In the kaleidoscope of business models and formats that make up the home entertainment business, there are some brighter lights.
To those not familiar with the home entertainment business, 4K UHD with HDR and EST may be alphabet soup, but they are the industry stars for those in the know.
EST, or electronic sell-through, is the industry term for digital purchases of content, and in 2018 consumers began to build their digital libraries with gusto, growing the market by double digits.
The 4K Ultra High Definition format, with four times the pixel resolution of 1080p HD, and high dynamic range (HDR), featuring wider color gamut, brighter brights and darker darks, is also reinvigorating the market with explosive growth, especially on the physical disc side as consumers take advantage of the full experience only available on 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc.
At the Nov. 6 4K UHD Summit in Los Angeles, director Christopher Nolan noted 4K UHD with HDR is “a mouthful,” but it “really puts us in a position where we can get closer and closer to a theatrical print in the home.” He is a “big fan of the 4K disc because it removes the uncertainties of streaming.
“It’s fantastic for the filmmaker to have a physical media that eliminates the variabilities, the compression and so forth,” he said. “That’s the gold standard that streaming is going to have to reach.”
“The 4K UHD format, across both hardware and software, is providing a meaningful boon to our business, creating retail opportunity as consumers look to invest in the most technologically advanced viewing experience in the home,” says Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. “4K UHD discs already account for almost one in 10 new release discs sold in the U.S.”
“4K UHD sales are increasing with each title that is released, and we expect that upward trend to continue into next year,” adds Mike Takac, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment exec VP and general sales manager. “And even with the proliferation and advancements in streaming services, physical discs still offer the best quality viewing experience for home consumers and also are the best value proposition.”