The rumors surfaced late last week, and The Digital Bits has confirmed that Disney is going to stop releasing. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of his films “live action”(Stories of drawings remade with actors of flesh and blood, such as Mulán), as well as others from the recently acquired 20th Century Fox.
Disney 4K content to continue to come out on Blu-ray
Thus, the series and films of Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar would be saved from this screen, but the rest of the content created by Disney would not be released in physical format in 4K, and can only be accessed through digital platforms like Disney +.
Disney has not made great efforts in promoting physical format releases of Star Wars or Marvel content, where they did not even send products to critics for analysis, nor did they release press releases about it. Thus, next month they will launch Home alone and Hocus Pocus in 4K, and those would probably be his last releases of Blu-ray remasters.
Content remastering of 20th Century Fox and Touchstone, where also a large part of its catalog does not “fit” in Disney + because it is not “family friendly” and they will not include it. Therefore, we can say goodbye to many remastering of hundreds of classics. Disney has acquired many companies in recent years, and it is a shame that such an impressive catalog is treated in that way without offering at least one alternative streaming platform to enjoy it.
The strategy aims empower Disney + as the central axis for all its content. The only content that would be saved would be that made by James Cameron to keep him “happy” for the production of new Avatar content, and they could release new 4K versions in physical format of films like Aliens: The Return, the original Avatar, Risky Lies or Abyss.
Disney + 4K bitrate is up to 3x lower than Blu-ray
Disney considers three things before betting on content: whether it will work on Disney +, whether it will get people to buy products related to the content, and whether it will increase the influx of its theme parks. The latter two have been negatively affected due to the pandemic, but the consumption of multimedia content at home has increased. This has meant that the revenues of Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal and Lionsgate have increased in the first quarters of the year, but Disney had less income, where they have not been able to take advantage of the pull of the increase in consumption of content at home in these months.
This decision will make the quality of the content that can be seen on Disney + worse in the end. He bitrate offered by a 4K Blu-ray typically ranges from 50 to even 100 Mbps. However, in 4K streaming on Disney +, its bitrate is between 14 and 18 Mbps, so the image will be more compressed and with artifacting. So there is no point in taking a step back without offering at least one alternative site to view content at a quality that is at least the same as on Blu-ray, even if that increases your network costs. For now, it seems that the losers are going to be the users.