need for solid state media in homes with sufficient internet connectivity and Blu-ray, as well as Panasonic are both also releasing their own disc players, with HDR capability as well, at least definitely in the BDA player’s case.

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