We may not have Ultra HD Blu-ray players  yet, but we now have new packaging that will be used to help promote the new 4K high-resolution media content platform, and Sony Pictures has just revealed its first Ultra HD Blu-ray titles.

The members of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the multi-industry video entertainment promotions body charged with advocating new entertainment platforms, said Tuesday that it has developed new artwork and other design elements for the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray content packaging.

The package was developed in collaboration with Anchor Bay Entertainment, HBO Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and is expected to help drive rapid adoption of the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format while maintaining overall consistency in merchandising and messaging, the DEG said.

At the same time, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) revealedt its first releases in the next-generation 4K Ultra HD Disc format, which will arrive in early 2016. The Sony titles will join those announced by 20th Century Fox at IFA in Berlin, Germany earlier this year.

Sony Picture’s first 4K Ultra HD releases will include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, Pineapple Express, and The Smurfs 2, with more to follow, including new release films and television content, the company said. No word yet on pricing or exact availability.

Read more on the new Ultra HD Blu-ray disc packaging and Sony Pictures titles after the jump:

Sony’s Ultra HD Blu-ray discs feature four times the resolution of HD and include high dynamic range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays, the studio said. Many titles will also support next-generation immersive audio formats as well.

Sony Pictures has an large library of 4K content, including newer films and television shows, as well as classic catalog films restored from original film elements, including Fury, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Men In Black, Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element, Bad Boys, The Da Vinci Code, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Leon: The Professional, Lawrence Of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, Taxi Driver, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and others.

Meanwhile, a new DEG coordinated Blu-ray “Elite” disc package will feature a carbonized black color with metallic silver text and logo. The 4K Ultra HD logo will serve as the header of the package and the Ultra HD Blu-ray logo will be featured on the spine, back cover and disc.

The DEG said a new header will help to differentiate Ultra HD Blu-ray movies from current Blu-ray titles and is aligned with the 4K Ultra HD message used by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA, formerly known as the CEA) to promote the latest compatible televisions.

The DEG cited IHS DisplaySearch data showing forecasts for sales of 4K UHD TVs reaching 100 million units by year 2019.

Man Jit Singh, SPHE president, said that “by some estimates, consumers will own over 100 million Ultra HD television sets by 2019. Sony Pictures’ 4K Ultra HD Discs will deliver consumers the ultimate home theater experience, with stunning picture and sound quality. Ten years ago this month, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment authored the world’s first feature film on Blu-ray Disc, and we continue to bring consumers the most innovative, immersive home entertainment experiences available.”

The new Ultra HD Blu-ray package was designed to allow for either single disc or combo pack options. A combo option would provide both 4K UHD and Blu-ray HD versions of the movie or TV program.

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The DEG said the “future proof design is versatile enough to add a variety of other new features, including High Dynamic Range (HDR) and the latest immersive audio formats.”

To help support this initiative, the DEG, in partnership with the CTA, will deliver the 4K Ultra HD message nationwide next year via a series of satellite media tours.

The tours will promote the newest titles for home viewing, along with a number of 4K Ultra HD televisions.

The new Ultra HD Blu-ray titles will be available with the launch of Ultra HD Blu-ray players, which are expected in early 2016. Formal sendoffs are expected at the upcoming 2016 CES in Las Vegas this January.

The DEG said it is also working with a number of other platforms and service providers, including Amazon, Comcast, DirecTV, Google Play, and Kaleidescape, to promote 4K Ultra HD.

By Greg Tarr


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