Is 4k Blu-Ray Dying? Nope, It’s just getting started

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4K Blu-Ray is a relatively new format when it comes to physical media.

It became the premiere Blu-ray format with its introduction in 2016 but has largely lagged behind DVD and traditional Blu-Ray when it comes to physical sales.

Many wonder if the format will ever reach the masses and if studios will continue producing quality 4k content given that the audience for it is relatively niche.

Many are concerned, is 4k Blu-ray dying?

4K Blu-ray is not dying, although it is niche there is currently no format either physical or digital that matches its quality when it comes to picture and sound.

There is also no indication that a 4k Blu-ray will be overtaken by something like an 8k Blu-ray.

4K Blu-Ray is the cream of the crop for most of us who care about getting the highest quality picture and audio so as long as there is some demand it will continue being sold.

There have been some encouraging developments from recent releases like Top Gun Maverick (one of the best 4k’s ever IMO) which has made 60 million in home video sales, a lot of those being 4k Blu-ray. Spiderman No Way Home also did exceptionally well selling 4k Blu-rays. Hopefully, this can continue with new releases in the market.

With that being said there is some cause for concern regarding the overall health of the physical media space as a whole.

There are concerning signals coming from the market that are alarming to people who collect movies physically.

For example, Blu-Ray sales have decreased over the years and are not as widely available in retail stores anymore.

However, it is still a billion-dollar industry with a dedicated cult-like consumer base.

I don’t think 4k Blu-Ray has any risk of being made obsolete or dying at the moment or in the near future.

I will now go into more detail about why some people think 4k Blu-Ray is dying and then give my opinion on why this is wrong further on in the article.

4K Blu-Ray is not mainstream and probably never will be


The rise of streaming has largely complicated things for physical media.

Blu-ray started in 2006 but has lost significant market share over time with the introduction of streaming, specifically Netflix in 2008.

The bottom line is that people would rather stream than buy physical media, it’s more convenient for them.

Complicating this fact further is that most physical media collectors still buy DVDs or traditional Blu-rays over 4k, in fact, 4k UHD is not even 10% market share.

One of the reasons for this is that vast majority of households have a DVD player but not a Blu-ray player.

It’s too expensive for most people


4k discs are very expensive and consistently sell over $30 when they are first released.

4k technology is also expensive, you need a bunch of compatible equipment.

4k Blu-ray players are expensive, just a 4k Blu-ray player will cost you over $200. However, I usually wait for prices to drop as buying 4K Blu Ray is worth it for me.

Here are a couple of films that are incredible 4k discs and very affordable. 4K Blu-Ray is only getting better in terms of picture and sound. It’s a great time to buy these discs!

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Average consumers cannot tell the difference between standard Blu-ray and 4k.


A lot of people cannot tell the difference between 1080p and 4k.

Most households watch their TV at a distance where 4k will not make much of a difference and often don’t have a large enough TV to enjoy the format.

A lot of the 4K discs are movies shot in 2k and upscaling it to 4k doesn’t make that big of a difference unless the HDR is really good.

4K Blu-ray looks better than traditional Blu-ray but it’s not a huge enough difference for most people to invest in the format, they are fine with regular Blu-ray.

There is also still a large contingent of people that still buy DVDs, something I have covered in a separate article you can read here.

There is a learning curve with 4K as well, most people don’t know what Dolby Vision is or HDR, they don’t understand the difference between traditional TVs and OLED, they don’t know Dolby Atmos etc..

Physical media is too niche and studios are abandoning it

Physical media is a niche format and hobby so unsurprisingly studios are emphasizing it less and less with each new release.

For example, Disney is not releasing any 4k Blu-rays for their past live-action catalog, This was major as they were the first studio to largely abandon 4k except for their most recent releases.

Retailers are abandoning the format

Large retailers like Walmart and Best Buy do not sell as many Blu-rays as they used to.

Walmart does not sell any 4k Blu-rays that are less than $15 unless they are major Hollywood blockbuster films.

4k Blu-ray titles have become more and more money at retailers like Best Buy as they have tried to link the physical media releases to their total tech membership.

Original pricing for Blu Rays has gone way up as a way to promote their membership, often coming in at $10-$15 higher than normal.

Manufacturers are dropping out

Samsung has announced it will stop making 4k Blu-ray players in the future.

A lot of 4k Blu-ray rides on the support of gaming consoles such as Xbox and Play Station.

If these devices stop supporting the format it will be a huge blow to physical media.

Will 4K Blu-ray ever become obsolete?


No, 4k streaming still cannot replicate 4k Blu-ray.

Streaming has to compress audio and visuals to the smallest possible size to save bandwidth.

Also, there is no format on the horizon that could overtake 4k Blu-ray except for kaleidescape.

But right now they are prohibitively expensive and only available for more wealthy consumers.

There is certainly no physical format that will replace 4k Blu Ray but you never know.

It is unlikely that 4k Blu-ray will become obsolete in the next 10 years, remember a ton of people still watch movies in standard definition.

Although 3D Blu-Ray failed, which I’ve discussed on this website, there is no indication that 4k Blu-Ray will follow suit, 4k is not a gimmick and actually provides a better viewing experience.

Traditional Blu-Ray will likely hold on as well, I wrote an in-depth article explaining why Blu-Ray is unlikely to be replaced if you’d like to read it.

Will there be 8K Blu-ray discs?


8K is highly unlikely as people can’t tell the difference between 4k and 8k, the human eye cannot perceive the difference in pixels.

Also, 4k is still a new format and hasn’t been widely adopted yet.

8k makes more sense for computer monitors, not movies, to notice the difference in resolution you would have to sit ridiculously close to the TV and have a very large TV.

There is no need for 8K, 4k discs by themselves only represent 5% of the physical media market, only 0.5% of TV sales are made for 8k and no studios are shooting movies in that format, most studios are still trying to adopt 4k technology and make movies in that format.

8k also does not make sense because it would take up a ton of space on the disc and the audio and visuals would be compressed.

4k is likely to be the last physical disk available for movies.

4K Blu-ray players are ceasing production so there is absolutely no reason to think manufacturers will produce 8k players in the future.


Although physical media, specifically 4k Blu-ray ray does not have the greatest outlook it is unlikely that 4k Blu-ray will truly die in the near future, if you love a certain movie and want to watch it several times over then there is no beating owning it on Blu-ray.

You could buy a digital copy of the film but it is very likely you won’t have ownership of that movie in 5 years as it will likely be sold to a different streaming service.

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