Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt DECEMBER SKY, the Gundam series’ first 4K ULTRA HD Blu-ray, was released on December 22nd (Thurs) by Bandai Visual. It is 8,000 yen excluding tax.
The 4K ULTRA HD Blu-ray boasts ultra-high definition that is 4-times that of a standard Blu-ray. Through the use of HDR (high dynamic range), it is the picture media of a new era where we can enjoy videos in extremely brilliant, realistic high quality. Director Kou Matsuo personally participated in the editing of the footage and it is a realization of a video presentation distinct to Thunderbolt by making maximum usage of its HDR results. A portion of footage from series such as Mobile Suit Gundam THE ORIGIN and Mobile Suit Gundam UC will be included as bonus footage. They will be trial 4KHDR videos created as a test using the same technology as the main video footage.
The DVD for Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt DECEMBER SKY is also available for rent at video rental stores countrywide. The rental DVD will only include the main story.
Please take this opportunity to choose your favorite viewing environment to watch the film.
■ Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt DECEMBER SKY [4K ULTRA HD Blu-ray]
Release Date: December 22, 2016 (Thurs)
Price: 8,000 yen (tax excluded)
Stock Number: BCQA-0001
Specifications: Color / 75 minutes (main story 70-minutes + bonus footage 5-minutes) / DTS-HD Master Audio (2.1ch) and Linear PCM (stereo) / HEVC / 66G / 16:9 <2160p Ultra High Definition> / Japanese and English audio / Japanese and English subtitles (ON/OFF) / 1 disc
○ Gundam series 4KHDR Trial Film (5 minutes)
A portion of these 4 works – Mobile Suit Gundam THE ORIGIN, Mobile Suit Gundam UC, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: STARDUST MEMORY – have been made into a trial 4KHDR video using the same technology as the main story as a test.
- An ULTRA HD Blu-ray compatible player and playback environment is required to view this product. If viewed on a TV that does not support 4K (HDCP2.2 support) and HDR (High Dynamic Range), it will not playback the proper image quality.
A comment from Director Matsuo
Truthfully, I can’t say that I’m happy that a method that we didn’t expect from the beginning of production is being released.
However, “let’s make it into a 4K UHD BD” was an unexpected comment that made me think and try to look positively at the idea.
Those were the feelings I had when I checked the Panasonic footage. It’s true that I didn’t have much confidence.
However, the test footage that I was shown surprised me one after another. I could only be surprised seeing HDR technology for the first time and was nothing but delighted that “this is what we’re acquiring?” Naturally, it wasn’t the image that I had expected. But there was an added charm to it that was much more than I expected.
There is a charm that HDR has that has never been experienced until now and is more than just raising the resolution. Television is truly radiant.
The brightest substance up until now was pure white. Just white. Even if it was so dazzlingly bright, it isn’t natural light.
“Light” naturally exists. If that’s the case, I want to understand it to the fullest.
I want a video quality that is improved by HDR to test the limits of its equipment. Experiencing this new technology will make one want more.
Inevitably, the imaging in this BD was made differently from the 2K BD. It can be said that this was one of my answers to completing the BD. I would like viewers to compare the footage from the 4K BD to other footage from present player and streaming devices. Viewers should notice that maximum light levels were used to bring real thunderbolts to Thunderbolt.
Experiencing a long overdue technological innovation.
Though I know I shouldn’t, I would like to try handling something like this next time.
This was my impression of my first 4K UHD BD experience.
Kou Matsuo (Director)
■ What is a 4K ULTRA HD Blu-ray?
A new era of picture media that supports 4K. The Blu-ray not only boasts a high definition experience that is 4-times that of a standard Blu-ray (3840x2160 px); it supports “HDR (High Dynamic Range),” which makes it possible to have an extremely brilliant presentation overflowing with texture, and the wide Gamut “BT.2020” which greatly enhances the reproducibility of color. The 4K UHD BD produces ultra-high quality that overwhelmingly surpasses that of the standard Blu-ray.
■ What is HDR (High Dynamic Range)?
It has a wide, bright dynamic range (the scope of the video’s darkest and brightest sections) that overpowers that of conventional television and Blu-rays. It will not dull dark segments while properly reproducing it while bright segments are presented even more brilliantly, making for a smooth, clear video.
※ In comparison to the “SDR (Standard Dynamic Range),” which can only reach up to 100nit (nit= a unit of around 1 square meter of brightness displayed), the HDR’s peak brightness can be presented at up to 1,000 – 10,000nit luminance.
■ What is BT.2020?
Its scope of color reproduction is substantially extensive in comparison to conventional television and Blu-rays. The “BT.709,” the conventional standard Gamut, was unable to fully express the color that film could, while the “BT.2020” has a wide color range that can reproduce a color that goes beyond that of the film’s. For anime media, it produces the film’s original color.
※ The standard gamut “BT.709” can only present approximately 35% of color that exists in nature, while the “BT.2020” covers approximately 76%.