How much is too much to pay for physical UHD media?

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You mean we can get UHD from places other than YouTube and Netflix?

A physical standard for UHD Blu-ray media is approaching at the speed of fresh social media indignation and approximate pricing for the hardware and individual discs you will have to purchase are actually starting to come in.

Really? Hasn’t that already happened?

We’ve already seen announcements of the first titles that will be available at retail as physical discs from some film studios but Lionsgate’s recent announcement also came with pricing attached. That’s a first. Excited UHD wannabes will be able to get their hands on the likes of Sicario and The Last Witch Hunter for the very princely sum of $43. Each.

That doesn’t sound good, especially with the exchange rate…

Let’s break that down quickly, because it’s not good at all. UHD discs are going to cost South African viewers at least R720, and that’s before tax, import duties and the cut that gets paid to the Film and Publications Board (usually handed over in a bathroom in an Italian restaurant – it’s traditional) so that we’re allowed to watch it in SA. And that’s without factoring in the R6,700 or so you’ll need to pay for UHD Blu-ray-supporting players like Samsung’s UBD-K8500 (again, that’s without markups added) in order to make the most of your shiny new UHD TV.

Ooh, right in the wallet! Is there any good news?

Kinda. Lionsgate also priced their UHD back catalogue, which is thankfully going to be cheaper than the R800+ you can expect to pay when the new high-res format lands in stores where nobody will buy them. Ender’s Game and The Expendables 3 (as well as other, older flicks) will cost buyers $23 (R385) each. Ummmmm…. how about no?

Are there any alternative options?

Funny you should say that. Of course you don’t have to drop massive chunks of change on new hardware and nigh-on a grand per movie. You could always avail yourself of the fastest internet connection you can afford (always worth it) and Netflix’s UHD subscription. The best part? Not having to leave the house. It does mean waiting a while to see that film in UHD but if it was a question of waiting or paying R1,000 for a movie night, we know which one we’re picking.

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