It’s nice that 4K streaming is coming to match the deluge of Ultra HD displays, but the current Blu-ray (and streaming) media are still encoded with “ye olde” 8 bits per colour channel, rendering 16.7 million colours. That might sound fine, but in reality the 8-bit colour will produce colour banding when a smooth colour gradation needs to be shown on screen. The so-called deep color (10, 12 or 16 bits per color) can drastically improve images by eliminating the nasty and eye-poking colour banding — and many new displays of decent quality are all ready to support it.
Now, a company called Folded Space wants to bring the media in line, too. Folded Space developed algorithms to encode 12-bit Blu-ray discs with billions of colors, while keeping them backwards compatible with existing players — and holding files to nearly the same size. For all that to happen, studios would need to adopt the encoding technology and manufacturers would also have to incorporate it into new Blu-ray players. The nice thing about this technology is that Folded Space is offering the technology for free to content creators to get the ball rolling.