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Ultra HD Blu-ray Sales Exceed Expectations

Strong sales of 4K Ultra HD TVs are driving demand for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players.

Since the launch of the new format in March, 80,000 Ultra HD Blu-ray players have been sold, with models currently available from Panasonic, Philips and Samsung, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox One S.

Sales of the 90 titles available have generated over $25 million and the total number of discs sold is soon expected to reach one million. These sales figures are higher than the Blu-ray format experienced at a similar point in its rollout.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray does have the benefit of not having a comparable rival physical format to compete with, as Blu-ray had with HD DVD back when the format launched in 2006, but it does have competition with 4K streaming available on Netflix and other services.

Six of the major studios have released titles in the Ultra HD Blu-ray format: Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Universal, Warner, and Sony.

“Sony Pictures is very happy with the Ultra HD Blu-ray performance so far. It’s succeeded their expectations,” said Sony’s new format promotion senior VP Don Eklund.

“That doesn’t mean it’s been a windfall by any stretch, but it’s doing better than was forecast.”

Notably absent from Ultra HD Blu-ray is Walt Disney Studios.

Shipments of Ultra HDTVs are expected to increase over 80 per cent this year and a further 40 per cent next year. 50 per cent of households in the United States are expected to have 4K Ultra HD capable TVs by 2020.

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