11:52am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Fox Unwraps First Four Ultra HD Titles With High Dynamic Range
Fox Home Entertainment is releasing its first titles in Ultra HD resolution with high dynamic range (HDR): Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Maze Runner, Life of Pi and Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Additional UHD with HDR titles are expected to follow in the coming weeks. The initiative is led by Fox Home Entertainment and the Fox Innovation Lab, which has been experimenting with UHD with HDR mastering.
As previously reported in The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox recently decided to make versions of all of its new and recent movies in UHD with HDR, the biggest commitment to date on the content side.
The new titles are part of a beta launch, through which consumers can purchase these movies on M-GO and download them to their Samsung Video Pack, for viewing on Samsung SUHDTVs, which support UHD and HDR. (Fox previously supplied clips from Pi and Exodus for Samsung demonstrations).
Fox intends to support additional HDR formats as the hardware enters the market. For instance, Ultra HD Blu-ray players are expected in the market during Q4, and Fox is also planning to support this format at launch.
High dynamic range — meaning a wider range between the whitest whites and blackest blacks in an image — is viewed by many Hollywood tech leaders as the key feature that will create a more noticeable picture advancement for viewers, certainly compared with Ultra HD resolution alone. But while many tech industry leaders are in agreement on taking an HDR path, the challenge is how to implement it while sidestepping a potential format war.
Efforts are underway to standardize HDR. Among them, studio and manufacturer coalition UHD Alliance — which is led by Fox CTO Hanno Basse — is working to create an agreed-upon, consistent and interoperable HDR quality specification for home entertainment.