Paramount has announced its first Blu-ray releases in 4K Ultra HD: Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. According to a report from Variety, the titles will go on sale on June 14th to mark the 50th anniversary of the broadcast of first ever Star Trek episode on NBC. Both films will be sold as triple-disc UHD/Blu-ray/Digital HD combo packs, with the Star Trek bundle offering three hours of behind-the-scenes content, and Into Darkness coming with two hours of "special features" and the IMAX version of the film.
That's a nice little clutch of extras, but these shouldn't distract from Paramount's pricing, with each combo-pack costing $47.99. By comparison, you can buy a multi-format release of Into Darkness including Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD versions, for less than $15 on Amazon. That means that Paramount is pricing the 4K UHD Blu-ray format somewhere in the region of $33. That sounds extreme, but is (sadly) par for the course for the format — films from Sony's 4K streaming service, for example, cost $30 a pop.
You can buy a multi-format release of Into Darkness without 4K UHD for less than $15
Nevertheless, the release is another minor milestone in roll-out of the 4K UHD format, which offers four times the resolution of full, 1080p HD and double the number of colors. As with Paramount's upcoming releases, there's also the promise of better audio quality and color range, thanks to Dolby Atmos soundtracks and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging.
The 4K UHD disc format was finalized last May with the first player going on sale this February. And in the past year we've had studios including Warner Bros., Fox, and Sony announce their first 4K UHD titles. They're certainly not all gems (who wants to see Smurfs 2 in 4K?), but 4K UHD is slowly building momentum. But if Paramount's prices are anything to go by, the format is going to remain niche for a while longer.